Sleeper Fantasy. A deep dive.
What is Sleeper Fantasy?
Sleeper fantasy is a mobile fantasy football platform that has a fun, modern interface and features a variety of different modes and options for users to build leagues around. The site was initially built as a news-based, alert app for the NFL but was transformed by the addition of their fantasy hosting platform which allows users to create redraft, dynasty, and keeper leagues on the site and app.
Sleeper is an app-based site that has also added new features of late including over-under, a pick’em game where you can interact with your friends (via squad mode), and put together player prop-based parlay bets. Fantasy Basketball, best ball, NCAA bracket mania, and league of legends offerings have also been added over the past year and the app continues to grow in functionality.
Sleeper used to be entirely app-based and is available for use on Ipad, IOS and Android operating systems. However, they recently revamped their website and users can now access full functionality in browser format too.
What fantasy games does Sleeper offer?
Sleeper’s main focus continues to be the NFL and fantasy football. Recently they’ve also expanded their offerings to include alternate formats like best ball and have branched out into other sports like basketball and Esports. Providing high-level functionality in their app is also a high priority for them.
One of the main strengths that distinguish Sleeper from traditional fantasy platforms, like Yahoo or ESPN, is the functionality and efficiency of their app. When taking a look at their dashboard, in-league, players have access to things like streaming NFL news and recent league transactions, all just a button press away.
Fantasy players who are involved in multiple leagues or just don’t have time to use a browser will appreciate how quickly they can access information and make transactions in the Sleeper app.
As of now, there are three different kinds of leagues you can create using Sleeper, redraft, keeper and dynasty.
Each of these modes comes with extensive commissioner tools and custom scoring settings that will cater to nearly any style of a league that a user is looking to create. Below we’ll review each of these options and go over some of the settings available on Sleeper to help customize leagues to your liking.
Redraft leagues are your standard fantasy football leagues that begin afresh each season. These are usually 10 to 14-team leagues that include a draft, although Sleeper allows you to create leagues from 4 to 32 players in size. There’s no carryover in redraft leagues on Sleeper so players who didn’t make the playoffs the year prior are left with no handicaps or deficiencies in the new year. Redraft also offers the ability to make waiver wire and trade acquisitions during the season, distinguishing them from formats like best ball.
Sleeper offers three different options for how to draft in your season-long leagues: Snake, Auction, and Linear. Snake and Linear mean players take turns picking players in a specific pattern. The ability to use Linear as a draft pattern does make Sleeper unique as it’s a less commonly used setting but is available on Sleeper in case you’re looking to change things up. While snake drafts see the draft order snake or flip at the end of each round (the player picking 12th in round one, picks first in round two) a linear setting keeps the draft order the same throughout (if you pick first in round one, you pick first every round).
Sleeper recently added the ability to perform redraft and other league drafts via the auction format as well. Auction drafts involve a lot more strategy than snake drafts as you’re essentially bidding on each player from a set amount of dollars (with the same awarded to each player at the beginning of the auction). Auction drafts can and will add a new level of excitement if you’re looking to expand your fantasy football experience.
Keeper fantasy football leagues
A Keeper league is very similar in how it operates to a standard redraft league, with the simple exception that it does allow players to hold over or “keep” some players that they had on their teams from the year prior.
Sleeper allows commissioners to set how many keepers should be allowed when setting up leagues.
In exchange for keeping a certain player, keeper leagues also force players to give up the draft pick that they selected their keeper selection in, originally in the year prior.
For example, if you selected Patrick Mahomes in the third round in 2021, and wanted to make him a keeper in 2022, then most keeper leagues would stipulate that you would be giving up your current third-round pick from 2022 to have the opportunity to keep Mahomes on your team. Having your own pre-draft ADP rankings are important for Keeper leagues so that you can understand what players from your roster last season make for the best keeper selections in the new season.
Dynasty fantasy football leagues
Sleeper also allows you to create dynasty leagues. Dynasty leagues are essentially like keeper leagues on steroids as your entire roster is carrying over, year after year. That means that whoever you draft in your league start-up draft, will be on your team until you decide to drop or trade them. Dynasty leagues are nice for people who really love football (and follow the sport 365 days a year) as players can still make transactions during the off-season when important events like Free Agent signings and the NFL draft occur.
Dynasty leagues also have yearly drafts where teams are allowed to select from the rookie player pool for that season. Sleeper allows commissioners to set up the league for rookie-only drafts in the settings and has a variety of other features, like a taxi squad setting, to help out with the dynasty process.
Custom league features
In addition to having a wide range of setup options to choose from, Sleeper also has an extensive list of league features to customize with.
Custom scoring settings
Sleeper allows players to completely customize the scoring settings. Values for nearly all scoring methods (including points per yard, points per TD, and points per reception) can be set to fractions of a point. The app also offers a “preset” option where you can copy popular methods from sites like ESPN or Yahoo.
Scoring bonuses are also available for players reaching certain milestones (e.g. 100 yards rushing) and are completely customizable.
