My Commish Rules

Roster Rules

Superflex

A Rule About Roster Configuration

You know how every word becomes better when you put “super” in front of it? Super Bowl. Superman. Super Buffet. See what I mean? But what does this mean for our fantasy football roster configurations? No, not SuperRoster (which actually sounds awesome and we’re calling dibs on that trademark).  

 

It’s Superflex. Superflex was the answer you were looking for.

 

How It Works

Despite how it sounds, Superflex does not refer to some sort of bodybuilding competition. Rather, it refers to a Roster Configuration where FLEX positions have an increased amount of flexibility. Where typical FLEX roster positions only allow owners to play an additional WR, RB, or TE, Superflex leagues add the ability to play an additional WR, RB, TE, or QB. Which is significant because we all know that the QB is the single most important player in all of team sports. They handle the ball on almost every play and are usually the highest scoring position in fantasy football. 

 

Now, we feel the need to clarify one thing before we go any further. You may hear Superflex leagues sometimes referred to as 2-QB leagues – or the names may be used somewhat interchangeably. This is because of the high amount of points QBs typically score. Some would argue that in a Superflex league, owners would always opt to play 2 QBs at a time. While that may be the case, there is an important distinction that we need to point out. In a Superflex league, the roster position can be filled with any of the WR/RB/TE/QB positions, whereas you might have guessed that a 2-QB league requires starting two QBs each week. That flexibility is the key that separates the two formats. Make sense? Good.

 

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s talk implementation. First, we forewarn that switching your league over to a Superflex league will drastically change the way you draft, manage your roster, and value players – which may or may not be welcomed. In a traditional, one-QB league, quarterbacks are typically drafted in the later rounds with each team usually only drafting one, maybe two. Resulting in a lot of good, high scoring players going undrafted and sitting on waivers, waiting for their streaming opportunity. A shame really. 

 

The Superflex format totally flips QB valuation on its head. You’ll quickly come to realize the value in adding not only those elite passers, but also those mid-tier QBs, to your roster. 

 

The first real step in implementing this rule change is being able to fully communicate the implications (as described above) to owners. If they’re on board – awesome! The only thing left to do is to make the appropriate roster settings change on your league site and begin drafting.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Discuss the possibility of changing the league’s roster configuration with leaguemates.
  • Consider if your league’s desire is to include a WR/RB/TE/QB Superflex position or a required 2-QB roster configuration. 
  • Once a decision is made, make the appropriate change to roster settings on your league site. 
  • Be sure to also give thought to potential scoring changes that might lessen or boost the impact of a Superflex roster configuration (read about these below in Change Ups).

Change Ups

As we mentioned earlier, a Superflex league is not synonymous with a 2-QB league – they are different things. However, if you’re interested in going full on with a 2-QB league, the details described here are almost identical – except you’ll have to add a second QB roster position on your league site. The choice to go Superflex or 2-QB league is up to you and your leaguemates. 

 

There may be some concerns that Superflex shifts league power too strongly in the favor of QBs. If your leaguemates share this concern, you can take preemptive measures. Perhaps, pair a Superflex format with Scoring Rules that incentivize other positions by scoring more points, such as Tiered PPR or a Long Play Bonus. You could also go the other way and lessen the amount of points able to be scored by QBs with the 4-point Passing TD Rule.

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Superflex

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So Flex Zone

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Boot Kickers

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Drop Defense

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Standard Keeper

A Rule About Keepers

So you have found a league full of reliable idiots who come back year after year for the friendly (or cutthroat) banter-filled excitement that is the fantasy football season. But maybe you’ve become stuck in the same old format and want to shake things up a bit. Why not try converting your league into a Keeper League? 

 

The Standard Keeper League is our go-to recommendation for a drastic, yet easily implemented change to spice up your fantasy football league. Sick of parting ways with your roster at the end of every season after becoming emotionally attached to those who propelled you into the playoffs? Not so good at goodbyes? 

 

With the Standard Keeper format you can welcome back that top pick with open arms and hopefully put an end to the shuffle of needing to find new league owners each year.

