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Need some thoughts on new rules

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Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby lambo1203 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:49 pm

I've been commissioner of a fantasy baseball league for eight years now, and each year, the league seems to be "average" but I can't get people to come back or really get into the league like other commissioners I've seen in other leagues I experience. So this year, I'm trying to come up with a few different twists to keep things interesting and get all the owners in our league interested throughout the year. Thoughts on any of these ideas would be much appreciated. Leave a link and I'll respond to yours too.

1. Blind Auction Before Regular Snake Draft
-Each team submits bids for any player they want and ranks them from 1-10. Each team gets $100 for this, and each team gets a max of three players in this auction. The remaining money doesn't carry over, it's just so that we have a set amount of money. After the blind bids are submitted, the team with the highest bid (as long as it's within their $100 budget) gets that player. And that way, every team has 3 players at the end of the auction so that it doesn't get tricky come draft day (we do an online draft on ESPN.)

2. Rich Take From The Poor
-Each week, the team with the highest points in the league gets to make a one-for-one swap with the team that scored the fewest points in the league. The players cannot be on the DL, and the player you take from your opponent is from their bench (so that the top players aren't going from team to team every week.)

3. Money For Most Points
-The team with the highest one-week point total at the end of the regular season gets their money back. I think this is a simple enough concept, but my thing is I'm not sure it inspires teams who aren't in the playoffs to still try toward the end of the year.

Again, any thoughts/comments/suggestions are appreciated. Leave a link and I will help 100%
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby fast dogs » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:54 am

A general comment and one on #2
Unique settings and twists might seem fun but generally don't make for great play. Rules 1 and 3 sound ok and might play out that way; I'd suggest some sort of mock blind auction to familiarize the managers exactly how this will work before you do it for keeps.
#2 just seems like a bad idea to me. This is how I see this working out: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer driving even more distance between the leagues smarter and not so smart managers. Managers that lose have hard feelings towards owner who stole their player creating 5-6 sets of bad blood each week and an easy way for managers to quit the league mid-season
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby thatguysound » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:10 am

Completely agree on #2. If the goal is to keep all teams involved, that will just create a huge amount of frustration for the strughling teams.

I've been saying it repeatedly in other posts: the best way to keep more teams involved all year is to make sure they hace something to play for all season. Give your league a playoff system. In a ten team league, 6 teams nake the playoffs, which means 7 or 8 teams will likely be fighting for something all season long. And for the teams that miss the playoffs, they take part in a tournament for the top picks in the draft.
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby JasonisFreng » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:42 am

Number 1: I don't like number 1 that much! I don't think it will increase participation by any means since it is only the beginning of the season where team morale runs highest. It doesn't remind me of anything in real life. Blind auctions frustrate me personally.

Number 2: See above posts.

Number 3: Good idea. Sounds good to me although H2H leagues tend to get people most involved.
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby MoHead » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:57 pm

I agree with the others that #2 is a bad idea and will likely hasten the departure of owners from the league rather than increase their interest.

I think a big part of it is just having the right mix of owners, and there's no cure all there, just a lot of luck. If you have inactive owners, just set them free and give someone else a chance to play (I know, easier said than done.) I've run a 12-team league since 2000 and I've gone through probably 24 different owners. Some left on their own, others had to be pushed out. But 6 of my original 12 remain, so something is going right. The thing to remember though is that everyone plays the game in their own way. I have a team that has been around for 14 years, pays his money on time, keeps his lineup set, but won't trade, and is slow to make moves. Thing is, he loves the league and looks forward to it every year. He just looks at it a different way. A way to keep up with baseball and stay in touch with friends, and if he wins, well that's just a bonus.

