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Commish Chat - Avoiding Flake Out Factor in Re-draft (Punishments) (1 Viewer)

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
I'm the commissioner of a long standing re-draft league.  In general, we've had pretty decent luck with eliminated teams continuing to do the minimum at the end of the season, playing for pride, submitting a full lineup, etc.  Even though these teams have probably checked out from competing for free agents in FAAB bidding, they're playing out the year.

Last season we had a couple of trades that were pretty questionable at the end of the regular season.   I don't think there was collusion.   They weren't so bad as to be overturned by our league's veto system.   But just kind of reaked of, what the heck, I'm eliminated, sure I'll do that trade my buddy asked for.   The other was more of a desperation move for a team that had 0.2% chance of making the playoffs.   A number of the playoff teams were pretty miffed by what these trades did to the competitive balance.

Biggest takeaway is that we've been too lenient with our league's trade deadline in the name of giving owners more flexibility to retool if they take injuries late in the season.   We probably need to move it up a week or two to just before week 12 or 13.

Second takeaway, I would really like to bolster our league's punishment for finishing dead last in the Toilet Bowl tournament and/or increase the incentive to keep fielding the best team possible. 

We do a pathetic $20 token to the Toilet Bowl Champion.   I can't imagine anyone is too motivated by that, but there's no appetite to give any decent payout to a team that couldn't finish in the top 8 of a 14-team field.    

We play up the "King Turd" title.    Put their name, likeness on display of the toilet at the next draft.   But nothing with any teeth.   We tried to give the champ the privilege of naming their team and providing their logo in the following season, but that definitely didn't take off.

So I'm looking for ideas on fun punishments / incentives you do to keep the non-playoff teams engaged in your leagues.   We do a live draft with nearly 100% of the owners accounted for, so we have that going for ourselves.

  • This is a complete re-draft, so not really a fan of the play the Toilet Bowl to win pick X in the next draft.
  • Spending a day at the Waffle House is kind of played out, also few remaining options for 24-hour restaurants in my area.   Pretty sure they're not agreeing to it anyway.
  • I like the idea of putting them through a "mini-combine", even though that might be a big undertaking.   Complete with 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, Wunderlich test.  Keep track of the historical results.
  • I think there might be some potential for high-score payouts in the final three weeks of the regular season, but I hate taking funds away from the championship payout to do it.
  • Half-time performance at the next draft, song of the champ's choosing.   They have to commit fully or pay the champ's entry fee (or maybe fund the high score payouts in the final 3 weeks).
  • Stand them up in front of garage door, water balloon barrage at the next draft every time they announce their pick.   One round for every loss.   Or just do the first round with one balloon for every loss.
Other things that you guys do in your leagues?

 

Shrek

Having a great season
For 24 years, we have allowed the winner of the league championship to rename the loser of the Toilet Bowl for the next year. About 10 years ago we updated that to also allow them to change that team's avatar. If the loser of the Toilet Bowl rage quits over the name change, we change the name of the Toilet Bowl trophy to that owner's name too. 

 

wlwiles

Footballguy
Same issues in the 12-team redraft league I commish.  So we implemented a new rule 3 years ago.  Winner of the toilet bowl gets their $50 buy-in back, paid directly from the person that finishes in last place.  So last place ends up costing 2x buy-in, and it's a real fight for the toilet bowl to get your buy-in back.  

And yes, don't have your trade deadline too late either.  

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Same issues in the 12-team redraft league I commish.  So we implemented a new rule 3 years ago.  Winner of the toilet bowl gets their $50 buy-in back, paid directly from the person that finishes in last place.  So last place ends up costing 2x buy-in, and it's a real fight for the toilet bowl to get your buy-in back.  


I like this one.   I think the key is having a league that's established enough that if the last place team flakes, the joy of being able to hold that $50 over their head is worth almost as much as the $50.  Most of our people know each other pretty well, but there are few where that wouldn't be the case.   

