It is Decided

Posted: August 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

After a week of voting, the poll results from on some rule changes are now here! Our draft on August 24th is approaching really soon, so it’s about time to update you on all of our rule changes so you can strategize correctly. 

Poll Results

New Defensive Format: 1 DL, 1 LB, 1 DB, and 1 D/ST (55.56% of votes)

Overwhelmingly, the poll results show that our league is really into individual defensive players. Some owners would even get rid of Team Defenses/Special Teams as a whole. Depending on how the year goes, that might be something we look into next offseason, but for now, we’ll take the next step up and just break down the IDPs into more positions.

Scoring Passing Touchdowns: 6 points instead of 4 points (57.14% of votes)

This was a really close race. 6 point PTDs were ahead to start, but some late voters evened it out. If it wasn’t for the late voter from a couple days ago who voted for 6 point PTDs, this would be a tie and I wouldn’t be sure what to do. But alas, this upcoming season, we’re using 6 point PTDs, so draft accordingly. And if everyone hates this rule after this year, we can revisit the subject at a later time.

Fumble Recoveries: Fumble Recoveries are awarded no points, Fumbles are -1, and Forced Fumbles are 3 points (57.14% of votes)

It seems like owners generally agree that no one cares too much about fumble recoveries.

Kick/Punt Return Yards: 1 point per 25 KR yds, 1 point per 10 PR yds (57.14% of votes)

The one vote for “I don’t care” was me. I was originally against this, but had a feeling the league would like this, because if there’s one thing I learned our league owners like, it’s that they LOVE to score points. Overall, I don’t think that return yards will dramatically shift the league scoring, so I’m happy to give the league owners what they want.

For full results, view the polls on last week’s LM note. Here the other rule changes we’re implementing this year. Yay for Democracy!

We’d totally rule at fantasy congress.

Roster Size

We started out as a small league, with only 6 teams in 2010, 8 teams in 2011, and 10 teams the past two years. While a 10-team league is standard on ESPN, 12-team leagues are just as common, and can get even more competitive and exciting! Of course, expanding to 12 teams called for a re-evaluation of our current roster sizes.

Starting Lineups: Removed the WR/TE Flex Spot

In past years, we were a small league, so our free agent pool was actually a little too full. Having 2 flex spots (instead of 1, which is normal across most fantasy sites) allowed teams to play 3 RBs AND 3 WRs, so your draft talent wouldn’t go to waste. I’m really excited to have a bigger league, but for the good of the league, we’ve removed that 2nd flex spot (WR/TE) we’ve had.

Having 1 less flex spot means that the player talent pool isn’t spread too thin. Once you get past the top 25 – 30 RBs and WRs, there’s not much left except for sleepers, handcuffs, and bench fodder. Under last year’s rules, most people would start 3 RBs and 3 WRs. If we had those same rules this year, nobody would have any quality backups. So, if one of your starters gets injured this year, hopefully you’ll be comfortable putting someone in that flex spot.

Bench Slots: Still 8 bench spots (even though we have more starters) and Decreased Position Limits

Here’s a question: What was the maximum amount of WRs you could have on your team last year? The answer is 8. I know because I tried to pick up a 9th WR and was denied. DENIED? When does anyone ever get denied due to reaching a position limit?

This was a sign that the roster size was too large. Last year, our roster size was 20, which allows teams to have enough backups at all positions. But when you’re like me and decide to not have a backup at most positions so you can stock up on RBs and WRs instead, then you run into these crazy position MAX rules that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place. Only about half of teams last year carried a backup QB, DP, or D/ST, leaving the waiver wire pretty bare, and filled with guys who would never even sniff a starting lineup.

Don't be this douche when scouring the waiver wire.

Don’t be this douche when scouring the waiver wire.

The number of bench spots is staying the same, but you really have less bench space because we’ve added 2 extra DP slots, and 3 of those are entirely new positions (DL, DB, LB), and some people might want to find that backup DB because good ones are so hard to find. On top of that, we’ve reduced the position maximums across the board, to prevent gamers (like the Japanese villain shown above) from spamming the free agent market.

In total, it makes our roster size 21 players. I know, I know, I hate odd numbers too, and it will penalize people at the end of the draft. But 21 is the right size. It’s not too small where you’re really tight on bench space, but not too large where people can hoard free agents. Each position on your team (including your bench) is now much more valuable, and each waiver decision is that much harder. Don’t worry, though. If you lose a player to injuries or BYEs, you’ll be more likely to pick up a quality backup instead of some sorry receiver like Crabtree.

Defensive Scoring and Other Changes

Since our league does employ an odd defensive format, it’s hard to find the “perfect” scoring system. It doesn’t help that there is no standard IDP scoring system. My quest to find that perfect system continues, and here are the changes for this year.

Defensive Touchdowns: 6 points instead of 4

When we switched to IDP format, I changed the scoring values for the D/ST touchdowns to 4 points, so owners wouldn’t double dip on plays. For instance, if you had Patrick Peterson AND the Cardinals D/ST, and Patrick Peterson scored on a pick six, you’d get 10 points instead of 12.

I’ve reconsidered. Remember what I said earlier about how our league loves scoring points? That applies here, too.

Who cares if you score big when double dipping on a play? You’d do the same if Matt Schaub threw a touchdown to Andre Johnson and you started them both that week. Hell, if it was a 50-yard bomb, you’d double dip on the bonus points too. Fuck it; good on you for taking that risk.

As if you needed more reasons to justify scoring more points, this helps out the offensive-defensive balance. Fantasy Football has always been a game centered around offensive skill players. That’s changed a bit with our new IDP format, but we still use more offensive players than defensive, even though math has shown that the game is really a cocktail made of 3 parts O, 3 parts D, and a splash of special teams. More defensive points is like the extra bit of Cointreau and lime juice added to your Patron (in this case, special teams is the salt). Notice that I didn’t mention sour mix.

Minor IDP Scoring Changes:

Interceptions and Blocked Kicks increase from 3 to 4 points: Forced fumbles are 3 points, and most would agree that an interception or blocked kick impacts the game more than a forced fumble.

Passes Defensed increase from 1 to 2 points: Makes your cover corners even more valuable.

Safeties increase from 2 to 4 points: Safeties are worth 2 points in the game, although with the change in position and gain in field position advantage, it’s actually worth more. Plus, you might go an entire season without scoring a safety in a matchup.

Other Changes:

Defensive scoring for Points Allowed and Yards allowed have changed: In short, I’ve increased the range in both of these categories, so you gain more points on really good defensive days, and lose more points on really bad ones. Also, the Points Allowed Category range is increased from +5 to -6 to +10 to -8. Go big or go home.

Missed PATs and FGs under 40 yards are -1 point, and missed FGs (40-49 yds) are not penalized: 40+ yard FGs can be hard to make (sometimes), and losing points suck in general. Now only the PATs and sub-40 yard kicks get penalized.

Trade Vetoes Need 4 Votes Instead of 3: Because we added 2 more teams.

Draft Date: Sunday, August 24th, 5pm PST / 7pm CST

There’s about a week left before our draft date, so start preparing, and make sure you take all of the new rules into consideration. In case you forgot the draft order, I’ve reposted it below. Good luck!

FUN FACT: Sue has never drafted lower than 3rd in this league. She was 2nd in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and 3rd in 2013. Now she’s 1st. Less than half a percent odds, and they are still ever in her favor.

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