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

Gally

Footballguy
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
The problem I see with MER is that you can double up the categories fairly easily.  By gutting your bench you are lessening your PP potential and you are drastically increasing your MER because you have no bench guys to bring down your efficiency.    Teams with no depth at all have a huge advantage when using MER.  You don't even have to make good lineup decisions........they are already made for you.

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Near & dear to my heart since I’m competing for 1.01 this year.

I’ve sold off most of my aging assets, but my core 5 rebuilding players + scraps may well be good enough to win a few games. Always happens.

That said, in order to avoid this, I believe my MFL dynasty league goes by “expected/projected points” for the week, rather than actual. I’m not thrilled about that, as often those projected points can be way off, but in theory it should balance out with the games my players unexpected outperform the projections.

So there’s a potential solution. Then it doesn’t matter if Team Tank benches all their best players. Their projected best lineup score is what it is. 

 
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sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
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).


I actually think PP is a fine alternative to reverse W-L.   There are pros and cons.  But yes, the biggest feather in its cap is that even covert, above the board efforts by a team to limit their PP won't give them any incentive to enter a bad lineup from their available roster options, which essentially hand out uncontested wins that affect the playoff race.   That can be reason enough to go in the PP direction.

My position is more contesting the notion that it's a full proof way to prevent a bad team from successfully tanking for the 1.1, stealing it out from under a team that's worse / more deserving.   I know that's not your position, but I've heard it presented from others (including some in my league) as, "here's the solution that will completely solve tanking"

It is certainly more difficult in some leagues than others based on roster size, number of keepers, and how easy it is to get a trade done.  In my league of keep 19 of 25, effective tactics that aren't over the top are going to be a long play over multiple weeks.  There aren't assurances of a successful low score for a single week if core players go off.   However, over 3-5 weeks, a single QB is probably going to have less PP than a best-ball tandem of 2 QBs, if all QBs are more or less the same tier.   

Along those lines, a rebuilding team in my league has 3 quality QBs (including two of the younger assets).   I think he wants to hold on to the youth until he's sure he has his QB of the future.   However, the best ball score of 3 starting QBs will probably boost his PP by quite a bit over teams that are carrying two comparables.   Should he feel pressure to trade one away for the purpose of limiting his PP?    If he gets decent seasons from all three with stretches of good play, he could still be a pretty bad team in terms of W-L and overall roster talent, that now has no chance at the 1.1 due to the PP he's getting from QB.    

 

Gally

Footballguy
Along those lines, a rebuilding team in my league has 3 quality QBs (including two of the younger assets).   I think he wants to hold on to the youth until he's sure he has his QB of the future.   However, the best ball score of 3 starting QBs will probably boost his PP by quite a bit over teams that are carrying two comparables.   Should he feel pressure to trade one away for the purpose of limiting his PP?    If he gets decent seasons from all three with stretches of good play, he could still be a pretty bad team in terms of W-L and overall roster talent, that now has no chance at the 1.1 due to the PP he's getting from QB.    
That is the rub for the owner trying to rebuild.  I would think doing what he thinks is in his best interest for the long term improvement is what he will do.  Depending on who those QB's are (or whatever players/positions - its just theoretical discussion) in may be better to keep them and "risk" not getting the 1.01.  It is all a constant evaluation to get better and what way is best.

I completely agree that PP doesn't fix tanking and that there are 100's of ways to do that.  I never claimed it was the end all be all.  I just think it does a better job than incentivizing losing a head to head matchup.   Great discussion though.  Since I am trying to move to PP over W/L I really wanted to see if I was missing something with regards to PP but I think the known issues (limiting roster etc) is acceptable to me to get rid of playing a marginal lineup with better players on the bench. Thanks for the thinking points.  

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Since I am trying to move to PP over W/L I really wanted to see if I was missing something with regards to PP but I think the known issues (limiting roster etc) is acceptable to me to get rid of playing a marginal lineup with better players on the bench. Thanks for the thinking points.  


No, I think you have it down.   Even though there are some side-effects that I don't love, the disincentive to start a crap lineup that affects playoff teams is massive.

