I run a 12-team Roto keeper league where you keep 10 a year no restrictions. We're in our 8th year and things have been good except for one issue- interest late in the season. It seems when a team is out of it at the end of the year, checking the team everyday and making the appropriate changes becomes an issue. Some years the race has been so tight that little things like the 12th place team not checking the last week determines the outcome of the league, where if they had set their pitching all week things would end differently.
Another issue is teams using their pitching to the full extent. We have a 1250 IP limit but some teams use between 1000-1125, leaving alot of starts and potentially points on the table.
I've set up a weighted lottery system for the top 4 picks so that the last place team isn't ensured of the first place pick(they do have a 25% chance though). The draft also doesn't snake(just thought I should point that out).
Any ideas that would help keep the interest going all season and ensure everyone using their players all season?
There are lots of small tweaks you can make, but in the end, the only real solution is to have managers who are really, really into fantasy baseball.
In terms of small changes - is this a money league? For managers of the non-insane variety (those strange people who aren't willing to check the league page at least once every single day) you need to provide an incentive. Penalties for finishing last, or rewards for "most improved" over the 2nd half, or something like that.
This must be an issue amongst most leagues as I had the same problem for years. What I did last year and it seemed to help a decent amount was increasing the amount of teams that got paid out. Our league has a $200 entry fee and I typically paid out the top 3, but last year I paid out the top 5, which really kept a few teams paying attention and managing their lineups for a while longer. The problem was, and continues to be is that one or two teams seem to fall out of any contention of finishing in the top 5 fairly early. It drives me nuts that these teams not setting their lineups regularly affects the integrity of the standings. Another thing I am not implementing is the draft order for following year. Typically the order would be reverse of final standings, but I was toying around with draft order being 6-7-8-9-10-11-12-5-4-3-2-1 or trying out a lottery system like the NBA uses, where the order will be picked at random but the odds of finishing lower in the standings will give you a better chance of getting the first pick. The problem is the chances of these last place teams caring will probably not change one way or the other. Anyway good luck, if you find a solution that works please share. If not we should all compile our deadbeat managers together and let them form their own leagues.
If not we should all compile our deadbeat managers together and let them form their own leagues. pretty much this is the answer. you start the year by saying we've got an end of year problem where teams drop out of the race then drop out of making adds and keeping an active lineup.You warn them you'll be replacing owners if they don't respond to your posts asking them to make lineup changes. You can ask for a 50% "deposit" on 2013 that owners won't get if they get removed from the leagues and new managers get a discount on next years probably weak team. You have to weed out weaker,uncaring owners somehow and if you start the year by explaining this is in the best interest of your league good owners shouldn't have a problem with it. Problem owners might not sign up again in the first place. Ask for an extra deposit or just announce the new rules for keeping an active lineup, you hate to be an arse but an arse for the betterment of the league is OK. The bad thing about changing the draft order based on prev years finish is the last place teams need those early picks as they probably had injuries or bad luck or weaker keepers starting out. Really you just need quality owners to prevent tanking and getting quality owners involves weeding out the lesser owners somehow. Make an announcement again at the All Star break saying we've got replacement owners wanting in the league and current owners need to stay active to be in the league again next year. You can't beat or bribe bad owners into better 1's but you can put rules in place to make a healthy, more competitive league for everyone.
Heres some things I have done/currently do/seen others do:
Most improved 2nd half. sidepools for winning categories. You may be out of it overall but can still try to win ERA and WHIP and get some money back. deincentive payments for finishing last, 2nd last etc *currently do* weighted lottery for bottom few teams so no one can 100% guarantee the 1st pick (you can even weight it how you want- maybe instead of deal last getting most ping pong balls maybe 3rd last gets the most) *currently do* Tweaking the draft order to make competition at the bottom. Say if you have a 12 team league - team 10 picks 1, then 11, then 12 then 9-1 in order More prize spots. I pay out top 5 and then teams 6-11 get entered into a weighted lottery (6th place gets most ping pong balls) to win the deincentive payments from 12-14 *currently do*
sometimes some owners just want to tune out if they are falling apart, cant prevent it 100% but some things can be done to help motivate
"I'm the man with the ball. I'm the man who can throw it faster than F***. So that's why I'm better than anyone in the world." - Kenny Powers
In the FGD Keeper League that I run, we have each team pick their draft order for the next season. Meaning, the first place team gets to select their draft position for the following season first. Then the second place team picks their draft slot. Basically, the last place teams have their draft position selected for them.
Seems the embarrassment of having you team's future decided by others helps. It is not perfect, but it has been better since implementing this system.
Change the draft order, so there is an incentive to not finish in the bottom. For instance, Have the draft order go (based on last year's standings (7-12, 6-1), so the worst team doesn't really get a great pick the next year.
If you do not reach a minimum number of innings, you get no points in any pitching category. This is most valuable if you adopt the reverse drafting mentioned above.
Have the last team (or two teams) lose a keeper. If you get 10 keepers, you may have people punting their entire season to get 10 great keepers. Well, make it so if someone doesn't finish above a certain level they lose a keeper. So anyone who finishes below 35 points, only gets to keep 9 players. Anyone who finishes below 25 keeps 8, anyone finishing below 20, keeps 5 players. If the benefit of punting is great keepers, then optimum punishment will be the complete opposite.
Last place team (or team that loses the most points in the second half) gives $100 to the team with the most improved record in the second half