Fantasy Billboard: 10 ways to spice up your league this season

Most Fantasy leagues have been playing for years with the same old rules and regulations. Why not add some spice this season by considering some of the following options, courtesy of Fantasy Billboard.

Name That League

It’s sad when Fantasy players refer to their leagues as “my ESPN league”, or “my Yahoo league.” That does not breed camaraderie. Leagues should have a name. A league of morticians? Call it the SCL, (Stiff Competition League). A league of realtors? Call it the LLLL, (Location, Location, Location League). A league of college friends? How about the LGPA (Low Grade Point Average)? Have fun with it. Some great league names I’ve come across include: 12 Angry Men, The Justice League, and It’s Just a Fantasy It’s Not the Real Thing. My favorite league is called the OFFL, short for Our Frivolous Football League. The OFFL has been going strong since 1985.

Give Kickers the Boot

Raise your hand if you still have a VCR next to your television. Or paper road maps folded accordion style in your glove compartment. Any cassette tapes out there, maybe next to your floppy discs? Hopefully, the answer to these questions is a resounding “no” because that’s my response to the archaic tradition of kickers in Fantasy. The days of hanging your hopes on these little fellas are over. Their success is completely random and excruciating to watch, as is replacing them on bye weeks. If you disagree, head to the pay phone at the malt shop and give me a call. I’ll wait.

Super Flex

Why do we have to start two running backs every week? Flex one out for a wide receiver. Productive running backs are scarce enough in Fantasy. A team should not have to start a third-tier RB like Kenneth Gainwell, leaving a first-tier WR like Chris Olave on the bench, just to fit lineup restrictions. That makes no sense. Almost all NFL teams use one RB with four WRs sets. If we truly model our teams after the NFL (we start kickers for cryin’ out loud!) then we should adopt this rule: 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 2 Flex, 1 K, 1 D.

Points Per Carry

If your league won’t “Super Flex”, how about adding PPC? Why not? We already have PPR (points per reception). The RB depth chart is wafer-thin. Awarding a half-point per carry would have mediocre backs with 200 carries like Brian Robinson, D’Onta Foreman and Tyler Allgeier shooting up scoreboards by 100 points. This rule would be a runaway game-changer.

Team Quarterbacks

It is a Fantasy fatality if the highest-scoring position on your team goes down in a game. Team Quarterbacks solve that problem. Whatever points the QB position scores for a team, you get their total points for the game. For example, if Aaron Rodgers gets hurt, you are automatically awarded whatever points his backup Zach Wilson produces. If you started Derek Carr for the Saints and he gets temporarily pulled for Taysom Hill, who then tosses a TD, you still get the points. To do this at any other position is a systematic nightmare but would be easy to do for QBs.

Rivalry Weeks

Who doesn’t love a great rivalry: Maverick vs Iceman, Daniel LaRusso vs Johnny Lawrence, Marty McFly vs Biff Tannen. Manipulate your league schedule so there’s one big week where brother plays brother, husband plays wife, father plays son, boss plays employee, etc. The winners of these intense throwdowns get to change the losers’ team name and logo for the rest of the season.

Luck Be a Lady

Sometimes a team with the highest point total of the year doesn’t make the playoffs. They could have the second most points for a week, but still lose to the highest scorer in their head-to-head matchup. This is easily rectified by awarding the teams that score in the top half of the league a win every week. It levels the playing field.

Do Not Let Commissioners Veto Trades

The Commish is not a god. The only trade I’ve vetoed in my 30-plus years as a Fantasy Commissioner was a Phil Simms for a pepperoni pizza swap. It wasn’t a fair trade. The pizza was excellent. At the time, Phil Simms was not.

Tradewinds Blow

To avoid two scoundrel owners from stacking one of their teams as the playoffs near, set an early November trade deadline. This is a must if money is involved. Additionally, if a team is eliminated from playoff contention before the deadline, they are barred from making trades.

The Toilet Bowl

If their records stink, crappy teams that get wiped out during the season don’t have to be party poopers. Keep the season rolling with The Toilet Bowl. Bottom-of-the-barrel squads square off in a consolation playoff bracket for a silent but deadly “Game of Thrones”. The team that finishes number one won’t be flush with cash, but they can make a big splash. It’s better than being number two, who gets dumped. It’s a nice way to put a lid on the season. Don’t forget to wash your hands.

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