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3 things that need to be changed about fantasy football

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3 things that need to be changed about fantasy football

Postby Downtown87 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:15 pm

Here are three things that need to be changed in fantasy football.


1. The head to head system. Most fantasy leagues use a basic head to head system where you match up against an owner every week. The team that scores the most points wins. I have a better system. In this system you play all of the owners in your leagues every week. You get one win for every owner you beat, half a win and half a loss for every owner you tie, and you get a loss for every team you lose to. The total number of possible wins in a week is one less than the number of teams in your league. Here is an example that illustrates this.

Week 1
Scores for each team. The letters represent hypothetical teams.

A 132
B 129
C 129
D 121
E 103
F 103
G 90
H 66

A 7-0
B 5.5-1.5
C 5.5-1.5
D 4-3
E 2.5-4.5
F 2.5-5.5
G 1-6
H 0-7

Any league could just use total points, which eliminates a lot of luck, but I feel total points takes out a lot of the fun. I like this approach because you would go 6-1 if you finished second, not 0-1 which could happen in normal head to head. This process of playing every owner is repeated for the whole season or until the playoffs, which brings up my next point.

2. Playoffs. I don’t understand why fantasy football leagues have playoffs. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. The playoffs are usually at the end of the season when NFL teams occasionally don’t have anything to play for. Take the Indianapolis Colts of last season for example. They had already locked up the first seed and home field advantage after week 14. If you had Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, or Marvin Harrison on your team last year your chances of winning your league probably decreased. Why spend so much time and money on fantasy football and then lose in the playoffs because a team has nothing to play for or because of stupid luck? More often than not the best team in the regular season does not win in the playoffs because the playoffs are a small sampling (1-3) weeks of the whole season. (17 weeeks) I prefer to play in leagues with no playoffs and my aforementioned head to head system.

3. The standard serpentine draft. I am assuming most people are familiar with the draft even if they have never heard the term. A serpentine is where the order reverses every round and there is one order for the even rounds, and a reverse order for the odd rounds. I used David Dodds’ pick value calculator http://www.footballguys.com/pickvalue.htm to help me with this.
I used an eight-team league to show how much value each draft position had for the first four rounds.

Overall picks Value
1 16 17 32 33 48 49 64 65 80 8202
2 15 18 31 34 47 50 63 66 79 8149
3 14 19 30 35 46 51 62 67 78 8092
4 13 20 29 36 45 52 61 68 77 8064
5 12 21 28 37 44 53 66 69 76 8035
6 11 22 27 38 43 54 59 70 75 8012
7 10 23 26 39 42 55 58 71 74 7999
8 9 24 25 40 41 56 57 72 73 7988

As you can see the earlier you make your first pick, the more value you have on the first four rounds. The difference between the first and second pick is greater than the difference between the second and third pick and so on. Note I only did the first 10 rounds but I don’t see how entering all of the rounds would change the rankings.

Here is my proposed change. Here is an 8 team modified serpentine draft that would, in my opinion, make a league fairer to play in. The value is to the right to the draft picks.


A 1 16 17 32 40 48 56 57 72 73 8101
B 2 15 18 31 39 47 55 58 71 74 8079
C 3 14 19 30 38 46 54 59 70 75 8059
D 4 13 20 29 37 45 53 60 69 76 8051
E 5 12 21 28 36 44 52 61 68 77 8048
F 6 11 22 37 35 43 51 62 67 78 8055
G 7 10 23 26 34 42 50 63 66 79 8069
H 8 9 24 25 33 41 49 64 65 80 8089

I only did 10 rounds because 10 is a good round number and fantasy drafts vary in the number or rounds. Since most of the top talent is gone after round 10, rounds 11-20 are often more of a crapshoot. One thing to note is that picks 4 and 5 have the two lowest value. I didn’t realize this until after I made the draft order but I feel being in the middle is easier in the sense that you always pick in the middle of the round and in a sense it is easier to plan your draft if you are in the middle because you never have to be idle for more than 8 picks.

As you can see the first four rounds are exactly the same as the standard serpentine draft but instead of starting at the top in round 5, I started at the bottom. I also started at the bottom in rounds 6 and 7. I then started at the top in round 8 and the draft would be standard serpentine from that point on.

This might not be the best draft order and the draft order might change if there were more than 8 teams. This is just an example and is only as good as David Dodds’ calculator, which looked pretty accurate.

