a player in one type of fantasy football league

Different Types of Fantasy Football Leagues

The world of fantasy football is diverse—there are all sorts of rule variations that make the game fun and ever-changing. All of these options can get overwhelming at times, so here’s a look at the five most common types of leagues you’re likely to encounter.

Total Point

In a total point league, the manager at the end of the season with the highest number of points is declared the winner—wins and losses do not play a factor in this sort of competition. Leagues typically have a point threshold that teams must meet to be eligible to advance to the playoffs. This is one of the most common types of leagues in fantasy football.


In a head-to-head format each team in the league is paired with a different one at the beginning of the week. The two teams then compete head-to-head to see which will score the most points. In this set up, teams' win-loss records determines who moves on to the playoffs, not their total points. This is the other most common league type used for fantasy football.


Keeper leagues can be either total point or head-to-head. Instead, what distinguishes them is the managers’ ability to keep players on their team from one year to the next. This greatly alters the drafting situation by privileging football players who have the potential for long-term growth and success. While it is not necessary, many of these leagues impose a penalty for each player a manager elects to keep from the previous year—normally this means they must forfeit a particular number of turns in the draft.


Auction leagues pit managers against each other in bidding wars for the best players. The league normally imposes a monetary limit that caps the amount of money a manager can spend on his or her entire team. As with keeper leagues, auction leagues can be either total point or head-to-head as well.

Two Quarterback

In a two quarterback league, managers select two quarterbacks (instead of only one) for their starting roster. This makes quarterbacks a much more valued commodity among managers, which in turn forces them to modify their drafting strategy.

Last Updated: August 19, 2014