Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Running vs. Ruining the Draft

It's that time of year again, time to draft your fantasy football team. 

Here's a piece that I put together recently about the commissioner's duties in terms of setting up your fantasy league draft:

 Let me know if you have any comments on it or disagree with it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Labor Unrest

What's a commissioner to do when he doesn't know the future of the NFL?  This question is especially pertinent to those in dynasty or keeper leagues.

My suggestion is that you be prepared for three scenarios: 1) nothing abnormal hapens to the 2011 preseason and regular season, 2) the season is partially interrupted, but finishes on time; 3) the entire season is missed.

1. You continue as if nothing happened between players and owners.

2. This one gets tricky.  When do you draft?  How do you play an abbreviated schedule?  What teams make the playoffs?  Icky.  My suggestion: condense the schedule for your league to play only conference or division opponents, in order that teams who make the playoffs might have an equal strength of schedule to those that miss.  Maybe expand the playoffs.  Kind of depends on your league.  Especially in dynasty leagues, there can be a lot of implications for the future based on who finishes where.  Commissioners need to know their league-mates and determine how to proceed in a way that makes as many people happy as possible.

3.  This is perhaps a better outcome than #2.  If the entire season is missed, you have a lot of doors open. It seems to me that it's the perfect opportunity to change up traditions if there has been any resistance in the past.  After all, you'll go basically 18 months between "official" fantasy football activity.  Heck, why not even start over completely from scratch?  Who knows.  There's a lot that could be done in any league after missing a full season.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to deal with Home field advantage?

One league I'm in deals with the same question every single year: "Why do we have home field advantage points?"

We started using a couple of HFA points years ago, because games showed up as "home or away" on the randomly-generated schedule. So we thought it would make things more interesting: it becomes more difficult when you play in someone else's (digital) house.

But the same people do all they can every year to try and get it eliminated. Each year, however, the HFA rule is supported when our owners vote.

However, it turns out that this past season, one of HFA's most vocal opponents ended up winning the league, because one of his wins came by HFA and that squeaked him into the playoffs, where he subsequently won the whole thing. Without HFA, he would not have won. He's not quite as vocal an opponent of HFA anymore. "Hey, I won with the system that was in place."

But perhaps even more unexpected was the response from the owner whose team would have won the title if there were no HFA points. He's "still a fan of home field advantage" despite the fact that its use cost him the trophy this year. Pretty impressive stance, if you ask me.

I like the HFA points, but I think they make much more sense in the playoffs than in the regular season. Maybe just a tiebreaker for most of the year, but something to denote regular season success into the
postseason, I think, is merited.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


How many teams ought to make the playoffs in a fantasy league?  I tend to think up to 50%, but never more than that.  Some people think that you have to take 4 teams, and play weeks 15 and 16, no matter how many teams your league has.  There are a lot of ways to look at it, but the bottom line is this: make sure your league owners are all on board with whatever changes your league makes!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fantasy Baseball

For fantasy football, there's really only one way to play the game - weekly H2H.  Roto is near impossible, and total points doesn't always give an accurate reflection of each team.
There's so many different ways to play fantasy baseball, however.  I've seen everything, from the common 4x4 and 5x5 roto leagues, to total points, to weekly H2H by category or all categories, etc. 
The problem I find is that there's nothing I can find that I like.  For baseball, anything weekly makes you seek out 2-start pitchers.  In any roto league, you find a player who nets you just one specific stat to try and get "over the hump" to win your league. 
I know it's just numbers-based, but I feel like you should be trying to "win" - that is, to beat a specific opponent, which is what every sport really tries to do - you play someone else and try to beat them.
Anyone's thoughts on a "perfect" fantasy baseball league setup?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The idea of an auction draft is causing quite a stir in one of my leagues.  We're a dynasty/keeper league, and we've had a traditional draft for 4 years now, but I've put out the idea of switching to an auction, and some people love it, while others despise the idea.  Most of the frustration is in terms of what value to use on all the keeper players who were drafted with no price.  Any ideas on how to do that fairly are welcome.  One owner brought up the idea of a "pilot" or "test" auction, which is intriguing.  We'll see where all this goes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rethinking QB points

So, my initial thoughts on QB passing TDs being worth 6 points was that it's no big deal as long as INTs count more against them too (and it doesn't hurt if you cut back the yardage points as well). 
After 7 weeks with that scoring system, I've softened on that point somewhat.  I do see QBs as being more dominant with that scoring system than I'd like to see, but I also notice that if a PPR is added for RBs and WRs, that everything is pretty even. 
So my "new stance" is this - 6 points for pass TDs is alright with a couple stipulations: more penalties for INTs, lass points for pass yardage, and a PPR for RBs and WRs.
I'll probably change that stance again at season's end.  :-)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Six points for passing TDs?

