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5 Tips: How to Plan a Great Fantasy Football League
- Plan your draft well in advance. More and more leagues are moving online, but a real draft is still a significant time commitment, and it’s hard to get a dozen people to find a few hours when they can all participate. If you are holding your draft in person, you may want to decide on the venue as early as possible. Renting out a room in a restaurant is a great idea, and depending on the restaurant, can be pretty affordable. If you’re holding it at your house, make sure it’s okay with your wife/husband first, and don’t skimp on the food and beer. Over-ordering a bit is far better than under-ordering. Related to this, Keep your league at maximum 16. Any more dilutes the available FA talent pool and will result in a less competitive league.
- Collect money early. Collecting money at the end of the season is a terrible, terrible idea. As soon as you have finalized the list of participants, start collecting money immediately. You may even want to collect a little extra money for the “commissioner fee”. Just make sure to be upfront and transparent about it. Obviously collecting money from family, friends and co-workers can be awkward. The most common ways to collect leagues fees are PayPal, cash and checks. Those methods are tough, though, because you need to chase people down and keep money in three different place. WePay can help you collect league fees for Fantasy Football.
- Keep teams engaged during the season. This comes pretty naturally for experienced leagues, since passion and tension usually run high during the season. However, for newer leagues, it’s often easy to lose the excitement as the season progresses – especially for teams at the bottom of the rankings. Trash talk and mockery usually help. So do regular Sunday gatherings to watch the games. Try to promote trades and other transactions. Also, Keep the scoring simple at the beginning. After your members are comfortable with draft strategies for a basic scoring league you can add more complexity. Making it complicated at the beginning will result in a less competitive league depending on how fast the members can create effective draft and acquisition strategies.
- Don’t do winner-take-all. Not only will this help people stay engaged, it will keep more people in the running, and more games will “matter” toward the end of the season. Keep the payout simple, though – This will make it easy to distribute the money at the end. I have kept the payout for Playoff Champ, Regular Season Champ, High Points, and 2nd place Playoffs.
- Give out “awards” at the end. My favorite: the team that comes in last place has to buy the beer for next season. It’s fun, and it’s a great transition to next year’s league. More serious awards are good, too. For example, an award to the person that did the most transactions, worst/best draft pick, etc.