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Commish Chat - Avoiding tanking in Dynasty Leagues (1 Viewer)

Keith R

The Don
Probably a common problem; teams eliminated from playoff contention usually have a higher incentive to lose than to win at the end of the year, as losing would improve their draft position.

So, first of all, should tanking be discouraged?  Seems like a no-brainer to me but would listen to any advocates for tanking.

Then, assuming tanking should be discouraged, what are thoughts as to the following method of determining draft order?

C. ROOKIE DRAFTS 

2. DRAFT ORDER - The defending champion will draft last.  The other three playoff teams will draft 9th, 10th & 11th, in order of worst record to best.  The remaining eight teams will have a 1000-sided dice roll to determine spots 1-8.  The team that finished 12th will roll 8 dice, the team that finished 11th will roll 7, and so on.  Other than the 5th place team, any team that lost their final regular season game will lose one of their dice to roll.  Any team that won their final regular season game will gain an additional dice roll.  High roll drafts 1st, 2nd highest 2nd and so on. 

Is this better than a straight worst-to-first?  Anything you would tweak or change?  TIA

 

Gally

Footballguy
The key is to not make losing a game provide an advantage in any way.  I wouldn't use a dice roll situation.  That has nothing really to do with team and still promotes losing as you will get more dice to roll. 

Using potential points is a good way to make losing a game irrelevant.  Even if they play a marginal lineup their potential points will stay higher so getting that loss does nothing form them.

The only flaw I have found with this is that a team can minimize their bench so their "best ball" lineup is at a disadvantage.  In leagues that don't keep all players year to year this provides a bit of a chance to play the system.  Although, I am still not sure that is a benefit overall in the long run.  

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Regarding "tanking", I have no problem with teams that aren't in contention selling current assets for futures, which probably results in them being a league punching bag depending on how far they go.   When the trade deadline should be in the season is debatable, but buying and selling before the deadline is a a healthy part of dynasty.   

However, when that same team intentionally loses by not starting obvious best options from their diminished roster, effectively throwing games to get the L, I'm assuming this is what we're talking about when we say "tanking" and what we're trying to curtail.

Most of my league doesn't agree, but I personally favor some form of a weighted lottery to ensure that nothing is guaranteed by finishing dead last.   Yeah, it's tough when the actual worst team performing earnestly doesn't get the #1, but I think it's worth it if it takes the sure thing off the table.   There's no fanbase or season ticket holders for the tanking team to answer to in dynasty.   If the owner has no shame and the commish isn't going to toss him from the league, then I can cuss the guy out under my breath, but it's hard to call him stupid if he's missing the playoffs either way.

As far as a weighted lottery goes, it doesn't sound like a bad format.   I get what you're going for on the last week of the regular season, but with only 4 of 12 teams qualifying, I think it ignores the fact that much more of the tail end of the season is ripe for tanking than just the last week.

 

wgoldsph

Footballguy
Maybe have a bottom 6 playoffs, winner gets 1.01 and so on. Tanking teams would constantly be caught drafting around the 5-6 spot, IMO. 
This is what I'm trying to imminent in my league for this season.  Not only does it deter tanking, but it keeps owners engaged all year.

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
My preferred form of a weighted lottery for 6 of 12 teams that don't qualify for the playoffs:

  • One "lotto" ball for each regular season win -- you don't want your ball to come up (first ball that comes up is moved to the 6-spot)
  • Every lotto team has a minimum of 2 balls -- the 2-12 team has the same number of balls as 0-14.   If you can't figure out 2 wins, you're not trying hard enough.
  • You can fall no more than 3 spots from where you finished in the regular season.   So if the worst team only has 3 balls (3-11) and one of them is the first to be pulled, you would write them in at the #4 spot (instead of #6).   The downside to this is that it does guarantee the worst team in the league a top-4 pick if it's a 4-player draft.  
  • Optional:  Add a ball to each lotto team for each zero in their lineup for a player that didn't play due to bye or an injury that wasn't a late scratch.   This can be an extremely slippery slope, so this part might be more trouble than it's worth.
 

Gally

Footballguy
Maybe have a bottom 6 playoffs, winner gets 1.01 and so on. Tanking teams would constantly be caught drafting around the 5-6 spot, IMO. 


This is what I'm trying to imminent in my league for this season.  Not only does it deter tanking, but it keeps owners engaged all year.
As was pointed out by @sushinsky4tsar above, there are different definitions of tanking.  I think most in the dynasty community don't see an issue with trading away current assets for future assets in an effort to get better through the draft by having more picks while moving aging stars.   I think most have an issue with lineup shenanigans where someone plays a perceived lesser lineup in order to lose a given matchup.   I think this is where most take issue with tanking in this manner.   

Having a playoff for the top pick can have issues as well as that can reward good teams that have bad schedule luck early and now luck into the playing for the top pick with a good team that lost a few games.  Now they get the top prize and get even better when the worst team continues to flail because they get hurt in the draft process.  

I think in general the idea of the worst team getting the first pick is somewhat universally agreed upon.  We want teams to stay competitive otherwise they end up leaving because it's not worth it.  That is why the draft process is the worst getting first pick.

Any other lottery method still encourages losing because the lower the team is in the standings the more "chances" they have at top pick.  This still can lead to a loss being an advantage.  I believe that going by potential points alleviates this advantage to losing so now there is no reason a team would put out an inferior lineup to try and lose.  There just wouldn't be an advantage to doing so.  In addition, the team that ends up with the lowest potential points should be a good representation of the worst team in the league.  After all, if you score less points then everyone else it stands to reason you have the worst team.  That team should get the first pick.

 

Keith R

The Don
As far as a weighted lottery goes, it doesn't sound like a bad format.   I get what you're going for on the last week of the regular season, but with only 4 of 12 teams qualifying, I think it ignores the fact that much more of the tail end of the season is ripe for tanking than just the last week.
Yeah, though it would be difficult and time-consuming for me to implement the punishment/reward roll for more than the final week, not to mention risking overcorrection.

