Fantasy Football – 8 Rules for the Perfect League, Volume 2 (Part 2)

Mike Donnelly finishes out his 8 rules for a perfect fantasy football league

In case you missed Part 1 from yesterday, you can find that right HERE. Also be sure to let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.

Step 5.  Appoint a strong Commissioner. To the uninitiated, terms like “jerk”, “inflexible”, and “know-it-all” may seem unflattering. But in the fantasy land, those are exactly the qualities you want in your Commission of the PFL. I take them as as compliment now, and you will too. Oh you’re mad I didn’t allow that unfair trade you finagled and want to fight me tomorrow? That means I’m doing a good job. The rules have to be iron-clad, everyone has to obey them, and there can be no shenanigans. No unfair trades, no collusion, no getting around the waiver rules. Otherwise you end up in a league where a team falls out of it and tries to help their buddy in exchange for a few bucks, there’s one guy who tries to cheat his way through waivers, or whatever else. Those are not things you need in a PFL.

To become a good Commissioner you need to do a few things: First, put in an excellent scoring system. I gave you that above, so you’re already ahead of the game. Second, implement a WAIVER SYSTEM in which every team owner has 100 dollars to bid on free agents for the season. They put their bids in after the games on Sunday, and have until Wednesday night to do so. At that point, the highest bidder gets the free agent. After the waiver process ends, pickups are free Thursday through kickoff of the first game of the week. Very simple, fair, and efficient. Trust me on this. Most leagues have an automated system for this, but if not, someone will have to be in charge of running the weekly waivers. Third, make sure everybody pays at the draft. No exceptions. Fourth, draw up an iron clad league Constitution that clearly states all the rules and ins and outs of the league — Things such as Playoff rules, scoring tie breakers, trade rules, etc. all need to be included here. That way any time an incident arises you can just point to the Constitution. Any questions or problems with these rules need to be brought up at the draft. Which is why you need to…

Step 6. Have a live, IN PERSON draft. Besides being a great excuse to spend a Saturday with your friends drinking beer, eating pizza, drinking beer, and having fun, it also helps clear up any issues anybody might have with the league. Things just get done so much easier in person.

Besides that, it also gives you good insight into what all the other team owner’s are thinking or trying to do. Sometimes you can look across the table and just know who the other guy is hoping falls to him. That’s when you announce it to the group and blow up his spot. Nothing is more fun. Except, of course, maybe when a guy reaches for a player and you can string off a couple of thinly-veiled insults. Some of my favorites include: “We’re in the 10th round already?” when a guy makes a bad pick in the 5th round; “Is that last year’s draft guide you are using?” when someone takes a washed up player; “HA! Good one, who are you really picking?”;  “Someone needs to stop drinking”;  or “Awesome! That just means one more actually good player will fall to me”. Plus, did I mention it’s a good excuse to get together with 11 of your friends to drink beer and let loose for a few hours? I did, but one more time: It’s an excuse to get together with 11 of your closest friends and have an excuse to drink beer and have fun with no wives, girlfriends, flings, or whatever else floats your boat the other 364 days of the year.

Step 7. Have thick skin. I touched on this above, but it’s worth repeating and making it’s own rule. You have to remember: the things written about you, the pictures posted about you, the derogatory polls made about you, and everything else are all in good fun. Plus they are probably hilarious, and you’d love it if they were about your friend instead of you. Then, you should strive to give it back to that person just as good without being a dick about it.

In my PFL there are no less than 3 articles written with photoshopped pictures about a league member written per week, plus at least a poll or two. And the polls don’t typically ask “Who is going to win this week’s matchup” if you catch my drift. They are far more personal and much more likely to include someone’s girlfriend and farm animals. That’s what makes it fun. If you get upset because someone asked “What makes you sicker – Joe’s team or the Kardashian family?” or called you the “Dungeon Master” because your team is absolute crap, well, you just aren’t going to make it over 16+ weeks. I will make a comment about anything you do. I will insult your free agent pick up; I will say you got fleeced in the big trade you made just to make you mad; I’ll laugh about the girl you hooked up with last night and post that picture of her big gut that I secretly took; I’ll find your girlfriend’s mugshot from her arrest online and make it my team logo; I’ll offer you some terribly unfair trades just to make you mad; I’ll make my team name something about you. I expect you to do the same, just be funny about it. Deal with it.

