For those of you that missed last week’s show, here is another installment of the “Misc File”. Last Thursday on Comcast CN8 New England’s Sports Pulse show, we talked about some ideas you can use to keep interest in your league going strong right to the very end, even for those teams not in the running for the playoffs. Let’s get right into it…
Weed out owners that “give up”
This is probably the most important thing you can have going for your league, in fact, if you have strong ownership, you may not even need the rest of these ideas. Your league is only going to be as good as its weakest link, so it makes sense to put together a group of people that are going to fight to the finish no matter what happens to their team. Those that do give up shouldn’t be asked back the following year.
Wildcard team(s) based on total points
If more than one wildcard team makes the playoffs, consider having one be the team that has scored the most points during the regular season (regardless of win/loss record). This rewards that owner that has a strong team, but each week seems to be up against the team that scores the most points. This would be an especially good idea if there is more than one wildcard in your league, have one of them be given to the team wih the highest total points that does not have a good enough record to qualify for the playoffs.
Reward the High Weekly Score
If there is some sort of “donation” to participate in your league, consider setting aside a little something for the team that records the highest one week score in the league. There’s a good chance that a non-playoff team could win this so teams would keep their interest in the end trying to win this even if they aren’t in the playoff chase.
Reverse next year’s Draft
Most redraft leagues have a random draft order, which I’m very much in favor of by the way. However, another way to keep teams interested might be to consider a rule where the first team not in the playoffs gets the firt pick in the following year’s draft, and so on down the line. This way there is incentive to keep trying to win games. If it is percieved that the top pick in the draft is not the most desirable, set it up so that this team gets to choose its draft position next year.
Establish a “Not In Playoffs” Tournament for those teams not in the official playoffs. True fantasy players hate to see the season come to an end, no matter how bad their team might be. These “Not In Playoffs” games could still have bragging rights between the teams playing each other, as well as side bets. In fact, set things up so the teams try to put together the worst lineup. Anything to keep things going.
If your league’s championship game is week 16, which is something else we recommend, then have week 17 be an all-star game between the divisions. Set it up so that each team must have at least one represetative on the team and the all star teams will battle it out. Make it so that it’s not just bragging rights on the line, the winning division gets to eat/drink free at next year’s draft. Or the losing division is forced to consume some less than desirable liquid (ie. Black Label) while the winning division gets to enjoy high quality suds.