 

Gally

Footballguy
My preferred form of a weighted lottery for 6 of 12 teams that don't qualify for the playoffs:

  • One "lotto" ball for each regular season win -- you don't want your ball to come up (first ball that comes up is moved to the 6-spot)
  • Every lotto team has a minimum of 2 balls -- the 2-12 team has the same number of balls as 0-14.   If you can't figure out 2 wins, you're not trying hard enough.
  • You can fall no more than 3 spots from where you finished in the regular season.   So if the worst team only has 3 balls (3-11) and one of them is the first to be pulled, you would write them in at the #4 spot (instead of #6).   The downside to this is that it does guarantee the worst team in the league a top-4 pick if it's a 4-player draft.  
  • Optional:  Add a ball to each lotto team for each zero in their lineup for a player that didn't play due to bye or an injury that wasn't a late scratch.   This can be an extremely slippery slope, so this part might be more trouble than it's worth.
This still rewards losing.  I really think to minimize tanking (losing due to benching good players) is to take away a benefit for losing a game.  

 

Gally

Footballguy
Yeah, though it would be difficult and time-consuming for me to implement the punishment/reward roll for more than the final week, not to mention risking overcorrection.
Take away any reward for losing a game.  I think that is the only way.  

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Call me a sadist, but I also think this is a situation where the best leagues dole out a really good punishment for the worst team(s) in the league.   Aside from being fun, it can actually be a practical way to ensure a more competitive league if done right.    You don't need to worry about tanking if every team has a very compelling reason not to finish dead last  (or even second to last or third to last).

 

Keith R

The Don
I believe that going by potential points alleviates this advantage to losing so now there is no reason a team would put out an inferior lineup to try and lose.  There just wouldn't be an advantage to doing so.  In addition, the team that ends up with the lowest potential points should be a good representation of the worst team in the league.  After all, if you score less points then everyone else it stands to reason you have the worst team.  That team should get the first pick.
So if I understand you right, you count up "optimum/best ball-style" for each team all season long, and the least drafts 1st, etc?

It would make sense that a team would be less likely to drop good players just to tank than to try to lose games once out of contention.

Have you actually used this method?  How has it worked out?  Do your league mates like it as well?  Is it time consuming to calculate the "optimum" number of points for each team all year long?.  And is it problematic when different teams roster different numbers of players (e.g.; Team A has 3 QBs, Team B has 5, Team C had 6 in Week 1 but then dropped two before Week 2)?

TIA

 

phandango

Footballguy
The key is to not make losing a game provide an advantage in any way.  I wouldn't use a dice roll situation.  That has nothing really to do with team and still promotes losing as you will get more dice to roll. 

Using potential points is a good way to make losing a game irrelevant.  Even if they play a marginal lineup their potential points will stay higher so getting that loss does nothing form them.

The only flaw I have found with this is that a team can minimize their bench so their "best ball" lineup is at a disadvantage.  In leagues that don't keep all players year to year this provides a bit of a chance to play the system.  Although, I am still not sure that is a benefit overall in the long run.  


Scott Fish runs hundreds of dynasty leagues on MFL, and those leagues use potential points to set up draft order for non-playoff teams. Like it was pointed out above, if an owner stops setting a lineup, it won't matter. The potential points are the same.

Maybe have a bottom 6 playoffs, winner gets 1.01 and so on. Tanking teams would constantly be caught drafting around the 5-6 spot, IMO. 


The head-to-head FFPC dynasty leagues do this. The two worst teams get a bye, so if neither team wins the non-playoff tournament, then the latest either would pick would be 1.04. (Another ant-tanking rule is if you try to start a player who's hurt or on bye late in the season, the system will replace that player automatically with someone from your bench.) In order to get the 1.01 pick, you have to win the non-playoff tourney. So if you do an expert job of tanking without breaking any rules, there's a good chance your team won't be good enough to still win the 1.01. It does a decent job of rewarding the teams that were maybe playoff contenders but just ran into a ton of bad luck. 

 

Keith R

The Don
Call me a sadist, but I also think this is a situation where the best leagues dole out a really good punishment for the worst team(s) in the league.   Aside from being fun, it can actually be a practical way to ensure a more competitive league if done right.    You don't need to worry about tanking if every team has a very compelling reason not to finish dead last  (or even second to last or third to last).


I love this for live leagues - harder to do online 

 

Gally

Footballguy
So if I understand you right, you count up "optimum/best ball-style" for each team all season long, and the least drafts 1st, etc?

It would make sense that a team would be less likely to drop good players just to tank than to try to lose games once out of contention.

Have you actually used this method?  How has it worked out?  Do your league mates like it as well?  Is it time consuming to calculate the "optimum" number of points for each team all year long?.  And is it problematic when different teams roster different numbers of players (e.g.; Team A has 3 QBs, Team B has 5, Team C had 6 in Week 1 but then dropped two before Week 2)?

TIA
MFL does this automatically so we don't have to keep track of it.  I would guess other site platforms would do this as well.  

I have read other leagues that have done it and have other leaguemates who have leagues that do this and they have said it works really well.  I am trying to get it instituted for this year in my dynasty league for the first time.

Yes, you are correct that the team with the least Potential Points for the entire year would get first pick (provided they weren't in the playoffs) and it would go back from there.  

 

Gally

Footballguy
The head-to-head FFPC dynasty leagues do this. The two worst teams get a bye, so if neither team wins the non-playoff tournament, then the latest either would pick would be 1.04. (Another ant-tanking rule is if you try to start a player who's hurt or on bye late in the season, the system will replace that player automatically with someone from your bench.) In order to get the 1.01 pick, you have to win the non-playoff tourney. So if you do an expert job of tanking without breaking any rules, there's a good chance your team won't be good enough to still win the 1.01. It does a decent job of rewarding the teams that were maybe playoff contenders but just ran into a ton of bad luck. 
And should those teams get that good of a pick?  To make things even I think this hurts the overall competitiveness of the league.  The worst team should get the first pick (in a perfect world) to try and maintain competitive balance.  