Step 8. Finally, check your league at least once a day. This should go without saying, but if you aren’t doing this, you are really missing out. How are you getting through the work day? How are you getting through those hour-long phone calls with your girlfriend without scrolling through the top free agent defenses and their match-ups for the next 3 weeks? If someone offers you a trade and you don’t reply one way or another, or even say you are thinking about it, you should be excommunicated. There is no reason for that. A trade offer should not sit for any longer than 3 days, and you really don’t want to be “that guy” who defends his actions by saying “Some of us have lives and can’t check the league, you know!” because first of all, you do have time to check, and secondly you will look like an idiot. In addition to staying on top of the league’s comings and goings so you have a better chance of winning and staying a step ahead of your competition, in the PFL there is always something going on to entertain you whether it’s an article, a poll, a post on the message board, a picture, etc. Just check once a day, and you’ll be glad you did.

Keep in mind, fantasy football only lasts 4 months of the year. We have to cherish these times and get the most out of it that we possibly can. These 8 steps will surely help put you on the path to having a Perfect Fantasy League, but it’s up to you to make it happen. Just know that there are some people out there that have seen the light. It is possible. Come and join us and spread the word.

Author: Mike Donnelly

Mike Donnelly is a Staff Writer and life-long Jets fan, who was previously a featured columnist at multiple other New York Jets and fantasy football websites. He lives and works in finance in the NYC area and will help lead our Jets and NFL coverage in 2013.

  • Dima

    Nothing about a trophy? You’re missing out, I promise.

  • Mike Donnelly

    Dima, you are totally right and I can’t believe I forgot to mention that. Volume 3 will definitely address that haha.. not just a trophy for the winner, but there also need to be severe consequences for the loser. Buying all the beer for the following year’s draft and letting the league name your team are highly recommended options.

  • Jeremy

    You did a great job describing the best league. My favorite event is scheduling and attending my fantasy football draft!! It’sthe best event of the year without a doubt! Believe it or not, I have all your rules with one exception. I have QB’s at 6 points instead of 4. Do you really think that 4 points compared to 6 points makes it a better for fairer league?

  • Nick

    Part 1 mentioned there would be suggestions on websites for running the league. I didn’t see anything in Part 2. Any advice would be great.

  • Mike Donnelly

    Nick, my favorite league site to use is CBS Sports. They provide a ton of info, projections, rankings, and all that stuff.. Plus it’s a great site layout. My main league of my close friends and I have been using their site for going on 10 years now so I would recommend checking that out.

    Jeremy, yeah I think 4 points for QB touchdowns does a great job evening the playing field a little bit and doesn’t result in QBs out scoring other positions by such a large margin. QBs will always be the highest scoring position in fantasy, but this helps even it out a little. Hope that helps.

  • Justin

    Mike, do you give one point for a reception as well as a point for a completion, or are we talking apples and oranges?

    I suppose if I award one point for a completion, I would have to take one point away for an incompletion..?

  • Mike Donnelly

    Justin, that’s apples and oranges. It’s one point for a catch by any player. No points are awarded to a QB for a completion, just the yardage. Hope that helps.

  • Christian

    Mike, how do you go about deciding if trades are fair or not? It was my first year being commissioner and that was a big problem in my league.

  • Danny

    Mike, I’m in a CBSSports league. We’re all friends and have been doing this for a lot of years. This past week one owner forgot to change his lineup. He left in two players who were on a bye. If you ask me shame on you, you play short handed. One or two new teams in the league had a problem with this saying it questions the integrity of the league. They feel the commissioner should step in and put there available players in there lineup. What are your thoughts?