How to Cheat in Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Cheaters Tips

So you want to learn how to cheat in fantasy football, huh?

It’s unfortunate, but anyone who has played fantasy football for 10 or more years is probably familiar with fantasy football cheats, even if they would never consider cheating to win at fantasy sports.

I’m entering my 17th year as a successful fantasy footballer and all around sports bettor, so I’ve seen a few of the dirtiest tricks you can imagine. So if you’re finally tired of trying to break through and win that league title through a good draft, solid waiver wire transactions, and timely trades, read on and learn how to win your fantasy football league using dirty tricks.

For those who might be appalled at an article teaching people how to cheat at fantasy football, consider this satire. All these centuries later, there are scholars who believe Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince was a political satire, meant to show the people being ruled the tactics that every politician and king throughout history already knew. That interpretation may or may not be right, but if you’re wanting to spot cheaters in your fantasy league, you can find instruction in the following article.

Acquire a Proxy Team – The Fake Owner Trick

Some leagues struggle to find enough owners to fill out the league membership. Even those that have no problem are sometimes going to have late dropouts, due to conflicting draft dates, angry wives and late-changing work schedules. That means there’s a chance you can introduce the fake team owner into your local league. With a fake owner in place, you can have a second team by proxy. Here’s how it works.

When the call goes out to the league members whether they know somebody to fill the 12th spot in the league, tell the commissioner you have a buddy that’s looking to play. Have a name ready, something like “Darrell“, and come up with a few basic details about the guy (job, family, ethnicity, years playing fantasy sports, maybe one or two fake anecdotes). Continue to insist up until draft day that “Darrell” is excited about playing. Mention Darrell will be driving to the draft with you.

Draft Day Switcheroo

When draft day arrives, have an excuse why “Darrell” won’t be able to make it. Family emergencies of some sort are always a good out. Let the commissioner know “immediately” upon arriving, but not long enough to make other plans. Tell him Darrell still wants to be in the league, and that he gave you his draft list to select a team from. Have enough money to cover Darrell’s entry fees into the league, which should cinch that Darrell is accepted into the league. Remember to have a realistic-sounding alternate email address to give to the commissioner, so he can send to you Darrell’s league membership password without knowing it: something like “darrellfantasyguy” or “darrell.badass” at Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo.

This lets you draft two teams, which gives you double the chances of winning, but also sets up a world of other possibilities. You’ll want to draft the best combination of players onto “your” team, if at all possible. But you want to add other stars, promising breakout players, and sleeper picks to Darrell’s team, too. If you have any league rivals, this lets you add one or two of their running back handcuffs to Darrell’s roster, just to screw their team over. Remember to mention that “Darrell” had those players rated “a little too high” on his draft list.

Friend-to-Friend Fantasy Trading

Once you get through the draft, everything is simple. You have two teams which should rule, since you drafted them based off your top-rate projections. But if one of them sucks, you’re almost certain to have one or two stud NFL players on the bad team. This gives you an opportunity to make a trade or two between your team and Darrell’s team during the season, letting you combine the all-stars from both rosters into one uber-team. Two trades is the perfect number, since any more than that gets really suspicious, but one completely one-sided trade is going to cause too much upheaval.

Two less egregious trades lets you give your competitors “dosage”, where they don’t quite realize the scope of your plans, until it’s too late. But in the end, you’ll be able to add at least two star players you wouldn’t otherwise have, and no one’s the wiser.

Sure, people will complain about “Darrell” trading you his players, but you can do things to mitigate these complaints. Log in under Darrell’s team identity and have him post message board fodder every once in a while. If you’re a good speller, then have Darrell’s typing be rife with misspellings and malapropisms. If you have trouble with that aspect of your life, then run Darrell’s posts through a spell check program, and keep his posts extremely short. If you ever run into trouble, just have Darrell stop posting for a while. People do that all the time on the Internet.

Legitimate Trades Help You Cheat

Also, it might help to have Darrell take part of trades with other teams first, so you can always point to his other trades. Make them legit, so he gets the benefit of the doubt. If anything, let the other team in the trade get the better end, so Darrell has a reputation as a bad talent evaluator. Make certain this trade is with a team that sucks, so no contenders get an upgrade in talent.

Another trick is to have Darrell make trade offers around the league periodically. These should be noticeably one-sided on his part, so teams obviously turn him down. Have Darrell turn down trades that come to his email address immediately, so teams can’t say, “He wouldn’t even reply to my trade offers.” One or two visits to his website a week should be enough to suffice, though you can be more fastidious in that aspect, if you want.

Whatever the case, having a proxy owner in the league is going to give you the edge you need. Haven’t you ever said to yourself, “If I had one more running back, my team would rule.” If you have, then the old Darrell gambit is the answer to your prayers. The fake owner is one of the best ways to cheat in fantasy football.

Become the League Commissioner – The Oldest Trick in the Book

If the fake owner trick sounds like it requires a little too much finesse on draft day, you can always use the oldest trick in the book: becoming the commissioner. The league commissioner has so many small advantages, that this is a perfect way to cheat and get away with it in fantasy football. Imagine a pro sport where the commissioner owns one of the teams – only baseball gets away with that.

Just think about David Stern owning an NBA franchise like the New York Knicks, and how screwy the NBA refs’ calls would be when the Knicks came to town.  Or how often Knicks opponents would suddenly receive a suspension the day of the Knicks game. That’s the kind of game you can run, if you’re a corrupt commissioner.

There are two ways to become commissioner: either volunteer at every chance in your established league, or start your own league. In either case, once you have power, you can abuse that power to the full letter of the law.