I am by no means a fantasy football expert but I felt it was important to post this to show people how fantasy football can be played better. All of the three things I mentioned can be used in any sort of combination. The thing I don’t like about fantasy football is that it is essentially a crapshoot in my opinion and there is a lot of luck involved. Obviously luck can make fantasy football more fun but with all the time that people put into fantasy football some luck should be replaced with skill, which is what these 3 things do. I feel that the current status quo of how fantasy football is played, an expert in fantasy football doesn’t have as much of an advantage over a beginner as they should.

I have been in a few leagues where I have had the most points scored but only a team that was around .500. Unfortunately, these are old online leagues that I am unable to access.

I spent quite a bit of time on this so I hope people read this and can provide feedback because all of us here should have one common goal, which is to make fantasy football the best it can be.
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Postby PyRo8 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:02 pm

wow i like them. 1 would make it less likely that a person with a lot of total pts misses the playoffs. 2 would make it so that some1 who worked so hard all season long doesnt get nothin but squat. 3 eh.... hard for yahoo to do it lol
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Postby pangbones » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:32 pm

Very interesting post. I've seen the H2H style you refer to before, and it works fairly well. The website I use actually computes those statistics each week and calls it the "power" rankings. So you can see if you're winning by fluke, or losing by fluke as well.

I auction in my 2 big money leagues, so the draft order thing isn't a big concern for me. Auctioning is the way to go. Its much better and more fair and takes more skill than drafting.

As for the playoffs, that is just more fun to do. I see your point, and when I feel I have the best team, and they lose in the playoffs, I'm gonna be pissed, but that's the nature of the beast. I like the excitement of the playoffs. More times than not, the best teams have won in my leagues. There is always going to be luck involved, but the best teams usually make it to the playoffs. And the strongest teams will win more often than not.

Excellent post. ;-D
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Postby loophole21 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:51 am

Good ideas, but I don't think I would use them. Each one of your ideas seems to try to take away the aspect of "luck" from fantasy football. Although it may seem advantageous to reward the best owner in terms of drafting, trades and FA pickups, the very presence of randomness in FFB is what I think makes it so great.

1. Having a H2H system is more exciting than the system you mentioned. It creates rivalries between owners, and allows for much more trash talk. Each week you not only pay attention to your own players, but your opponents as well. This allows for more screaming at the TV, and more cursing at the FFB gods. Obviously once or twice a season the two teams with the most points each week will be matched up, but in the long run, the H2H standings will reflect total points.

2. Playoffs. Again, the traditional playoff system is more exciting. Part of a league is not only to have the best team during the regular season, but also the team that has the best playoff matchups, and the team that is hottest going into the fantasy playoffs. Without a league championship, there is no excitement; the league champion may already be decided by week 12 or something. Besides, most leagues already reward the best teams during the regular season, through seeding, financial rewards, and the fact that only 4-6 teams usually make the playoffs.

3. The draft. I have no idea how the Pick Values are calculated, but I think its a bunch of crap. Each year there are tons of posts on which draft position some people think is best, and the consensus is usually that the #1 pick is not the best. Keeping track of your picks would be much more complicated, and most draft sites that I know of do not support this sort of draft order. In my fantasy experience most leagues are not won in the first four rounds of a draft, but instead they are won by picking sleepers in the middle rounds.

Basically it all comes down to personal preference. Where as I might enjoy a more exciting, random league, someone else may enjoy a more predictable one. The great aspect about FFB is that each league can be customized to the specific leagues wants. So in the end, the goal is simply to find 10 other people who want the same league atmosphere as you do, and enjoy a totally awesome experience. Everynody ends up happy. :-D
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Postby Crippler » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:29 am

Taking away the playoffs takes a lot of the fun out of Fantasy Football (And having the playoffs earlier in the year makes it so that teams dont hold their players out of games with little importance). My team last year in my money league went 13-0 before playoffs. What fun would it have been for any of the other teams after week 9 or 10 when nobody could possibly catch me?

Playoffs add excitement to the end of the year. You battle through the season to try and win the best seed in the playoffs (or just to get in) so that you can have the best chance at winning the championship. Its the same reason why the NFL doesnt just give the championship to the team with the best record that year. How boring would it have been to just hand the Colts the trophy after week 12 or 13?

