A Better Option to the Consolation Bracket
Making it to your leagues Fantasy Football playoffs is the ultimate goal throughout the season. It’s an impressive accomplishment even if it’s just for one week. Obviously, this is the time of year that we all hope our teams get hot and ride a win streak right to the championship round, but even if you fall short, you can say you were among the best of the best in your fantasy league this season.
However, missing the playoffs is a real bummer and can be a problem if your fantasy football commissioner didn’t take the time to set up something for you to focus on.
Most standard leagues of 12 have six teams that make the postseason with the top two teams getting byes and the other four teams playing in the wildcard round. This means that six teams did not make the postseason in your league. Usually, this isn’t an issue as most Fantasy owners move on to other things like DraftKings or FanDuel. However, if a fantasy football commissioner isn’t careful, he could have problems with owners dropping quality players on the waiver wire for IR players as the owner is looking to beef up their potential keeper options for the following year. With all the NFL injuries this season there is a good chance at least one of the teams in the postseason are scrambling to replace a key position (Ertz, Gronk etc). The easiest way to solve this problem is to freeze the waiver wire for the teams that didn’t make the postseason or increase the number of IR spots allowed per roster.
Fantasy Football Side Game
In my experience, one of the best ways to keep your league interested throughout the whole season is to create a side game that has everyone playing right until the end of the season. What I do usually do is create a prize for something as simple as the “most points scored from weeks 1 to 16” earn a percentage of the pot. This keeps everyone trying to win and setting their lineups even if they didn’t make the fantasy football playoffs.
New Loser Bowl Concept
Recently I came up with Loser Bowl consolation game that I like to share with you. But first, let me an example why I hate the traditional consolation bracket. The consolation bracket tries to solve a problem, but it doesn’t quite get it right.
The Problem: Teams throw weeks at the end of the season so that way they are automatically awarded the first overall pick in the draft the following year. This hurts the integrity of the league as you want everyone putting in their best possible lineup every week to ensure that someone doesn’t get a free win.
The Consolation Bracket Problem: The 6 teams that didn’t make the playoffs are usually grouped into tiers of “almost made it,” and “flaming dumpster fires.”A consolation bracket is just a beat down for those teams that were awful and could use a top overall pick the following year. I have seen owners have terrible seasons, get their butt handed to them in the consolation bracket, get the 6th overall pick in the following years draft, and then quit the league out of frustration.
My loser bowl is different. In my league this year I am creating a loser bowl where all six teams that didn’t make the postseason have to battle it out in a three week “most points for” contest. This is not a head to head bracket. This is all 6 teams trying to score the most points possible. The team that scores the most points combined for week 14, 15, 16 get the first overall pick next season.
But there’s a catch.
To make things fair, and allow all teams to compete on an even playing field, you have to score more points than your average score all year. Here’s an example. Let’s say “Steve” scored 1300 points all season. His average score per week was 100 points. In the Loser Bowl, he only registers points if he can score more than 100 points. “Fred” scored 1150 points all season, making his average score 88.5 points per week. His team wasn’t as good as Steve’s, and because of that, he gets a slight edge in the Loser Bowl as he only registers points if he can score more than 88.5 points.
Loser Bowl Example:
Steve (season average 100 points per game)
Week 14: 105 points
Week 15: 120 points
Week 16: 90 Points
Loser Bowl Final Score: 25 points.
You can add negative points if you want, but that’s just more work for the commish.
This concept gives the dumpster fire teams a fighting chance against the teams that just missed out on the post-season. My league loved the concept as it adds a three-week side game for those who didn’t make the playoffs. If you like the idea and want to send me your thoughts or have questions, reach out to me on twitter: @MikeRigz
Hope this quick post can inspire you fantasy football commissioner to come up with new rules and keep things fun in your league.
Good luck this week.
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Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 25 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had an outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike has three kids and lives on the West Coast. He’s happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.