There are the borderline cheating tactics, like pushing through rules that favor your team. For instance, if you had a good team last year that didn’t quite win the title, announce that the league is suddenly going to be a keeper league. If you have Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson, but the rest of your roster sucked, mention everyone gets to keep 2 players. If you have four players that aren’t the best, but could be borderline 1st rounders (Rashard Mendenhall, Steven Jackson, Andre Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, for instance), then announce everyone gets to keep 4 players from last year’s roster. Tailor the rules to suit your situation.

You have to be careful and analyze rosters fully, though, because other people will benefit from this new rule, too.

Especially compare your roster against last year’s champion, so the rules favor your strengths more than his strengths. If you have young studs and he has old studs, consider announcing for a dynasty team. Also, remember that the other teams who benefit are likely to favor this new rule, so consult them first and get their backing on this rules change. Act “all innocent” by pretending you read a really good article that stoked your interest in keeper leagues. Talk about sending the guys a link to the article, then conveniently “lose the bookmark”. If it’s the case, point out that none of you have ever tried that rule.

And if anyone who gets too bent out of shape by this new rule, tell them they need to find a new league and find a replacement who shuts up and does what he’s told.

League Commissioner Tricks

That’s just one trick of the trade, though. There are all kinds of other league rules you can mess with to give yourself an easier path to the league title. Here are some ideas for how to cheat in fantasy football as a commissioner.

  • Change the scoring rules to favor your team after the draft. You can usually do this through the league site, then later suggest the rules were always like that. Insist on your point-of-view.
  • Change the playoff bracket rules to your favor. If you need an extra spot to make the playoffs, try to slip that past the league with a league announcement. If you play the toughest, find away to avoid that team for as long as possible.
  • Once you have your free agent pickups for the week, change the settings on the league site so that no one else can make much-needed pickups. If you have a deeper roster, this lets you squeeze teams and force them to player lesser players, especially during the bye weeks. I only came across this tactic last year. (You suck, Tim.) When people complain, tell them there’s a glitch in the system, you’ve talked to Admin and “they’re on it”, then ignore follow-ups until Sunday.
  • Bring incompetent or apathetic friends into the league without consulting anyone. Even though these teams are going to suck, they’re certainly going to have one or two good players on their team. This is a real-life variation of the Darrell Trick. Once they have fallen out of contention, press them for a trade. If they are apathetic to their team’s plight, they’ll make the trade.
  • If you’re a business manager of some sort, bring in a neophyte employee. Once their team starts to suck, you can use your position as manager to convince them to trade with you. This happened two years in a row to me in a Sandbox league back in the 90s, before we figured out what was going on.
  • If there are controversies over the scoring rules anytime during the season, quote obscure rules stipulations that favor your interests. This might be in contradiction to the league rulebook, so go into the rules and make necessary changes. If someone had the temerity to copy-and-paste the league rulebook onto their documents, they might post the older version of the rulebook on the league website’s message board, so be prepared to call them a liar and a cheater with confidence and authority. If you’re going to cheat, you have to play it to hilt. The argument goes to the first person with the grit to call the other one a cheater, thus putting the onus on that person. It’s almost impossible to prove a negative, so they’re on the defensive immediately.

The examples above should serve as examples for even more diabolical schemes on your part. Get creative.

Cheating at Fantasy Football

As you can see, once you’re the fantasy football league commissioner, it’s limitless how you can cheat in fantasy football. Just remember to be imaginative in finding loopholes and league allies to help you in your bid to dominate the league, both politically and on the field. These are just a few of the ideas. Fantasy football cheaters are known for their creativity, so keep that in mind always. These are just a few of the ways you can cheat your fantasy football rivals, either from the outside or the inside of your local fantasy football league’s front office.


  1. Here’s what I did as commissioner. My league had the option to alter the schedules before they were officially posted at the start of the year. The original setup was just a rolling list, where team one played team two the first week, then team 3, and so forth. Since it was aten team league, it started over again week 10 and you played 4 teams twice.

    I looked over the rosters and picked what seemed to be the four worst teams, and made sure those were the ones I got to play twice. Then I slotted the rest of the teams into may schedule to have their best players on a bye when they played me. Then I slotted all the rest of the schedules so it would still be a rolling list, but with the first week appearing “randomized.”.

    Everything looked kosher and I ended up winning 14 games and the title. Both losses were actually to one of the “weak” teams I had picked out who had great sleepers and ended up being a powerhouse. But still, 14 wins and a superbowl with a nearly untraceable cheating method.

  2. Vanilla Smooth says:

    We have a guy who cheats in our league every week! He cycles players each week to lock them on waivers. After the sunday games he picks up all the hottest pick ups and best match ups for the following week. On Monday or Tuesday he will pick up all the good plays for the Thursday game and then drop them wednesday morning. Those players go to waivers and can not be used for that Thursday game. Then he fills his roster will the good plays for the Sunday games. He drops them 24 hrs later to tie them up on waivers for the next 3 days so that the players can not be used on sunday. He then does the whole thing over again on friday. Rinse & repeat on sat and so on. So far we are in week 13 and he has 101 transactions. He has no shot at the playoffs and continues to be a douche.

  3. he past few weeks we had a few people do some things many of us disagreed with. 1. the first place team not setting a roster to let the 7th place team win and eventually take the fourth playoff spot from it, when he already had first place locked. 2. the next week the second place team played retired players to let the now fourth place team win again making him clinch the last playoff.

    majority of my team called foul play/collusion and were very unhappy about what went on. we expressed our concerns to the commissioner and he did nothing in turn, he ended up in the playoffs of course. I know there is nothing that can be done now 3 weeks later. but now im getting complaints by the four teams in the playoffs that i wont pay transaction fees because i feel the league was compromised, especially since the commissioner neglected to do anything when majority of the league insisted. Is there a yahoo representative i can email to help solve, or to just clear things up, what happened.
    Rating :

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