Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

19 Jun 2009

If you could change the world...

Our fantasy question for today: Say you had the power to implement one change that would become part of the rules/setup for standard fantasy leagues. What would it be?

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 19 Jun 2009

40 replies , Last at 05 Aug 2009, 9:45am by spotatl

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Re: If you could change the world...
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 10:48am

Make it DYAR-based.

2
Re: If you could change the world...
by Joe T. :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 10:58am

If that were feasible, wouldn't that take some of the strategy out of it? Since most fantasy game-planning involves evaluating strength of schedule, and DYAR is supposed to negate the variance. Besides, real games do not have their outcomes adjusted for strength of schedule.

3
Re: If you could change the world...
by Ralph (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:08pm

No kickers!

It's guessing, the scoring isnt based on any real predictive factors (other than offensive strength)

Having the kicker on the best mediocre offensive team (ie can move the ball, but struggles in the red zone, etc)

4
Re: If you could change the world...
by Ralph (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:08pm

.. is actually better than having the kicker on the best offensive team (more TDs, fewer FGs)

22
Re: If you could change the world...
by Mikey :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 7:17pm

Fully agree! The league I manage ditched kickers five years ago, and nobody's missed them. It's a weird, semi-random bonus round.

I'm debating if I feel the same way about team defenses.

5
Re: If you could change the world...
by roguerouge :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:24pm

Start 2 QBs. It makes all three positions better balanced. Fantasy league set-ups nod towards simulation of real lineups, but if you're dealing with a 10 team league, you don't have anything close to a real team. Take the next step away from that and make a better game out of it.

8
Re: If you could change the world...
by Duke :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:31pm

NO WAY. If your league is more than 8 teams, the QB pool gets WAY too short and QBs become SUPER important. To the detriment of all other positions.

I know RBs are too important in most leagues but IMHO the 2QB league goes to far in the other direction.

13
Re: If you could change the world...
by Eddo :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:36pm

One thing I do to temper running back importance is to give 1 point for every 7.5 receiving yards, while keeping 1 point for every 10 rushing yards. This does inflate the value of some running backs, but it also greatly increases the value of wide receivers.

It all comes down to the reason running backs are so valuable in the first place: consistency. This is especially true in the touchdown department. The best wide receivers will consistently get 60-80 yards per week, but touchdowns are much more fluky, whereas a running back can be counted on to get goal line carries.

I also don't like flex positions. Not sure why, but I don't.

16
Re: If you could change the world...
by BywaterBrat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 2:26pm

Agreed...flex is a cop-out: 2 RBs, a TE and 2 WR is the typical pro set-up. Also DEF should have more categories, like 3 and outs, TOP, etc. (after all, it's half of the game) or IDPs shoudl become standard with a DL, LB and DB required...2QB leagues are a whole different animal though I try to play in one each year bc they are a lot of fun.

23
Re: If you could change the world...
by Mikey :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 7:19pm

I'm experimenting with reducing the points (6 to 4) for rushing TDs, on the grounds that they are more likely just to be from a fullback pounding it in than any particular greatness of the individual player.

I also increased passing TD from 6 to 10 to emphasize QBs a little bit more.

14
Re: If you could change the world...
by Key19 :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:54pm

In my league we had 16 teams last season (one QB spot). Finding a backup was quite the challenge.

Although, one guy drafted Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, so he was pretty much set from Day 1.

37
Re: If you could change the world...
by Yadda3x :: Mon, 06/29/2009 - 3:14am

I have a league that is dynasty with 2 QB and it's absolutely brutal. We keep 10 players and I'm basically forced to keep Shaun Hill just so I have an actual playing QB as a backup (a pox upon Alex Smith.) There are *40* QB owned - 8 players since there are only 32 teams - 4 byes a week - quantity of decent QB - injury = yuck.

If I could think of a better system for the playoffs I'd do it. It's so random. IMHO, the real winner is the guy with the most points at the end of the season. On the other hand, playoffs let the people in 3-6 place to have a shot at it after week 10. I'd play for playoff spots for 17 weeks. Then resolve the playoffs during the playoffs.

I also hate kickers and Defenses who can randomly score massive points.

28
Re: If you could change the world...
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sat, 06/20/2009 - 12:59am

I agree--I love 2 QBs. It also allows for smarter managers to get more of an advantage over others. Anybody can draft Peyton Manning, but it takes the more astute mind to realize when to put in Dan Orlovsky instead of Shaun Hill (those are two more-or-less randomly chosen QBs, please don't analyze them as though I'm saying anything about their abilities.

6
Re: If you could change the world...
by JR (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:25pm

I've thought about removing kickers, since both FG% and FGA are close to random. XPA correlates very well with strength of offense, but the main drivers of kicker points are (nearly) random.

The thing is, occasionally having games decided by random kicker luck makes fantasy football more like real football. Our league tends to like that.

7
Re: If you could change the world...
by Will :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:28pm

Get rid of Points per Reception and replace them with first downs.