I would like to be able to pull this off.   The Toilet Bowl payout is technically no longer guaranteed, but assuming the guy doesn't punk out, $50 (which is also our full entry fee) would get people's attention (compared to the current $20 payout that's guaranteed).

Ideally, I would then reallocate the $20 Toilet Bowl prize together to either A) bump the 3rd Place payout up to  $50  -OR-  (B) scrap the 3rd Place Game and do a 15-15-20 payout for the high score in the last three regular season weeks.

I know a lot of people insist on a 3rd place game, but that payout does nothing for the competitive balance of a league.   I would always prefer to just walk away from my team at that point than to bother scrapping for $30 in a league that I can no longer win.   If it's bumped to $50, it's more of a prize.    I suppose you could have the Toilet Bowl Champ play the 3rd place team for the $50 receivable and still do the high score payout.

 

Skipdog77

Footballguy
I'm the commissioner of a long standing re-draft league.  In general, we've had pretty decent luck with eliminated teams continuing to do the minimum at the end of the season, playing for pride, submitting a full lineup, etc.  Even though these teams have probably checked out from competing for free agents in FAAB bidding, they're playing out the year.

Last season we had a couple of trades that were pretty questionable at the end of the regular season.   I don't think there was collusion.   They weren't so bad as to be overturned by our league's veto system.   But just kind of reaked of, what the heck, I'm eliminated, sure I'll do that trade my buddy asked for.   The other was more of a desperation move for a team that had 0.2% chance of making the playoffs.   A number of the playoff teams were pretty miffed by what these trades did to the competitive balance.

Biggest takeaway is that we've been too lenient with our league's trade deadline in the name of giving owners more flexibility to retool if they take injuries late in the season.   We probably need to move it up a week or two to just before week 12 or 13.

Second takeaway, I would really like to bolster our league's punishment for finishing dead last in the Toilet Bowl tournament and/or increase the incentive to keep fielding the best team possible. 

We do a pathetic $20 token to the Toilet Bowl Champion.   I can't imagine anyone is too motivated by that, but there's no appetite to give any decent payout to a team that couldn't finish in the top 8 of a 14-team field.    

We play up the "King Turd" title.    Put their name, likeness on display of the toilet at the next draft.   But nothing with any teeth.   We tried to give the champ the privilege of naming their team and providing their logo in the following season, but that definitely didn't take off.

So I'm looking for ideas on fun punishments / incentives you do to keep the non-playoff teams engaged in your leagues.   We do a live draft with nearly 100% of the owners accounted for, so we have that going for ourselves.

  • This is a complete re-draft, so not really a fan of the play the Toilet Bowl to win pick X in the next draft.
  • Spending a day at the Waffle House is kind of played out, also few remaining options for 24-hour restaurants in my area.   Pretty sure they're not agreeing to it anyway.
  • I like the idea of putting them through a "mini-combine", even though that might be a big undertaking.   Complete with 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, Wunderlich test.  Keep track of the historical results.
  • I think there might be some potential for high-score payouts in the final three weeks of the regular season, but I hate taking funds away from the championship payout to do it.
  • Half-time performance at the next draft, song of the champ's choosing.   They have to commit fully or pay the champ's entry fee (or maybe fund the high score payouts in the final 3 weeks).
  • Stand them up in front of garage door, water balloon barrage at the next draft every time they announce their pick.   One round for every loss.   Or just do the first round with one balloon for every loss.
Other things that you guys do in your leagues?
What is your current trade deadline week?  Week 12 or 13 still seems late, if you have 14 weeks of regular season.  My dynasty league has the trade deadline in Week 10.  

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
My IDP redraft league has some effective means of preventing burn out. 

For one, to your 1st concern, we don’t allow teams that are eliminated from contention to make deals like that. It’s not collusion, but if one team benefits and the other does not (e.g. they aren’t in the playoffs and can’t make the playoffs as a result of the trade), it’s worthy of a commish veto. Fortunately the league never tries theses shady deals.

