Fantasy Football, Sports

7 Rule Changes Every Fantasy Football League Should Try

The game of fantasy football has exploded in popularity among sports fans around the world. Every year, business leaders devise new tactics to outmaneuver their rivals and come out on top. But, as the game’s popularity has increased, rules updates have been necessary to keep things fresh for players of all skill levels.

The goal here is to add excitement and fun.

Despite the fact we use hilarious (or inappropriate) Fantasy Team Names for our rosters, and cheer from the couch, Fantasy Football is based on real-life football, and as strategies and tactics in the NFL change,  so should the rules of fantasy. For example, the rise of the passing game in the NFL has resulted in more fantasy points for quarterbacks and receivers, which could lead to changes in how fantasy football points are awarded. Fantasy leagues can reflect the changing nature of the NFL and keep the game current by introducing new rules.

Rule 7: You Must Start A Rookie

This is my favorite rule, and I implement it in almost every league.

Add one flex RB/WR/TE who can only start a rookie. This is a great way to get to know the new guys while also rewarding extra effort. Suddenly, strategies change. You can draft the best rookie early or scout and find a gem late. Either way, the x-factor of having this wild card spot in your starting lineup makes things interesting.

This rule works best for mid to deep leagues, I think Sleeper even has a slot in Commish settings to require such a rule change.

Rule 6: Fix Quarterback Scoring

Isn’t quarterback the most important position in sports? So, why is it such a secondary consideration in fantasy football? The position is deeper than ever before, and you can wait indefinitely and still find a couple of guys who will throw for 3,500 yards and plenty of touchdowns. Unless you get someone like Patrick Mahomes last year, your quarterback is likely to score about the same as everyone else.

Rule 5: Live Draft Requirement

This may be simpler to say than to accomplish. But if there’s anything staying at home has taught us, it’s that there are ways to feel included even when you’re not physically present, thanks to tools like Zoom and Microsoft Meeting.

I always look forward to draft day. I participate in several live-draft leagues each year. I can go visit some of them in person, while for others I will need to use remote access. Nonetheless, I’d much rather participate in a live draft than one that takes place online and lasts for about an hour and a half and gives you only a few minutes to make your picks.

There will always be some who claim it’s taking too long and want the draft to end only a few minutes after it begins. This can be frustrating during a live draft, but I figure it only happens once a year and I can live with the slow pace. A live draft, however, is a fantastic excuse to gather your league’s members together for a social event that could end up being the highlight of the season.

Rule 4: Name Your Offensive Scheme at the Draft

Have your coaches name what offensive system they will be running this year rather than having a Flex position that will be used throughout the entire season. Imagine that you have five open roster spots that can be filled by running backs or wide receivers. They have the option of operating the run-and-shoot formation with four wide receivers and one running back, or they may use the wishbone formation with three running backs and two wide receivers. They also have the option of going with a normal lineup consisting of two running backs, three wide receivers, but this must be decided after their fantasy selection. Either way, create a “set team formation” that owners/managers have to stick too all season.

Rule 3: Extra Points For First Downs Instead Of Receptions

Running backs and pass catchers who move the chains are rewarded with an extra point after a first down, as opposed to receivers who simply catch screen passes for two yards. This is because an extra point is awarded for a first down.

Rule 2: Team QB (Starter + Backup)

When I played fantasy football, one of the challenges I faced was that if your quarterback was hurt on the first drive of the game, it was game over for you.

The NFL squad was not finished; it brought in its backup quarterback to continue playing. But it was too late for you. As a result, we came up with the idea of having an “Emergency QB” situation, in which a fantasy team would be responsible for the statistics of whichever quarterback came in to replace its NFL teammate (only for game-ending injuries, though). The commissioners may also require clubs to pick two quarterbacks each summer, with the understanding that the second quarterback would serve as the team’s backup quarterback in the event that the starting quarterback suffered an injury during the first half.

Rule 1: Schedule doubleheaders twice per season

If the previous two choices are too much for you, then you may merely have two doubleheader weeks throughout the regular season. But, you should aim to schedule these weeks around a time when there are no bye weeks in the NFL. This prevents fantasy teams from being penalized twice for losing a star player for one week due to resting that player.