Things I have done to increase participation:
- Move from a draft to an auction format. Hard transition at first, but now the league loves it and wouldn't go back.
- Move from a redraft to a salary cap keeper league. It adds a lot of commissioner overhead, but people don't fall off the radar with a 1- 8 start because they know they need to keep active for next year too.
- Provide a method for "white flag" trades. If teams can unload an expensive veteran for two high upside kids in July, they will start looking toward next year with some anticipation and probably keep active through to the end of the season.
- Allow teams to play to their own interest level. We have DL spots and minor league spots, you can designate a long term "farm" prospect, or really be a capologist and plan your team out for the next three years. Or, teams can ignore all of that and just build a whole new team in the off-season, fall ass-backwards into Chris Davis and Matt Harvey, then dominate the league. I build in a lot of flexibility to my rules to allow different types of owners to still have fun.
- Be an active and helpful commissioner. I do weekly payouts for high scores. I post weekly updates. Post polls. Post messages. Try to keep people involved. Stress the importance of staying competitive as a service to the other teams. For the teams that are struggling, give them a little advice; send them a list of the top ten free agents or point them to a possible trade even if it's not with you (some might get annoyed, but other appreciate it)
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby lambo1203 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:20 pm

I appreciate all the feedback…it's people like all of yinz at the cafe that save me from putting in stupid ideas or even mentioning them to league mates that would probably run them in the other direction.

My reasoning behind #1 is that the teams in our league HATE the idea of a full-out auction, but I feel it would give every team a chance to get their favorite player or work their strategy even before the draft (some teams love going all pitchers, some stock their OFs, etc.) Not to mention, a few teams like myself love the idea of getting people thinking long and hard about the league before the season even starts…I feel it makes them have a bit more interest come draft day and hopefully draft better teams and stay interested.

I've always wanted to do keeper leagues (and we've done a "keeper" league the last three seasons) but the problem is, we have half the league wiped out each year and the 4-5 teams that stay from year to year are just like, screw it, let's just do a redraft next year so the new owners don't hate us and their teams. But this year, I'm trying to build a league of people who will commit for years rather than just this year, so we can use the keeper format and help keep teams interested during and after the season.

Also, I always try to do updates, polls and playoff/season updates. I think it does just come down to good owners…my fear is just that I'm "that" commissioner that people hate doing a league with
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby JasonisFreng » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:48 pm

lambo1203 wrote:I appreciate all the feedback…it's people like all of yinz at the cafe that save me from putting in stupid ideas or even mentioning them to league mates that would probably run them in the other direction.

My reasoning behind #1 is that the teams in our league HATE the idea of a full-out auction, but I feel it would give every team a chance to get their favorite player or work their strategy even before the draft (some teams love going all pitchers, some stock their OFs, etc.) Not to mention, a few teams like myself love the idea of getting people thinking long and hard about the league before the season even starts…I feel it makes them have a bit more interest come draft day and hopefully draft better teams and stay interested.

I've always wanted to do keeper leagues (and we've done a "keeper" league the last three seasons) but the problem is, we have half the league wiped out each year and the 4-5 teams that stay from year to year are just like, screw it, let's just do a redraft next year so the new owners don't hate us and their teams. But this year, I'm trying to build a league of people who will commit for years rather than just this year, so we can use the keeper format and help keep teams interested during and after the season.

Also, I always try to do updates, polls and playoff/season updates. I think it does just come down to good owners…my fear is just that I'm "that" commissioner that people hate doing a league with

It doesn't sound like you are "that" commissioner. It really is just good and interested owners that make a consistently good league. You'll find them eventually, but just keep trying to make your league better, that's all you can do! Hope it goes well! ;-D
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby converge241 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:02 pm

lambo1203 wrote:
1. Blind Auction Before Regular Snake Draft
-Each team submits bids for any player they want and ranks them from 1-10. Each team gets $100 for this, and each team gets a max of three players in this auction. The remaining money doesn't carry over, it's just so that we have a set amount of money. After the blind bids are submitted, the team with the highest bid (as long as it's within their $100 budget) gets that player. And that way, every team has 3 players at the end of the auction so that it doesn't get tricky come draft day (we do an online draft on ESPN.)

- Kinda seems closer to many fantasy baseball auction leagues where you auction your starters and draft bench. Id just go all the way to that this seems too odd of a mix for me personally to just do a couple players. Maybe this cna ease folks into an auction because its only the starters? Its just a weird dynamic to bid on a couple then drfat everyone IMO. Some leagues blind bid the high picks themselves (I dont like it personally) with the idea that a couple players are above the others.