I do like your ideas, but the one about taking away the playoffs would be a huge mistake. There are tons of ways to take the 'luck' out of fantasy football, but they also take a lot of the fun away as well.
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Postby Kensat30 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:37 am

1. Don't be a whiner. Everybody has to win and everybody has to lose. Who cares if you scored the 2nd most points, you still LOST

2. Get rid of the playoffs? Might as well get rid of the 10th frame in bowling.

3. I get picks 1-15 and everybody else can divvy up the rest. MY personal draft calculator calls that one 100% even.
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Postby xted30 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:02 am

I agree with Kensat here.

1. Hypothetical here: The Jags and Colts are playing. The Jaguars score 42 points that week. The Colts score 45. The Jags' 42 would have beaten every other team in the NFL except the Colts that particular week. They have to be judged against the team they're playing, not everyone else. They still get the loss.

2. The playoffs give everyone something to shoot for. If you're concerned about players sittingthose last weeks, draft different players or trade for comparable players that you don't think will be sitting out.

3. The serpentine draft is a great thing for redrafts (which I play in). The draft for a dynasty or keeper may go a little differently. Maybe it's better to just do the draft for a dynasty like the real NFL draft, I don't know. The draft pick calculator doesn't clarify anything for me there. No matter what spot you draft in, you have to make the right decision at the right time.
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Postby steelerfan513 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:25 am

xted30 wrote:1. Hypothetical here: The Jags and Colts are playing. The Jaguars score 42 points that week. The Colts score 45. The Jags' 42 would have beaten every other team in the NFL except the Colts that particular week. They have to be judged against the team they're playing, not everyone else. They still get the loss.


1. Love the example mentioned above. ;-D FFB is an attempt to simulate an actual football season for those of us who arent talented enough to play it ourselves (99.99% of the population), and head-to-head is the best way to do that.

2. Another challenge for owners. Those who plan ahead for these situations will be rewarded. Like Crippler said, taking the luck factor out of Fantasy Football takes the fun out as well.

3. Serpentine is basically the best format out there. Owners who dont like their draft position can either trade up or draft the best team and deal with it. Another one of the luck factors. Other than auction, it is the best and fairest drafting option out there. If a league wants to be even for sure, just do an auction-style draft; that way everyone has a shot at every player on the board.
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Postby lmcjaho » Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:37 am

Okay - playing poker at the same time so I just scanned this thread but the biggest mistake I see everyone making is comparing NFL H2H with Fantasy H2H and the "any given sunday" aspect. The difference is when an NFL team loses on "any given sunday" it's their own fault - either their offense didn't score enough or their defense didn't stop the opponent enough - in Fantasy you have no input on how your opponent does, so if you just happen to play against the top team for the week and you are the 2nd team it is not in any way your own fault...
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Postby moochman » Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:55 am

Most of your proposals seem dictated by the premise the luck plays too big a role. I disagree. Luck hasn't that much to do with FF other than injuries, and even then knowledge comes into play in injury circumstances.

1) H2H is unfair. No it is reflective of the game of football, a game the FF is largely based on. Your idea eliminates one of the reasons the game rules, to watch not only your players on gameday but your opponants as well. No I don't like roto FB, nor do I like roto FF.

2) No playoffs. Again going against what the nature of football, and so FF. You feel a team is unlucky to have to go without LT or SA during the SB. I say that is poor planning on that teams part. That these teams didn't secure the back-up isn't dumb luck, just dumb. If you have issue with the playoff becuase it costs the best teams money in your example, then you reward regular season champ as well as playoff champs. If the possibility of some players not playing in week 16-17 then do something radical. Have you playoffs in weeks 12-15. Not to have a playoff takes the heart out of the game. Why even play.

3) The draft is unfair. Not really. In a lot of established leagues draft orders are inverse to the order of finish the prior season. That the worse team gets the best pick seems totally fair to me. Your idea of orchestrating a draft so that all teams will get picks that total value points more evenly is flawed by the very nature of the drafters. In established leagues this gives too much power to the better drafters (teams that usually are competitive). Trying to make things even assumes that the people drafting have even skill levels, which we know is not true. It actually defeats your purpose.
In random draft order leagues, the very randomness makes for much more interesting draft prep and strategies, offering more of a challenge for the savy manager.

I appreciate the amount of time spent on these ideas, but trying to take luck or remove skill from the game goes against the game itself. Football is predicated on one owner being sharper than his league-mates. Or luckier.
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