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I was a member of the old fantasy football cafe (registered in 2003). I have been a commissioner in the same league (with most of the same owners) since 1993. I have had a few ideas through the year that seems to keep the owners happy and keep the league fresh and I wanted to share some ideas with all of you! BUT I want to hear from some of you too! What are some ideas that you guys implement in your league to keep things interesting?
Here are a few of the ideas I have had (and still use) in my current league, which is a 12 team full point PPR league with three (3) keepers:
DEVELOPMENTAL PLAYERS: Each team must name their three keepers prior to our draft (usually one month). Each team can also have one developmental player which would count as the last pick of the draft (18th round pick for us). A player can be named developmental if the player has less than 800 TOTAL yards (RB/WR/TE) or 1,850 TOTAL yards (QB). The developmental player can be any player (i.e. veteran, rookie, etc) that meets the yardage requirement.
ALL-STAR GAME: At the end of the year, the two team owners with the worst records are named coaches for the annual All Star Team, which consists of the top three fantasy scoring QB's, top four RB's, top six WR's, top two TE's, and top two Defenses and Kickers. The coaches name players for the starting lineup (1 QB, 2 WR, 2 RB, 1 Flex, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 Defense) for each week in our fantasy playoffs (which is weeks 15-17). The coaches do this each week for three weeks and the team with the most points after the third game gets each team a $10 league fee discount for the next year and a $10 increase in league fees for the losing team owners. The winning coach gets an additional $5 league fee discount. I think this keeps the last place teams interested.
OFF-SEASON REPORTS: In a keeper league, I think it is very important to keep all owners interested in fantasy football throughout the year! I try to do this by having at least three reports (I call them "Off Season Reports") with the first one out in early February. Each report details scoring changes implemented in off-season, rule changes, trades or other off-season moves, draft locations for the next year (time and place), different stats from player/team performances throughout the years, etc. My guys (and gal) love getting these reports!
DRAFT LOCATIONS: We have found it very fun to change the draft locations for every draft. I'm in Indiana, but we have drafted in Germany, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beech, Chicago, Atlanta, and other smaller places since 1993. The big trip (like Vegas or Germany) is done every other year so people can save money. After each draft, I will have team owners nominate places they would like to visit and I will pick the three best locations and have all the owners vote on the place they want to go the following year. For us, we have voted for New York/Philadelphia for Draft Day 2015! We usually go for 4-6 days and golf/gamble/shop/hit the beach during our time at each location and pick a bar for the draft. We have found that the Tilted Kilt loves fantasy drafts and will accommodate leagues very nicely.
RULES: The commissioner is the most important person in EVERY league. Without a fair and impartial commish, a league will not last very long. Some things that have helped me over the years is to have absolute power over everything in the league (as long as you are fair and impartial there shouldn't be an issue). The commish and commish alone should have power to veto trades. Leagues that allow teams to vote on trades I have found have major issues because of this. I have only vetoed ONE trade since 1993 as I will only veto a trade I believe has CLEAR collusion. Also ensure that any rule changes made during the season are implemented the following year. Never implement a rule change during the current season.
LITTLE THINGS HELP: I also have the league owners vote for a fantasy football MVP each year. The team with the person that's named the MVP get a $10 league fee discount for the following year. I will then upload a photo of that player and attach it to the team's page. I also maintain a "Team Biography" for every team which I update at the end of the year. Each team's biography will contain their total wins/losses since they've been in the league, championships, MVP's, record against their arch rival, playoff record, draft days attended, and other things. Each team must also name their stadium and provide seating capacity, which is also included in the team biography.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: After each year, I count up the number of wins that each team had at home, and depending on how many wins they have they can get extra points for home games. Example, I won all but one home game last year (6-1) so I get +2 points for every home game THIS year. These extra points only count if they will affect the score (if I'm losing 125-124, I would actually win after I add the 2 points!) Teams that had 4-5 wins at home got +1 points, and less then that received zero points.
Thats it for now...just wanted to share a few things we've done over the years!