If you think there's anyone in your league capable of completely scrapping his QB/DST/K to make up a ton of points, then some kind of minimum value might be a lifesaver to keep such a team from prospering (if it's a 2QB/SF, doing such a thing to the QB position would be suicide for the long-term).   Would never take a crap on one of my leagues by doing something like that, but I've also seen somebody start a retired Andrew Luck to tank for J. Taylor starting in week 4.   With one team doing that, it was more or less a spectacle complete with group text roast.   If multiple teams were "competing" for the 1.1, I can absolutely see that killing a league.

Side note:  even though he tanked in season for Taylor and landed the 1.1, he was ultimately won over by CEH / Chiefs with that selection, so maybe that's one you can put in the column for karma. 🙂    

 

renesauz

IBL Representative
I do two small things that make tanking meaningless. First, a small weekly high score prize in the regular season. It isn't much, but combined with #2 it's enough.

The second is the key. NON playoff teams don't earn their draft spot based on record....but based on total POTENTIAL points over the course of the season. MFL tracks that well and makes it easy. The worst teams still get the top spots. Tanking in this scenario is completely meaningless.

I had written that without reading the whole thread. FTR, trading away assets for futures isn't tanking. Helps too that this specific league utilizes a rookie draft...there isn't a giant advantage pick 1 to 2 to 3.

 
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sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
I think there's something to be said for the high score payouts in each of the final three weeks (more or less depending on your league's playoff structure).   For people to care, you're taking real money out of the championship payouts, but it's probably money well spent for the health of the league.

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
I think there's something to be said for the high score payouts in each of the final three weeks (more or less depending on your league's playoff structure).   For people to care, you're taking real money out of the championship payouts, but it's probably money well spent for the health of the league.
But the teams in rebuild mode are probably not really expecting to be a top scorer in any given week.

 
What are your issues with it, exactly? Do note most leagues only use the PP’s for the teams that don’t advance to the playoffs. All the playoff teams future draft picks are still determined by how they finish. 
I just don't like it. A team is getting judged by a "hypothetical" best lineup. Am I understanding that part correctly? I play FFPC and the mini toilet bowl system seems to be best overall. I am also on RTS and to be honest, it's my first year playing dynasty on that platform and I am not 100% sure how this all shakes out. I will go read some rules later on. 

I agree that there is and should be an unwritten rule (or written) about putting your best lineup every week. But this is no different that someone quitting on their redraft team after 5-6 weeks. It's always an issue in any type of league.

edit - as per the rules that I am reading on RTS, final standings are points based. 

 
Why?  What is your issue with them?
You know what, now that I am reading through this thread. I am seeing that this idea is much more popular than I thought. 

Although I am somewhat being swayed by the crowd on this issue, I still struggle with the execution of this PP rule. 

What's the difference between a poorly run team vs a tanking team? 

 

zaner75

Footballguy
If someone gets rid of every player with value to tank for the 1.01, the 1.01 will not incredibly turn around and make that team a contender. Someone stripping their team down to the studs is embarking on a multi-year rebuild, and if they're fine with being a donator to the league during that time, then there's no issue. However, the greater likelihood is that they leave an undesirable orphan with nothing but the 1.01.

 

Gally

Footballguy
You know what, now that I am reading through this thread. I am seeing that this idea is much more popular than I thought. 

Although I am somewhat being swayed by the crowd on this issue, I still struggle with the execution of this PP rule. 

What's the difference between a poorly run team vs a tanking team? 
 A tanking team is losing on purpose to affect the integrity of the league.  A poorly run team is a guy doing what he thinks is best but is just bad at it playing the game.  He is at least playing honestly.

I do not consider making moves for the future as tanking.  I do consider playing to lose on purpose as tanking.  By using PP you eliminate the benefit of losing a matchup so there is no reason to play an inferior lineup on purpose.  PP provides a metric that does not hinge on lineup decisions and seems to be a better indication of the inferior team because it takes schedule luck out of the equation.

 

PantherThunder

Footballguy
If someone gets rid of every player with value to tank for the 1.01, the 1.01 will not incredibly turn around and make that team a contender. Someone stripping their team down to the studs is embarking on a multi-year rebuild, and if they're fine with being a donator to the league during that time, then there's no issue. However, the greater likelihood is that they leave an undesirable orphan with nothing but the 1.01.
This is where I think the total rebuild goes to far. But hey it's their money. 
 

