Shake-up your fantasy league
Back in my day, we had to wait until Saturday to watch cartoons. And we'd get detention for passing notes because texting didn't exist. And our fantasy football leagues were TD-only scoring.
That's right. Barry Sanders averaged seven TDs over a three-year stretch, making him a fleet-footed RB2 in fantasy, scoring 42 points a season.
We were barbarians, I know.
But everything evolves, including fantasy football over the past 20 years. From adding points for yardage, to adding a third wide receiver, to adding a flex position, to drafting IDPs, to auctions, to survivor leagues -- the sport of fantasy football is always being modified every five years or so.
It's time to start modifying again!
Before you click on the Twitter link to e-yell at me that I'm ruining the purity of the game that your great-grandfather taught you, just hear me out.
I'm not trying to make you throw your league out, start anew with European scoring rules or anything. All I'm saying is you're probably in more than one league already. So think about making some alterations to one of your "other" leagues. You can even get the same guys from your one league and get them to try one of these alternative ideas.
Collecting league fees is always a pain every season. Maybe the first six teams that pay their fees get a 10-percent discount and the last three teams have to pay a 20-percent penalty?
In one dynasty league I was in, we instituted a rule where each year, all of the teams would pay 125 percent of the league fees. So we would pay $125 for a $100 league fee. That extra $25 would go into a kitty, and then, after four seasons, we had a Super Duper Bowl. This meant the champion that season would take home a prize that had been building for four seasons, adding up to an extra $1,200. The reason this was so great was because it added an extra layer of strategy, as some teams would adjust their strategies in Year 2 or 3 in order to gear up for a big Year 4.
I did not win. So this rule is dumb!
My buddy George is Australian and he loves fantasy football. Did you know their fantasy football drafts go in a counter-clockwise order, and the 12th pick selects first and the first pick drafts last? OK, well, sometimes I lie.
But I do think people don't take advantage of how exciting the draft and the draft lottery can be. Too often, we're all so excited to get the draft going, that we zoom through the lottery and rush our way through the draft. Take a step back and enjoy it!
Rather than just have the same old hat with the same old names being pulled out of it, mix it up. I read on Reddit where someone set up a beer pong table, and people tossed ping pong balls into mixed-up red solo cups that had a draft number on the bottom of it. That's what determined their draft order! Be creative!
Also, consider allowing the lottery winner to choose where in the draft they'd like to pick. Personally, I'd rather have the third overall pick over the first two picks. You'd get one of the top three running backs (Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy or Ray Rice), and you'd end up with a higher draft pick in the second round than the other two owners.
If you're in a keeper league, think about putting three names into the hat for the worst team, and two names in for the second-worst team. This gives them a better chance at a high draft pick, hopefully, counteracting the fact they likely don't have great keepers. If you are in a dynasty league, they should automatically get the top pick.
It's not uncommon to see the teams that lose in Week 1 finding themselves in the championship at the end of the season. A couple years ago, Week 1 losers had a chance to snatch up players like Michael Vick and Peyton Hillis.
So rather than over-rewarding a loser, how about changing to a free-agent acquisition budget (FAAB) system? This allows everyone the same chance at all the players every week. They can bid on players each Wednesday, choosing to spend what they want, with a $100 budget for the year (free agents are free after Thursday).
Another fun option is to have your waivers play out on Twitter! Players can be picked up and dropped at any time -- even during a game! Talk about making Sunday dinner at the in-laws stressful!
The first one to pick up a player gets him -- and whomever he drops is instantly available to other owners. This reminds me of a boiler room at some finance firm on Wall Street with people yelling "Buy! Buy!" and "Sell! Sell!" and "Who ate my sandwich!?!" (I honestly don't know what goes on in those boiler rooms, but I like to think there are a lot of sandwiches being pilfered out of the breakroom fridge.)
"The Twitter" is underutilized by many fantasy owners. There's a lot to be learned on there, and I've set up a huge list of
Hopefully, you can install some of these rules into your league -- or better yet, it inspired you to come up with some interesting rules of your own! Tweet them to me! (Grown men should not say, "Tweet.")