Part 1 -- Update on Daily/Weekly FF
In my last column,
I shared what little I've learned about daily/weekly fantasy football
and solicited feedback from readers who have participated in this
emerging fantasy sports trend.
I received some interesting commentary (both from those who have
played daily/weekly FF and from those who have strong opinions about
the subject even without having participated in any daily/weekly
contests). I have decided to postpone sharing that commentary until
closer to the beginning of the season for a couple of reasons. One
concern is that many FFToday readers won't check back in with the
website until the middle/end of August, and I want to give those
folks a chance to chime in on the discussion as well. A second (and
potentially more titillating) consideration is that FFToday will
probably be offering some new features in 2014 to assist our daily/weekly
FF enthusiasts, though I shouldn't talk about that content until
all the details have been hammered out. I ask the readers who have
already sent in their opinions about daily/weekly FF to be patient.
Your voices will be heard just as the NFL season gets underway (which
is when more people are paying attention anyway).
Part 2 -- A Technique to Combat Apathy
The best thing about postponing the daily/weekly FF discussion is
that it gives me a chance to address a note I received from Dave
last season (though I wasn't able to work it into any of the hot
topics of 2013). Dave wrote in with a suggestion for keeping owners
motivated through the very last game of the fantasy season.
If your league suffers from owners who "check out" after
being eliminated from championship contention, you may want to review
Dave's method, which uses draft position as an incentive for keeping
everyone (even the cellar dwellers) as competitive as possible to
the bitter end:
After hearing some of the ways other leagues
handle draft order, I wanted to share how we do ours now as I use
a hybrid that I think works well. I wanted a small incentive for
all guys to play right through to week 16. We have a 14-team redraft
league. Top six make the A playoffs, bottom eight make the B playoffs.
If you lose your B playoff, I set up a C for those 4 teams and the
2 losers of the first round A games play each other in a 2-week
The following year I do a random draft order, but the winner of
each of the 3 playoff divisions gets their choice of the 4 draft
picks of the people that were in their division. So let's say the
random draft generator has the four guys in the C division draft
in the 3rd, 4th, 8th and 11th positions. The person who won the
C division gets to choose which of those 4 positions he wants. The
person who lost the C division final gets the choice of the 3 remaining
and then the guy who won his C consolation gets the choice of the
What I like about it is:
1. The guys have at least something to play for right up to week
2 The guys with weaker teams from the previous year have just as
much chance as ending up with the number 1 pick (or what pick they
want) as the A division teams but if you did well in the playoffs
you do have a greater likelihood of drafting in a position that
3. In the grand scheme of things, draft order doesn't confer a huge,
if any, advantage anyway.
This idea appeals to me on all sorts of levels. The best
thing about it, from my perspective, is that it doesn't force the
successful owners to take "rewards" they don't want. In
conventional redraft leagues with serpentine drafts, the top overall
pick can feel like a punishment more than a reward. If I regard
the top four choices as roughly equal, then I don't want the first
pick. I would rather pick fourth, take whichever stud is left on
the board, and not have to wait until the very last pick of the
second round for my next selection.
I'm a sucker for rules that give individual participants agency,
but even Dave admits that the agency he gives the owners in his
league isn't terribly important. It may seem odd that he invites
his fellow owners to compete over draft position only to admit that
it may not confer much of an advantage, but it works for me. I'm
not 100% convinced that my position in a draft has anything to do
with how successful my team will be, but if you give me a chance
to pick my own spot, I'll still take you up on it.
The only niggling concern I have about Dave's method is that it
appeals strictly to people (like me) who are suckers for intricate/nuanced
rules. I know more than a few FFers who simply lack the patience
to try to understand what Dave has outlined. There are too many
contingencies and complications for this method to incentivize everyone.
Over the years, I've received all sorts of suggestions for dealing
with owner apathy, and the one thing they have in common is that
they all add one more layer of complexity to league rules. They
probably do work as well as I imagine for those of us who enjoy
complexity, but they're presumably counterproductive for those who
I suspect a few commissioners out there have tried to implement
rules such as Dave's only to run into resistance from league members
who insist on keeping things simple. Am I right? If your league
would rather just accept a certain level of apathy than implement
new rules to combat it, what do you do? I'm
eager to hear from any commissioners who have wrestled with
Part 3: Summer Reading
Are you starved for NFL-related journalism?
I'm not talking about fantasy articles. July and August provide
the fantasy community with plenty of projections (which are always
interesting) along with discussions of the likely impact of coaching
changes on player stats (such as the contention that Scott Linehan
will probably improve Tony Romo's value). There are also mock drafts
to be analyzed and commented upon.
I'm talking about real-world football journalism. During the regular
season, I don't have enough time to read everything about the NFL
that piques my interest, but during the offseason, I can't find
much that holds my attention. I don't want to read another word
about where Johnny Manziel went in the draft. I don't care what
anyone says about whether Josh Gordon will be active in 2014; I'm
happy to just wait and see. I'm tired of having links to information
about the never-ending Aaron Hernandez saga pop up in my browser.
I know it's possible for interesting stories about the NFL to be
written in the offseason because I read one in June. What I don't
know is why I can't find more fun stuff to read about the NFL than
the endless rumor-mongering, speculation, and armchair two-a-daying
that seems to constitute offseason NFL journalism.
PLEASE HELP! I need people to send
me links to the best NFL-related (not fantasy-related) articles
they've encountered this summer. If possible, please let me know
what stands out about any articles you're willing to bring to my
attention. I hope to share two or three selections from readers
(along with a link to the most interesting article I've seen this
summer) in my next column.
Mike Davis has been writing about fantasy football since 1999.
As a landlocked Oklahoman who longs for the sound of ocean waves,
he also writes about ocean colonization under the pen name Studio
Dongo. The latest installment in his science fiction series can
be found here.