7 Ways To Make Your Fantasy Football League More Fun
Fantasy Football Commissioner Tips
I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on retiring on my fantasy football winnings or count on my fantasy knowledge to fill the refrigerator. Fantasy Football is about making Sunday more interesting, connecting with friends/family, and making a Colts game almost watchable…almost. That being the case, the overall goal of your fantasy league should be for it to make the football season more fun.
With that in mind, here are seven changes you can make to create a more enjoyable football season.
Anyone that has played a game of poker for fun and played a game of poker for $1.00 knows how much adding, even an insignificant amount of money, can add to the excitement and enjoyment of what the event. It adds a seriousness and amplifies how good it feels to have those bragging rights. Think of watching a movie and having the opportunity to pay five dollars to make that movie more exciting and personal. I’d spend that $5.00 every time. For that same five dollars, you could have that impact for the 17 weeks of the NFL season. Every single person playing in a free fantasy football league would be happier if they put a couple bucks on their fantasy team.
2. Side Bets
This is similar to the last recommendation but on an individual level. These types of bets are the best if you know the people you are playing with. Playing with co-workers? Make a bet that the loser of your individual match-up week 7 has to buy coffee for everyone in the office. Playing with friends? Make a bet that whoever has a kicker score zero points in a week has to wear ‘the hat of shame’ on Tuesday [there are a lot of options out there]. Get creative! My favorite bet was with my brother and some friends where the loser had to buy a pizza, an ice cream cake and be the designated driver for the night for everyone involved in the bet. Victory is not often as sweet as a piece of ice cream cake served by your designated driver, although for some reason my brother may disagree.
3. Make your League a Superflex or 2 Quarterback League
Quarterback is the most important position in football, yet in so many leagues the position is valued like a pair of second-hand shoes. Take a look at Gridiron Experts Mock Draft for this season, where there were only five quarterbacks picked before the 8th round and where two teams, quite reasonably, only selected one quarterback. A quarterback touches the ball on almost every play and only starting a minority of those players leaves so many plays without any fantasy value. It’s shameful how a play like this was probably worth 0 points in the majority of single quarterback leagues.
4. Make A Fun Prize Structure
You’re going for first, sweating the match-ups and thinking about trading for Larry Fitzgerald for that playoff run, but while you’re doing that what is the guy in 9th place playing for? Instead of winner take all, set aside something for whoever has the highest scoring week or to whoever who wins by the smallest margin of victory. These types of prizes give something for people who aren’t going to win the league something to shoot for. This keeps the entire league engaged. If in week 13 someone in the bottom half is picking up a new kicker to try to get more points the league couldn’t be healthier.
5. Encourage Friendly Trash Talk
Nothing creates a little rivalry and fun more than a bit of well-intentioned trash talk. This is a fine line as the goal shouldn’t be to offend anyone but to stir things up. So, it’s probably better to err on the side of caution depending on how well you know the other members of your league. When done well though, it brings a league together and opens communication. In one of my leagues I took the time to write a short paragraph about each team, here’s one of those paragraphs, “Raging Falcoholics – Your team has so many backups on it that I had to make sure I wasn’t looking at a list of Browns Quarterbacks since Bernie Kosar. Did this team come with a stool to sit on? Well, at least you won’t have to worry about injuries unless someone slips in the shower.”
6. Add IDP (Individual Defensive) Players
If you’ve never played fantasy football with individual defensive players it can be a bit intimidating. There is a lot to learn, but it is worth it. Playing IDP lets you appreciate and cheer for the stars on the other side of the ball. Take this year, any football fan may know that Chandler Jones had a great 2017, but IDP players know that he was the Todd Gurley of defense. A big deal is made about the 17 sacks, but it’s the 52 solo tackles, 28 of which went for a loss [7 more than the next closest player] that really set Chandler apart from his peers. It really isn’t more demanding to have 1-2 IDP players than it is to have an individual defense each week. Make the change and add some depth, you’ll be thanking me later.
7. Make Your League a Dynasty League
This is where a team becomes more than a group of names thrown together to get points for a year. These players are ‘your’ guys. You get to have these players until they retire or until their inconsistency problems drive you to trade them for draft picks. I’m looking at you, Amari Cooper. It’s just more fun when there is an attachment to the team you field. There is pride in drafting Alvin Kamara, watching him play and knowing that your hunch he was going to be good will reward you for years.
Implement a few of these ideas and I guarantee you’ll have more fun in the 2018 season.