2. Rich Take From The Poor
-Each week, the team with the highest points in the league gets to make a one-for-one swap with the team that scored the fewest points in the league. The players cannot be on the DL, and the player you take from your opponent is from their bench (so that the top players aren't going from team to team every week.)

I love things that are like the rule 5 but once a week may be too much. Once a month maybe, let top team protect x players. The risk is if I am in first I MIGHT tank to second to avoid it - devils advocate. How about All Star Break have one draft last place steals from first place and so on, 2nd last steals from 2nd place..etc. If you can get to a keeper you can have people keep 5 but one has to be exposed to teams beneath you or the like.

3. Money For Most Points
-The team with the highest one-week point total at the end of the regular season gets their money back. I think this is a simple enough concept, but my thing is I'm not sure it inspires teams who aren't in the playoffs to still try toward the end of the year.

Many leagues I have run or been in do various incentives like bonus cash for each category you lead. You can exclude the big cash winners from eligibility or something like that. Can always put the teams out of the money in some type of lottery. Your ping pong balls in the lottery determined by how many points so even last place can get $$ but the idea is if you have more points better odds to hit. Random.org or other sites can pull the lottery for you

Again, any thoughts/comments/suggestions are appreciated. Leave a link and I will help 100%


Maybe to get people interested you make two half seasons, or there has been a popularity rise in monthly leagues. Negative is you have to find sites to run them, they are out there but may charge compared to a standard free site.

You have good ideas and can tell youre trying to add to the enjoyment experience of it so youre already a great commish!

Keep in mind there's always going to be casual folks or those that come and go, you cant solve all of that with even the best of rules/leagues
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby bigmck » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:53 pm

lambo1203 wrote:I appreciate all the feedback…it's people like all of yinz at the cafe that save me from putting in stupid ideas or even mentioning them to league mates that would probably run them in the other direction.

My reasoning behind #1 is that the teams in our league HATE the idea of a full-out auction, but I feel it would give every team a chance to get their favorite player or work their strategy even before the draft (some teams love going all pitchers, some stock their OFs, etc.) Not to mention, a few teams like myself love the idea of getting people thinking long and hard about the league before the season even starts…I feel it makes them have a bit more interest come draft day and hopefully draft better teams and stay interested.

In a regular auction, guys can get whoever they want by bidding big on their favorite players. You don't need the blind auction

I've always wanted to do keeper leagues (and we've done a "keeper" league the last three seasons) but the problem is, we have half the league wiped out each year and the 4-5 teams that stay from year to year are just like, screw it, let's just do a redraft next year so the new owners don't hate us and their teams. But this year, I'm trying to build a league of people who will commit for years rather than just this year, so we can use the keeper format and help keep teams interested during and after the season.

You don't say if you do Roto or H2H. I played Roto for many years and thought it was great. I then tried H2H and in a couple years quit Roto completely. If you haven't tried H2H, you need to. It keeps guys interested in the league a lot longer.

Also, I always try to do updates, polls and playoff/season updates. I think it does just come down to good owners…my fear is just that I'm "that" commissioner that people hate doing a league with

No, if you are posting this to make your league better, you are a good Commish. You just need the owners in your league.
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Re: Need some thoughts on new rules

Postby GibandLou » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:00 am

I appreciate what you're trying to do. I commish a 10-team 7-player keeper league, and we've struggled to keep everyone engaged. We've done a few things over the past 2 years to improve things.

1) We bumped our league fee from $60 to $200 per team. This separates the men from the boys. We've lost 1 owner. There is much more interest because there is more $ on the line.
2) We modified the draft order. The top 3 teams win money and pick last in the draft. Fourth place drafts 1st. Fifth place drafts 2nd, and so on. This incents teams to stay active throughout the season, rather than just quitting when they are out of it.
3) We put a 3-year term limit on all keepers, so that the "rich" teams must always continue to manage their rosters to stay "rich". It isn't a given that the top 3 teams will be the same from year-to-year. In fact, they have NOT been the same.

We've made some other changes, but these three are the biggest for our league.

Good luck.
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