 

How It Works

Nowadays, Keeper Leagues are fairly common in fantasy football. But for those unfamiliar, in this format, league owners are allowed to keep players from their previous season’s roster on the current year’s roster. This way, league owners can continue to brag about that midseason pick up from last season who turned out to be a stud in the playoffs.  

 

In a Standard Keeper fantasy football league, one player on an owner’s roster at the end of the prior season is available to be deemed “kept” prior to the draft of the upcoming year. Feel free to make rules around which players may be kept and for how long. Can a player drafted in the first round last year be kept this year? Can an owner keep the same player for consecutive years? Our recommended answers to both of these questions usually would be “no”, but we’ll leave that up to you and your leaguemates to decide. 

 

Typically, kept players will automatically be placed on the league owner’s roster by your league site. This makes it really easy because when it comes time to draft, each team will already have one player sitting there smiling on their roster. The draft will then carry on in the typical fashion (in whatever fun order was decided by one of our Draft Order Randomization Rules, which a knowledgeable Commissioner like yourself would already be privy to). 

 

If for some reason your league site doesn’t already do this for you, don’t fret. In this case, during the draft, league owners are required to select their keeper in the first round of this year’s draft. After the first “keeper round” is complete, continue to draft as usual. Easy peasy. 

 

Keeper can even work in auction leagues. In this format, players kept year-to-year typically cost the same to draft as they did in the previous year. Under this format, instead of your keeper taking your first round draft slot, your auction budget for this season’s draft would be automatically reduced by an amount equal to your kept player’s auction cost in the previous year.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Prior to the draft, league owners choose one player from their previous year’s roster to carry forward onto this year’s team. 
  • Be sure to come to agreement on any potential limitations your league may want to institute before final keeper decisions are made. 
  • Come draft day, this selected keeper will already appear on the owner’s roster.
  • On most sites, players who are chosen as “keepers” are automatically selected in the first round. If not, require all league owners to select their keeper with their first round pick. After this hypothetical first round, the draft should continue as normal.

Change Ups

Keeper leagues have become basically ubiquitous in many fantasy football circles at this point. So to mix up the format a bit, try these change ups:

 

Keepers should be announced to the whole league prior to draft day, so that other owners have some time to develop an adequate draft strategy that excludes all kept players. If you like to play guessing games and make it more challenging, have all owner’s secretly select their keepers and only unleash the list a couple minutes before draft time. 

 

Once you’ve got all owners on board with the Standard Keeper rule after a couple seasons, see the Multiple Keepers Rule to up the stakes and allow owners to keep more than just one player.

 

Sometimes in keeper leagues, an owner can effectively lock up a superstar player by continuously keeping them year after year. To avoid this unfortunate scenario, we recommend you institute a cap on the number of years a player can be kept consecutively by one owner or by steadily increasing the “cost” of that keeper. This brings us to our most recommended way to play a Keeper Fantasy Football League, the Rounded Keeper Rule.

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Multiple Keepers

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Rounded Keepers

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Standard Keeper

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Free Agent Auction

A Rule About Waivers

There is a reason the draft is one of the most anticipated events of every season, NFL and Fantasy Football alike. There is heartbreak and surprise and it is a place where dreams come true. It is also a place where you get to berate your buddy as he places a $40 starting bid on that player who just suffered a season-ending injury 6 hours prior to your draft. With all that fun and excitement it is hard to pack it into just one night. And now we have a way to fix that. Introducing the Free Agent Auction, the weekly mini-auction draft for your waiver-wire pickups.

 

 

How It Works

Hopefully by now you’ve checked out our Auction Draft Rule for a complete rundown on our auction specs and details. The beauty of an auction draft for waiver pickups is that, unlike most formats, everybody gets a shot at every available player, week to week. Obviously, we’re not living in some fantasy world (at least not until the season starts) where we think you can gather 10-12 league owners in a room each week in order to hold a live auction draft for waiver pickups (although if you are, please look around at the next meeting and think about how lucky you are). But even if your leaguemates are not close geographically, it doesn’t you can’t hold an auction each week!

