If your a league commissioner, don’t go just making changes to your league. Being a fantasy commissioner is one of the most thankless things there is. It’s literally impossible to make every owner in your league happy all of the time. The upside should be that you have power. But you really don’t. Even if you do, it’s bad form to make changes to your league without allowing other owners to offer their input.
Again, you’re never going to make every owner happy. If you want to make some changes, it should come down to a league vote. If at least half of the league votes for it, then you make the change. If other owners don’t like it, they can always find another league. Changing things up is supposed to add competition and make things more exciting. If all it does is cause drama, maybe you should just leave your league the way it is.
You would be surprised how open some owners are to trying some new stuff out. My main league just decided to add individual defensive players (IDP) one year and pretty much everybody was cool with it. That’s what you’re trying to accomplish with any changes to your league. Now that the conditions are set, here are some ways to spice up your fantasy football league for 2013.
- Add teams to your league. If you’re playing in a league with 10 teams or less, don’t be afraid to go to 12 or 14 teams.
- Add “keepers” to your league. Allow teams to keep one or more players for 2014 and possibly beyond. This is a nice added dimension for owners who are eliminated from the 2013 early. They can at least work on building their team for 2014.
- Place more emphasis on total points scored. Part of the fun of fantasy football is how the weeks are matchup-based. You can have a bad week and still win if the team you are playing against has an even worse week. It’s not so fun for the owner who scores the second-most points in a week but loses because he just happened to be matched up against the team that scored the most points. Making total points worth something (playoff berth or bonus money) will keep the good, but unlucky owners invested.
- Switch to an auction draft format. An auction draft allows owners to aggressively target the players they want. If you’ve never tried it, auctions are a lot of fun. For more on auction drafts, click here.
- Move from a waivers system to a free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) system. The FAAB system is basically a weekly auction for all players on waivers. Owners select the players they want and place bids on them. This is a more strategic system that gives every owner a chance at every waiver wire player. For more on FAAB, click here.
- Add IDP to your league. Adding even two or three defensive players adds a whole new level of strategy to your league. If you’re going to do this, it’s a good idea to only start out with two or three defensive players. You can always add more next season.
- Convert your league to a point-per-reception (PPR) league. A PPR league generates higher scoring and balances out the value of touchdowns a bit. There are always good players who fail to score touchdowns and bad players who somehow do score. The PPR format addresses this.
- Make all special teams contributions count. Allow players to not only get points when they score a return touchdown, but reward them for kick and punt return yardage. This won’t effect all players, but it will add a dimension to quite a few. This also works well in IDP leagues where you are starting defensive backs who are also dangerous return men.
- Add bonus points for certain statistical benchmarks. For instance, a player receives an addition points when he reaches 100 yards rushing or receiving in a game. Or a player receives two bonus points if he scores a touchdown of 50+ yards. You can even subtract points, like for when a quarterback gets sacked.
- Go to a decimal scoring system. This is nowhere near as daunting as it sounds. For instance, instead of 10 yards being worth 1 point, one yard is now worth .1 point. Ten yards still equals one point. This system has two advantages. It counts every yard. If a player runs for 79 yards, why are those nine yards meaningless? Second, this scoring system eliminates almost all ties. You know what’s really unfair? Weekly tiebreakers in fantasy football. They’re usually things like most bench points or most points by your QB. I’ve even seen tiebreakers where the home team wins. A decimal system makes tie games much more mathematically unlikely, which is better for all involved.
I wouldn’t recommend implementing all of these changes at once. But try one or two of them on for size. You already love fantasy football enough to be reading articles on the internet about it. Why not take it to the next level?