Custom playoff settings
Sleeper lets you decide on the number of teams that can advance into the playoffs based on the size of the league. The number of weeks and rounds that the playoffs entail in your league can also be customized. Commissioners can choose two weeks for each playoff round or two-week championship finals if they so please.
The other highly customizable feature on Sleeper is that leagues can decide whether or not they would like to reseed their playoff bracket. For example, one seeds can be rewarded by getting to play the lowest seed still alive each time they advance. Leagues can also choose to forgo the reseeding and simply bracket teams based on their regular-season standings (with no reseeding later).
A consolidation bracket for non-playoff teams can also be made in a variety of different formats.
Trade interest and trade block
The trade block feature allows you to view all of the active or pending trades in a league and allows you to view all of the players that other teams would be willing to potentially trade, as well. It gives league members a quick purview of available players without having to send DMs or emails.
Custom draft settings
Dynasty, keeper, and traditional redraft leagues are all available as starting points for season-long fantasy football on Sleeper. Commissioners can also choose between an auction, snake, or linear drafts.
One customizable feature that Sleeper makes easy to employ is the option for a third-round reversal snake draft, a setting that flips the order at the beginning of the third round. A flick of the button allows commissioners the ability to add this feature to their league’s draft.
The length of time between picks ranges from 10 seconds to 24 hours and commissioners can also employ a customized or randomized draft order. Draft start times are also customizable down to the minute.
One more advanced feature that experienced fantasy football players will enjoy on Sleeper is the ability to trade draft picks. Trading draft picks during drafts is available on Sleeper and you can also trade draft picks for players in keeper or dynasty leagues. However, any trade involving draft picks and players during a draft must be for a player that is already on another team's roster before the draft begins.
Dynasty or keeper leagues can also set drafts to rookie or veteran only. The number of rounds and length is customizable in these formats as well.
Commissioners can pick between rolling waivers (waiver priority), reverse standings (based on standings with worst teams getting priority), or FAAB Bidding for setup purposes. FAAB budgets are completely customizable.
A league’s commissioner can also determine how long a player is held on waivers (number of days) before clearing and becoming a free agent.
Other features for Sleeper fantasy football
One of the best features on Sleeper is undoubtedly the Leaguemate DM feature, which allows you to interact privately via an in-app messenger service. Each league also has a Leaguechat where you can tag other members of a league if you want to get in touch. Leaguechat and DMs make it easier to chat in real-time and work like any other social media messenger service.
All of the league settings and customizable features reviewed above are available to be accessed on Sleeper by a league’s fantasy manager upon setup – and can also be accessed via the app on your iPhone or iPad. Sleeper again makes it very easy to manage all of these setting features very easily from a mobile device.
How is Sleeper different from other platforms for fantasy football?
Sleeper is one of the most customizable fantasy football platforms on the internet and is growing in favor among dynasty league aficionados and experienced drafters alike. Obviously, if you want something different from mainstream leagues that you see at places like ESPN and Yahoo, then you need a site that offers more in terms of customization, and Sleeper is one of the best.
Sleeper vs My Fantasy League
Sleeper’s variety of customizable options is making it popular among the more hardcore NFL fantasy football managers, but there are other options. MFL or My Fantasy League is a website that has been around for much longer than Sleeper and allows fantasy football managers to set up leagues in pretty much any way, shape, or form imaginable. Below is an example from their website of some of the roster options that exist on MFL
MFL allows you to create almost any league imaginable with their customization options and is popular among unique larger leagues like the Scott Fish Bowl – which emphasizes scoring at certain positions over others. It should be noted though that MFL’s customization is a pay-for-play website, and if you’re looking to set up a league there it will cost you.
The other downside of MFL is that its website remains outdated, especially compared to Sleeper which is updating constantly. From an app perspective, there’s really no comparison either. MFL’s platinum fantasy app will allow fantasy managers to perform tasks like drafting and roster setting over their mobile devices but it’s nowhere near as reliable or efficient as Sleeper’s. Currently, MFL Platinum has a 3.1 (out of five) star rating in the app store, while Sleeper has a 4.6 rating.
Both fantasy platforms have their strengths and weaknesses with MFL excelling in the customizations they offer and the fact they have been around longer – and are a very accepted commodity among experienced and hardcore fantasy players.
Sleeper excels in the technological department and also doesn’t currently charge players for setting up leagues there. If you’re intent on setting up a very complex or larger league, MFL is definitely worth checking out, but for players or managers more concerned about usability and mobile access, Sleeper still has plenty of customizable options and a far, far better interface, both on its app and newly launched website.
Sleeper best ball fantasy football leagues?
Sleeper has now added best ball leagues to the functionality of their site. At the time of writing, best ball leagues were still not available for entry but when they do go live it will be a new way for fantasy players – who already use the app for season-long formats – to compete.
In terms of participation, best ball leagues focus entirely on the draft. Scores in best ball are achieved by taking the highest-scoring player at each position (from your entire roster) and adding up the total. Best ball leagues don’t have any in-season management so once your team is drafted, that’s the end of your involvement. There are no weekly roster spots to fill out as the computer will automatically select the highest scorers from your team every week.
