I am a commissioner of a 12-Team 5x5 Mixed Keeper League (ROTO). I wanted to get ideas on how to a) prevent the bottom teams from losing interest towards the end of the season and b) prevent the bottom teams from doing mass fire sales.
Our league is a 12 team 5x5 roto league. We pay the top three spots in the league. Additionally, we also pay for winning a category. It seems that the someone winning saves, steals, etc. would always be at the bottom of the league and eventually would trade the player that was leading them in said category. Once we started paying for categories we had less selling at the trade dead line. Its not perfect but it slow the intentional losing for the first pick in some cases.
But this solves both problems and our owners love it: While you are having a playoff for your championship, run a second playoff using all the teams that didn't make the playoffs. The winner of this loser bracket gets the top draft spot in next year's league.