A public league in fantasy is a league that can be joined by any member of the general public. Public leagues can be free or for money. In order to join a "money league," players pay an entry fee ranging anywhere from 50-200 dollars to the league provider (Yahoo, ESPN, NFL.com) and players that finish in the top three at season's end receive a payout. Contrary to private leagues, public leagues are not limited to a predetermined group of people and do not require a password to enter. Public leagues can be a great way to connect with other fantasy football fans, as team managers generally do not know one another when they initially join the league.
Public league settings are generally consistent across the board, with the host site using standard rules and scoring. The use of traditional regulations and scoring systems are designed to make the league feel open to fantasy football players of all different skill sets.
Since public leagues are open to any member of the general public, they intend to have a mixture of both experienced and inexperienced fantasy football managers. In some cases, this can lead to lopsided leagues, in which the experienced players constantly finish at the top of the standings and less experienced players find themselves out of the playoffs. In order to avoid this disparity, it is recommended that beginner's join free leagues which are generally played just for fun, while big-time fantasy players join for-money leagues where managers have a stronger grasp on draft strategies and in-season transactions.