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Dynasty Tanking: Rules & Ethics (1 Viewer)

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Sorry for another non-player thread.  This is partly inspired by the 'Waivers as Weapons' discussion.

I'm a commissioner in a re-draft league and when I was asked to join my first dynasty (Empire) startup league four seasons back, I had a lot of questions about what expectations and written rules were going to be in place to keep eliminated teams from committing egregious acts of tanking in order to claim the #1 pick.   To summarize the group conversation at the time, it was basically don't be a d***, we don't want to take the time to legislate every loophole, don't be a d***.   

Fast forward to Season 2, and someone who really wanted J. Taylor, decided that he was going to start a retired Andrew Luck at QB to claim the #1 pick.   He basically pulled the plug on the Season by week 3.   I think we can all agree that this is clearly a d*** move.   It was the commish's buddy, and although the commish clearly wasn't happy with the move, he had no willingness to toss the guy from the league.   I think a lot of people here would agree that it was warranted. 

It was kind of left as, we'll try to legislate something in the offseason (which never materialized), but at that point, the fact that no action was taken to deny this guy the #1 pick, the golden rule of the league emerged; do what's in the best interest of your team, always.   

If you're a believer in karma, this guy ultimately was swayed by CEH landing on the Chiefs and passed on J. Taylor, his initial target at the 1.1.

For those that don't have full faith in karma to govern their league's ethics, what rules if anything, does your dynasty league have in place to prevent egregious acts of tanking.   To be clear, I don't think any of us have any issues with a bottom dwelling team selling their star players for future assets and selecting a reasonable starting lineups from what's left of their roster.   Zero issues with that.   That's an acceptable form of "tanking" in my book.

I'm talking more about specific rules against starting players on bye?   What about injured players?   What do you do if it's a gametime decision injured player?   Even if the tanking team starts an active player, what do you do when they're starting someone that's clearly inferior to other options that they left on their bench?

I suspect that there's going to be a lot of people chiming in with, "I play with a good group of honorable owners that aren't going to pull any of that crap", or "I'm the commish and would never allow such a thing to take place".   I applaud you and wish that I had you as our commish, or at least had one more owner with enough shame to know better than to start a retired QB.   You might suggest that it's best for me to leave the league, but frankly I have built really strong roster and have a great chance of winning back-to-back to claim a $3-4K Empire payout from these people, so that would only be punishing myself.

So let's hear it, what rules do you have in place to protect the integrity of the games in your dynasty league?

 
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acarey50

Footballguy
Not specific to in season tanking issues, but many of my leagues institute either a lottery for the non-playoff teams, or have the "toilet bowl" for non-playoff teams where pick position is in play. Both dissuade tanking as there is no guarantee it will pay off. I prefer the lottery, as it doesn't punish teams that are just bad and not tanking so to speak (or reward borderline playoff teams). Can also limit the lottery to say bottom 4 teams if you want.

As for in season, it get tricky. It's hard to dictate roster management, especially in dynasty, where a guy that may not even be playing this season probably has more dynasty value than a one week fill in. In one dynasty this week, due to a combination of bye and injury, I ended up picking Kyle Jusczysk to start at RB, but I had to drop Kellen Mond to do so. This is because my personal ethics won't let me start a bye or injured player intentionally (late scratch not withstanding). Now, in this same league, I may be facing a dilemma come week 11 as right now Stafford is my only healthy QB - I have Tyrod Taylor, Watson, Fitzpatrick and Brissett, and no QB that is close to being on the field is available - so if none of those other QBs is starting by week 11, I most likely have no choice but to start a backup QB hoping he plays, as it would be worse from a dynasty perspective to trade an asset for a one week fill in, unless I turn the ship around and am in playoff contention - but that would require Zeke and Barkley getting on track

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
I will start with the suggestion I provided when this whole thing went down.  This met fierce opposition from the commish.

Lottery Draft among non-playoff teams.   Ping pong balls that are real or electronic.   Every eligible team receives one ball for each victory that season.   2-12 team receives two.   6-8 team receives six.   Additional option to add a ball or two every time one of these teams starts a bye week player or doesn't field a starting position.   Keep a rule that teams can't drop more than three spots from their finish.   So the worst team that happens to have the bad fortune of owning the first ball that comes up is awarded the #4 spot, but would otherwise be the #6 spot if they were the third to sixth worst team. 

The comeback to this which is the common comeback to every lottery draft concept, this keeps the worst and most needy teams from receiving the top picks that they deserve and need to be come competitive.

My comeback;  is the worst team really the worst team when they're resorting to starting Andrew Luck to become the worst team?

Personally, I think the NFL is past due for the lottery draft.   However, in their defense at least you have teams with enough shame, paying customers, and players playing for contracts and pride, that this usually prevents egregious acts of tanking.   See Jets victory over the Rams that lost Lawrence. 

However, in dynasty fantasy football, there are no second and third parties that safeguards against overt tanking.   I still think this is a real answer, but it was shot down. 

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
If I were to start a new league, I’d strongly consider using “possible points” for draft slot. Takes away the risk of intentionally starting lesser players while better players are on your roster. 
If a team chooses to ditch its good players, that’s on them. But starting your best lineup should be a standard. 

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
Not specific to in season tanking issues, but many of my leagues institute either a lottery for the non-playoff teams, or have the "toilet bowl" for non-playoff teams where pick position is in play. Both dissuade tanking as there is no guarantee it will pay off. I prefer the lottery, as it doesn't punish teams that are just bad and not tanking so to speak (or reward borderline playoff teams). Can also limit the lottery to say bottom 4 teams if you want.


You beat me to to it. I think there's a lot to be said for a lottery among non-playoff teams.  Another answer that probably isn't the answer can also be found in re-draft leagues.    Make a nice, embarrassing punishment for the guy that finishes dead last, possibly a tiered punishment to get multiple teams involved.   Also, a nice Toilet Bowl payout to the Toilet Champ, where that playoff bracket affects priority can also be part of the solution. 

 

sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
If I were to start a new league, I’d strongly consider using “possible points” for draft slot. Takes away the risk of intentionally starting lesser players while better players are on your roster. 
If a team chooses to ditch its good players, that’s on them. But starting your best lineup should be a standard. 
Potential / Possible Points was definitely was definitely an idea that somebody presented.   Unfortunately, this one is also pretty easy to game the system in 1-QB and non-TE premium leagues if you're a losing team without shame.   In some cases, they would just drop startable bench players for unstartable injury and rookie stashes.   It could still be a slight upgrade over all-out lineup tanking.   Clearly, you wouldn't drop a young player that you like, even if they're stacking unwanted potential points on your score.   Maybe this with minimum point allocations at QB, TE, K, DST is an answer.    

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
Potential / Possible Points was definitely was definitely an idea that somebody presented.   Unfortunately, this one is also pretty easy to game the system in 1-QB and non-TE premium leagues if you're a losing team without shame.   In some cases, they would just drop startable bench players for unstartable injury and rookie stashes.   It could still be a slight upgrade over all-out lineup tanking.   Clearly, you wouldn't drop a young player that you like, even if they're stacking unwanted potential points on your score.   Maybe this with minimum point allocations at QB, TE, K, DST is an answer.    
i figure the risk of someone dropping all their players for nothing is pretty low. 
but we do get a lot of teams trading production for picks. But I’m okay with it. 

 

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