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
This still rewards losing.  I really think to minimize tanking (losing due to benching good players) is to take away a benefit for losing a game.  
Sure, it's all a trade-off between how much you want to ensure that the worst W-L team in your league gets the top pick.   How much tolerance do you have for a team that's earnestly the worst in your league to not get the top pick that would make them more competitive?    How far should they be allowed to fall?   How much tolerance should we have for the 7th best team that just missed the playoffs getting lucky with the 1.1?

There are people in my league that hate any notion that the worst W-L doesn't get the 1.1.   My comeback has been, how can we say that's the worst team if they've decided to plug crap lineups by week 5 of a season they've deemed lost.   Is a 3-11 team that decided to tank at the midway mark more deserving of the top pick than the 4-10 team that fielded an honest and complete lineup all season?   People hate bringing the luck of a lottery into it.   It can definitely be brutal, but I will take  lady luck any day over some of the crap lineups that have been rolled out in my league. 

In my experience, people do have a level of shame.  They don't want to be trash talked by the entire league.   It's the fully guaranteed 1.1 that creates the temptation.   You turn 100% 1.1 to 35% and it fixes a lot of the bad behavior.   No sense getting attacked for starting a crap lineup.   I will just play to win and take my chances.

 

phandango

Footballguy
And should those teams get that good of a pick?  To make things even I think this hurts the overall competitiveness of the league.  The worst team should get the first pick (in a perfect world) to try and maintain competitive balance.  


Well, in the case of FFPC leagues, I don't think it matters that much. The relatively short benches already encourage parity. Also, in my experience, the worst teams are that way because they're almost always run poorly year after year. 

The OP may not want to go this route anyway, but I was merely pointing out that this playoff-style bracket does exist in practice. 

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Potential Points has some merit, but it's much better in concept than in practice.   If you're just taking the potential points off of MFL, it is FAR from a bulletproof means to prevent tanking, though it still might be better than slotting teams in from reverse W-L order. 

At minimum, I think you would want to determine weekly minimum values at each position, which would require a dedicated commish to track and publish the scoring adjustments.   Even then, if it's week 8 and the season is lost and it looks like you have a shot at the 1.1 based on the potential points standings, there are still things that you can do to your roster to position it for unfavorable potential points scoring.   I actually don't like that it probably does require a slightly more savvy owner to game the system than the guy that's simply fielding a losing lineup.    That guy at least get blasted in my league's group text for their crap lineup.    The guy depressing his potential points is more likely to operate under the league's radar with impunity.  Every one in the league understands wins and losses.   "Potential points" is formulaic math nerdery stuff for a certain segment of my league.   These are the people who would get worked up over a team intentionally losing a game, but don't see the "trick" for diminished potential points production.     

 

Gally

Footballguy
Sure, it's all a trade-off between how much you want to ensure that the worst W-L team in your league gets the top pick.   How much tolerance do you have for a team that's earnestly the worst in your league to not get the top pick that would make them more competitive?    How far should they be allowed to fall?   How much tolerance should we have for the 7th best team that just missed the playoffs getting lucky with the 1.1?

There are people in my league that hate any notion that the worst W-L doesn't get the 1.1.   My comeback has been, how can we say that's the worst team if they've decided to plug crap lineups by week 5 of a season they've deemed lost.   Is a 3-11 team that decided to tank at the midway mark more deserving of the top pick than the 4-10 team that fielded an honest and complete lineup all season?   People hate bringing the luck of a lottery into it.   It can definitely be brutal, but I will take  lady luck any day over some of the crap lineups that have been rolled out in my league. 

In my experience, people do have a level of shame.  They don't want to be trash talked by the entire league.   It's the fully guaranteed 1.1 that creates the temptation.   You turn 100% 1.1 to 35% and it fixes a lot of the bad behavior.   No sense getting attacked for starting a crap lineup.   I will just play to win and take my chances.
That's why potential points is a better metric for "worst" team over win-loss.  There is a huge component of win-loss associated with luck.  You can lose every week while scoring the 2nd most points each week.  Does that make you the worst team?  I don't think so.  However the team that scores the least amount of points is a much better representation of worst team.  I don't really want the worst record to get the first pick.  I want the worst team which is better represented by the least (potential) points scored.

 

heckmanm

Footballguy
That's why potential points is a better metric for "worst" team over win-loss.  There is a huge component of win-loss associated with luck.  You can lose every week while scoring the 2nd most points each week.  Does that make you the worst team?  I don't think so.  However the team that scores the least amount of points is a much better representation of worst team.  I don't really want the worst record to get the first pick.  I want the worst team which is better represented by the least (potential) points scored.
I'm in a deep keeper contract league (keep 7 vets and up to 4 rookie/2nd-year guys) and we've used potential points for many years with no complaints.  I think the more players you can bring back (obviously all or nearly all in a dynasty), the less incentive there is to dump good players to try and improve draft standing.

We also do a heavily weighted lottery for the 8 teams that miss the playoffs (worst team gets 64, then 49, 36, 25, etc. down to 1) and limit how far below your seeded spot you can fall - worst team can draft no lower than 4th.

 

Gally

Footballguy
Potential Points has some merit, but it's much better in concept than in practice.   If you're just taking the potential points off of MFL, it is FAR from a bulletproof means to prevent tanking, though it still might be better than slotting teams in from reverse W-L order. 

