WhatIfSports.com's SimLeague Football

What is SimLeague Football?
By Michael Schneid, WhatIfSports.com
October 14, 2009

Football is almost like a holiday. It is played once a week (typically on Sundays) and the hype surrounding each game is endless. One way people kill time while waiting for each game is to debate the merits of present and past NFL teams and players.

While fanss wait for the weekly game, WhatIfSports.com's SimLeague Football allows fans to answer some of the sport's greater questions. Who was better? Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas? Emmitt Smith or Jim Brown? The 1985 Bears defense or the 2000 Ravens'? And, what if? What if Barry Sanders had played with a great offensive line? What if John Elway had Jerry Rice and John Taylor as receivers?

Not only does SimLeague Football answer these questions, it allows fans to build their own dream teams of past and present stars and then use those teams to compete in full-season leagues with other fans online. SimLeague Football gives owners the chance to play both general manager and head coach. That means a backfield could include Peyton Manning from 2004 and Walter Payton from 1977 with Jerry Kramer, Forrest Gregg, Fuzzy Thurston and the rest of the 1961 Green Bay Packers' offensive line in front of them blocking and the 1951 Crazy Legs Hirsch and 1995 Isaac Bruce ready to go deep. That's because owners are able to build their team from a pool of every NFL player who played between 1949 and now.

SimLeague Football provides an opportunity for football enthusiasts to play with teams comprised of the greats, while also learning about them and their history. It also offers fierce competition among owners over a 20-game season (4 preseason and 16 regular season) and playoffs.

Competition becomes intense as owners trade strategies and banter in the Forums, while the games are played on the simulated gridiron. This brings some of the most passionate and brightest football fans together and creates a sense of community for everyone.

How to Play

To start, owners are given $60 million to build a team that includes at least three quarterbacks, three running backs, four wide receivers, three tight ends, a kicker, a punter an offensive line and a defense. The actual league stats from the season for each player are converted into ratings based on how much better than the rest of the league the player was in that season.

After making crucial decisions on some of the final roster spots, owners name their team, choose a stadium keeping in mind weather conditions and the type of team - and are assigned to a league with 23 other owners. Leagues are randomly split into two conferences, each divided with three divisions of four teams. A head-to-head game schedule is then generated and the owner's role switches from GM to head coach. Owners are given the opportunity to set depth charts, defensive focus, offensive tendencies, and aggressiveness and substitution frequency. They also have control over the offensive and defensive playbooks. From using a more standard playbook like West Coast or Rushing, to choosing the exact plays to run in each situation, the coach determines his entire strategy.

Once the season gets under way, one game is simulated each day with the first half done in the morning and the second completed in the afternoon to allow for halftime adjustments. During the season, every team and individual statistic is recorded to better track performance, assess the success of different strategies and provide insight into league leaders and award candidates.


The top six teams in each conference will enter the playoffs to vie for a championship not to mention pride and prizes.

The further a team advances in the postseason, the better the prizes. Just making the playoffs reduces the price of the owner's next SimLeague team by a $1. Making it to the Finals increases that savings to $4. The league champion also wins Reward Points that can be redeemed for free SimLeague Football teams, T-shirts, and Amazon.com or Fathead.com gift certificates in our Reward Center.

How it Works

The WhatIfSports football simulation engine uses every available stat to simulate each game down to the play. Comprehensive research has uncovered the exact probabilities of nearly every occurrence in a game and SimLeague Football creates the most accurate simulation available by utilizing some of the world's most extensive and detailed statistical modeling.

FOXSports.com itself utilizes the impressive WhatIfSports simulation engine for its Fantasy Football projections and game simulations.

Any fan can build and coach a team of football greats. So sign up today and see what happens.

SimLeague Football

Compete in a full season with your dream team from NFL past and present. Depth charts, game plans, prizes, and more.

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Create or re-play any fantasy matchup from sports history. One click yields a free box score and play-by-play.

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Gridiron Dynasty

Coach, recruit, and run your own college football program.

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What is WhatIfSports?

WhatIfSports.com is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join WhatIfSports.com today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

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