I am going to have to ask my comish since I just read the draft order a little closer. Winner of the toilet bowl gets the first pick. Which is a decent incentive to keep your team competitive. But I just read the rules a little closer the draft order then follows teams with lowest total team points. Like you total all the points scored by all the guys on your team?!? If it am reading it right. Then the playoff teams as they get knocked out. 
I have not been in the bottom. It's not a very trading league.

 

zaner75

Footballguy
This is where I think the total rebuild goes to far. But hey it's their money. 
 

I am going to have to ask my comish since I just read the draft order a little closer. Winner of the toilet bowl gets the first pick. Which is a decent incentive to keep your team competitive. But I just read the rules a little closer the draft order then follows teams with lowest total team points. Like you total all the points scored by all the guys on your team?!? If it am reading it right. Then the playoff teams as they get knocked out. 
I have not been in the bottom. It's not a very trading league.
I think it likely applies to the total points scored each week of the regular season (if your team scores 100 points each week for 14 weeks then your total team points is 1400). Something to get clarification on for sure.

My example, I took a productive struggle approach in a startup last year and easily had the worst team. I always started a competitive lineup with the team I had and had managed to win a game. One week late in the year, I was going against a guy who had 2 wins and not had a good season. He was going to bench all of his starters - Josh Allen, AJ Brown, Tee Higgins, Kyle Pitts, etc. so I asked in chat what the tie-breaker was for draft order because I checked the rules and there was nothing stated and if it was total points, then I too would start a sub-optimal roster in response to the obvious tank. Got the run around answer that 'everyone should start their best lineup', yadda yadda, but finally the commish answered that the tie breaker was total points but the other guy was basically outed as trying to deliberately tank and the commish changed his lineup (slight overreach by commish which the guy complained about vociferously). If I hadn't mentioned anything, I doubt he would have changed his lineup so it's in everyone's best interest that these scenarios are discussed and fully understood by all because there will likely be someone who fancied themself as a contender who has a poor season and then tries to see if they can game the system by tanking.

Potential points does alleviate some of this but I've seen people take stripping down their team to extremes, which upsets the balance of a league imo. I like a consolation bracket for draft order but understand that there are some who are adamantly for the worst team to get the best pick (I have one of those people in a different league). My argument is, improve your team to get a better draft slot instead of just being ####ty.

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
If someone gets rid of every player with value to tank for the 1.01, the 1.01 will not incredibly turn around and make that team a contender. Someone stripping their team down to the studs is embarking on a multi-year rebuild, and if they're fine with being a donator to the league during that time, then there's no issue. However, the greater likelihood is that they leave an undesirable orphan with nothing but the 1.01.
This is not my experience in any leagues where teams make a choice to rebuild. Why would they make all that effort to strip down if they weren’t coming back to the league?

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
At the end of the day, I think the ideal scenario is reverse W-L (just like the NFL), where the commish makes it clear from the get go that self-sabotage lineups won't be tolerated.   Sees a joke of a lineup at 11am with injured QB, bye DST, no K, and the team is clearly going after one of the top picks.....   **Phone call**   Hey Jimmy, you really want to start that lineup?   Because Tom said he's got a guy that's looking for a dynasty league if you're not interested in competing.

Obviously, this requires a trusted, proactive commish that's going to play by the same rules that they're demanding.   They also need an actual trump card (replacement owner in the queue) so it's not an empty threat.   You need owners in agreement that they could get kicked out for such actions, and they have to know what entry fees / pre-paids / rolling jackpots they might be walking away from as a result.

I think that's the ideal, but all of that is easier said than done.