At minimum, I think you would want to determine weekly minimum values at each position, which would require a dedicated commish to track and publish the scoring adjustments.   Even then, if it's week 8 and the season is lost and it looks like you have a shot at the 1.1 based on the potential points standings, there are still things that you can do to your roster to position it for unfavorable potential points scoring.   I actually don't like that it probably does require a slightly more savvy owner to game the system than the guy that's simply fielding a losing lineup.    That guy at least get blasted in my league's group text for their crap lineup.    The guy depressing his potential points is more likely to operate under the league's radar with impunity.  Every one in the league understands wins and losses.   "Potential points" is formulaic math nerdery stuff for a certain segment of my league.   These are the people who would get worked up over a team intentionally losing a game, but don't see the "trick" for diminished potential points production.     
How do you game potential points?  All that is is your best ball lineup for your starting requirements.  It has nothing to do with a formula.  It just takes your highest scoring player at each position that makes up a starting lineup.  Nothing more to it.

How do you "tank" that other than cutting everyone off your team?

 

heckmanm

Footballguy
I'm in a deep keeper contract league (keep 7 vets and up to 4 rookie/2nd-year guys) and we've used potential points for many years with no complaints.  I think the more players you can bring back (obviously all or nearly all in a dynasty), the less incentive there is to dump good players to try and improve draft standing.

We also do a heavily weighted lottery for the 8 teams that miss the playoffs (worst team gets 64, then 49, 36, 25, etc. down to 1) and limit how far below your seeded spot you can fall - worst team can draft no lower than 4th.
Oh and our Toilet Bowl winner gets elevated to the first pick in the 2nd round. So there's incentive to keep some scoring punch for that.

 

Gally

Footballguy
I'm in a deep keeper contract league (keep 7 vets and up to 4 rookie/2nd-year guys) and we've used potential points for many years with no complaints.  I think the more players you can bring back (obviously all or nearly all in a dynasty), the less incentive there is to dump good players to try and improve draft standing.

We also do a heavily weighted lottery for the 8 teams that miss the playoffs (worst team gets 64, then 49, 36, 25, etc. down to 1) and limit how far below your seeded spot you can fall - worst team can draft no lower than 4th.
By "worst" do you mean lowest potential points?  

 

Mister CIA

Footballguy
It's all about the incentives.

For money leagues, bump up league fees 25٪ and disburse the additional prize money throughout the season.

12‐team, $100 league example:  $300 extra prize money.

Pay $75 to combined high score for weeks 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14. There are countless ways to vary the payouts.

This would not only motivate bottom-tier teams, but it would also reward the better teams (over time).

 

Gally

Footballguy
It's all about the incentives.

For money leagues, bump up league fees 25٪ and disburse the additional prize money throughout the season.

12‐team, $100 league example:  $300 extra prize money.

Pay $75 to combined high score for weeks 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14. There are countless ways to vary the payouts.

This would not only motivate bottom-tier teams, but it would also reward the better teams (over time).
You have to make the incentive higher than the incentive of first pick in a rookie draft.  That is different for everyone.

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Gally said:
That's why potential points is a better metric for "worst" team over win-loss.  There is a huge component of win-loss associated with luck.  You can lose every week while scoring the 2nd most points each week.  Does that make you the worst team?  I don't think so.  However the team that scores the least amount of points is a much better representation of worst team.  I don't really want the worst record to get the first pick.  I want the worst team which is better represented by the least (potential) points scored.


If the options are traditional reverse W-L standings -vs- Potential Points, there's a good case for potential points.    There's definitely luck when it comes to potential points / best ball lineups, similar to W-L.   But yeah, if teams aren't gaming the system to keep potential points down, it's a pretty fair metric for team "power rankings".   

How do you "game" potential points?   Plenty of ways.   How effective the tactics will work will depend on roster rules and the number of "keepers" is definitely going to be a big factor.   However, if it's a a 1QB league, the team that has no starting QB that they're in love with (or simply isn't "must keep") can choose not to field the position and they will likely coast to a small potential points score compared to any other bad team that has a QB that's worth rostering.   Same can be done at the K and DST position.    Not in love with your TE?   No problem.   Punt the position and stock it with a 2023 stash.   

Or are you the commish?  Are you committed to adjusting the MFL potential points scored and plugging in minimum values for all positions each week?   Tracking and publishing the adjusted Potential Points score?   That will give potential points standings more integrity.   But even then, it might still award the 1.1 in a way that's very random and luck based.  Team A and B were equally pitiful.   Team A had two QBs that went off in week 13 (burning one score), while they both bombed in week 14.   Team B had one QB stud and one dud in week 13 and week 14, and that could very well be the difference between the 1.1 and the 1.2.   At least with reverse W-L, everyone understands it.   If you take the 1.1 for the worst record, you're at least taking a healthy dose of shame along with it. 

Gaming potential points in a more subtle way, a tanking team can trade away healthy serviceable players on their roster at a fair value, acquiring decent talents that are currently injured.   They can trade for Calvin Ridley, and Will Fuller, add Antonio Brown and Derrius Guice to the bench under the  rationale that they think they could be a thing next season.   Yeah, if you get to protect 20 of 25 on roster, you're only going to go so far to sabotage your bench.   Sometimes you'll get hit with good scores from the assets on your team that are sticking around for the long haul.    But if you decide your roster is going to be built strictly for 2023, your 2022 potential score probably isn't going to be pretty, assuming we're talking about a team bad enough to tank for the 1.1 in the first place.   So no, it really isn't too difficult to "tank" in a potential points format.

 

Gally

Footballguy
If the options are traditional reverse W-L standings -vs- Potential Points, there's a good case for potential points.    There's definitely luck when it comes to potential points / best ball lineups, similar to W-L.   But yeah, if teams aren't gaming the system to keep potential points down, it's a pretty fair metric for team "power rankings".   

How do you "game" potential points?   Plenty of ways.   How effective the tactics will work will depend on roster rules and the number of "keepers" is definitely going to be a big factor.   However, if it's a a 1QB league, the team that has no starting QB that they're in love with (or simply isn't "must keep") can choose not to field the position and they will likely coast to a small potential points score compared to any other bad team that has a QB that's worth rostering.   Same can be done at the K and DST position.    Not in love with your TE?   No problem.   Punt the position and stock it with a 2023 stash.   

