There are a number of ways to play fantasy baseball, from the simple (just counting home runs, for example) to the complex.
Rotisserie is the most popular of the fantasy games. There are eight categories (four hitting, four pitching) in which players accumulate statistics: composite batting average, total home runs, total runs batted in, stolen bases, pitching victories, total saves, earned run average and WHIP (walks and hits given up, divided by innings pitched).
A variation of rotisserie, called 5x5, adds two additional categories: total runs scored and strikeouts.
If there are 10 teams in a league, they are ranked one through 10 in each category and the team with the highest overall rankings wins. There are rules regarding trades, player activations and the like.
For most rotisserie leagues, players are acquired through a bid system or auction. Each team has a salary cap. When a player is put up for bid, the team willing to pay the most gets that player. But teams only can spend a certain amount, which means money management is crucial.
There also are fantasy leagues that don't use the rotisserie format. These leagues are based on statistics that can be gleaned from box scores. For example, the league that I play in gives point values for hits, home runs, runs batted in and runs scored, as well as pitching victories, saves, strikeouts and losses.
Players are drafted in this format, with the team drafting first getting the last pick of the second round, and so on.
The Internet has a number of fantasy games available, though few are free. Just search for ''baseball'' and ''fantasy.''
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