Lacking that, I still come down on a weighted lotto.  It's far from a perfect solution, just a happy medium that I'm personally comfortable with.   I think the biggest thing going for it  is that it takes the guarantees out of the equation.   You have the least points / potential points / wins, you don't automatically get the #1 pick.  I get there are people who will say that's horrible, you have to get the top pick to the worst team, I don't want dumb luck deciding the fate of my team.   It's a fair position.   I think you say 2 or 3 spots is the farthest a team can drop.   That way the worst team is still getting the 1.3 or 1.4 as a worst-case scenario.   They're still improving over most of the league.   The tradeoff is that you're now putting the guarantees that you don't want right back into the equation.   If it's a 3 RB draft and you can only fall two places, there's still plenty of incentive to finish with the worst record.

 
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wlwiles

Footballguy
If someone gets rid of every player with value to tank for the 1.01, the 1.01 will not incredibly turn around and make that team a contender. Someone stripping their team down to the studs is embarking on a multi-year rebuild, and if they're fine with being a donator to the league during that time, then there's no issue. However, the greater likelihood is that they leave an undesirable orphan with nothing but the 1.01.
Last year in a league I'm in one owner decided in Week 6 he was going to tank.  He sold Zeke for a 1st and 2nd (ended up being Waddle), sold Evans for another 1st and 2nd (Bateman) and won the 1.01 on his own.  He drafted Najee with his 1.01 and won the league.  

The guy drafting 1.02 didn't tank at all, his team just sucked.  Didn't make any deals to move up in the draft, just couldn't buy a win.  He drafted Chase 1.02 and came in second to the guy above.  

I get your point, it's not likely that if you strip your team down in order to truly tank it's not likely that the one first rounder you get for doing it is going to magically make you a contender.  But fantasy football is so luck based, and there's so many moving parts that anything can happen.  One of the guys above also landed Mitchell late in the draft, and one already had Kupp on his team so a couple things roll right and bam now they're stud teams.  Not everyone makes the decision to tank for multiple years, sometimes if you're riddled with injuries after week 8 or 9 you make the decision to just hold what you have, get a better pick and try again next year.  But you can absolutely flip your team around in one draft - just gotta follow Doc Oc and get the right guys...

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
The second is the key. NON playoff teams don't earn their draft spot based on record....but based on total POTENTIAL points over the course of the season. MFL tracks that well and makes it easy. The worst teams still get the top spots. Tanking in this scenario is completely meaningless.
yep - this is exactly what my league does (mentioned above) 

I will roll out my best lineup every week, and probably win a couple flukey games. 

Having sold off all but a skeleton crew, I should still be a lock for the 1.01, but as you point out, my wins and losses are irrelevant. And even if a player wildly exceeds the projection, players fall short of projections all the time, so it’ll balance out.

i really think it’s the best way.  It’s rare to have a team like mine go whole hog into a blow up/rebuild scenario, but even then it still works. I won’t be starting Kellen Mond over Zach Wilson, for example.

 

PantherThunder

Footballguy
This is not my experience in any leagues where teams make a choice to rebuild. Why would they make all that effort to strip down if they weren’t coming back to the league?
Decent orphan you can get your buddy to sign up for if you give him the cash. Make some trades mainly with with your buddy.  He wins and has a stacked team for a couple of seasons,  buddy orphan owner gets a few beers and disappears. Maybe favor is returned in another league. 

Hate to think that is possible, and I have no proof but I something like that happened in one of my leagues last year. 

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
Decent orphan you can get your buddy to sign up for if you give him the cash. Make some trades mainly with with your buddy.  He wins and has a stacked team for a couple of seasons,  buddy orphan owner gets a few beers and disappears. Maybe favor is returned in another league. 

Hate to think that is possible, and I have no proof but I something like that happened in one of my leagues last year. 
Well that’s a different topic altogether, but it sucks.

 

zaner75

Footballguy
Decent orphan you can get your buddy to sign up for if you give him the cash. Make some trades mainly with with your buddy.  He wins and has a stacked team for a couple of seasons,  buddy orphan owner gets a few beers and disappears. Maybe favor is returned in another league. 