Or are you the commish?  Are you committed to adjusting the MFL potential points scored and plugging in minimum values for all positions each week?   Tracking and publishing the adjusted Potential Points score?   That will give potential points standings more integrity.   But even then, it might still award the 1.1 in a way that's very random and luck based.  Team A and B were equally pitiful.   Team A had two QBs that went off in week 13 (burning one score), while they both bombed in week 14.   Team B had one QB stud and one dud in week 13 and week 14, and that could very well be the difference between the 1.1 and the 1.2.   At least with reverse W-L, everyone understands it.   If you take the 1.1 for the worst record, you're at least taking a healthy dose of shame along with it. 

Gaming potential points in a more subtle way, a tanking team can trade away healthy serviceable players on their roster at a fair value, acquiring decent talents that are currently injured.   They can trade for Calvin Ridley, and Will Fuller, add Antonio Brown and Derrius Guice to the bench under the  rationale that they think they could be a thing next season.   Yeah, if you get to protect 20 of 25 on roster, you're only going to go so far to sabotage your bench.   Sometimes you'll get hit with good scores from the assets on your team that are sticking around for the long haul.    But if you decide your roster is going to be built strictly for 2023, your 2022 potential score probably isn't going to be pretty, assuming we're talking about a team bad enough to tank for the 1.1 in the first place.   So no, it really isn't too difficult to "tank" in a potential points format.
Trading away aging players for future picks and trying to build for the future is acceptable to most everyone and is not looked as tanking to most people.  The tanking that using potential points prevents is using a lesser lineup to lose the game which then affects other situations and other teams.  That is the type of tanking that is addressed by using PP as opposed to worst record.  

 

Mister CIA

Footballguy
You have to make the incentive higher than the incentive of first pick in a rookie draft.  That is different for everyone.
Hmmm.

I'll stop after this one, but how about divide up aforementioned $1,500 prize pool like this.

Weeks 7-8:  $150

Weeks 9‐10:  $150

Weeks 11‐12:  $150

Weeks 13‐14:  $150

Super Bowl Runner Up:  $300

League champ:  $600

I'll back away from the keyboard now.

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Trading away aging players for future picks and trying to build for the future is acceptable to most everyone and is not looked as tanking to most people.  The tanking that using potential points prevents is using a lesser lineup to lose the game which then affects other situations and other teams.  That is the type of tanking that is addressed by using PP as opposed to worst record.  


One thing about potential points, it's a pretty good metric for how "good" or "bad" a team is when it doesn't count for anything.   

When a league makes it count for something, like awarding the top picks, now it's a target.   It's something to be exploited and manipulated.   A chance for my non-playoff team to walk away with the 1.1 without the price of being the team with the worst record?   Alright, let's see what we can do to keep this score down.   

Maybe you get lucky one year, and the earnest, worst team is 100s of potential points below the closest shark by the time the shark thinks about giving chase.  Shark decides no chance, not going after it.   On the flip side, you could be explaining to a  2-12 team that the 4-10 team that scored more points is getting the 1.1 because they didn't have as many potential points.    

 

Gally

Footballguy
One thing about potential points, it's a pretty good metric for how "good" or "bad" a team is when it doesn't count for anything.   

When a league makes it count for something, like awarding the top picks, now it's a target.   It's something to be exploited and manipulated.   A chance for my non-playoff team to walk away with the 1.1 without the price of being the team with the worst record?   Alright, let's see what we can do to keep this score down.   

Maybe you get lucky one year, and the earnest, worst team is 100s of potential points below the closest shark by the time the shark thinks about giving chase.  Shark decides no chance, not going after it.   On the flip side, you could be explaining to a  2-12 team that the 4-10 team that scored more points is getting the 1.1 because they didn't have as many potential points.    
I still don't know how you tamper with potential points while still putting up points to win games.  How is this done?  You keep saying it but how do you do this?  

If you go without a QB, TE, K etc on your roster you are going to lose games too.  But you also hurt your overall team for the future.  These are extreme examples that are obvious.  I get you can game the system by shortening your bench but that likely results in losses too because you are dropping quality players.  

However using potential points over win loss you have taken away the incentive to throw games while keeping quality players on your bench.  That is what we are trying to avoid.  

You cannot manipulate the PP without cutting quality players.  Why would you do that when quality players will be needed in the future?

 

kerpow

Footballguy
Agree that the worst team in the league needs the 1.01. Introducing more of a lottery system for those first few picks just to avoid the potential to be anti-competitive just makes it harder for teams to improve quickly.

Besides, if someone wants to improve their draft position for the next season it's not hard to do so. Trade away your older players for future draft picks and start what were your bench players. Essentially start your rebuild in season. Perfectly acceptable to do that. 

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
My leagues just make “tanking” illegal - there’s a rule that every team is required to start their “best” lineup. Sure this creates a subjective grey area but when it’s obvious, it’s obvious. People have the right to defend their choices if called into question.

 

Dacomish

Footballguy
During our start-up of the league I commish this was written in the rules and I have never had a problem with anyone tanking:

ANTI-TANKING CLAUSE – The WFFL is a competitive league, created for the league owners to have fun playing fantasy football. While the competition may be fierce, this is not considered a cut-throat league. In the spirit of competition and league fairness, owners are not allowed to intentionally create a legal starting lineup that gives the opposing team a clear advantage through starting injured players or bye week players with active options on their bench. The Front Office reserves the right to step in and adjust the starting lineup of a team that is clearly trying to intentionally lose a game or has become inactive during the regular season. If by 30 minutes to first Sunday game-time an owner has not set a legal active lineup the Front Office will set a legal lineup on the owner’s behalf. If the Front Office must adjust a team's lineup in two consecutive weeks or for three or more weeks in any one season during the regular season, the team will be issued a formal warning by the Front Office. If after a formal warning the team does it again then that team will be considered inactive and the Front Office may assume ownership of the team until another owner can be recruited to fill the void.