10 yds = 1pt
first down = 1pt
touchdown = 6pt

You'll get pretty good balance between RB and WR with that setup, and not overly reward the dumpoff pass to RBs and slot receivers.

Unfortunately, Yahoo doesn't offer first downs as a stat. I requested it last year and they said they would look in to it, but I guess they decided not to.

Will

17
Re: If you could change the world...
by BywaterBrat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 2:31pm

I think all readers of this site would enthusiastically concur...also when your wideout gets a 50 yd DPI call but no fantasy points, that blows rakestraw

33
Re: If you could change the world...
by Mystyc :: Sun, 06/21/2009 - 2:45pm

Points for rush/rec first downs would be AWESOME.

9
Re: If you could change the world...
by tommy8215 :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:34pm

My league has return yards: 2-10 kick RTN YRD's and 3 points for 10 punt RTN YRD's it adds value to some RB's and WR's and if you play IDP it adds value to CB's

10
Re: If you could change the world...
by Duke :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:34pm

Put all free agents on waivers at the start of games for the week, and don't allow pickups until Wednesday.

I'm in a few leagues that do this. It's just much better. You don't have people hovering at their computer, ready to drop a solid player for the backup RB they think will be starting now that the starter got hurt and left the game. And if you can't be at your computer for some reason, you don't lose out. It just makes the game better, and I wish all free league sites allowed for this setup. Unfortunately, it seems like most sites want you to pay to get that level of control over your player pool.

12
Re: If you could change the world...
by Birdman (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:34pm

That's how we do it in my league. The problem then is that we have people (like myself) hovering at the computer when we can make pick-ups.

24
Re: If you could change the world...
by Mikey :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 7:21pm

In some leagues, you can put in claims all weekend/Monday, and then they get resolved by priority instead of a big random clump of who clicked first (inverse order of draft, standings, etc.)

27
Re: If you could change the world...
by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 10:07pm

free Yahopo let you do this now.

Can create free league there where all players go on waivers starting with either 1st game of week or first Sunday game. You get option of what system you want or thrid optiosn is old crappy system . some weks first game is on a thursday or saturday so thats why yahoo give you that options, but most commisssioners probaly go with Sunday-Tuesday waiver thing

SIerra Nevada Summerfest tonight, borhters!!!! This is goingng to be gretat night

11
Re: If you could change the world...
by Andy (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:47pm

Limit the number of runningbacks per roster. The reason why RBs are overvalued isn't so much to do with points as it is position scarcity. If each team were only allowed to carry a certain amount of RBs (say, 4-5), then the scarcity wouldn't exist, and the position would be more balanced. I'm tired of every fantasy football discussion being derailed by discussions of backup's backups being the hot pick-up of the week.

15
Re: If you could change the world...
by JasonK :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 2:12pm

Increase the standard negative point value associated with turnovers. All experience from real football tells us that turnovers are more costly than TDs are beneficial. A QB having an 1:1 TD:INT ratio is not considered good, but in fantasy leagues, he ends up ahead. A more balanced standard scoring would be +6 points for all TDs, -6 points for INTs, and -3 points for fumbles (regardless of recovery).

@#5, I like 2 QBs in a 10-team league. When you push it up to 12 teams, though, the effect of QB injuries becomes too exaggerated.

18
Re: If you could change the world...
by solarjetman (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 2:43pm

I'm a big fan of having 3 WR/TE's per roster, rather than 2 WRs and 1 TE; it is not a unanimously held position in my league though.

To brainstorm a bit outside the restrictions of what can be done in standard online leagues, I also wish there was an "Offensive Line" position to go with "defense" and kickers. Positive points for general offensive performance (esp. rushing), negative points for sacks and penalties.

I'd also like to see points for first downs.

19
Re: If you could change the world...
by Joseph :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 2:47pm

I would add (offensive) return points as follows--
return TD's=6 pts.
any NON-TD punt return of 15+ yds.=2 pts. 30+ yds.=4 pts.
any NON-TD kick return of 35+ yds.=2 pts. 50+ yds.=4 pts.
Note: the above values are PER RETURN, NOT CUMULATIVE. In other words, having the Lions primary return man won't help unless he breaks a big one. Whereas having had Reggie Bush against the Vikes last year would have earned you (IIRC) 6+6+2=14 return points, besides any other fantasy points he may have earned in the game. Since I don't play much FF, I don't know if standard leagues reward return TD's anyway. But this is a way to reward guys who may have GOOD returns on a regular basis, without actually scoring a TD on the given return

20
Re: If you could change the world...
by Roscoe :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 4:05pm

A couple of minor points.

First, if your QB is hurt during the game, or is scratched at the last minute, you should get the points for his backup. After all, in the real world when a QB goes down the backup gets the snaps and, unlike RBs, there isn't the issue of predicting which of them is going to get the majority of the snaps.

This should especially be the case when the team owner is vacationing in the middle of nowhere when he hears about the change on the radio, and has five minutes to scramble all over what passes for the town trying to find a hot spot to make the roster change before the game starts, but he can't find one, and gets incredibly aggravated, and his wife gets annoyed about how a grown man can take something like this so seriously.