As for keeping interest, we have several in-season prizes of $50 ea. single game high score, AWB (butt-whoopin bonus), and 10% of the pot to the season points total. Last year I had horrible luck, lost 6 straight down the stretch by running into a buzz saw every week. I won 10% of the $3500 pot. Single game high can happen “any given Sunday” as it were. Same with AWB. Because it’s a margin of victory, a 220 point win (our average) could face a 100 point team and win $50 for it. 

Finally, the loser-bowl. It pays out $75 to the winner. 8-teams, 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, etc in the 1st round. 2nd week is the highest score out of the remaining 4. 

And we’re a competitive group of people who hate losing. every year everyone wants to win, and if they aren’t winning they want to spoil your chances of winning. Last year a team in last place spent $30 on ads/drops ($5 per add) to make sure his starting lineup was full, and by winning 2 of his last 4 games, knocked 2 teams out of the playoffs. He hasn’t shut up about that on the group text all off-season and I love him for it. That’s the competitive spirit I want in my league.

a lot of it’s solved by having the right people in your league. But incentives do help. 

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
What is your current trade deadline week?  Week 12 or 13 still seems late, if you have 14 weeks of regular season.  My dynasty league has the trade deadline in Week 10.  


Just before the week 14 regular season finale, and yeah, I realize that's extremely late.   It used to be before week 12 on the old 13-week regular season.   I can't remember what clamoring there was to push it back.   It definitely made me uneasy at the time, but this was the first season in the five or six years since making the change that I regretted it.   

I'm thinking just before week 12 for the new one.  It's a 14-team league that allows 8 teams into the playoff field.   Generally, the last place team is still hanging by a thread by the close of week 11, but not necessarily.   Ultimately, our league has a pretty low bar to veto (4 votes), so although multiple people were grumbling they were also unwilling to put their name behind a veto vote.   From that standpoint, it was all kind of a big nothing and there's a part of me that thinks we should continue to give teams the flexibility to get trades done late.   Trades are such a central part of fantasy football and the free agent options are real bleak in a 14-team league.   I think pre-week 12 will be a decent happy medium.

 
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InDitkaWeTrust

Footballguy
Interesting topic. We don't have a trade deadline and haven't really had issues with players zoning out at the end of the season. That said, this league has been running in one form or another for 25 years and we've all known each other for decades.

All this to say, maybe the rules aren't the problem. Maybe it's the people having issues keeping up the bare minimum in the league?

 

Shrek

Having a great season
We also have had the following paragraph in our league constitution/bylaws for 24+ years:

For those that are unfamiliar with the term, collusion is defined as "a secret agreement between two or more parties for a fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful purpose." Collusion will not be tolerated in this league. Some examples might include player swapping (i.e. trading a player to a another team so that you can cover a bye week, with the express agreement that the player will be traded back to you at a later date), selling players for cash outside the league, purposely submitting illegal rosters or purposely losing to a team during your weekly matchup, or a host of other scenarios. In the past, I have seen instances where a team reaches the conclusion that they will not make the playoffs, so they think they will have a fire sale on their roster, selling off their star players to other teams for the best offer. I have also seen people purposely lose to another team so that the winning team will receive a higher playoff seed. In return, the losing team strikes a deal to get a percentage of the winning team’s playoff take. All of these types of actions reek of deceit, and are unworthy of our league. As commissioner, I expect everyone to conduct themselves and their teams with integrity, honesty, and the mutual respect that friends deserve. If collusion is suspected, it will likely be put to a league vote. Collusion could also result in expulsion from the league. So please, just don’t do it.

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Unfortunately, you can talk about collusion being forbidden and sticking it in the league by-laws, but when a questionable trade actually comes up there's so much gray area, and good luck finding the smoking gun if collusion has actually taken place.   I guess it really comes down to where does the rubber meet the road for getting a trade rejected or getting someone expelled.   For us, it's four owners that put their name behind a veto vote.  It has happened twice in the 16-year history of our league.  In both cases, I don't think anyone was convinced it was collusion.   It was more a case of the least experienced owner addition to the league making a trade that was SO bad that enough owners decided that we can't have an incompetent trade like that deciding who wins the championship  (wish I could remember the year and names involved, but it probably wouldn't mean anything at this point).

