We at the Cafe love a good challenge. We love to show just how good our members are at this game we all love and we are pretty good judging from our records in previous challenges. We are the current champions in a Cafe vs Fleaflicker league, both team and individual, we have won the HAZMAT league (an extremely detailed league between rival boards) as well as many single season league titles are under our belt.
This year, we were challenged to participate in the IBL, the Inter Board League. This league consists of 96 teams from eight different FF websites, including FootballGuys.com, FFToday, The Huddle, Fantasy Football Live Wire, Fantasy Guru, The Sports Outlaw and finally Fantasy Sharks.com along with the Fantasy Football Cafe. The latter two are the two new teams for 2010. This is a league we could not pass on, and what a frenzied league it turns out to be.
As mentioned, the league consists of eight boards, each fielding 12 teams for a total of 96 teams. Eight separate drafts are held slightly staggered on MFL, and by the second week of drafting, all eight drafts are running simultaneously. The big twist: all 96 teams can trade with each other, including between each board’s members. There are still five drafts running currently, with three in the 13th-15th rounds and the final two just approaching the 10th round. By my count, there have been close to 350 trades made so far. 350 TRADES, and only three of the eight drafts have been completed.
As seasoned as most of our team members are, I think I can safely say this caught all of us off-guard. We were not expecting this much action even from a league of this size. Cowboys 4 Life and myself helped out a competitor strictly for fun by trading for his last five original picks one night. His draft had not even started and he would end up not make one single pick in it. I had four players on roster before my draft even started, which is an odd thing to experience.
If you want action, this style of league is for you, but be forewarned: it is not for the faint of heart. This is 96 hardcore fantasy nuts going head-to-head to see which board is the best and which individual member will own the title of IBL champion. It is mostly filled with friendly and helpful members, but even the best of us can get heated; it happens often in this league. Apologies are almost always offered and always accepted, but be prepared to mix it up if you join a league of this size.
The actual game-play is straight forward, with each Cafe member playing against seven rival teams each week. Wins and losses are tallied and accumulated for the individual title as well as the team title. No Cafe members will play each other during the regular season. Playoff seeding and scoring is slightly more complex, and I will dive into that later in the season.
Our team is exceptional, with a great mix of youth, seasoned veterans, renegade traders and the calm laid-back drafters. We have our favorite targets, we discuss strategies endlessly and work out deals for ourselves and for our teammates. It really does promote a team attitude, because as much as we want to see our individual name on top of the rankings at the end of the year, I am certain that all of us would rather see the Cafe take home another title.
Here is a quick introduction to our team, which slot they drafted from and which draft they, at the least, started from. In an upcoming article, you will be able to view the teams drafted by each of us.
1.01 (a) – benb18a
1.02 (b) – Kareighuis
1.03 (c) – Cowboys 4 life
1.04 (d) – bungle613
1.05 (e) – LS2throwed
1.06 (f) – Free Bagel
1.07 (g) – indibuck
1.08 (h) – Thriftyrocker
1.09 (a) – Mattb47
1.10 (b) – joejlitz
1.11 (c) – aaawall91
1.12 (d) – WacougMBS
The numbers are the slotting in the draft and the letters represent which of the 8 drafts they are in. Drafts A-C started on July 19 and have been completed, drafts D-F started on July 26 and the final two drafts started on August 2nd. Eight of us were doubled up in drafts A-D, and we had four single owners in drafts E-H. Each of the eight boards playing in this league had the same slotting assigned to them to maintain an even playing field.
More updates will follow in the coming weeks. Wish us luck.
Michael Hawes is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Michael in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bungle613.
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