Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      


Mike Davis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

How Deep Does Your Fandom Go?

Last Week's Question: What's the quirkiest rule your league's website can handle?

In my column for Week 11, I asked readers to share the quirkiest rules that survive in their leagues in the age of automated scoring. It was a pleasure to hear from Jim, a long-time advocate of the option to create a spot for coaches on fantasy rosters. Years ago, the folks at heard from Jim about coaches and another darling concept of his: the bye week carryover:

Bye week carryovers are an interesting option when it comes to weeks when a player is on a bye. Traditionally, we have always had to make the choice if the player’s score was carrying over or not before they play their game before their bye week. The default was that the player score would carry over if no notification was made ahead of time. After all, [owners] confident enough to start the player for that week would generally be confident enough to have the score carry over. There were times when a bench player had a sweeter matchup the following week that an owner would post they were not going to carry over from their starter.

Beginning next year, my league has agreed to let owners make the decision if they are carrying over a score or not after the player’s game is played. This still leaves an element of chance most of the time. A player may have an average score carrying over leaving the owner to decide if they want to try and improve upon that average score or not. Even if a player has a great or poor score there could be options (or lack thereof) which would make the choice to carry over less than a certain thing.

For example, this week Cam Newton is carrying over a huge score at QB. His owner is happy about the carryover and content to take the huge score for a 2nd straight week.

Gore is carrying over a slightly below average score, but his owner is happy to stick with it because he doesn’t have much else on the bench and there is nothing in the free agent pool.
The bye week carryover is interesting enough all by itself, but once you throw in having to decide about carrying over a bye week player's points in advance vs. after the fact, the strategic implications become almost hypnotic.

Anyone who has ever been annoyed by 1-yard runs resulting in 4-point TDs will understand why Richard's league developed a reduced score (just 3 points) for short TDs:

Our non-ppr league’s quirky rule goes back to when George Rogers was with Washington in 1986 and 25 of his 18 rushing td plays were 5 yards or less, (massive nonsense exaggeration for laughs intended), but now one of our league rules is any TD play of 5 yards or less (pass or rush) is worth 3 points.

The [reduced score for short yardage TDs] encourages GM’s to draft “big play” footballers ahead of grinders / volume dependent plodders / short yardage specialist players.

Richard's league gives owners an additional incentive to target playmakers by awarding bonus points for long scoring plays, a wrinkle that seems to be increasing in popularity and that was mentioned by Mike as well. But Mike's league amplifies this big play bonus when skill players score outside of their specialized skill set. For example, when Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin reverse roles so that Baldwin throws a TD pass to Wilson, both players are entitled to "wrong way points" according to this unusual formula:

Our 21 yr old league [still awards bonus points for longer TDs and awarded] "wrong way points" till 5 years ago.

WR receiving TD of 40+ yds = 9 points
WR rushing TD 40+ yds = 18 pts

So as electrifying as it is to see Kareem Hunt break free for a 70-yard rushing TD, it would be far more significant (under such a rule) to see Tyreek Hill score a 45-yard TD on an end-around. Very interesting. Since Mike posted his comment on last week's column, I hope he'll post again this week to explain why his league abandoned that rule 5 years ago. Was it just too hard to keep track of? Too unfair with rushing QBs like Cam Newton and receiving RBs like David Johnson?

In any case, my thanks go out to everyone who wrote in to share a quirky rule. I hope these examples can inspire some commissioners to do a little outside-the-box thinking.

This Week's Question: How deep does your fandom go?

The question for Week 12 comes from Jim, who supplied the first answer above. At the end of his email, he wrote: "I would still really like to see an article asking how deep one's fandom goes. I think it might give some very amusing responses."

The answers to such a question are likely to be amusing if only because I'm not sure what Jim means by depth of fandom. But instead of writing him back to ask for clarification, I thought it would be fun to let readers interpret the question for themselves. If you think he's asking whether you let your loyalty to a particular NFL team impact fantasy decisions, please explain how this might apply to you. If you think he's asking about how committed a fan of fantasy you are, then please explain how losing (or winning) your league resulted in getting a tattoo (or whatever). If you think the question means something else entirely, just explain what you take it to mean before plunging into your answer. Responses can be sent to me via email or posted directly below this column.

Survivor Pool Picks - Week 12 (Courtesy of Matthew Schiff)

#3: Baltimore over Houston (6-5, BUF, TB, CLE, NE, NYG, ATL, PHI, MN, SEA, PIT, KC, NO)

When the schedule makers put this on the calendar, they probably remembered the playoff game the Ravens hosted almost five years ago. But these teams are not what they were then. Heck, they're not even what they were supposed to be in the preseason. The Texans have lost their defensive star (J.J. Watt) and their offensive savior (Deshaun Watson) for the season. It doesn't help that they're missing Will Fuller this week as well. The Ravens are moving in the opposite direction on the injury front, as Danny Woodhead has finally returned from his Week 1 injury. He only had 23 yards last week, but his 5 receptions testify to Joe Flacco's need for a receiving RB. With Woodhead having shaken off the rust in Week 11, take the Ravens and their seven points and enjoy your turducken on Sunday.

#2: Washington over the NY Giants (7-4, NE, SEA, PIT, ATL, PHI, HOU, TN, CIN, JAC, LAR, KC)

The Giants pulled off the upset last week while hosting Andy Reid's Chiefs. In all honesty, that was an under-the-radar trap game. Why? Because Steve Spagnuolo knew his old mentor and dialed up the perfect defense. He will need to do the same on Thanksgiving in D.C. to overcome Kirk Cousins and company in a game that has the Redskins playing for their playoff lives. The New York secondary is vulnerable, and their offensive line is missing some key components. My bet is the Redskin defense is good enough shut down Orleans Darkwa, even though he ranks #1 in yards after contact since Week 5, when he took over the starting tailback position. Although the Redskins failed to contain the two-headed rushing attack of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara in Week 11, the Giants don't have quite the same embarrassment of riches at the RB position as the Saints. This should be a fun game to watch through the haze of a turkey coma, but take the home team as the Giants just don't have enough firepower to stay with the Redskins on a short week.

#1: Cincinnati over Cleveland (8-3 ATL, OAK, NE, SEA, PIT, DEN, DAL, PHI, HOU*, DET, JAX)

We've seen this formula before: Pick against the Browns . . . until the day they blow up your survival pool. For those who took Kansas City over the Giants last week, this game may seem like an even less attractive prospect. However, the Browns are last in the NFL in offense, averaging just 15 points per game, and are the third team in history to start the season 0-10. Problematically, however, their opponents have woefully underperformed all season, even with Joe Mixon begging for more carries. Combine that with an offensive line that hasn't opened any holes for the rookie running back and a quarterback who hasn't taken advantage of his star wideout A.J. Green, and it's a formula for an upset. But in Week 12, sometimes you have to go out on a limb . . . if only because you've used all the other locks. Take a leap of faith that the home team wins the battle of Ohio this week.

Mike Davis has been writing about fantasy football since 1999--and playing video games even longer than that. His latest novel (concerning a gamer who gets trapped inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms) can be found here.