The first shaky trade that happened last year was the Kamara team trading him to the best team in the league for a really questionable return.   There were about three weeks left in the season and Kamara was just about to the point where he was ready to return, but was a still a big question mark for the upcoming week.   The team trading him was technically still alive in the playoff hunt, but couldn't have had more than a 1% chance, if that.  Needed to win out and have a half-dozen games break his way,  in addition to making up quite a few points in the tiebreak.   So their rationale was that they had to win that week and the package they got probably gave them  a better shot for that week.   After that, assuming Kamara's timeline was accurate, it was a really weak return.   The best team in the league receiving Kamara had every reason to believe he would be fully healthy for the playoffs.  First thoughts from most of us was that it was kind of a #### move to have your blockbuster trade potentially deciding a championship in a year that's clearly lost, even though you're technically not mathematically eliminated.   At the end of the day, we knew that there were no shenanigans going on with this team, and he was still alive for the playoffs, so many grumbled but nobody would put their name on a veto.  The guy who traded Kamara is a good friend of mine and typically looks for feedback and reassurances on any kind of a trade that he makes.  I told him I could see how it makes him a better team this week, but if it was me I definitely wouldn't give Team A the satisfaction of winning a championship with my stud RB for the pieces you got back.  I would take Kamara with me into to the Toilet Bowl and try to win there.  I could tell he was somewhat disappointed by my reaction.  He would later send me texts about "look how well Devonta Freeman is doing this week..." and I just gave him the cold shoulder.   Stud RB for a bunch of stuff in a season that's lost for all intents and purposes.  I might have been a bit harsh, but I hope he got the message so we don't see another trade like that coming from him.

The next week, one of the owners that was most upset by the original trade, a contender who has historically been the closest thing to a problem in our league, made a deal with his best friend, who is easily the dopiest owner of our 14 team field, was eliminated, and would win our award for the most likely to be taken in any given deal.  I don't remember the trade.  It wasn't egregious,, but a clear advantage to the playoff team, and really hard to say what the toilet team could have been gaining.   Again, there was muttering but nobody was willing to put their name on a veto.

Luckily, the two contenders that benefitted in these trades faltered in the playoffs.    But it was definitely a year that convinced me it's time to move up our trade deadline.    More incentive to win the Toilet Bowl and disincentive to finish dead last would also help.

 
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Gally

Footballguy
In my long time league (started in 1985) we don't do playoffs.  The team with the best record after 17 (now 18) weeks gets the title.  We pay down 5 places (14 team league).  In order to keep interest we have an elimination bonus of 1% each week for the last 4 weeks of the season.  The highest scoring team each week  that has been eliminated from a money spot gets 1%.   It requires there to be at least two teams eliminated from a money spot to become a valid elimination bonus week.  If this isn't the case that 1% gets spread evenly over the remaining 3 weeks as needed.  In addition if you don't believe you have a good enough shot at finishing in the money you can choose to eliminate yourself from the money spot and compete for the elimination bonus.  If you eliminate yourself and then win enough to jump in a money spot you forfeit your chance and it goes to the next guy in line.   Just for comparison the 5th place winner gets 5%.  

This seems to work rather well and every year you will get teams that eliminate themselves from a money spot to play for the bonus.  I think over the years that has only come back to bite a couple people.  

 

Gatorman

Supreme Elite Maximum Tier
One of our leagues has a per week high score bonus and that helps, and I love the buy back Idea (but some of my leagues are over a G so that won't fly).  

Basically the NFL has screwed the pooch with how late the bye weeks go.  It makes everything harder for Fantasy.

