7 Ways to Spice Up Your Fantasy Football League
Fantasy football has something for everyone. Whether you are a diehard competitive player or someone who just plays in a casual league with friends and coworkers, we are all in this to have some fun and maybe win a few monopoly bucks along the way. In order to maximize the fun factor in your league, it needs to feel fresh and interesting while maintaining an element of tradition. This way you can build rivalries and history while maintaining the week to week and year to year fun that keeps owners engaged.
To this end, we have taken inventory of our own favorite rules and traditions from leagues we know of or have played in, to provide you with some suggestions on how you can add a little spice to your league. This list is by no means comprehensive, as fantasy leagues are basically 100% customizable; however, you may just find an idea you want to try or maybe it will inspire you to come up with your own twist. If you are new to fantasy football, it is important to start with a strong foundation of both knowledge and league structure. Check out Fantasy Football for Beginners as well as the “Ballers Preferred” League Format to get started. If you are looking to start a league using some of these rules or perhaps implementing some of your own, gain access to Footclan Leagues by joining the fantasy football community at JoinTheFoot.com. Without further ado, here are 7 ways you can add some extra spice to your league.
1) Two-QB/Super Flex League
If you want a true to life experience in which QBs are the kings of the fantasy football landscape similar to the way they dominate the NFL, then a Two-QB league may just be what you need. This is a relatively simple tweak to your starting lineups that has a drastic effect. It requires all owners to start two QBs every week. In doing so, you ratchet up the value of a quality starter. In Two-QB leagues, you all but eliminate the possibility of streaming the position and force owners to invest (heavily) in the position. A super flex league is a variation of two QB in which you are not forced to start two QBs, though you probably should. The second QB is started in your Flex spot.
2) Kick the Kickers to the Curb
If you love kickers as much as Jason Moore does you may want to skip this one. I’ll wait…
This is another straightforward change. You simply remove kickers from your league. The reason for this is that kickers, for the most part, occupy the last round of your draft. No one does any research on them and even if they did, it wouldn’t help because production at the position is so hard to predict from year to year. Removing kickers removes an element of randomness and luck. You can replace the position with a 3rd WR, a second flex spot or even an IDP player if you’re feeling frisky.
3) Live Draft
To me, this is the most important change for a fantasy league. Draft live and in person! Make it an event that the league looks forward to all year. The winners get to gloat, you get to work those trades in person, everyone gets to wear their favorite team gear and enjoy some good old fashion trash talk. There’s nothing like a draft room when you steal another owner’s pick right before they make it, or when that one guy in the league drafts a player way, way too early. If you haven’t experienced an in-person live draft, I strongly urge you to give it a try, a little pagentry goes a long way.
4) Derby Style Draft Selection
Instead of drawing names out of a hat or simply giving the worst team from the year before the 1.01, consider a Derby Style draft. This is a system that allows the person with “first pick” their choice of draft slots. If you are in a keeper league this privilege may fall to the lowest ranked team from the previous year. That owner would then get to select which spot they draft from. They may not want the 1.01. Maybe they opt for a pick in the middle, or perhaps the turn at the 10th or 12th spot better suits their strategy. After they have selected, the next owner chooses a draft slot and so on until the board is full. This rule adds some thought and planning to an otherwise random process.
5) League Communications
Good communication is an integral part of a healthy fantasy football league. Our Editor-in-Chief, Kyle Borgognoni, has taken league communication to the extreme for his home league (Snap Tackle Pop) by producing a weekly podcast specifically for his league mates to talk trash, answer a weekly mailbag, and amplify hilarious happenings during the season. For those of us who may be less tech-savvy, maybe a weekly newsletter would suffice to keep team owners involved. Even something as simple as a Facebook group or a Slack channel can keep the conversation going and form a strong bond between owners which is essential to keep a league going strong for years to come.
6) Silent Auction [Pre-Draft] for Keepers
This one gets a little into the weeds but is very interesting for more advanced fantasy leagues. The idea is that if you have an auction league or even a keeper league that assigns values to players, you have each owner designate their keepers in the off-season. Then, you hold a silent auction in which owners can place bids on players kept by other teams. The winning bids for each player are then revealed. The owner of the player can then decide to hold them or sell them to the other owner in exchange for additional auction cash, draft picks or whatever other value is assigned. This is a twist that gives the keeper system a feel that is almost like restricted free agent tenders in the NFL and gives owners a GM-like experience in managing their rosters in the off-season.
7) Water Bets
Whether you play fantasy football for bragging rights or something a little greener, there is always room for added humiliation for the losers. Enter the Wheel of Water. The Wheel of Water is an app (available on both iOS and Android devices) that allows you to spin a wheel which will then give you a method in which to douse the loser of the league (or a side bet) with water in ways that vary in style and humiliation. It’s free to download and is perfect for draft season when the weather is warm and even more rewarding in January when the weather is less forgiving.
If you have any other ideas that weren’t brought up that you enjoy, please share them in the comments or on Twitter. If you are looking to start a league using some of these rules or perhaps implementing some of your own, gain access to Footclan Leagues by joining the fantasy football community at JoinTheFoot.com.