Now some will say that's too much work to have to look at lineups, but in reality its a 16 team league and the owners are all great guys (It helps that I personally know all of them) who actually are diligent enough to make changes, and I check 2-3 times over the course of the week and gently remind affected owners. I have only had to actually change a lineup like maybe 4 times in 5 years (and never had to issue a formal warning) and that was only because an owner was unavailable due to whatever reason (childbirth, on vacation, ect.) and a player had gotten injured/COVID close to the Sunday K/O. I would only change players who are injured/bye if they had an active option on their bench, if they start a lesser valued start (not an obvious one) then I leave that to them and not micro-manage it. Generally I'm just looking for Bye or Out players.  

I honestly believe the potential chance of losing your team is a deterrent. I still have 12 of the original 16 owners and the other 4 are either 4 year or 3 year ownership. Each of those 4 have been playoff teams or just outside the playoffs the last few years as well. 

That doesn't mean teams don't have bad seasons, we have had a 0-13 team and a multiple 1-2 win teams, it just happens sometimes, one team went from being in the ship final to nearly last place winning the toilet bowl and then back the next year in the final. Injuries and bad luck can be a huge issue. 

Finally another thing I did to help discourage tanking was to change playoff seeds last year from all records to Div Winners based on records (with total points as a tiebreak) and the remaining W/C teams as total points. The team that finished with 1.01 was actually in a playoff spot very late in the season, he just kept getting the "hot team" of the week. 

It may not work for everyone, but it seems to work for us so its just my 2c...

 
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Birdie048

Footballguy
Using potential points is a good way to make losing a game irrelevant.  Even if they play a marginal lineup their potential points will stay higher so getting that loss does nothing form them.


We follow this as well.  Potential Points takes away the owner sitting a Stud at the end of the year trying to lose a game intentionally. 

 

massraider

Footballguy
What's the argument against tanking? 

I get it in real life. In a fantasy league, I don't see the problem. I am against starting bye week players, injured players, etc. So maybe I am against tanking, but I think that has more to do with being involved as an owner. 

I was in a league once, where two owners were battling to finish last, and the rest of the league had a laugh over the the last few weeks as we tracked their (lack of) progress. That's obviously unusual, but in that league, two owners tanked, and it didn't affect the enjoyment or execution of the league at all. 

Here's the reason I see during the season why tanking is bad:

If that tanking team had started his best players against that other team, he would have won, and I would have made the playoffs. 😢😢😢

If a team wants to lose the last two games, and get Saquon, fine with me. I see no difference between that and reading your older players for draft picks in a rebuild. 

 

NE_REVIVAL

Footballguy
The term "Tanking" is often synonymous  for productive struggle and in that context I am an advocate for it.

For me, tanking means not submitting a full lineup (empty slots, inj players etc), or blatantly sitting your best players etc.

Potential points is ok to combat tanking, but imho it encourages owners to create the worst possible roster. I prefer the way FFPC does it with a playoff for top rookie picks (worst 2 teams get a bye). The team with the worst roster isn't automatically rewarded for creating the worst roster and that removes the incentive. I believe it rewards those who go the productive struggle (rebuild with younger players while trying to stay competitive) route, over teams that just intentionally create the ####tiest possible roster to guarantee 1.01.

 

Gally

Footballguy
My leagues just make “tanking” illegal - there’s a rule that every team is required to start their “best” lineup. Sure this creates a subjective grey area but when it’s obvious, it’s obvious. People have the right to defend their choices if called into question.
What's the penalty and how do you rule on questionable lineup choices?  If 4 experts have Landry as a better start than Mooney and you play Mooney you get punished?

Also, most leagues have tanking illegal but some of that can be interpreted as to what is considered tanking.   The tanking I want to prevent is playing a lesser lineup in an attempt to lose when you have better players on the bench.  I don't want to prohibit a team from trading away players when trying to build for the future.   As long as the trades are equitable there is nothing wrong with that approach to rebuild.  I am not worried about that.

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
I still don't know how you tamper with potential points while still putting up points to win games.  How is this done?  You keep saying it but how do you do this?  

If you go without a QB, TE, K etc on your roster you are going to lose games too.  But you also hurt your overall team for the future.  These are extreme examples that are obvious.  I get you can game the system by shortening your bench but that likely results in losses too because you are dropping quality players.  

However using potential points over win loss you have taken away the incentive to throw games while keeping quality players on your bench.  That is what we are trying to avoid.  

You cannot manipulate the PP without cutting quality players.  Why would you do that when quality players will be needed in the future?


Here's how I think it probably goes down.   I'm 3-5, decide my season is lost.   The worst team is 1-7.   I have 50 more potential points, so I'm 50 points back of the 1.1.    

I'm probably starting subtle, going for stealth.    Let's say it's last year.   I have Dak.   The team I'm chasing has a Cousins and Tannehill combo.  I probably have the best QB asset.   His best ball combo is almost certainly going to outscore Dak over the course of six weeks.   If I take Dak's bye week as an opportunity to either "forget" to replace him or plug in a bad part-time option, then that's the less subtle option that still has plausible deniability that makes up a lot of points that week.

More subtle moves that get me to the goal that are widely accepted.    Trading for dormant assets that have a chance to matter the following year.   Plenty of injury options to wheel and deal for, and yes, widely seen as acceptable tanking strategy.  If the team I'm chasing has a healthy stud WR, healthy #2 WR, and four healthy WR flex options that are capable of popping off in a given week, he will probably score more potential points than my healthy stud WR, healthy #2 WR, two healthy flex options, and a bench full of guys that could matter in 2023, but aren't going to drive potential points in 2022. 

