Transactions and Playoffs

In this article, I will cover the different settings for transactions (trades & free agents) and setting up the playoff schedule. Both are settings that you will want to communicate in your league constitution.

Setting up the playoff schedule is a simple step. First you need to decide how many weeks in the 17 week NFL season you want to use. Generally, leagues use 13 weeks of regular season games and 3 weeks of playoffs. The 17th week is usually skipped because the real NFL teams bench good players to keep them healthy for the playoffs. No matter the size of your league, I would suggest this set up of weeks 1-13 being the regular season, and weeks 14-16 being the playoffs. The set up for the number of teams making the playoffs is up to your league and should be communicated in the league constitution. Generally, an 8 team bracket or 6 team bracket (top two seeds get a bye) are the most common choices.

The acceptance or veto of trades can be a point of contention in any league. Nobody wants to see a rival owner get a great deal, which can lead to unhappy league owners when fantasy sports should be all about the fun. When it comes to trades, there are two important settings: the trade deadline and how trade veto’s work. The trade deadline is something you will want to set about 3 weeks before your leagues regular season ends. This gives owners plenty of time to complete trades throughout the year, and it prevents a team that is out of contention from tanking by trading away good players for nothing in return. As I mentioned above, week 13 should be the last regular season game. That would mean your trade deadline should be before week 11 starts.

Once a trade is accepted, this can lead to unhappy owners that were not part of the trade if your league doesn't have adequate rules in place. Trades should always be made in good faith, with both owners attempting to improve their teams. When it appears a trade is not made in good faith, a trade should be vetoed. There are 3 options that leagues use for vetoing trades: league vote, league manager approval, or using the Fantasy En4orcer. To explain how the league vote works, we will assume that 2 owners in a 10 team league have agreed upon a trade. A league vote would require that a certain amount of owners veto the trade for it to be vetoed. Generally, over 50% of the league not involved in a trade must veto a trade. A 10 team league would set the veto requirement at 5 vetoes for a trade to be vetoed. It is assumed that the two teams that agreed upon the trade would not veto the trade, so 5 of the remaining 8 owners would need to veto a trade. The second option is a league manager vote. This is self-explanatory as it just means the league manager is the only person with power to veto the trade. This setting is not recommended as there can be a conflict of interest since the league manager is an owner, and this gives one person a lot of power. The third option is using the Fantasy En4cer, which is a free service that we provide. All you would have to do is email us with your dilemma and we will act as an independent third party to provide the final decision for your league. Visit the Fantasy En4cer page to try it out.

One last tip on trades that I will mention is setting up a review period. This period is used in a league vote scenario. A 2 day review period is recommended as it gives owners plenty of time to check the league message board, and it is considerate to those who completed the trade so that they can update their rosters when the trade is processed.

Free Agents
Adding and dropping free agents can be done in 3 main forms: immediate adds, Free Agent Biding (FAB), and waiver wires. The immediate add option is pretty easy to understand, each free agent can be added to the roster at any time. FAB is a system that assigns auction dollars to each team. I recommend assigning 100 auction dollars to each team if you want to use this system as 100 is a round number that everyone can understand. In this system, an owner has 100 dollars to spend on players for the entire season. Each owner bids a dollar amount on any player they want and when the transactions are processed each day, the owner with the highest bid will get the free agent. Each owner has a limited amount of money to spend and they can’t see what other owners bid on players so there is a lot of strategy involved. The last system is the waiver wire system. To pick up a player, the owner will put a “claim” on a free agent. Each day waivers are processed in reverse order of the standings. For example, if I place a claim on Toby Gerhart and I am in last place, he will be added to my team no matter what. However, if I was ranked first in the league, if any other owner placed a claim on Gerhart they would get him before I would. I like FAB and waiver wire setups as they give each owner a fair chance to add each player, but I prefer FAB the best as it adds more strategy to the game. If this is your first time playing, I would recommend starting out with the waiver wire setup.

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