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