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Comparing free websites?

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Comparing free websites?

Postby sandoggio » Thu May 31, 2007 1:13 am

Folks,

First post! I would like help comparing the different free website features.

I'm commissioner of a thirty year league. This is the first year we used the internet (besides email and stats). Daily total points league. Managers will only use a free website.

I choose ESPN (d'oh!). I can't believe they did that poor of a job of testing their code. I did feel EPSN did an excellent job of communicating with me concerning their problemes. We like the website layout in general. Actually, our 'auto-lineup' rule saved our league during the ESPN meltdown!

We have an 'auto-lineup' rule where managers list their hitters in a batting order. Scoring hitters are determined by filling the lineup by going down the batting order using actual starting positions (and if necessary then again using any actual positions). In addition, starting pitchers only score when starting, and relief pitchers only score when relieving. We feel this rule is far superior to the various position eligibility rules on websites.

To keep the 'auto-lineup' rule and use the website, we added a rule where the managers can request adjustments to the website points. The commissioner (me) posts a list of approved adjustments, on main page of the ESPN league website. The winner is, of course, the team who has the most adjusted points.

We used to have a minumum days on active roster rule to control streaming. To use the website we changed our rules back to our original limited number of pickups rule. Both rules work fine for our league, but we preferred the minimum days on active roster rule.

We used to have a fifteen player non-scoring reserved list and no DL. To use the website we went to an (up to) eight man DL list instead. And we also had to drop a couple of point catagories, and change a point value (ER) to use the website.

We would like to change our rules back next year if possible. My questions:

1. Any other free websites besides ESPN, Yahoo, and Fox for daily point leagues?

2. Any websites have unearned runs allowed (or total runs allowed) for pitchers?

3. Any websites have errors for pitchers?

4. ESPN has extremely restricted powers for the commissioner to make retroactive transactions. What retroactive powers do commissioners have on the other websites?

5. Any websites allow the commissioner to set a net adjustment value for each team?

6. Any websites have a minimum days on roster option?

7. We have player stats (points and games) going back thirty years (Andre Dawson is the all time leader). ESPN provides these stats (except for games for relief pitchers). Do the other websites have these stats easily available?

8. Any websites have a non-scoring reserved list?

9. What are folks opinions on the features and use-ability of the other websites compared to ESPN?

Thanks,
Steve
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Postby JTWood » Thu May 31, 2007 1:40 am

WELCOME TO THE CAFE! :-)

1. Any other free websites besides ESPN, Yahoo, and Fox for daily point leagues?

Is Sportsline free? I'd suggest Wannabe Sports, because he's free, but the site owner is a bear to deal with. Tread lightly there. If you're looking for customizable points, I strongly suggest a pay site. Usually, they're not too expensive, and spread out over the league members, the cost generally won't even exceed $5 per person. Well worth the cost of having control.

2. Any websites have unearned runs allowed (or total runs allowed) for pitchers?

Again, customized sites (pay) will be the way to go here as they have incentive to offer more variety.

3. Any websites have errors for pitchers?

I'm going to be guessing no here.

4. ESPN has extremely restricted powers for the commissioner to make retroactive transactions. What retroactive powers do commissioners have on the other websites?

I can change everything regarding lineups back three weeks at FanStar. I can also edit everything about the league back to day one. Costs about $55/year over there.

5. Any websites allow the commissioner to set a net adjustment value for each team?

Interesting. You mean a handicap? FanStar lets you adjust the score of the game if you need to, but I'm more interested in hearing why and how you use this.

6. Any websites have a minimum days on roster option?

I haven't seen one, but you might want to specify if you mean days before they can be dropped or days before they can go into your lineup.

7. We have player stats (points and games) going back thirty years (Andre Dawson is the all time leader). ESPN provides these stats (except for games for relief pitchers). Do the other websites have these stats easily available?

Wow... Got me there.

8. Any websites have a non-scoring reserved list?

Like a non-active roster? Just use the Minors system option that any site might offer. Again, just going with my experience, FanStar offers a customizable minors roster that can hold any player (minors or major). Just use it as your reserved list.

9. What are folks opinions on the features and use-ability of the other websites compared to ESPN?

Going to abstain here as I haven't seen their site.

Hope that helped! ;-D
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Postby sandoggio » Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:49 pm

folks,

Thank you JTWood for the info!

True, it would probably make sense to investigate a pay service. But trust me, it took me years to get everyone to agree to go to a free web based service. In the early 1990's I used to run a small scoring service myself (I had a completely automated daily touch-tone phone and BBS system and sent out weekly reports by mail, fax or email). Our league has never paid to play and our long time managers could be described as slightly spoiled. The CBS Sportsline website says they don't do free daily points leagues. From looking at Wannabe Sports website I would guess that our league would not count as a free league (I'm not sure what 'franchise' format means). However, thanks for the tip!

A "minor league" feature like you described would work perfect for our Reserved List. Again, thanks for the tip! Yes, the net points adjustment feature would work just like a handicap. Because of our different player eligibility rule (the "auto-lineup" rule) about 1% of the time the wrong player will end up being scored by the website. With the commissioner (me) not being able to make retroactive transactions, I am keeping and posting a manual list of adjustments. It would be nice, especially after the ESPN meltdown, to be able to enter the net of these adjustments so that at least the website point totals and standings would be correct. Our "days on active roster" rule was seven dates before a player could be dropped, shifted between SP/RP, or shifted to the Reserved List (DL players excepted).

To any Fox commissioners:

Do the commissioners have any retroactive transaction powers? How do you rate the usability of the website?

To any Yahoo commissioners:

To woo ESPN leagues after the meltdown, Yahoo advertised a "retroactive tool". Can anyone explain how this "tool" works? How do you rate the usability of the website?

Thanks,
Steve
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Postby Fantasy Sports Genie » Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:16 pm

I can explain how our retroactive tool works, and what the intent is.

The intent was always to provide an option to leagues that don't quite get themselves ready to roll by opening day. The way it works is that there is a commissioner setting for the "retroactive date". If the commissioner sets that date, then when that date arrives, the starting lineups for each team are noted, and the league scoring is calculated from scratch as if the teams had been using those starting lineups since opening day.

If you started a week late, and just want to associate some value with the first week of the season, this is a reasonable approximation. If you are well in, have been making drops and adds, trading, whatever, then it starts to become a pretty pale substitute for actually playing the game for the missed time. But it is an option; if you decide it is better than nothing you can use it, or you can choose not to.

As for the usability of Yahoo's site, I can only say it is staggeringly good ;-) Not that I'm biased or anything.

Hope this helps...
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