 

wlwiles

Footballguy
In my long time league (started in 1985) we don't do playoffs.  The team with the best record after 17 (now 18) weeks gets the title.  We pay down 5 places (14 team league).  In order to keep interest we have an elimination bonus of 1% each week for the last 4 weeks of the season.  The highest scoring team each week  that has been eliminated from a money spot gets 1%.   It requires there to be at least two teams eliminated from a money spot to become a valid elimination bonus week.  If this isn't the case that 1% gets spread evenly over the remaining 3 weeks as needed.  In addition if you don't believe you have a good enough shot at finishing in the money you can choose to eliminate yourself from the money spot and compete for the elimination bonus.  If you eliminate yourself and then win enough to jump in a money spot you forfeit your chance and it goes to the next guy in line.   Just for comparison the 5th place winner gets 5%.  

This seems to work rather well and every year you will get teams that eliminate themselves from a money spot to play for the bonus.  I think over the years that has only come back to bite a couple people.  
Maybe I'm not understanding correctly - but if there's no playoffs, wouldn't that eliminate the possibility of a 7-7 sneaking into a wild card spot and going on a run to the title, and make it so there's more than half the league that's mathematically eliminated earlier?  Not always, but in years where there's one team who runs out to a 13-1 record and everyone else is 3-4 games back heading into the "playoff weeks", that one team is basically a shoo-in to a title if it's strictly record based.  How many years have you seen where the champ is crowned 2+ weeks before the actual end of the season because they can't be caught?  

And how much is 1% really worth?  Even in a 12 team league where everyone throws in $200, winning the high score one week and getting 1% is only 24 bucks... If you've got a strong enough team that you think you can win the 1% high score a time or two, why would you forfeit a chance of at least 5%?  The most you can win is 4% if you win the high score every one of those 4 weeks...again, I feel like I'm not understanding how this league really works.  

 

Wheezer34

Footballguy
For our League, the team that comes in last place has to put a pink license plate frame on their car for the next year that says 'I Lost My Fantasy Football League".

 

Gally

Footballguy
Maybe I'm not understanding correctly - but if there's no playoffs, wouldn't that eliminate the possibility of a 7-7 sneaking into a wild card spot and going on a run to the title, and make it so there's more than half the league that's mathematically eliminated earlier?  Not always, but in years where there's one team who runs out to a 13-1 record and everyone else is 3-4 games back heading into the "playoff weeks", that one team is basically a shoo-in to a title if it's strictly record based.  How many years have you seen where the champ is crowned 2+ weeks before the actual end of the season because they can't be caught?  

And how much is 1% really worth?  Even in a 12 team league where everyone throws in $200, winning the high score one week and getting 1% is only 24 bucks... If you've got a strong enough team that you think you can win the 1% high score a time or two, why would you forfeit a chance of at least 5%?  The most you can win is 4% if you win the high score every one of those 4 weeks...again, I feel like I'm not understanding how this league really works.  
It's a fairly competitive league.  Not too often is there a run away team that has it clinched that far in advance.  We also have "position weeks" four times a year where 1v2; 3v4, etc.   So that usually helps keep things closer.  Those happen every 4 weeks throughout the season.  We also pay down 5 places so the guy finishing 2nd, 3rd, etc get a nice chunk so it's still worth battling to the end.  

The league fees are $260 plus it's $20 per free agent picked up throughout the season.  The 1% usually comes to about $35.  It's not a lot but it's better than nothing and gives teams a reason to pay attention which is all you are really trying to accomplish.  

People waive their chance at a money spot if they are multiple games out of a money spot where the best they can do is tie and hope to win the total points tie break.  Plus if there are 3 or 4 teams between you and the last money spot sometimes it's not likely that all those team lose enough and you win enough to leapfrog them and win the total points tie break.  

 

TVT 0 N S T A

Footballguy
We do an in-person draft with our Dynasty League and force the bottom 2 finishers to supply the venue, drinks and food.  

It's worked out quite nicely.  

 

InDitkaWeTrust

Footballguy
We do an in-person draft with our Dynasty League and force the bottom 2 finishers to supply the venue, drinks and food.  