Your high scorers will automatically be added up and compared to the rest of the league. At the of the year, the player with the most points across the season is the winner. Best ball sounds simple (after all, all you have to do is draft), but there are plenty of strategies involved, and is becoming an increasingly popular fantasy football format.
Does Sleeper offer player props?
Sleeper recently added Over-Under to their site, a game mode that allows players to enter single-player fantasy contests for real money. Over-Under essentially asks players to put together a parlay-style betting ticket based on a number of player-props offered by Sleeper’s website. Once players have made their selections they can then choose to wager a set amount for a predetermined payout. Classic and All-in type payment options are available and give players different options for how to play.
Like most play-prop-based fantasy contests, payouts in Sleeper’s Over-Under game increase in multiplier with the more player props you add to your ticket. The actual payout multipliers vary ticket by ticket on Sleeper, but long-term the odds will almost always be more profitable if you use the all-in mode, over a classic style of payout.
A Classic style ticket on Sleeper may pay more often, given you don’t need to get all of the selections correct in that format. However, over time the larger winnings you get from the All-in payout system will add up. Since the multipliers vary ticket by ticket on Sleeper, checking what payouts you are offered on both options (All-in and Classic) is a must if you’re planning to wager player props on their site.
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What sports does Sleeper offer leagues for?
As we’ve already mentioned extensively in this article, Sleeper’s main product offering centers around the NFL and fantasy football leagues. It offers a variety of different ways to play including:
- Season-long redrafts
- Dynasty and Keeper leagues
- Best ball leagues
- Single-player fantasy player props for NFL via their Over-Under platform
Season-long fantasy NBA basketball isn’t nearly as popular as fantasy football but Sleeper has tackled the sport on their app and offers fantasy player’s a different way to play via their game pick option. Game pick on Sleeper means that users pick one game each week for their player to count in – vs. being at the mercy of the schedule and having their player count in every game.
Game pick means that you don’t have to chase players with good schedules all season long on the waiver wire. All you have to do is make one decision for each of your players at the start of the week (which game to use) and your job is done.
Game pick really differentiates Sleeper from most season-long fantasy basketball sites. In traditional season-long fantasy basketball formats, the more games a player plays for the week, the far better chance you have of winning your weekly match-up. This means that staying up to date on scheduling (how many games a player has each week/month) becomes hugely important (especially if you want to win). This can often be a huge deterrent for people as it makes the league’s draft less significant and can give a big advantage to people who have more free time during the week (in-season).
Sleeper’s game pick mode solves this problem and makes the game more skill-based by asking players to choose just one game for their player every week. This means managers have to consider things like match-ups, recent trends and home/away splits – and not just when or how much their player is playing.
League of Legends
One really unique offering from Sleeper is their inclusion of fantasy League of Legends, or Fantasy LCS. League of Legends season-long formats operates much the same way an NFL fantasy redraft league would. Managers choose a team from a larger LOL player pool and must set a lineup for certain positions each week and then receive points based on how many kills, deaths, and assists they accumulate.
There is also a unique Pick & Ban feature in Sleeper League of Legend leagues. Managers pick one player from their own team to be their captain for the week. That player will then gain double the amount of points for their squad. Conversely, managers can also pick one player to ban from playing for their opponent. That player will be unavailable for use by their opponent. This adds to the strategy of the game and again makes Sleeper’s LOL fantasy game more unique than some of the other options available, while also mimicking the play style of professional League of Legends.
Sleeper also offers the ability to host college basketball pools through its bracket mania offering. Bracket mania is exactly what it sounds like, it allows players to set up large bracket pools (up to 10,000) where invitees can pick and choose the winners of each game from the NCAA college basketball March Madness pool.
Sleeper’s intuitive app again shines through here as it gives players an easy way to view their bracket and also hone in on each game as they pick. Bracket mania also allows for multiple entries so, for hardcore March Madness fans who want big pools, Sleeper is an excellent way to go about organizing a bracket contest.
One final area where Sleeper really shines is in its mock draft offerings. Sleeper allows you to draft together with other people, or against its AI. Mock drafts are available in three different formats, including redraft, keeper, and dynasty. The settings in Sleeper’s mock draft offerings allow you to lock players in for certain draft slots (for keeper leagues) and use mock drafts as a way to practice for upcoming NFL fantasy drafts.
Dynasty draft mode (via the rookies-only selection) is also available for mock drafts and roster allocations are also completely customizable, regardless of what kind of mock draft you want to run. You also have the option of setting the computer AI to auto-pick if someone runs out of time and can set the mock draft in a variety of time settings.
Is Sleeper legit?
Sleeper is an up-and-coming free fantasy sport hosting platform that is constantly expanding and updating its efficiency for its users. Its main focus remains on offering customizable fantasy football leagues but it has expanded into other sports recently including fantasy basketball, NCAA March Madness via its bracket mania, League of Legends, best ball, and over-under (a single-player prop-based pick’em game). It also has plans to expand into more sports down the road.
Sleeper’s focus on listening to feedback from its users, continuing to update the functionality of their app, and expanding their overall sport offerings, makes it an extremely attractive option in the season-long fantasy space; and a site well worth considering for both new and veteran fantasy players alike.