Most fake football players have seen the following week 13 scenario unfold in their fantasy league: Two teams are 6-6…both need wins, coupled with a loss by the other team, to rip a playoff berth from the clutches of their league mate. The only issue is, one of the teams is playing a squad that is still starting Michael Vick with a broken fill-in-the-blank (hand/rib generally works), along with a kicker who has been cut and the Redskins running back from four weeks ago, who could now be unemployed, on the practice squad, or tied up in Mike Shanahan’s basement. Have you personally witnessed an issue of competitive balance in a fantasy league? Has late season inattentiveness driven you to use Aaron Rodgers’ name in vain? If so, here is one solution that can help keep each team in your fantasy league competitive until the final snap of week 13…
If I were a gambling man, and I most certainly am, I would wager that most of the degenerates perusing fake football websites like this one play not only to rack up fantasy victories over their pals, but also to win a few pesos for their efforts. If you are not in a money league, no hard feelings, but I can tell you that week 16 title games always fall around Christmas, and some prize money can go a long way in helping a significant other forget that you missed your child’s winter holiday recital because the Jags and Rams were playing on Thursday Night Football. I bet our neighbors to the north even wager a few “loonies” in their fantasy CFL leagues. Any way you slice it, fantasy leagues are a boat load of fun when you can not only hurt the pride of your opponent, but their wallet as well. This also gives us a great way to make sure leagues stay competitive from start to finish.
Many may feel that a monetary entry fee alone would keep leagues intense long past turkey day, but once a team has paid up, and they are staring at two injured quarterbacks and a 2-7 record, where is the motivation to remain engaged? The answer is erasing fantasy football league entry fees completely, and charging teams per regular season loss. As a proud league commissioner myself, I have enacted this policy in my own hometown league for 2012 and can’t wait to see it in action. The math isn’t too difficult, and I’ll even help demonstrate how to keep your league’s total pot safely intact: Simply take your league’s total sum of all entry fees and divide it by the total number of losses that will occur in regular season play. That’s it! If you haven’t chugged your morning Rockstar yet (or passed fourth grade), a 12 team league with a $50 entry fee would look like this:
12 teams x $50 each = $600 pot
6 games per week (6 losses) x 13 reg. season weeks = 78 losses
$600 / 78 = $7.70 per loss
In this scenario, a 6-7 season would mean a debt of $53.90 at season’s end, which is very close to the original entry fee. If teams finish worse, they pay more. If your team finishes with a shiny 10-3 regular season record, you pay only $23.10 and your profit margins skyrocket. Clearly, the penalty per loss can get pretty high if you play in a Scrooge McDuck level money league, but this change to any league’s pay structure can help persuade a 2-7 team from mailing it in once they taste the sweet sting of the injury bug, and help leagues stay competitive all season long.
Just make sure you keep your buddy Tiny, the ex-con, and his tire iron around to help you collect after the season.