Miss fantasy football already? Play fantasy baseball — here's how it can be a lot easier than you think

Wondering how you’re going to fill the fantasy sports void until football is back? Well, one option you might be overlooking is joining a fantasy baseball league.

While baseball can seem daunting — mainly because of its 162-game schedule over six-plus months compared to just 17 weeks for football — there are ways to replicate what brings you joy from the gridiron onto the baseball field.

We’ve rounded up some tips to lighten the load if you’re considering joining a baseball league for the first time or coming back after not playing last season.

You'll get fantasy action every day — not just Sunday

For those who love fantasy football, that same passion from Sundays can come on a near-daily basis — all because of baseball's calendar. Feel the rush of Bryce Harper digging in against Spencer Strider because either (or both) are on your fantasy team. Enjoy the show when Juan Soto shuffles into the batter's box against Justin Verlander. No matter the outcome, get instantaneous updates on your Yahoo Fantasy app, showing where you are in the standings or your head-to-head matchup. No need to wait a week to get those competitive juices flowing. Just pick it up again with the next day's games.

You can make your baseball settings nearly identical to your football ones

There are several baseball formats to consider, but to keep things simple, Head-to-Head Points leagues are the most like football, and in April, we've added Head-to-Head Points as a scoring type option for Public Leagues, making it easy to quickly join a league and get a similar experience to football!

What’s extra fun about these leagues is that fantasy managers get that same weekly outcome of a win or a loss. While you’re managing your lineup throughout the week, the result could come down to a home run in the final game on Sunday night, a streaming starting pitcher who strikes out 10 hitters and gets the win or even a reliever who picks up a save to tip the matchup.

It’s easy to get in the game, too. You just need to make a few decisions and you’re off and running.

First up, pick your format — again, head-to-head points leagues are the most like football.

Next, do you have friends that want to play with you? If not (or maybe you only know a few interested people) that's no problem. There are free public leagues as well as public prize leagues — in the latter, you pay an entry fee and play for cash prizes awarded at the end of the season. In either case, you never have to worry about finding a day and time that works for the whole group to draft. You get to pick what works for you.

In a free public league, you can invite a friend, family member or acquaintance to fill a vacancy but you don't have to worry about getting enough people to fill a whole league to draft. Both free public leagues, as well as public prize leagues, will be filled with Yahoo players until 12 teams join. There are also Live Draft Lobbies, where on-demand drafts are available every day, and you can join a league and make picks the instant all spots are taken.

If you want to play with something on the line beyond pride, Public Prize leagues are a great option, but you won't be able to join with anyone you know, just to keep things fair.

Now, if you do want to have some skin in the game against your friends, family or acquaintances, we suggest creating or joining a Private Prize league and inviting whoever you want.

Then, you just get ready for draft day, where you can even pick from your phone. Some leagues draft immediately, while others wait for a later date. Your call.

[2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

Ways to streamline fantasy baseball

One of the benefits of a private league is there are many options to customize the roster and scoring settings to your desires. Commissioners have the ability to set limited positional requirements or fewer bench spaces, which means you won’t have to sweat as many roster decisions day to day or week to week. It will also make the waiver wire more fun and active since there will be more available options.

If your leaguemates really like offense, you could consider hitter-only (that means no pitchers) leagues. If you do want to keep pitchers in the game, you could opt to limit the number of active spots, or set it up for all pitchers without starter or reliever designations. It's your league's call.

If trading isn't your thing – and you want to limit those conflicts – leagues can skip them altogether.

We have you covered if you need a crash course on how to play fantasy baseball or are looking for a draft blueprint. We've also rounded up our analysts' draft advice in one spot to help get you ready. On draft day, you'll fill your roster with whichever positions your league decided to use. Here are Yahoo's default settings, if you prefer to let us do the heavy lifting. Either way, you get to rely on your own strategy to determine the best path forward. Remember, this is your team!

If daily management feels like a lot, you have the option of going to weekly lineups to mirror football and make the roster decisions a lighter lift. The Start Active Players tool makes filling out your lineup with players who have games each day a breeze. You can also consider limiting the number of weekly moves each manager can make, so there’s less pressure to grind on the waiver wire every day.

There is also the option of ending a league’s season earlier. Head-to-Head leagues can start a four-team playoff that ends the season as early as Aug. 11. So, those fantasy football players who don't want crossover between sports can be accommodated.

You can get started very easily with Yahoo Fantasy. Enjoy that fun and excitement that will make the season fly by and bring football back before you know it.

Join or create a fantasy baseball league today and get ready to play ball!

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