It's worked out quite nicely.  
I really like that idea. I hate the idea of shaming the last place finisher. We've all been there at some point even if we were trying to compete. But supplying the food drinks and venue keeps some skin in the game without shaming. Well done!

 

Saint

Footballguy
Always a fun topic.  Our Nancy bowl (basically loser bracket) has a few incentives.  Large league at 16 teams:

  • Weekly high score payout ($20 bucks)
  • Draft rankings for next year are dependent on finish of prior year

    Similar to NFL, playoff teams are seeded in draft slots 9-16 with Championship winner drafting at 16.
  • Nancy bowl rankings are opposite in slots 1-8.  So Nancy Bowl winner gets the #1 draft slot in next year's draft

[*]Finally, the ultimate loser of the Nancy Bowl buys a bottle of booze or case of beer (depends on what the Champion wants) that gets delivered to the winner of next year's draft.  Cap of $40 bottle/case.

 

TheWinz

Footballguy
This is really what it boils down to. 
Yup, it's the people who make the league; not the rules.  I am in a 12-team redraft league that's about 8 years old.  We just don't invite people back who make shady deals or give up early.  We still have 9 owners from the start, and 2 more that joined in year 2.  The last owner has been with us just 1 year, but I am sure we will invite him back.

It's easier to boot people than make rules, and if you have to make rules, you have the wrong people.

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
The league with the Pooh bear date is doing things right. 

Have any commissioners ever booted anyone simply for being a "dead fish" owner?   You probably know the type.  Not doing anything underhanded, but just not adding anything to the league other than filler (for us, this means a deeper 14-team league with more money to the pot).   

I have one owner in my league that can't be engaged in any serious form of trade talks.   A number of owners have complained about him having ridiculous valuations of his own players.   Consequently, this owner hasn't made a trade for years despite this being a league where a lot of trades get done.   Normally I would say there is absolutely nothing that says you have to trade, so I would have no problem if it was just that.   However, he's historically one of the weaker teams.   Doesn't really participate in FAAB waivers.   Just kind of a bump on the log that makes you wonder why he's donating the entry fee.   Ultimately, the guy shows up to the live draft every year and fills out complete lineups until the end of the season even when he's eliminated, so for me, that's enough that I'm not going to kick anyone out.   I will say that if we had a better option that was more in line with the hardcore fantasy junkie culture of the rest of the league, I have to admit that I would be tempted.   I should add that he's not really buddies with anyone in the league.   He was a coworker of one of our core people, but they're not close even though a few us have reached out to try to get him to hang out aside from just showing up to the draft every August.   He doesn't come across as shy.   It's a strange situation.    I don't know what he's getting out of it.

Another owner is friends with most of the league since HS, so we're stuck with him for as long as he keeps showing.   This is another case of a very casual owner that doesn't get involved in waivers.   He is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to trades, as he's a complete pushover in all trade negotiations.   It feels like a constant annual race amongst the most active teams to be the first to engage him in trade talks and pry away his best assets at $.75 to $.80 on the dollar.   It's actually much more harmful to the competitive balance of the league than the guy that doesn't trade at all.         

It probably sounds like a 14-team league that would have been better off as 12 teams, but there are actually a couple of problem owners beyond that.  The other 9 or 10 are everything you could ever want.   I'm very jealous of any 12 or 14 team leagues that manage to have great participation and competition from top to bottom, though I think those leagues are definitely the exception.

 

Gally

Footballguy
    It probably sounds like a 14-team league that would have been better off as 12 teams, but there are actually a couple of problem owners beyond that.  The other 9 or 10 are everything you could ever want.   I'm very jealous of any 12 or 14 team leagues that manage to have great participation and competition from top to bottom, though I think those leagues are definitely the exception.
I think every league has a couple of owners that aren't ideal.  Some are worse than others.  Some are just dead money.  Some are annoying.  I think you will always have a couple owners just in it for the draft or comradery and the FF is secondary.  It takes all kinds for sure. 

