Your fantasy football league would be much better with these settings – The Denver Post
Can you hear that? It’s the sound of fantasy football season rapidly ramping up.
Specifically, it’s the sound of fantasy football analysts stampeding to their rankings to give Andrew Luck a boost, now that the Colts QB is a “full-go” in training camp, but they’ve been pondering this stuff for months. For most players, now is the time when they really start thinking seriously about their favorite players, their draft strategies and their leagues.
Of course, we still have a month and a half or so before Week 1 arrives, but that gives people time to look at their leagues and see if there are any changes worth making. I’m here to suggest several tweaks that would definitely make your league better.
If this article consisted of just this one suggestion, it would still be well worth reading. It’s beyond obvious at this point that one-QB leagues make very little sense, because they devalue what is by far the most valuable position in real football. There are so many quality options at the position that savvy drafters can wait until the double-digit rounds before even thinking about taking a QB, and still emerge with the likes of Dak Prescott (ADP: 126) or better yet, Alex Smith (136).
Two-QB formats, however, tilt the dynamic a bit too far in the other direction, especially in leagues with 12 or more teams. In that case, given that there are only 32 NFL teams, and probably about 26 surefire starters at QB at any given point, there aren’t quite enough to go around, to be fair and take into account the need for backups. That’s why a superflex, sometimes known as an OP (offensive player), spot works so well.
A superflex (i.e., QB/RB/WR/TE) gives owners major incentive — but not a mandate — to have two good QB options on their rosters, meaning that the position tends to get targeted much earlier and more frequently in drafts. All that does is create even more in-draft and in-season intrigue, as owners have to decide how much they want to sacrifice possible shots at kingpin RBs and WRs to lock up the likes of, say, Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz.
Extra flex spots
OK, you’ve done the right thing and added a superflex spot. Now continue your winning streak by adding another, conventional flex spot (i.e., RB/WR/TE), assuming your league didn’t already have more than one.
This way, all the depth teams accumulate at RB and WR doesn’t go to waste, and in fact, the more flex spots a league has, the more it benefits the most dedicated owners. They are the ones most likely to stack their rosters with quality options, and keep it that way through in-season management, and their efforts should be rewarded.
FAAB free agency
Ideally, redraft leagues would use auctions, rather than drafts (serpentine and otherwise), to fill rosters. That way, everybody in the league has a chance to acquire a stud such as Le’Veon Bell, not just the folks at the very top of the draft.
However, auctions can be difficult to arrange, in terms of getting everyone in the league together in one place, and they are usually quite time-consuming, so drafts make sense in that context. One way that all leagues should use auctions, though, is in the waiver process, when free agents are picked up during the season.
Free agent acquisition budgets (FAAB) not only give everyone in the league a fair shot at picking up that game-changing backup after a stud RB gets hurt, they create all sorts of strategy about how much of the budget to allocate on any given player, especially with blind bidding. Basically, FAAB is much more fun and fair than the stupid waiver order, so make it happen!
That other stampeding sound is my editor charging over to tell me I’m being too wordy, so let’s go lightning-round for the rest of the suggestions:
- Half-point per receptions: Perfectly splits the difference between standard (too heavily weighted toward TDs) and full PPR (weighted toward volume receivers).
- Abolish kickers: They’re too random to reward any kind of draft or in-season strategic thinking, and too closely bunched, in terms of scoring, to make much of a difference.
- Deduct extra points for pick-sixes: They create massive swings in real football, so why not in the fake kind?
- Have 12 or 14 teams: Ten-team leagues are too shallow, with everyone basically trotting out an all-star squad, but leagues of 16 teams or more make injuries to top players too much of a crushing blow.
- No voting on trades: Too many owners simply vote against trades they don’t like. If you don’t trust your commissioner to be able to judge trades wisely and impartially, then you shouldn’t be in that league.
- Recaps: A week of fantasy football is too precious a thing to let simply vanish into the ether without comment. Recaps validate owners’ investments of time and interest, and they often serve as springboards for all sorts of trash talk.
OK, install these settings and you’ll have a smarter, more fun league on your hands. Or just go with at least one — you know which one. Please?