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Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

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Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby California Penal » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:52 pm

Our Keeper league is heading in the wrong direction. For the past few years the bottom tier teams seem to "tank" way too early and end up "loading" the 4-6 teams that are in contention. We keep 5 and we allow draft pick trading so basically our league is in a cycle...for example last years champion traded away his #1-5 round picks, so he most likely won't have a shot next year now for mortgaging his future to win it last year. I hope this came out the way I wanted it to, sorry if i confused you. My question/concern is what to do to eliminate this. I don't like the fact that if somebody thinks they are out of it before the all star break all they gotta do is trade away their talent to the top tier teams for picks...thoughts?
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby converge241 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:31 pm

1. Have a lottery for the bottom x teams so cant "guarantee" top pick, weighted or even.
2. Set some type of challenge system to fight for the top pick, like if you have 12 teams, team in 10th picks 1st, 11th picks 2nd 12th picks 3rd then 9th picks 4th 8th picks 5th up to champ.

Thats motavational material to disuade bottom feeders themselves

now the main root of the overloading, I would say to not allow trading next years picks during the current year. That has helped immensely for all keeper and dynasty leagues I have been in. You can only start trading picks in the offseason..people are less apt to blow their picks away when working with a new year slate. Still can happen but less likely to do so when everyone has a new chance. This way you could steal have contending Team A trading away piles of young or cheap keepers for right now help but at least picks are safe.

Hopefully some others can bring some more ideas for you, sounds like its a frustrating problem for you/your league. Good luck!
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby MTUCache » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:22 am

Throwing in the towel for a season and "building for the future", or mortgaging the future and pushing it all in for a chance at winning the title this season are completely legitimate strategies in both fantasy and real baseball... and one of the reasons why playing long-term keeper leagues is so cool.

However, there is some drawbacks to that... unlike in real baseball, franchises don't have "values" that are associated with them (or if they do, all the teams in a league are relatively the same). If you can walk away from a team at any time it no longer suits you, there's no reason not to trade away your future. The concept of "mortgaging the future" only applies if you have a future that you're tied to (either with money or ownership). If the league's future is uncertain, or an owner can bail on a team anytime they want without repercussions, that future value becomes a lot less (and owners building for that future should take that into account and demand more for their current players).

Solutions? There aren't any real good ones... Having people "buy" franchises for long-term (paying dues many years in advance) is never going to happen, and penalties for players leaving a deadbeat franchise aren't likely to be paid. For all intents and purposes a franchises "value" is made up of 80% this season, 18% next season, and as little as 2% beyond that. Any owner who's making moves with chips that far out in the future is playing with fire.

If you have to make a rule for your league, beyond just making owners aware of the fragility of their team's value and the value of future picks, I suppose you could put some kind of restrictions on owners. For instance:
1.) All owners must pay half of next year's dues at the ASB. Failure to play the following season forfiets that money. No assets beyond next season may be traded.
or
2.) You're not allowed to trade assets for draft years until both parties have paid that year's dues. This way at least the owners involved would recognize that they are trading something of legitimate value. If they want to trade (for or against) assets in the distant future, they need to be paid for. If they no longer own the team at that point, the dues for that season will be an incentive for a new owner to take over that disadvantaged team.
and (if you're playing with a more involved model)
3.) Player contracts are contracts with the league. If you're signing a keeper to a four year deal, money needs to be set aside to pay for that contract (or at least some portion of that contract). It's not fair to future owners of a team to be saddled with contracts that they didn't agree to. Likewise, it's not fair to those owners to lose out on good contracts simply because the previous owner was irresponsible. At least some part of the value of the franchise needs to be tangible. If an owner leaving is going to leave a black-hole in the league, and no sane owner would want to take over that orphaned team, you're in a real tough spot as the commissioner.
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby California Penal » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:46 am

The entire league, including myself love that you are able to trade draft picks in season to address holes or needs its a great feature...I was thinking maybe to put a "cap" on the amount of extra draft picks you can acquire... What are your guys thoughts on head to head vs roto? We have always done roto but this dilemma got me thinking if we were to switch to head to head maybe teams would stay in it longer...
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby fast dogs » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:20 am

we trade draft picks but only in the offseason; it really helps the teams that had bad luck or ended up with weaker keepers.To me if you trade picks during the season you are just asking for trouble and sure enough it sounds like you've found it. Maybe make a 1 or 2 trade limit for draft picks in season if you must, but thats still going to be enough to continue the troubles. Not that in-season draft pick trading is the entire problem; almost all keeper leagues have this situation arise
Switching to a h2h isn't going to solve anything but a mass exodus of owners who are playing in the type of league they chose.
So the guy who traded his first 5 picks didn't get picks in return? He'll now just draft those 5 at the end? We always include draft picks back, my 4th rounder for your 7th and you get the player you wanted. Maybe make a max # of rounds difference perhaps.
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby converge241 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:23 pm

If you want to stick with trading picks in season I think absolutely you have to implement some type of paying in advance as suggested and/or the cap on how much can be traded.