Hate to think that is possible, and I have no proof but I something like that happened in one of my leagues last year. 
This was something that was in Reddit/Twitter a month or so ago. On Sleeper, there was a guy who used 3 accounts to take over orphans in the same league then made rebuild-contender trades between the teams he controlled. He had one team in a league I'm in. Others in the league were in leagues that were ones with the multiple accounts. Someone did a quick search of the usernames/leagues and found a correlation in 70-80 leagues. The accounts were in over 150 leagues. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Decent orphan you can get your buddy to sign up for if you give him the cash. Make some trades mainly with with your buddy.  He wins and has a stacked team for a couple of seasons,  buddy orphan owner gets a few beers and disappears. Maybe favor is returned in another league. 

Hate to think that is possible, and I have no proof but I something like that happened in one of my leagues last year. 
Yikes. This is why I have trust issues and only play in leagues with friends.

 

renesauz

IBL Representative
You know what, now that I am reading through this thread. I am seeing that this idea is much more popular than I thought. 

Although I am somewhat being swayed by the crowd on this issue, I still struggle with the execution of this PP rule. 

What's the difference between a poorly run team vs a tanking team? 
Quite a bit actually. I HAVE seen guys who consistantly started lesser ranked players for multiple weeks in a row with the obvious intent of lessening their odds of winning that week. Starting Agholar for example when Mooney or EVEN Devonta Smith is available on the bench. Davis Mills instead of Cousins. 

There will always be decisions people make that you or I might not agree with, and that's more then OK. BUt when someone is starting the 60th ranked WR and the 25th ranked QB and the 39th ranked RB over the 30th, 13th, and 22nd......it becomes a pattern that is quickly detrimental to the league.

In this example, there's a good chance the person losses anyway. But keep in mind that the rule as I described works FOR EVERYONE who misses the playoffs. Not JUST the guy who would have tried to tank. There's NOTHING inherently unfair about that.

 
Quite a bit actually. I HAVE seen guys who consistantly started lesser ranked players for multiple weeks in a row with the obvious intent of lessening their odds of winning that week. Starting Agholar for example when Mooney or EVEN Devonta Smith is available on the bench. Davis Mills instead of Cousins. 

There will always be decisions people make that you or I might not agree with, and that's more then OK. BUt when someone is starting the 60th ranked WR and the 25th ranked QB and the 39th ranked RB over the 30th, 13th, and 22nd......it becomes a pattern that is quickly detrimental to the league.

In this example, there's a good chance the person losses anyway. But keep in mind that the rule as I described works FOR EVERYONE who misses the playoffs. Not JUST the guy who would have tried to tank. There's NOTHING inherently unfair about that.


As a long time commissioner, I stay out of lineup decision questions and that thought process. Although playing Agholor seems bad in this situation, I struggle with that same Agholor or whomever that is ranked 50+ and they go off on your bench. That team would get punished in the PP system, that is what I really struggle with in this system. 

 
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Gally

Footballguy
As a long time commissioner, I stay out of lineup decision questions and that thought process. Although playing Agholor seems bad in this situation, I struggle with that same Agholor or whomever that is ranked 50+ and they go off on your bench. That team would get punished in the PP system, that is what I really struggle with in this system. 
How are they punished?  The use of PP takes away the schedule luck aspect and the reward for losing.  It goes straight to whose team scores the least under perfect circumstances for everyone.  This should point to the worst team as the game is all about the points you score.  The more you score the better team you have.

 

titusbramble

Footballguy
Is there not an argument to switching rookie drafts to auctions, and assigning differential amounts of auction budget based on finishing position? So while the worst team will still have an advantage, it's not a game ender like it is this year unless someone spunks their whole budget on Hall?

 
How are they punished?  The use of PP takes away the schedule luck aspect and the reward for losing.  It goes straight to whose team scores the least under perfect circumstances for everyone.  This should point to the worst team as the game is all about the points you score.  The more you score the better team you have.
I must admit, I am not fully understanding this PP concept. I thought it was basically best ball scores, to put it simply. 

 

Gally

Footballguy
I must admit, I am not fully understanding this PP concept. I thought it was basically best ball scores, to put it simply. 
It is a best ball concept.  Potential Points equals the best lineup you could have played based on your lineup requirements.  So it doesn't take your top 10 scorers regardless of position.   It takes the top scorer for each lineup position.  So it is as if you played the perfect lineup each week of the season.  Therefore the team with the least number of potential points is the worst team playing the perfect lineup each week.

 

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