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
I think every league has a couple of owners that aren't ideal.  Some are worse than others.  Some are just dead money.  Some are annoying.  I think you will always have a couple owners just in it for the draft or comradery and the FF is secondary.  It takes all kinds for sure. 


Yep, for me I have to stay realistic on what a $50 league entry is going to look like.   There are almost always going to be casual players at the bottom.   As long as they show the league enough respect to fill out a lineup, there's not much to complain about.  Only thing you can do is play in a higher stakes league where the amount of time you want to put into it can be justified by the payout.    

 

TheWinz

Footballguy
Yep, for me I have to stay realistic on what a $50 league entry is going to look like.   There are almost always going to be casual players at the bottom.   As long as they show the league enough respect to fill out a lineup, there's not much to complain about.  Only thing you can do is play in a higher stakes league where the amount of time you want to put into it can be justified by the payout.    
Yes, the perfect league has all owners with an equal amount of gung-ho"ness".  In 2018 I played in a league that was way too laid back for me.  I built a killer team, and after week 6, CLE traded Carlos Hyde, leaving Chubb as the starter.  I quickly snapped up Chubb off waivers (short bench league).  The next day an owner was mad that I sniped before him.  I told him he had just as good a chance as me to hear the news and he said, "well, I have a life outside FF, unlike you".  You are in the wrong league when you get accused of caring too much.

The funny part of the story is it was actually my wife who told me Hyde got traded, because she was on my tablet playing solitaire.  My wife says, "Hey, you just got an e-mail.  Some guy named Hyde went to Jacksonville."  Two seconds later, I was on Yahoo claiming Chubb.

 

wlwiles

Footballguy
sushinsky4tsar said:
The league with the Pooh bear date is doing things right. 

Have any commissioners ever booted anyone simply for being a "dead fish" owner?   You probably know the type.  Not doing anything underhanded, but just not adding anything to the league other than filler (for us, this means a deeper 14-team league with more money to the pot).   

I have one owner in my league that can't be engaged in any serious form of trade talks.   A number of owners have complained about him having ridiculous valuations of his own players.   Consequently, this owner hasn't made a trade for years despite this being a league where a lot of trades get done.   Normally I would say there is absolutely nothing that says you have to trade, so I would have no problem if it was just that.   However, he's historically one of the weaker teams.   Doesn't really participate in FAAB waivers.   Just kind of a bump on the log that makes you wonder why he's donating the entry fee.   Ultimately, the guy shows up to the live draft every year and fills out complete lineups until the end of the season even when he's eliminated, so for me, that's enough that I'm not going to kick anyone out.   I will say that if we had a better option that was more in line with the hardcore fantasy junkie culture of the rest of the league, I have to admit that I would be tempted.   I should add that he's not really buddies with anyone in the league.   He was a coworker of one of our core people, but they're not close even though a few us have reached out to try to get him to hang out aside from just showing up to the draft every August.   He doesn't come across as shy.   It's a strange situation.    I don't know what he's getting out of it.
I started and commish a 12 team redraft league that has one owner like this, I'll call him Bobby.  We had 11 people (all coworkers at the time) who wanted to play so we scrounged up a 12th from elsewhere in the office.  Nobody really knew Bobby, he was in a different department than the rest of us, but he seemed to know players and wanted to play fantasy for the first time so we invited him in.  I think he's maybe made 2 trades in 10 years. Always shows up to the draft (used to be live, now it's online as we all live elsewhere), always sets his lineup correctly, is active enough on waivers to cover his injuries and fill byes but rarely ever jumps into the weekly shiny toy frenzy.  Misses out on a lot because he'll sit on his waiver priority or FAAB for far too long, waiting for the white whale I guess.  We keep the league messageboard going throughout the year, trash talking each other, offering trades/players, just general chatter because 8 out of the 12 of us now work/live elsewhere and we never see each other.  Bobby rarely ever chimes into the conversation, only really ever if he's directly called out or asked a question.  Bobby's usually always in the battle for a wild card playoff spot though, sometimes missing the playoffs but finished as high as 4th one year iirc.  I remember thinking for years exactly what you said - "What the heck is he really getting out of being in this league?"

