Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Land

Whether you choose to gun for Bucs tickets through Home Team Challenge or participate in several fine-tuned games on NFL.com, your best bet for fantasy football is the NFL internet network

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You'll be eager to pick Chris Simms for your fantasy football team after seeing his impressive NFL Network commercial

Who would you like to beat more in a fantasy football challenge, your trash-talking buddy from the softball team or that neighbor down the street with the Carolina Panthers stickers all over his car? How about that annoying Atlanta Falcons fan at work, or your brother-in-law, who just won't let you forget that he's from Dallas and loves the Cowboys?

How about all of them?

Play the NFL's Home Team Challenge through Buccaneers.com and you can simultaneously best your fellow players on an individual basis and prove that Buccaneer fans are the greatest in the NFL.

Oh, by the way, you can also win valuable single-game and even season tickets for Tampa Bay Buccaneers games.

If that sounds too good to be true, then you probably haven't participated in the Home Team Challenge over the last three years. Here's your chance to find out what you've been missing, as Buccaneers.com is bringing back the extremely popular fantasy contest, a game in which you can triumph in two ways. In addition to competing for individual rewards on a weekly and full-season basis, you can also join with your fellow Tampa Bay fans in beating other teams around the NFL.

Home Team Challenge is run throughout the league, through NFL.com and the various team sites. Each user who signs up through his favorite team's site instantly becomes part of the competing team for that club. Each week, you accumulate points and your scores are both measured against other Buccaneers.com entrants and combined together to measure against the combined scores of other team's fans.

Over its first three years in the Challenge, Buccaneers.com has had more fans sign up for the game than any other team in the NFL. Those fans have competed passionately against each other but also helped their collective team beat up on Steelers, Saints and Packers fans.

Of course, if team pride isn't enough to get you involved, the individual rewards are rather nice, as well. The NFL is putting some exciting prizes on the line for the overall league competition, and the Buccaneers are once again laying out the ducats.

Each week, the individual Buccaneer winner of the Home Team Challenge will be awarded a pair of tickets to the next Tampa Bay home game. Buccaneers.com will contact the winners in the middle of each week to set up the distribution of the tickets to the winners. We may also let your fellow fans know just who is dominating the contest that week.

Home Team Challenge players also see their points accumulate during the season. The Bucs' overall winner at the end of the 2006 campaign will win an even more lucrative prize: two Tampa Bay Buccaneers season tickets for the 2006 season. How valuable is that prize? Just ask any of the previous winners, who not only earned a prize of significant monetary value but also leapfrogged more than 100,000 people on the waiting list for Buccaneer season tickets.

The NFL's full-season prizes are impressive, including all-expenses paid trips to the Super Bowl in Miami, the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The NFL also awards authentic NFL team helmets to weekly winners of the overall game.

Even casual fans of fantasy football will find Home Team Challenge both exciting and simple to play. Each week, you are assigned 300 units to spend on a team of eight players, including one quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, one tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams. Each eligible player in the NFL is assigned a value in those units that reflects his value relative to other players. Players' values may change during the season, and new players may be added to the player pool as their playing time increases. You must set a new roster each week.

As an example, you could set the following lineup for Week One, which comes out to a total of exactly 300 units:

  • QB Marc Bulger (59), vs. Denver * RB Cadillac Williams (51), vs. Baltimore * RB Reuben Droughns (33), vs. New Orleans * WR Michael Clayton (24), vs. Baltimore * WR Chris Chambers (35), vs. Pittsburgh * TE Antonio Gates (31), vs. Oakland * K David Akers (25), vs. Houston * DT Miami (42), vs. Pittsburgh You don't have to use all 300 units, or spend them in these types of percentages. In the above example, for instance, we've helped ourselves at other positions by relying on a lower-priced (and, we think, underrated) Michael Clayton. Had we shaved seven more points off another position – say, by going to a slightly less pricy quarterback – we could have also picked the Buccaneers' defense, which is worth 49 points to start the season. Those values will change as the season goes on.

You do not have to have Buccaneers on your team (though we think you would be wise to do so!). You must set a new lineup each week, but you can change it up to an hour before the first NFL game of the week.

As described above, NFL.com provides weekly prizes to Home Team Challenge winners, but only those who sign up through Buccaneers.com are eligible for the Buc ticket prizes.

So enroll today in the Home Team Challenge and help Buccaneer rooters everywhere prove which team has the most knowledgeable fans. You just might win Buccaneer tickets along the way!

To sign up for Home Team Challenge, please click here.

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More Ways to Play

While Home Team Challenge is a fun and simple way to dabble in fantasy football and win great prizes, the NFL Internet Network also has several ways to play the more complete version of the game.

NFL Fantasy 2006 is a free and comprehensive fantasy football that offers everything you expect in an online fantasy league source and more, including real-time live scoring, customized video highlights, live and automated draft options, public and private leagues, player rankings and mock drafts.

The premium NFL League Manager 2006 option offers all of the above features plus an additional level of options, including exclusive player news, customization of rules and scoring and lightning-fast live scoring. Both of these fantasy football options are now available for signup, and the League Manager game can currently be sampled for free on a 14-day risk-free trial basis.

The NFL Internet Network's fantasy football games are rapidly gaining in popularity. The NFL Network recently shot a series of television advertisements for the games, all of them featuring current league stars who urge you to pick them for your team.

One of the spots features Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms showing off a string of uncannily accurate passes. To preview that commercial, please click on the video link at the top of this story.

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