Hello All - First time poster here, looking for some insight as to how to adjust to some changes to my league.
I run a (now) 14-team league on ESPN (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex, 1 TE, 1 DEF, 1 K, 7 Bench) - next year we are downsizing to 12 teams.
The setup will have: -> 3 four-team divisions, with 6 playoff teams (3 division winners, 3 wild-card teams) -> Money league ($20/team) - Likely $160/$60/$20 (1st/2nd/3rd in playoffs)
We're also looking at the idea of doing keepers from THIS season currently to next season, and at the moment it's a very hot topic (read: a pain-in-the-***) as right now it's 6 yes, 5 no, and 2 not appearing (not counting my vote,) with 1 or 2 threatening to leave the league as well if we DO have them, blah blah blah.
My thinking was something like this - Since we are downsizing, each of the 12 active teams for next year can keep ONE player, and the other 2 teams will throw their players back into the free agent pool. We'll also randomize the draft order so that no team has a set advantage over another as it pertains to who can claim any player released back into the pool.
Does this seem like a halfway-decent proposal for this year?
If it were me, it would be *very* important to know going into the draft if the league was going to be a keeper league or not. Being a keeper league would have HUGE ramifications for holding onto injured guys like Peyton Manning, Andre Johnson, Jamal Charles, etc. If I didn't know about keeper status until AFTER the season had ended, that would be a huge deal. I don't think it's fair to spring keepers on a league this late, especially after no one has known about that prospect all year. Having keepers does impact a team owners choices in the draft and free agency during the year. The guys have already have the super stars (Arian Foster, Aaron Rodgers, etc) are of course going to vote in favor of keepers, because they would have just lucked out big time.
If it were me, I'd hold off on the keeper thing until next year. In other words, go ahead and make 2012 a keeper year, but redraft from scratch for 2012, knowing that you'll be keeping players going into 2013. But by all means, have a vote on it and let majority rule. If some owners don't vote, that is their prerogative. Let majority rule for those that care. Oh yeah, and since you're downsizing teams, what do you do with the players from those 2 teams? In a year when there is a lot of change already, I'd limit the amount of format changes as much as possible.
As for the setup, in a 12-team league I prefer to have 3 divisions of 4, with only 4 playoff teams (division winners + 1 wildcard), and a 2-week bracket-style playoffs during weeks 15 and 16 of the NFL season. If you schedule it that way, then you have a 14-week regular season in which every team plays their division opponents twice, and everyone else in the league once. It makes using "Points For" as a tiebreaker much more reasonable as division members all have a common schedule. There are a lot of different formats for 12-team leagues, and I found this scheduling site very helpful in deciding which format I wanted to do go with: http://schedules.footballguys.com/. I went with this setup: http://schedules.footballguys.com/freescheduleform.php?freeschedule=12team1. Good luck!
The issue about keepers HAS been a discussed issue all season, not just something I thought of last minute. It's been poked at all season long, and there are very strong opinions for both sides of the matter. I'm putting it up to a vote in our league Facebook group and letting the decision go to that, that way a debate can be openly discussed about the matter.
Since we're downsizing 2 teams, those 2 teams' players just go back into the draft pool like the other 12 teams' players, and there's an additional 2 players (since 2 less players are being kept on a team.) The draft order will be 100% random - that way all players are eligible, and with a completely random draft order, all teams have an equal chance to pick from any player in the pool. Only 12 players (1/team) would be kept, everyone else is eligible.
I like (personally) the idea of 3+3 for playoffs because it gets more managers active and involved - taking half the league to playoffs is fine with me, and makes the regular season mean something, since there could hypothetically be 4 teams from a division in playoffs (if a division is stacked.)
With ESPN - they use a plethora of tie-breaker situations - which seems more appropriate to use? 1.) Intra-division records -> Head-to-Head -> Points For -> Points Against 2.) Head-to-Head -> Intra-division records -> Points For -> Points Against
I guess the question is really when did the discussion about going to a keeper league start. If I wasn't aware of that possibility prior to the draft and drafted some players that I knew were one year type versus longer term prospects I would not be thrilled with the prospect now. However, it sounds like you are going to let everyone have a say before making a decision and that, imo, is the only fair way to go about all the changes you discuss here.
As for the tiebreakers, I see in most cases that H2H is always the first one. That is the run it is in my leagues and I have never had a complaint about it.
Not 100% sure when it started, honestly. I know I posted a poll in the league page at the beginning of the season, but there was talk about it DURING the actual draft itself. The poll was created back then because not all of the 14 managers were there at the draft, so I didn't feel it was fair to choose then, etc. This is the first year of doing this league (next year is the 2nd year) so aside from the keeper issue/downsizing from 14 to 12, nothing else is really changing.
Some of the main arguments I've had over the issue stem from: "makes draft strategy more important taking a player off the board", to "my team did poorly; want a new beginning", and so on. I've had 4 out of 11 already vote now, so I'm going to leave it up to the voters to decide, the democratic thing to do.
I also thought of doing the next year's draft (after the 2012-13 season) by reverse order of standings - how could/should this be done? 1.) Bottom 6 (picks #1-6) order determined BEFORE playoffs like how the NFL does it 2.) All 12 picks (picks #1-12) order determined AFTER playoffs based on results from winners/consolation bracket playoffs?
As for the draft, I have seen it done a number of ways. You can do it either of your ways or by end of regular season standings with the Champion picking last. In my leagues I don't use the playoff results to determine draft order (except for the champion picking last) because sometimes if owners are not in the championship bracket they don't submit line-ups or don't submit line-ups that are strategic. That's why I like ending the draft issue based on regular season standings.
The way you worded it, having the draft order based on regular season results (for the non-playoff teams) makes more sense, and then just going by the playoffs for those 6 teams (breaking ties by H2H, Intra-division, etc) sounds better. Less confusion and makes everything more streamline.