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On Handicapping

Lazy Man's Fantasy League

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On Monday, we will be having our third annual auction for our Fantasy Owner's League, an idea I came up with two years ago that has been a real hoot. No longer being young, the time and effort of making a fantasy football team actually competitive was too much for me. Plus, fantasy football suffers from the problem of teams shutting down late in the season in unpredictable manners.

My solution was to create a fantasy league where, instead of drafting players, you auctioned off all 32 franchises. Once that is done, no further work is required - you just watch your franchises play out the season. That's easy and fun. Plus, we were able to set the prizes up in a manner completely consistent with the goals of the teams. Your team only rests its players if they've qualified for the playoffs. In other words, our league gets better during the NFL playoffs, not worse, and doesn't have to be wrapped up in week 12 for fairness.

Here's the concept: Everyone gets 200 bidding units. Units expire worthless after the draft. Each team is auctioned off until all 32 teams have been purchased. Scoring is as follows:

2 per win for all regular season games = 512
20 per team for making playoffs + 24 for each #1 seed = 288
50 per team losing in divisional round of the playoffs = 200
150 per team making the conference finals = 600

The first year, we had 75 for conference losers, 150 for Super Bowl loser and 300 for Super Bowl champ but it turned out that it was more fun ending it at the divisional round as excitement and interest peaked at that stage with 8 teams (and multiple owners) still alive.

The other wrinkle we added was a carry-over feature. Each year, you can keep the teams you owned last year at a cost equal to last year's cost plus 1/3 of last year's winnings. This virtually assures that all good teams get thrown back into the pot each year.

The league is easy to score, only requires one evening, a bar, some chicken wings and a few kegs of draft, gives talking points all year long and gets more interesting and important at the end of the season and during the playoffs, a nice attribute for a fantasy league to have!

(I've written this up in the past, but usually after the season has started and I think we have more viewers now so thought it might be of interest. If not, oh well.)

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  1. SpartaChris's Avatar
    I felt this was an interesting concept the first time you mentioned it and still do. Seems like it could attract a crowd who kind of wants to play fantasy but has no idea which players to get, who's injured, or when their bye weeks are.

    How many players per league? Do you do 8 players with 4 teams each, 16 with two, or does it matter since teams go to the highest bidder anyway?
  2. Swami's Avatar
    We have eight owners. I think it's far more fun as an auction than as a draft. So, some owners get 3 high quality teams, others buy a kennel of five dogs! And it's fun making fun of the guy with the most unspent bidding units at the end of the night!
  3. Swami's Avatar
    2012 auction results:

    Retained by prior owners: Cards 40, Falcons 84, Bears 52, Bengals 33, Lions 28, 49ers 91, Bucs 21, Skins 28

    Went big: Ravens 102, Cowboys 94, Broncos 81, Packers 110, Texans 99, Patriots 125 (new record), Giants 80

    Others: Bills 21, Panthers 27, Browns 17, Colts 20, Jags 11, Chiefs 11, Dolphins 27, Vikings 10!, Saints 50, Jets 40, Raiders 21, Eagles 53, Steelers 69, Chargers 60, Seahawks 25, Rams 20 and Titans 17

    Each year, there are interesting auction dynamics. We go around the table taking turns throwing teams up for auction - you can pick any team. If not retained, it is up for bid. A lot of the top teams went early and a lot of guys were down to 20 units or less early on, making the final bidding units very strategic. Took about 2 1/2 hours all-in with beer and dinner. No more work and a full season of kibitzing ahead!

    (I bought a dog kennel with the Bears, Jets, Panthers, Browns, Jags, Dolphins and Bucs. Not thrilled with my performance.)
    Updated 09-17-2012 at 09:29 PM by Swami