RB is also easy to calibrate for low potential points.   I have two quality backs that are the core of my dynasty team.   Everyone else is depth RBs that might randomly break off a big run in a given week, but generally aren't going to drive potential points or be highly involved in the offense when the guys in front of them are healthy.   If one of my stars has an injury or is on bye, my real time and their potential points will struggle.   Conversely, if an injury happens in front of my bench guys, now I have a legit trade asset to send to a playoff team, replacing with another depth guy.

TE is pretty easy.   If I'm a team bad enough to "compete" for the 1.1, I probably don't have a stud TE.  But I probably have something serviceable to decent.    Make a fair trade to a playoff team for a pick.   Replace him with whatever developmental TE I think has a chance to be the next Dawson Knox.   Completely legit.   I gain a liquid asset in the form of a pick that I can use to get a comparable serviceable TE next season.   Real and potential points will be next to nothing for this season.   Not that my competition is likely to be racking up big potential points at TE either, but probably more than me.

Punting on K and DST isn't going to hurt the long term outlook of most dynasty teams, and yes, these are positions where you can make up some points.   In my league's format where negative points are somewhat common for the worst DSTs, streaming the worst DST could probably nearly keep pace with not even fielding one.

The nuclear option if subtlety doesn't get it done, is not carrying a K, DST, or streaming QB when your QB is on bye.   You can make up a lot of potential points in one week doing that.  Even more extreme,  just sending off my QB in a fair trade and doing nothing at the position for multiple weeks.   I could do all of that and still not chase down the worst team in the W-L, but potential points would get me to the 1.1.       

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
Are people in leagues where the commisioner lets teams start "inferior" lineups? I'm kind of missing why this is a big deal as long as your rules do not allow "tanking".

 

Birdie048

Footballguy
What's the argument against tanking? 

I get it in real life. In a fantasy league, I don't see the problem. I am against starting bye week players, injured players, etc. So maybe I am against tanking, but I think that has more to do with being involved as an owner. 

I was in a league once, where two owners were battling to finish last, and the rest of the league had a laugh over the the last few weeks as we tracked their (lack of) progress. That's obviously unusual, but in that league, two owners tanked, and it didn't affect the enjoyment or execution of the league at all. 

Here's the reason I see during the season why tanking is bad:

If that tanking team had started his best players against that other team, he would have won, and I would have made the playoffs. 😢😢😢

If a team wants to lose the last two games, and get Saquon, fine with me. I see no difference between that and reading your older players for draft picks in a rebuild. 
I guess some look at it as an "ethical" line for a competitive game.  You know you won't make it to the "Big Dance", so you want to have a separate party and not pay for it?  

And where is the line?  Submitting players on IR or making WW moves for Practice Squad players to put in your lineup?  (and, Yes I have witnessed this 1st hand). 

It depends on what the league rules are for this issue, but knowing up front is key.  

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
What's the penalty and how do you rule on questionable lineup choices?  If 4 experts have Landry as a better start than Mooney and you play Mooney you get punished?
That's going to far into the weeds - the rules are to address "obvious" tanking. Sure some teams may try to tank subtly but those things can backfire easily and isn't really a big concern.

Here is the rule:

a. Everyone is expected to start their “best” lineup each week. Players that are on bye or listed as OUT should NEVER be in your lineup*. There is some grey area in what constitutes the “best” lineup otherwise, and there will be some leeway applied there, but in a case of obvious tanking (i.e sitting a stud for no reason) the below penalties will be applicable.

b. Life happens, so everyone will get one free strike as far as starting a bye week guy or an OUT guy. A warning will be issued for starting a bye week player or a player known to be OUT. While this is a free strike, do not take advantage of it if it's not truly a mistake. Any tanking however will not be tolerated and there will be no free strike given for obvious tanking.

c. A second strike will result in the offending team’s first round pick dropping TWO full draft slots in the order**. If said owner does not own his first round pick his second round pick will substitute (and so on) and that traded away pick(s) will not be penalized. However, the penalty will follow any pick traded after the fact.

d. A third strike will result in all of the offending team’s picks dropping to the very end of the round (i.e. pick 1.12, 2.12, 3,12….)**. Any traded away pick(s) will not be penalized. However, the penalty will follow any pick traded after the fact.

e. A fourth strike will result in immediate removal from the league with the commissioner running the team (for lineup’s only, no trades) until a new owner is found. Your fees will be forfeited to the league.

* There will be some leeway given for last minute game-day scratches or unexpected inactive players - no one expects you to be locked in all day on Sunday. There will also be some discretion given if there is some kind of personal issue that arises in real life. Please do not abuse this discretion by making up emergencies.

** If said owner does not have any picks for the current season, the penalty will extend to the following year's draft (and so on).

 

Gally

Footballguy
Here's how I think it probably goes down.   I'm 3-5, decide my season is lost.   The worst team is 1-7.   I have 50 more potential points, so I'm 50 points back of the 1.1.    

I'm probably starting subtle, going for stealth.    Let's say it's last year.   I have Dak.   The team I'm chasing has a Cousins and Tannehill combo.  I probably have the best QB asset.   His best ball combo is almost certainly going to outscore Dak over the course of six weeks.   If I take Dak's bye week as an opportunity to either "forget" to replace him or plug in a bad part-time option, then that's the less subtle option that still has plausible deniability that makes up a lot of points that week.

More subtle moves that get me to the goal that are widely accepted.    Trading for dormant assets that have a chance to matter the following year.   Plenty of injury options to wheel and deal for, and yes, widely seen as acceptable tanking strategy.  If the team I'm chasing has a healthy stud WR, healthy #2 WR, and four healthy WR flex options that are capable of popping off in a given week, he will probably score more potential points than my healthy stud WR, healthy #2 WR, two healthy flex options, and a bench full of guys that could matter in 2023, but aren't going to drive potential points in 2022. 

