Clearing The Bases
I love to play fantasy sports, whether it be baseball, football, or hockey, but I do understand that it’s just a game and not the most important thing in life. That’s not to say that I’m not a more pleasant human being when my teams are doing well. I do have a tendency to go to bed earlier when I’m having a bad fantasy night, hoping a quick start to the next day will change my fortunes. I’m always a believer in that I don’t really care what the rules are in a league, as long as they are clear, concise, and don’t change after the draft. Any league that tries to change the rules after the draft has taken place is not a league for me. We all have to play by the same rules. Below however are my top 9 (9 because we are Going 9 Fantasy Baseball) rules that I wish each and every league I play in would institute. These are in no particular order.
- Unlimited DL Spots: I’ve always thought that this is sort of a no-brainer. Why should a fantasy owner be penalized over an injury? This is not something they can control. You are already at a loss due to the player being hurt, but now if you only play in a league with limited DL slots and you suffer a rash of injuries, you may have to release a player you don’t want to or go with an extremely short bench. This is the equivalent of being punished twice for the same crime. I also believe you should have to activate or release a player on the DL immediately after he is activated. In a NL only league I play in (draft was in late February), I took Chris Carpenter, Ryan Madson, Chase Utley, and Jed Lowrie. That league only has two DL slots, so I had to eat up two bench spots for a couple of weeks and now I just have to hope that no one else gets hurt until either Carpenter or Utley come back.
- Streaming Pitchers: Now I’m not mad at owners who do this, if the rules state you can do this, then go for it. My problem is that this is not how a real team is run, changing a slew of pitchers each week. The two ways to eliminate this, weekly lineups or limited transactions. Limited transactions is another one of my dislikes about leagues depending on what the limit is. Once again I play in a league where you can only make six roster moves during the season. This is also a league with no bench. Wow you better hope you have a great draft. Weekly lineups makes streaming much more difficult as you can’t change your lineup each day, so you’re going to have to live with the players you drafted. Another league I play in charges a fee per move (first five moves $1, $5 per move after). That will certainly stop the streaming also unless you want to tally up quite a tab at the end of the season.
- Trade Vetoes: I don’t care how bad a trade may seem, unless it’s collusion, a trade should never be overturned. Owners should be permitted to make their own mistakes. Not to mention I don’t care who you are, you’re going to convince yourself a trade is unfair just because it hurts your chances of winning, not because the trade itself is one sided, and who’s to say you’re right about a trade and the owners who made the deal are wrong? Now if there is collusion, that changes everything. Owners who make a sweetheart deal to help someone win without any benefit to their team should not only have the trade cancelled, but shouldn’t be invited back to the league.
- Late Trade Deadline: I really don’t like trade deadlines that are at the end of August and certainly not ones that are in September. We fight all year to get where we are in the standings just to see our competition make a great deal on September 1 that nets him the players he needs to pass us. I prefer a deadline of July 31, let teams that want to deal out have to make a decision early especially in keeper or dynasty leagues.
- Constitution: Every league needs one. It should be clear, concise, and cover all the possibilities. One would think that this would be obvious, but one league I play in has such a wordy constitution that it is impossible to understand. I feel like I need a law degree to understand it. This is one of the reasons I won’t be back next season. Hard to play in a league if I’m not sure of all the rules, especially when I can’t understand all the rules even after reading the constitution multiple times.
- OPS and Quality Starts as Categories: When you watch a baseball game on television or at the ballpark and the batter comes to the plate and they flash his numbers, AVG, HR, RBI, average shouldn’t be there anymore, it’s just not an important statistic in baseball anymore. You can bat .330, but if you’re not scoring runs or driving them in, than that’s an empty number. OPS combines your on base percentage with your slugging percentage, certainly a better indicator of how well you’re performing. Wins looks good for a pitcher, but it’s also hard to predict. You can win a game even though you pitched poorly, or lose a game even though you pitched well. Quality Start would determine how well you pitched regardless of winning or losing. Now I don’t believe 6 IP and 3 runs is a quality start, I would raise the bar to 6 IP and 2 runs or 7 IP and 3 runs, but that’s just semantics.
- Rotisserie over H2H: Truthfully I prefer total points leagues over either of these, but since most leagues are either Rotisserie or H2H we’ll just talk about these two. Rotisserie to me is a better format because it is a true indicator of how good a team you have. H2H is just an indicator of how good a team you had that week. I also don’t like H2h because there is a luck factor involved. Let’s face it, you could lead your league in every category but not make the playoffs because you played the hot team each and every week. You might laugh at this but it happens. The best team doesn’t always win in H2H leagues.
- Final Standings Determine Draft Order: One of the biggest problems we have in redraft leagues are teams that give up once they are out of the playoff picture or have no chance of winning. I play in a league or two that uses the final standings to determine next season’s draft order. Now I wouldn’t just use the inverse order of standings, last thing you want is for teams to tank or try to lose on purpose. What we do is reward teams that didn’t finish in the money. If you pay your top three finishers for example, than whomever finished 4th would pick 1st, 5th would pick 2nd, and so on. First place would pick last, second place 2nd to last and so on. Keeps everyone involved no matter who bad there team is just for the chance to move up in the draft.
- Daily FAAB: How to conduct your waivers is always a problem. Some people like a random order that turns over each week or inverse order of standings, I have no problem with each, but if I’m playing in a league that uses FAAB, I don’t want it to be weekly, each night is much more desirable. One of the reasons I don’t like weekly lineups is because if I lose a player early in the week, I have to eat that spot for the week. I want to be able to make a move now. I also like the idea of 0 bids, if I want to save my budget and risk that no one else will go in on that player, why shouldn’t I be able to bid 0?
Remember, you can ask me any fantasy questions you like on Twitter, @GeorgeKurtz