Be honest with yourself. You’re not the only one in your league who is trying to get an edge. Other managers know about value based drafting and reaching for backup running backs that play behind injury prone starters. Every league out there now (or at least the ones worth playing in) have a number of team managers that are up-to-date on the latest sleeper trends and all the top rookie prospects.
If you are reading this article right now, there is a good chance someone else from your league is doing the same thing. So stop trying to get “the edge” on your league and
make the edge instead. Here is a list of ways that you can spice up your current league or create a new unique league that will also give you an opportunity to get the upper hand on your competitors. Just hope that they are lazier than you and didn’t make it this far in the article.
Change Your Scoring System –
Adding points per reception is one thing, but you can really find some sleeper gems that won’t be listed on any major website if you add points per kickoff and punt returns. Now all of a sudden Jacoby Jones is a potential starting receiver and you can grab him in the back half of your draft. Another potential scoring system change that can offer some real rewards to the sly manager is to give points to quarterbacks for completions or completion percentage. Or switch to a season total scoring in place of head-to-head wins and losses. Other managers will underestimate the value of these changes at first, but you can follow up with my articles and I’ll hook you up with rankings that include these types of scoring systems.
Add Players to Your Rosters or Lineups –
Going with a two-quarterback lineup completely changes the value of the position. It makes sense, but it is difficult to figure out just how much. Even more difficult to figure out is the value of less popular roster changes like adding an additional flex spot or adding a punter who scores points based on accuracy. Even something as simple as adding two bench spots can alter the value of certain player positions, and don’t forget about IDPs, the Individual Defensive Players (my personal favorite roster addition). Stop back at my later posts to see how these changes can pay off for you.
Edit League Waivers or Trade Rules –
Many leagues still have very basic waiver order procedures. Try mixing it up. Give the first pick in each week’s waiver claim to the team who had the most efficient roster selection the previous week. (If you are starting to wonder how you can do all of this stuff with your league, be patient. We will get to that). Consider dropping your league’s trade veto system in the name of trust and free market competition. Vetoes only limit the ability of fantasy team managers to take chances and go for the gold. It doesn’t mean your league has to allow collusion or player dumping, just open the trading possibilities to allow a bad trade between two willing parties. Sometimes what looks like a bad trade to some, turns out to be a great trade for you.
Incorporate Offseason Action –
This could mean adding a few keepers to your league (which offers many possibilities to get an edge) or it can mean allowing draft pick trading. I personally love the ability to swap a player with another manager this year and gain a better pick in next year’s draft. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Also consider adding a salary cap to your teams and assigning values to each player (this does not require an auction as popularly believed). It allows for salary cap money to be included in trades, which can add to your ability to make out better in the long run.
All of the examples I have given can be done in your current league or can be incorporated into a new league that you create. If you are the commissioner, you can simply make it so. Or you can put these changes to a vote after explaining to your league that you want to try something new this year. The key is for you to learn how the changes you make can potentially improve your team and then commit to making it happen.
As far as making the changes possible on your league’s website, it is simple. Change the league options on your current website host or switch to a website that has the option you want in their league setup. All of the options I have given are possible at www.myfantasyleague.com and probably on other high level league hosting sites as well. Just check the hosting site’s options page.
As far as getting the edge goes, stop back to see my future articles throughout the preseason and I will help you prepare for your draft with tips on handling these and other unique league setup options and scoring systems. It’s all a numbers game. You just have to know which numbers to look at.