How Fantasy Football Works

By: Matt Hunt

The Fantasy Football Draft

In the first fantasy football draft, participants drew cards marked 1-8 for the privilege of choosing their drafting positions. The draft proceeded in a ladder order with the first position draftee making the first selection, the second position draftee making the second selection, and so on until the eighth position draftee makes the eighth selection. During the second round, the draft order reversed, with the eighth draftee starting with the ninth selection and the order continuing backward from the first round until eventually returning to the first draftee whose next pick would then be the 16th. Each subsequent round, the order would reverse with the last position draftee of the previous round making the first selection of the next round until each team's roster was full. This ladder order was implemented in order to make the teams equal and to promote a higher degree of competition. In subsequent years, after roster cuts were made, the team with the lowest record the previous season would have the opportunity to draft first. Teams were able to draft 20 players:

  • Four offensive ends
  • Four halfbacks
  • Two fullbacks
  • Two quarterbacks
  • Two kick/punt returners
  • Two field goal kickers
  • Two defensive backs/linebackers
  • Two defensive linemen

Since many players played at different positions in the 60s, the same player could play for different teams at different positions (for example, the #1 draft pick George Blanda played quarterback for one team and place kicker for another). Upon successful completion of the draft, each team was to submit their weekly lineup to the secretary before noon each Friday. Teams would compete on a weekly basis, and at the end of the season, teams would hold a championship to crown the league champion.


The GOPPL used the following method of payoffs for scoring:

  • 50 cents for rushing touchdown by any player
  • 25 cents for any player receiving a pass for a touchdown
  • 25 cents for any player throwing a touchdown pass
  • Double the above for any score from more than 75 yards out
  • 25 cents for each field goal
  • $2.50 for a kickoff or punt return for touchdown
  • $2.50 for a touchdown by a defensive back or linebacker on pass interception
  • $5.00 for a touchdown by defensive lineman

Next, we'll learn how fantasy football went public.