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How to Start a Fantasy Baseball League

When you were a kid did you dream of being a Major League Baseball manager? You might not be able to make that dream come true, but with a few willing friends and a love of America's pastime, you can start your own fantasy baseball league.


  • TIP: A straight draft, sometimes called a snake or serpentine draft, is quicker and better suited to team managers who are new to the game.
  • Step 1: Find a site on which to host your league. Yahoo, CBS Sports, and ESPN, among many others, will host leagues for free. Now let the games begin!
  • FACT: The first Fantasy Sports Trade Association conference was held in 1999.
  • Step 2: Decide on a draft style. There are two basic draft styles -- straight and auction. Straight drafts involve picking a draft order and drafting in rounds. Auction drafts gives every owner a salary cap and players are auctioned off. A player goes to the highest bidder, but the bidder will have less salary left for other players.
  • Step 3: Pick scoring categories. You can pick from any statistics. Typically, batters are scored on runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, home runs, and batting average. Pitchers are scored on strikeouts, walks-plus-hits-per-inning-pitched, earned run average, wins, and saves. Assign point values to each category.
  • TIP: Even though you are the commissioner, you should keep your league members involved in the decision-making process leading up to the season.
  • Step 4: Make roster decisions -- pick how many players on each roster and whether those players will come from the National League, the American League, or both.
  • Step 5: Choose a league format. You can run a rotisserie league or a head-to-head league. Rotisserie leagues rank teams by cumulative points over the entire season and head-to-head pits one team against another each week and the standings at the end of the season are based on wins and losses.
  • Step 6: Find participants who are willing to be involved and stay involved throughout the season. Nothing can ruin a league like a few members losing interest. Leagues should have anywhere from eight to 12 teams in order to stay interesting and fun.

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