I've seen and heard a lot of people go on and on about how "terrible" it is to award 6 points for passing touchdowns, versus the usual 4.  "It makes QBs rule the fantasy game," they say.  "It makes RBs and WRs less important!" they gripe.  Well, how about this idea that my league is using this year: 6 points for pass TDs, but penalize INTs by -3 points, instead of the usual -1 point.  We're also ratcheting down the pass yardage points: from 1 pt for 20 yds to 1 pt for 25 yds. 
Picture this QB line: 300 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT.
With a traditional scoring system, that QB would score 25 points.
With our scoring system, he would actually score just 24.  ("Oh no, you CAN'T give 6 points for pass TDs, it'll ruin your league!")
What we wanted to do was reward QBs who make good decisions about throwing the ball, and penalize them for making poor decisions.  I think our scoring system does a good job of that.
What really surprises me is that no one who whines about 6-pt TD passes seems to look at how to keep scores from skyrocketing - they just say, "No, don't do it!"  I am appreciative of people who challenge the status quo and have logical arguments for doing so.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another League

I'm also in a league that we're using an auction format for the first time. This is a free one with people from work. We use sales performance data for each owner to help/hurt your auction dollars that you have available. People with better sales numbers will get more $$$ to use in the auction. In addition, week-by-week, we tabulate sales numbers and use them to add or subtract points from everyone's weekly scores based on performance (this is why there's no money riding on the league :-). I'm actually kind of excited to do this one; we'll have to see how it plays out.

Draft time

So, I've got a fantasy draft coming up this weekend. Two of them, actually, but only one with prizes riding on it. It's the FFLUM, and it's a great league (naturally, I'm the commish, of course I'm gonna say that), but I'm really disappointed with the position I'm in this fall. It's sort of a hybrid keeper/dynasty league: after the annual draft in August, each team gets to select which 5 players to sign to 2- or 3-year contracts. So there are a few keepers, but it's not a "keeper league" in the traditional sense of naming your keepers right before the draft.

Anyway, here's my team right now: Philip Rivers, Kevin Smith, Wes Welker, Dwayne Bowe, Todd Heap, BAL D. I also have Joey Galloway and Fred Taylor on my bench that could fill the last starting spot (a RB/WR flex). So I'm not in terrible shape there, however, I am left with few picks (in a 12-team league) after a trade or three: #10 and #34 overall. Then, 5th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 10th round picks.

In my mind, our draft this year really only offers 7-8 quality players: Brady and Brees at QB; Slaton, P.Thomas, and maybe Moreno or D.Ward at RB; A.Johnson, S.Smith (CAR), and Wayne at WR. After those guys, you're looking at Warner or Houshmandzadeh or even T.O. as next best players available. Slim pickings.

So I'm hoping some of the other owners reach for a guy like T.O. or Warner, maybe allowing Pierre Thomas to slide down to my spot at 10. I think that would be huge. I just don't like the idea of Housh being the guy on whom I spend my top pick. The drop off after those top 7-8 is just so huge. I fret about it more each day as the draft nears.

I was the inaugural winner of this league in '06, and was the top seed in the playoffs last season (until my team laid a complete egg in week 15), so I feel like I have a little bit of a reputation to uphold as a competetive team - but this year worries me a little bit. I just don't know what to expect.


However you happened to find this blog, welcome. It's my first attempt at a blogging; I hope to keep the self-embarassment to a minimum. My plan is to use the blog to ruminate on anything I notice or think about with fantasy sports (ideas, player rankings, etc.), but particularly fantasy football. I know there are lots of other sites and blogs devoted to this cause as well but I hope that mine can appeal specifically to league commissioners, as well as to casual fantasy players and fans.

There's really no schedule for any regular posts; it'll just be whenever the urge to post happens to strike me. Feel free to post a comment anytime.