RB is also easy to calibrate for low potential points.   I have two quality backs that are the core of my dynasty team.   Everyone else is depth RBs that might randomly break off a big run in a given week, but generally aren't going to drive potential points or be highly involved in the offense when the guys in front of them are healthy.   If one of my stars has an injury or is on bye, my real time and their potential points will struggle.   Conversely, if an injury happens in front of my bench guys, now I have a legit trade asset to send to a playoff team, replacing with another depth guy.

TE is pretty easy.   If I'm a team bad enough to "compete" for the 1.1, I probably don't have a stud TE.  But I probably have something serviceable to decent.    Make a fair trade to a playoff team for a pick.   Replace him with whatever developmental TE I think has a chance to be the next Dawson Knox.   Completely legit.   I gain a liquid asset in the form of a pick that I can use to get a comparable serviceable TE next season.   Real and potential points will be next to nothing for this season.   Not that my competition is likely to be racking up big potential points at TE either, but probably more than me.

Punting on K and DST isn't going to hurt the long term outlook of most dynasty teams, and yes, these are positions where you can make up some points.   In my league's format where negative points are somewhat common for the worst DSTs, streaming the worst DST could probably nearly keep pace with not even fielding one.

The nuclear option if subtlety doesn't get it done, is not carrying a K, DST, or streaming QB when your QB is on bye.   You can make up a lot of potential points in one week doing that.  Even more extreme,  just sending off my QB in a fair trade and doing nothing at the position for multiple weeks.   I could do all of that and still not chase down the worst team in the W-L, but potential points would get me to the 1.1.       
All of those ways of killing your PP also kill your regular lineup so you are likely to lose anyway so whether you use PP or win/loss you are likely in the same spot.   Those aren't ways to solely manipulate the PP aspect.  If an owner is doing many of those things they are hurting their future.  Owners that do that are a problem no matter what. 

As far as leaving out positions that is easily rectified by requiring starting active players in your lineup. 

So all of the examples your provided are understandable but not exactly the negatives I was looking for to push me away from using PP over win/loss as the draft order.  I was looking for PP work arounds that would still allow someone to gain an advantage compared to the win/loss method of setting the draft order.    I want to prohibit a team gaining an advantage (higher draft pick) by purposely losing a game that could affect playoff matchups/standings/etc.   (depleting your team in a legit effort to improve for the future is not an issue for me as long as you can submit a complete starting lineup and the trades are trying to better your team for the future).

 

Gally

Footballguy
That's going to far into the weeds - the rules are to address "obvious" tanking. Sure some teams may try to tank subtly but those things can backfire easily and isn't really a big concern.

Here is the rule:

a. Everyone is expected to start their “best” lineup each week. Players that are on bye or listed as OUT should NEVER be in your lineup*. There is some grey area in what constitutes the “best” lineup otherwise, and there will be some leeway applied there, but in a case of obvious tanking (i.e sitting a stud for no reason) the below penalties will be applicable.

b. Life happens, so everyone will get one free strike as far as starting a bye week guy or an OUT guy. A warning will be issued for starting a bye week player or a player known to be OUT. While this is a free strike, do not take advantage of it if it's not truly a mistake. Any tanking however will not be tolerated and there will be no free strike given for obvious tanking.

c. A second strike will result in the offending team’s first round pick dropping TWO full draft slots in the order**. If said owner does not own his first round pick his second round pick will substitute (and so on) and that traded away pick(s) will not be penalized. However, the penalty will follow any pick traded after the fact.

d. A third strike will result in all of the offending team’s picks dropping to the very end of the round (i.e. pick 1.12, 2.12, 3,12….)**. Any traded away pick(s) will not be penalized. However, the penalty will follow any pick traded after the fact.

e. A fourth strike will result in immediate removal from the league with the commissioner running the team (for lineup’s only, no trades) until a new owner is found. Your fees will be forfeited to the league.

* There will be some leeway given for last minute game-day scratches or unexpected inactive players - no one expects you to be locked in all day on Sunday. There will also be some discretion given if there is some kind of personal issue that arises in real life. Please do not abuse this discretion by making up emergencies.

** If said owner does not have any picks for the current season, the penalty will extend to the following year's draft (and so on).
Understood.  I was just asking the question on how far you take it.  Bottom line for me is I would like to take away any reward for losing a game so the temptation to play what you think is a lesser lineup is no longer there.  I think using PP does this.  

 

zaner75

Footballguy
I think I get where the OP is coming from. No one wants a team(s) that deliberately gives up on a season. There is no real way to avoid tanking per se as a manager can strip their team down to nothing (if potential points are used) but then the rebuild becomes a multi-year project at that point and then there are likely to be a few super teams. A league with half super teams and half rebuilders just isn't competitive and likely won't last.

An idea I've played around with in my head for if/when I want to commish a league again is to implement a roto-style ranking for draft points based on 3 categories: W-L record, Potential Points, Manager Efficiency Rating (MER). Draft points are given for ranking within each category and Total Draft Points determines draft order for non-playoff teams - most gets 1.01. All teams are ranked in each category to help create separation in Potential Points and MER categories.

W-L is pretty standard. Worst record gets most draft points (12 points in a 12-team league)

Potential Points is also fairly standard. Lowest potential points get most draft points.

Manager Efficiency Rating (MER) is a category that I think would help keep everyone engaged. It would be calculated by dividing points scored by potential points (to the thousandth, like batting averages). Highest MER gets most draft points. Even if someone's season isn't going how they want, the minimum expectation should be to set the most competitive lineup each week. Having the MER category can reward managers who stay engaged throughout the year. Even if a team is not very good, making optimal lineup decisions is within everyone's capability. I've even thought about having a payout prize for highest MER.

Example (12 team league):

Team A has worst record (12 draft points), 4th lowest in potential points (9 draft points), and lowest MER (1 point) would accrue 22 draft points.

Team B has 4th worst record (9 draft points), 6th lowest in potential points (7 draft points) and 6th in MER (7 draft points) would accrue 23 draft points

 

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