Also, I think if you have a wideout that you just watched score a TD, but then it turns out that he dropped the ball on the one half yard line so you don't get any points, but then the guy who runs the ball in on the next play is owned by your opponent that week, so he gets the points, and you wind up losing by one point, I think that whole week shouldn't count.

30
Re: If you could change the world...
by roguerouge :: Sat, 06/20/2009 - 12:11pm

I take it this happened to you... my condolences.

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Re: If you could change the world...
by tinycorkscrew :: Sat, 07/25/2009 - 2:33am

ESPN allows you to set up leagues that draft team QBs instead of individual QBs.

I haven't used that option, but I've thought about it.

21
Re: If you could change the world...
by MJK :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 4:22pm

I'm kind of new to fantasy, so apologies if this is a stupid suggestion, or if it's already done, but my first thought when I started learning about it was that it would be fun to have to pick and play an O-line (individual linemen would be too hard). Kind of like how in some leagues you pick and play a team defense, and get points for how well that defense plays.

Also, this would reduce the overvaluing of running backs. If RB A gets X yards and Y touchdowns, on a given day, credit him for half of those yards and TD points, and credit the O-line for the other half. Or maybe do a 60%-40% split or something. Also, lose points for half of the sacks given up (charge the other half to the QB, for example).

25
Re: If you could change the world...
by MJB (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 8:03pm

The league that I play in we use an OL scoring system where not allowing a sack is 10 points, the team gains over 125 yards rushing is 5 points, and team gains over 250 yards passing is 5 points, for a max of 20 points. We have been using this scoring system since 1992 with the only change to it was that we folded the OL scoring in with the Defensive scoring, so an owner is drafting a team Defense and OL while before we were drafting both a D and an OL. And this was mostly done just to speed up our draft, and it make it less confusing during the draft as to who and what was drafted.

The only draw back to this scoring system was realized two years ago, where one owner just needed Tom Brady and the Patriots Defense to win the league.

26
Re: If you could change the world...
by drobviousso :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 8:03pm

More rate stats, fewer counting stats. QB yard/attemp, RB success rate, Defense points/possession. Not sure if that would work for WR's though. Lots of really good WR's make their pay just a yards past the LOS.

Maybe the first down points suggest above are a good way to go for everyone.

29
Re: If you could change the world...
by parker (not verified) :: Sat, 06/20/2009 - 11:08am

I understand that fantasy football's best players don't correlate with who the actual best players of the game are. IMO, that makes the game more fun. If you understand what makes the best football players you can take a little time to also understand what makes the best fantasy football players. I gave up that dream a long time ago once EA sports made playing 20 minute football games fun.

31
Re: If you could change the world...
by Mr Shush :: Sat, 06/20/2009 - 3:39pm

Give QBs half a point per completion, and minus half per incompletion. Rewards both accuracy and workload, and increases the value of QBs in a manner more reflective of real life.

32
Re: If you could change the world...
by Mystyc :: Sun, 06/21/2009 - 2:44pm

A new turnover point system, something like in #15, would be great. -4 for interceptions and lost fumbles seems appropriate, with a corresponding +4 points for the defense. -2 for a fumble recovered by the offense and a +2 for any player recovering a fumble means that someone getting back their own ball takes no penalty, while a teammate bailing you out still hurts. ESPN let me do that last year, and I was thrilled.

Also, 1 point for the defense on a tackle for a loss. It's the same as a sack.

36
Re: If you could change the world...
by BigCheese :: Mon, 06/22/2009 - 8:53pm

I just discovered that ESPN let's you do some amazing stuff. I want to make a league that is more in line with VOA or YAR in it. I remember reading a post last year with some numbers that would approximate that. Anyone know where I can find it?

- Alvaro

38
Re: If you could change the world...
by bingo762 :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 5:08pm

"Also, 1 point for the defense on a tackle for a loss. It's the same as a sack."

Mystyc, I like the cut of your jib.

I do my league through sportsline. Their waiver options suck. We can never get it to work right. Also, individual players should be able to get points on kick/punt returns. I had DeSean Jackson last year and lost to a guy with Eagles D in a game in which Jackson returned 1

34
Re: If you could change the world...
by dbostedo :: Mon, 06/22/2009 - 10:44am

Make touchdowns worth 1 or 2 points and put the focus on yards/catches/first downs. No one else in my fantasy league seems to agree with this.

35
Re: If you could change the world...
by Marver :: Mon, 06/22/2009 - 7:54pm

That's because it sounds incredibly un-fun.

40
Re: If you could change the world...
by spotatl :: Wed, 08/05/2009 - 9:45am

I think the one change I would make is that whoever finishes last in the league should pay double. (or the last 2 people in the league) One of the worst things about fantasy football is how teams stop paying attention after they draft a team that sucks- it would make the league far more fun if those bottom feeding teams still had a major incentive to keep playing competitively.

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