About 3 years ago in November I got an email out of the blue from Bobby's dad.  Turns out Bobby had been in the hospital for almost two weeks, his appendix had ruptured and while repairing that doctors found some other hidden problem so he was getting treatment for that too.  He'd woken up from surgery on a Saturday evening and begged his dad - bring me my phone Pop because I gotta set my lineup and check player availabilities.  His dad basically thanked me for inviting him into this league, apparently the guy doesn't have much in the way of friends, but had talked for years to his dad about our league, the comradery in it, how he enjoyed reading the league chat and seeing the trash talk.  He admitted that even though he hadn't ever told us this, Bobby had sort of used our league as a way of teaching football to his dad, and they had been co-running his team together for the last several seasons.  He said it was a fond thing they'd developed and gave them something to focus on during Bobby's recovery, discussing waiver pickups and who they thought would win each matchup that weekend amongst the rest of our leaguemates. He even said that the year prior they had joined a public Yahoo baseball league together. 

That was when I realized that you never really know what someone else has going on in their life.  I don't know if his dad reached out on his own or if Bobby knows he did it or asked him to.  I'd had thoughts about approaching Bobby before and asking him some version of "are you sure you really want to be in this league" but I'm so glad I never did.  

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
^^^ Very good post.   Thanks for sharing.  I have heard tales about owners like this, and have had experiences along these lines in work and school settings.   Glad you made the right call as commish and never pulled the trigger on a replacement.   Stories like these are definitely something to consider when interacting with someone that might be more introverted or even coming from a somewhat sheltered background.

Our "Bobby" actually handles himself just fine at the draft.   Talks plenty of trash.   He has even had a year or two that has made me think that he "won" the draft.   The problem is the management of his team from September-January.   But you're right, you never know what people are dealing with.   Even if they're doing the minimum, the minimum can still be a substantial amount of effort in fantasy, and you can't ignore that.   For me, the fact that our Bobby has willingly set aside a weekend afternoon for the better part of a decade to participate in a live draft is enough that I will never initiate a change.  

After a number of years of playing, these teams take on the personality of their owner and can actually add to the fabric of the league as the team shrouded in mystery, whose players you will never own. 

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
The question of motivation / burnout always comes up for the bottom feeders of the league, but I also think that it can apply to a lot of leagues that follow the traditional 6-team playoff field format.   If you're in the closing weeks and you're in the playoff but won't be able to wrestle away a bye week, what does it really matter if you finish 3rd or 6th?   Theoretically, you're getting a better path to the championship as the 3-seed if you win the opening round, but it really seems to be a coin flip in practice.

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
 If you're in the closing weeks and you're in the playoff but won't be able to wrestle away a bye week, what does it really matter if you finish 3rd or 6th?   
I stole this idea a long time ago on another forum and have shared it here in the past and others use it as well.

We have a round-robin tournament of the NON-playoff teams with the winner gets a 'bonus' draft pick at the end of the 1st round.  I think we also award cash prizes so top-scorer can win a portion of their entry fee so everyone tries up to the final game.

That helps to keep everyone interested to the end.

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
We have a round-robin tournament of the NON-playoff teams with the winner gets a 'bonus' draft pick at the end of the 1st round.  I think we also award cash prizes so top-scorer can win a portion of their entry fee so everyone tries up to the final game.


Wow, that's extremely aggressive, but this would definitely solve all questions of motivation.    That is quite a gift to bestow upon the Toilet Bowl champ.  Maybe it's a non-issue, but if that league ever needed to find a replacement owner I can't imagine prospective owners being okay with some guy getting a bonus 1.12 1/2 based on what happened in last season's Toilet Bowl.

I think I would like this better if it was something like a bonus 6th rounder, but obviously there are trade-offs depending on where you put it.  

 

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