SimLeague Football - Official Rules

Team Draft | Team Management | League Play


A. Roster/Salary Cap

After you sign up, you will be taken to the Team Draft Center. You will draft players for the following positions:

Running Back3
Wide Receiver4
Tight End3
*Additional QB,RB,WR,TE5
Field Goal Kicker1
Offensive Line Unit1
Defensive Unit1
Special Teams Unit1

*Note: The four lowest salaried "Additional" players will start out on your Practice Squad (see below for more information on your practice squad).

Each team owner is given cash based on the league salary cap to cover their payroll expenses. Open leagues will all have a $60 million cap. Theme leagues may have salary caps of $60 million or $80 million depending on what the league founder chooses. This cash may be dispersed any way you see fit. For example, you can choose to spend most of it on just a handful of players or you may choose a more balanced spending approach. Once you add a player to your roster, the player may be replaced at any time until you join a league. Once you create your team, you can only replace a player by using the waiver wire or by calling up a player from your practice squad.

Salaries for all players are not based on actual salary data, but instead calculated using formulas to equate the value of historical players in today's dollars, e.g. how much would '85 Walter Payton be worth in today's market?

Note: You do NOT have to draft your entire team all at once. We save your draft picks for up to 30 days, so if you want to come back and finish you draft, you can!

B. Available Players

Since SimLeague competition is based on ratings that use statistics (i.e. past performance), you may choose from any player, both current and past, that meets the following criteria:

Players are not listed by career numbers, but instead individual season statistics. So, you may have the same player on your roster multiple times, as long as the player is from different seasons, i.e. you can have '91 and '92 Jerry Rice on your roster, but you cannot have two '92 Barry Sanders on your roster. The practice of having the same player from different seasons on your team is sometimes referred to as "cloning". If you are joining a theme league, please make sure that this is allowed in the league. In addition, a player may be on more than one team in the league at the same time, i.e. 2 teams may both have '98 Brett Favre on their rosters.

When searching for players, you may search by any combination of the following criteria:

Please note that if you draft someone from the current season, please be aware that their statistics/salary may periodically change as the actual season progresses.

C. Joining a League

Once the roster has been completed, you will be asked to give your team a name (the use of profanity is prohibited) and be asked to choose a home stadium. You have over 50 stadiums to choose from, ranging from historic to modern.

Note: The stadium you choose impacts the game with regards to the weather in which your games will be played. For instance, there will be more chance of playing in strong wind in Chicago. Dome stadiums will not suffer from weather effects.

You will also be asked to either:

a.) Join the first available league - your team will be place in the first league with an open spot - this option gives you the best opportunity to start league play as soon as possible,

b.) Create a new league - this option allows you to create a new private league. After the league has been created you can your friends to join you.
Note: you have 7 days to fill the league. After the 7 days, your league will be opened to the public to fill the remaining spots.

c.) Join an existing league - use this option if you have received an invitation to join a private league.

Your team must be under the salary cap of your chosen league to be placed in that league. Immediately after you save your team, you will be placed in a league. Once the league is full (24 for full-season and 6 for exhibition), each team owner will receive an email notifying them that their league has been set, games scheduled and the date league play will begin. The league schedule will vary based on the type of league you join - exhibition or full-season.

D. Team Draft Tips

When creating your team, remember these tips:

Team Draft | Team Management | League Play


Once you have completed your roster and selected a home stadium, you will be taken to the Team Management Center. The Team Management Center is the center of your SimLeague universe. From the Team Management Center, you have access to different areas to help you manage your team:

A. Schedule/Standings

This area of the Team Management Center allows you to switch between teams (if you own more than 1 team), view your team's schedule, view your team's standings, view stats for the other teams in your league, post messages to other team owners in your league, and view boxscores from any day on your schedule.

B. Coach's Office 

This area of the Team Management Center allows you to preview who you'll be playing in your next game, set your offensive and defensive coaching styles, set your depth chart, view your team's offensive and defensive stats, view your next opponent's offensive and defensive stats, view the statistical league leaders, and view the physical condition of everyone on your team.

C. GM's Office

The General Manager's office gives you access to the Waiver Wire and your Practice Squad. The Waiver Wire shows players that are available to be claimed. You may claim a player if you don't already have that player on your roster (the same player from the same year cannot be on your roster twice) and you have enough available cash to afford to claim the player. You are required to maintain a full roster of players so in order to claim someone you must release an existing player. The salary freed up by releasing a player combined with any available cash you had after your draft equals your buying power - the maximum you can spend to claim a player on waivers.

Players are claimed and released constantly as the same Waiver Wire is used by all leagues. So if you release Corey Dillon, he may be picked up by someone else in another league or by someone in your league and vice versa.

Your practice squad allows you to call players up (and send players 'down') at any time. You may only replace a player with another player of the same position.


For exhibition seasons, there is no waiver wire - only your practice squad. You are not limited to transactions (release-claim) per season, but you must pay a 10% transaction charge for each player that you claim. For example, if you want to claim a 1 million player, you'll need to give up 1.1 million. All rosters must be final by the end of the regular season, i.e. you will not be able to waive or claim players after that time. Your practice squad is available the entire season including playoffs.

Team Draft | Team Management | League Play


A. The Schedule

For full-season leagues, teams play a 16 game season (plus 4 exhibition games), with both inter-division and inter-conference games. Games are simulated a half at a time. The first half of the game will be simulated overnight (indicated with 'am' next to the date on the schedule) and the 2nd half will be simulated in the early afternoon EST (indicated with 'pm' next to the date on the schedule).

For exhibition leagues, teams play a 4 game season.  Games are played daily (overnight and early afternoon EST) for a 4 day season. There are no playoffs or prizes for exhibition leagues.

B. The Results

As soon as the games for each day have been simulated, you can find the results, including complete boxscores in your Team Management Center. League standings are also automatically updated.

C. The Playoffs (FULL-SEASON ONLY)

At the end of the season, the top 6 teams in each conference will be seeded in a 4 round playoff, leading up to a League Championship showdown between the AFC and NFC. The format will be as follows:

For each conference, teams will be seeded 1-6 based on the following criteria:

Note: For win percentage, tie games count as one half win and one half loss.

Teams 1 and 2 will receive first round byes.

Team 3 will play team 6 and team 4 will play team 5, with all games being played at the higher seed's home stadium.

The lowest seed remaining from the round 1 games will play the number 1 seed, and the other team will play the number 2 seed.

The winners of each of these games will meet in the conference finals.

The conference champions shall meet in the League Championship, which is played on a neutral site.


As if the glory and admiration of your defeated opponents wasn't enough, the League Champion also receives 3,000 Reward Points* for use in the WhatIfSports Reward Center!

You can use your reward points towards free Simleague teams, merchandise and other great prizes!

If you're not fortunate enough to win the whole thing, don't worry, you *may* get a parting gift! Depending on how far you go in the playoffs, you may get up to $4.00 off your next full-season football team:

Round ReachedCredit*
1st Round$1.00
2nd Round$2.00
3rd Round$3.00
4th Round$4.00

Credits are valid for use on future Football Simleague purchases only. Credits not used within 30 days will expire. Credits are not redeemable for cash.

*Note: these rewards change for open leagues depending on the number of times an owner reaches the Championship Game in any league. Teams purchased using a promo code will receive $8.00 in credits instead of Reward Points for winning the Championship, also subject to the following rules.

Team Draft | Team Management | League Play

New [Terms of Use] [Customer Support] New [Privacy Statement]

1999-2019, Inc. All rights reserved.

WhatIfSports is a trademark of, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.