I know we have all played in baseball, football, and basketball leagues that have just drove us up a wall at times. The dead beat owner, the churner, the flake, the cry baby, the blamer, the entitler, the my kids/wife made me not set my line up guy, and my personal favorite, the it was better in my other league guy. The joys of playing fantasy sports just wrapped up in one long sentence. Good news for any of you reading this article is that we have a community where we have cured a lot of those annoying situations I just listed. I will say the “entitler” is a tough one to stomach to be sure. May take years of therapy to get over it. With that being said I will list for you below what I look for before joining a fantasy football league or any other fantasy sports league for that matter.
What I look for:
- Fair Play
- Innovative Approach
I find all 8 of those things to be the key elements for me to gain some interest in playing in a money league.
This is a tricky topic to tackle across the board and you will very rarely not lose a guy or two based on unfortunate circumstance. However, there are ways to mitigate its impact by using a differing scheduling strategy as well as creating weekly incentives in your money leagues and a consolation bracket payout helps too. Particularly for those unfortunate souls who just get pounded with injuries to start the season. Why not give them incentive to continue to compete? Why penalize the rest of the league? If one team loses interest early it effects everyone else in the league. These are issues we have solved at Major League Fantasy Sports. Our scheduling strategy in 2 of our 5 football leagues has everyone playing everyone else every week. This completely eliminates any issue with luck of the schedule, a dead beat owner, or the unlucky guy that loses so many key players early on. If this doesn’t fit your fancy we have traditional scheduled leagues as well.
This is a very key element to any great fantasy sports league. How is this created? This could be a long answer, but I will give you the process we take. We contact everyone personally who wants to join a league and do a short interview to figure out a couple of things. We want to know how experienced are you, can you afford to play, and how passionate you are. This is a process I have used for 12 years and it works very well.
3.) Fair Play
We have rules in place to make sure that our fellow competitors will all be on a level playing field. Our scoring and roster models are designed to where it eliminates all of the arbitrage opportunities and forces you to take the same risk as your opponents. I can discuss this more in detail via phone call where I can show you the details. It is very important that leagues have fair play involved with ZERO loop holes.
One item that really holds together a good league is the community that surrounds it. Having a direct line of communication with each league owner is key. So everyone will have each others phone numbers and email addresses. The other major component is all of the writing our community puts out on rankings, opinions, and projections for the year to help acclimate you to the concepts as well as help you in other leagues you may be playing in. We also do live radio shows in which we will have a great group of people talking fantasy football including our league mates, coaches, and industry guests.
This is an absolutely vital item to have built into your league. This is something that can be baked into the cake so to speak. Our keeper leagues you can keep up to 5 players, but you don’t have to keep any at all. You can keep up to 3 offensive players and 2 defensive players. While preparing for the draft you can trade for draft picks to totally rebuild, trade for keeper quality players, or just sit still and wait for the draft. All approaches can be successful. I will talk about structure next which will let you know how we monitor these options we have.
This is a very important topic to say the very least. What I mean by structure is: Do you have a set of protocols in place that is concise, effective, and understandable? We have safe guards that are simple and easy to understand, and most of all tried, tested, and work. For example: We have a set number of players that can be moved in a deal, a set number of draft picks, a FAAB budget of $100 for the whole year, a set number of trades you can make in a season, only commissioner trade rulings, and a professional style arbitration committee that can over rule the commissioner if the two parties disagree with a veto. The committee will consist of literally a professional arbiter who actually plays in our leagues and two other long time committed members of the leagues to make a decision. In 6 years of using this system we have had only 4 trades go to arbitration. Two were upheld as vetoes and two were over turned. Pretty impressive system and extremely fair. The guys love it.
We also deploy an IDP approach to defense. It adds a completely different level of competition and fun to the contests. Not to mention it gives us a much deeper player pool to use during our match ups. Gone are the days of slim pickings where losing one or two key players sinks your whole year.
I personally like leagues that provide the most flexibility as possible without being ridiculous. We have flexibility in the roster positions, trading options, and differing league structures. Handicapping owners is not something we do here, and we shy away from the idea of statements like:
- Trading shouldn’t be allowed
- Draft pick trading shouldn’t be allowed
- I should be able to hoard players
We have protocols in place that cover all of this really dumb arguments you hear about trading. I do see why some people play this way. It is primarily because of a lack of time to focus on a regular basis. Fine. However, “that” is NOT a competition. That is a simulation. Period. And allowing players to be hoarded at any position is not “skill based.” It is lazy.
8.) Innovative Approach
At Major League Fantasy Sports we will always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to scoring our leagues and we will make adjustments to the model based on each sport that has a fundamental change in how the sport operates. To give you an example of something we have done to stay ahead of the curve, in 2015 we moved from forcing you to start two RBs per week to only one. We added another flex spot to make up for the difference. I don’t know anyone that plays fantasy football seriously that hasn’t noticed over the last 8 years how most NFL teams deploy a two back strategy and some even three. By reducing the need to have to start two running backs it gives the RB position a better “real” value in today’s NFL as well as gives you the flexibility to build a winning team without being forced to waste early draft picks on second level RBs. The way our roster settings are designed you can start up to four RBs if you like, but we don’t force you to start more than one. This approach takes a lot of the blind luck out of the results especially when it comes to injuries. This is vital in the sport of football because we all know how often these guys get hurt so limiting the adverse effects of this is good for all owners and overall competition. There is much more than what I stated above that we have added that make total common sense, but I want to keep it short. We can discuss more in detail if you are interested in learning more.
If anything I said above struck a chord with you then I suggest you give us a good hard look and join the community. Worst case scenario is you have a good time with a group of like-minded people and maybe meet some new friends who share a similar passion. I will list below the 4 leagues that have openings. Each team will be marked “no owner.” MLFF1, MLFF2, MLFF3, and MLFF4 are 12 team keeper leagues. You can keep 5 players which can be up to 3 offense + 2 defensive players on each roster, you can keep none and rebuild from scratch if you like, or trade for keepers as well as draft picks for the upcoming year if you so choose. Both of these leagues are $235 to play with 100% payout. In the 3 keeper leagues we pay out 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, each division winner, and $35 to the team with the most points each regular season week. MLFFC is a complete redraft league which mirrors the scoring approach we have in our other leagues. However, the buy in is $500 and we pay out 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, each division winner, and we give $100 to the team that scores the most points each week throughout the regular season.
MLFF1 (Keeper League 3 offense, 2 defense, Traditional Schedule/Standings page open teams marked “no owner”) 1 Open team
MLFF2 (Keeper League 3 offense, 2 defense, Play everyone every week/Standings page open teams marked “no owner”) 2 Open teams
MLFF3 (Keeper League 3 offense, 2 defense, Play everyone every week/Standings page open teams marked “no owner”) 1 Open teams
MLFF4 (Keeper League 3 offense, 2 defense, Traditional Schedule/Standings page open teams marked “no owner”) 2 Open Teams
MLFFC (Redraft League, Traditional Schedule/Standings page open teams marked “no owner”) 1 Open Teams
If you re interested in learning more about us fill out the short form below and we can set up a time to talk. Note that a non working phone number will be cause for immediate disqualification. This form is sent directly to me and is not shared publicly. I look forward to hearing from you all. Thanks.
Corey D Roberts
Major League Fantasy Sports