Yahoo! Fantasy Football '09: Free live scoring and other perks

That's right, Yahoo! offers FREE LIVE SCORING, beginning now. As the marketing propaganda says, "You Talked. We Listened. We've improved StatTracker and made it free." Consumer surveys apparently revealed that our users prefer stuff that costs nothing versus stuff that costs $9.99. Odd but true.

Sign up today. It's quick, free and painless.

If you've already bought a Yahoo! PLUS league, you'll essentially get an early-bird special: Expect a full refund of your purchase price with continued access to features that remain unique to PLUS, like trade review, draft kits, scouting reports and league prizes. The new cost of PLUS is just $29.95. Not such a bad deal for those with a fondness for bobbleheads.

Free StatTracker is clearly exciting, but that isn't the only enhancement to the game. New free features for '09 include the following:

• Free Agent Acquisition Budgets (FAAB). If you'd rather be at the mercy of the waiver queue, that remains an option. But if you'd prefer to actively bid against other owners for the right to acquire, say, Andre Brown(notes) in Week 3, then you're in luck. Yahoo! Football '09 is fully FAAB compliant. (Pictured right). The highest bidder wins the player. Management of FAAB resources is tricky, but that's a subject for a later feature.

• Rivalry Week. Every private fantasy league has its own version of Bears vs. Packers (or, if your league includes a bejeweled octogenarian, Raiders vs. Chiefs). Yahoo!'s customized schedules allow your commissioner to establish a Rivalry Week, where ancient scores are settled. Incentivize these match-ups however you like.

• New Flex and Individual Defensive Player (IDP) positions. Check the league settings below. If you're an IDP player -- and you really should be, because it's a stellar way to learn the NFL -- then you're going to be pleased. Last year's IDP game was checkers (Connect Four at best); this year it's chess. Please also note the number of divisions available in the '09 game, too.

Before concluding the sales pitch -- and it's not really selling, per se, since everything you want is FREE -- we'll also remind you of a few additional details:

Yahoo!'s 2008 preseason rankings were deadly accurate. We finished well ahead of every other major provider in the year-end ranking of the ranks. Look it up.

We're keeper compatible.

Historically, the reliability of our game is unmatched. We don't break. You should perhaps want an Internet services company to host your online league.

Mock drafting is available whenever you need it. Dive right in. We're talkin' about practice, franchise.

So let's summarize: If you want the most reliable and user-friendly game, superior player rankings, free live scoring, and new features that cater to the most competitive leagues, then sign up here. Operators are standing by. And if you just can't trust something that you didn't pay for, then please...order a magazine!


Photo via Getty Images

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