While you might have more teams alive in a playoff H2H format, I think that brings more luck into the game than roto and hey lets face it - will still be a chunk of teams out of it.


In the keeper league I run I have a system where every single slot means "something" in regards to money.
bottom few teams owe extra if they come back for next year (if they leave that acomplishes the same purpose weeding out the weak) all the teams in between the penalty and guaranteed money spots get weighted lottery to win that potential penalty payment. Then tried to stretch out the guaranteed money winners from 3 to 5. 4th and 5th pace arent much at all but they are money in hand so its something to try for. The 6-11 volley for better ping pong balls for potential lil extra bit of cash next year. then teams 12-14 try to avoid owing extra or more by staying out of 14. We have the aforementioned draft pick lottery as well. Its not perfect, no system ever will be as people will still tune out or blow up their teams as needed, but it helps!

Anyway I think you just need to find the best method to put in place more of a weight or fear of blowing up your team that you will feel it more. Hopefully more good suggestions keep coming in.
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby bigmck » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:59 pm

converge241 wrote:In the keeper league I run I have a system where every single slot means "something" in regards to money.
bottom few teams owe extra if they come back for next year (if they leave that acomplishes the same purpose weeding out the weak) all the teams in between the penalty and guaranteed money spots get weighted lottery to win that potential penalty payment. Then tried to stretch out the guaranteed money winners from 3 to 5. 4th and 5th pace arent much at all but they are money in hand so its something to try for. The 6-11 volley for better ping pong balls for potential lil extra bit of cash next year. then teams 12-14 try to avoid owing extra or more by staying out of 14. We have the aforementioned draft pick lottery as well. Its not perfect, no system ever will be as people will still tune out or blow up their teams as needed, but it helps!

Anyway I think you just need to find the best method to put in place more of a weight or fear of blowing up your team that you will feel it more. Hopefully more good suggestions keep coming in.


Just curious about your method of making the bottom teams pay extra. -- It seems like you would be constantly losing the owners that finish at the bottom and that it would create a problem trying to find someone to take over that last place team. Is that true?
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby fast dogs » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:44 pm

the bottom team(s) paying extra, would like to hear more about that. How many teams do you lose a year like that on the average? Do you have a tough time finding replacement owners? Weeding out bad/weak owners is fine as long as you find new owners to replace them; maybe its just the 14th team & you have guys waiting to join this league
Giving the weaker teams an incentive to come back & the earlier picks has worked out well to aid in quick rebuilding. I know some setups I've seen the lesser teams have almost no chance to compete the following year; providing some sort of light at the end of the tunnel always seemed like a good thing.The good/successful owners come back anyway.As an owner you are always thinking of winning & being good again next year with your keeper. As a commish you almost want to think of the bottom teams first. I'd love to be in a league where everyone comes back for a decade, but thats not how most leagues seem to operate
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby converge241 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:18 am

We have had it in place for 2 years, this year 2 of the teams who owed out of the 3 likely wont be coming back but most years 2 said owners are very inactive so again its kindof acomplishing its purpose. Great guys nice guys but they just werent as into it.

Its not a high stakes league either 50 entry and penalties are 20-10-5

I am in another league though with bigger stakes 10 team league 200 to enter
10th places ownes another 100
9th place owes 80, then 60, 40, 20

We have like zero turnover in that league..one owner has left in the past 5 years

those are 2 opposite ends of the spectrum but i think a small nominal percentage of the entry fee is enough to keep most owners trying a little more or keep in mind about blowing up their team that much. Because the keepr league I run you cannot trade picks in season we only get trades of the "heres al my great keepers for some now help" variety and vice versa..they do get lopsided but teams dont go so far as to kill themselves totally.
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Re: Tanking in Keeper Leagues...

Postby Curtis Pride » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:50 pm

my league has had the same issue.

I'll list the various fixes we've used, but really the only true way to fix it is to ban draft pick trading. The entire thing about draft pick trades is that it's skirting the limits on keepers. You put a limit on the number of keepers, and people amassing numerous draft pick advantages are essentially getting a free keeper. If people really find it to be an issue, that's the only way to truly fix it.

So some of the things we've done.

1. No trading of any picks in the first 3 rounds.
2. Everyone needs to have at least one pick in the first 7 rounds.
3. No trading of any picks for future years.
4. Penalties for the team whose point total decreased the largest amount after midseason ($75 fine)
5. $75 fine to team who finishes in last place

ideas that have been bandied about but never agreed upon.
1. No draft pick trading
2. Lose one keeper if you finish below 50 points for the year (people aren't going to trade away draft picks to obtain keepers if it means they are going to finish in the basement and potentially lose a keeper anyway)

And we don't lose owners. We've had 11 of the same owners for 6 years. There's been one team that's had some turnover, but in total, there have been 14 owners of the 12 teams and no turnover the last three years.

If you are losing owners year over year, you shouldn't be allowing such major draft pick trades.
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