 

This should be relatively easy to keep track of, even if just within a group chat. Just as in an auction draft, allow the lowest ranked team to start the nomination process and pick a player at a price point that s/he chooses. Similar to the FAAB Waiver Rule, every team will have a budget they can use to bid from, likely anywhere from $100-$200 for the season (to be clear, this is fake money for the purposes of keeping track of transactions). Keep the start time of the draft consistent week to week so there are no surprises or funny business. Set a standard of 3-5 minutes per nomination, Owners can place their bets by texting or messaging. Owners can forgo their nomination if they so choose and you can also limit the number of rounds to save time. 

 

What will likely happen is you’ll only have a few owners who show up for the auction each week as they look to fill sudden roster holes. This is definitely a rule for the more involved leagues with a lot of interaction. As Commish, you do not necessarily need to monitor each auction, you can simply review the results afterwards to manually add players and deduct budgets accordingly.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Decide on a budget for each team to use for weekly waiver auctions prior to the season. We suggest something like 200 FAAB dollars.
  • Determine the day and time each auction will be held and explain to owners the format for the auction, i.e. Group Chat > 3 rounds > 3 minutes per player nomination
  • After the auction has ended, update each roster through manual add/drops and budget deductions.

Change Ups

The freedom of this rule comes with how you decide to format when it comes to specifics on how the auction will take place. Many leagues have the option of a FAAB waiver system already in place, which means you could choose implement a hybrid approach and have just a few auctions throughout the year if you want to try and slowly ease into this rule. The remaining non-auction weeks would work the same way as explained over at FAAB.

 

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Free Agent Auction

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Free Agent Acquisition Budget

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Redraft at Bernie’s

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Trade Deadline

A Rule About Trades

Maybe a trade deadline seems too aggressive for your league. Hey, we’re all just here to have fun, right? Until Jeff, 3-10, postseason dreams dashed and life crumbling around him, hands over the top-scoring wide receiver he had stashed all year for a six pack of Natty Light. Not to knock an incredibly great-tasting, affordable, and ubiquitous (sponsorships available) beer, but Jeff is clearly giving up. A fire-sale is about to happen, it’s the first week of playoffs and now all of a sudden your light-hearted work league has turned into a contentious warzone. It’s time to lay down the law with a Trade Deadline.

 

How It Works

Trade deadlines exist for a reason and just because this is not the real NFL what happens in fantasy football has real-life implications. If you do not believe so, check out our Last Place Rules over in Wagers. There is a little wiggle room of when you decide to implement that deadline, but without it, prepare for chaos to break loose and major team adjustments to happen at any point in the season.

 

Pick a point in the season where playoffs aren’t yet determined, so you do not have teams who are no longer part of the competition shipping players for peanuts. This is especially important in Dynasty or Keeper Leagues where owners may be playing the long game and giving up on a current season. Even fair deals can benefit playoff teams and shift the league dynamic and are easily avoided by way of a Trade Deadline.  

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Determine a cutoff date for trades within your league based off playoff dates and owner preferences.
  • Within league settings on the site’s webpage, set the trade deadline date.
  • We recommend implementing a trade deadline around Week 8, or so.

Change Ups

If you don’t want to implement a hard cutoff as far as trades go, you could put a premium on trades later in the season by charging FAAB dollars (if used in your league) or even by charging real money that can be used for things such as Wagers or Payouts. This could decrease any late-season trades and give your league a little more freedom for other fun incentives.

 

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Trade Summit

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Trade Deadline

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Commish Trade Veto

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Commish Trade Veto

A Rule About Trades

Remember that time your parents let you dress however you wanted and you went to school wearing a cape and your sister’s pants and roller skates and I’m beginning to think maybe this is not actually something anyone else did…but the point of this story is that sometimes people cannot be left to their own devices. Sometimes, choice is just a little too much responsibility for people. And if you are contemplating this rule then the knuckleheads you interact with on a day-to-day fantasy basis are clearly falling into this category. Welcome to the Commish Trade Veto, where the Commish holds all of the power.

 

How It Works

Research* shows that people in general tend to not favor any fantasy football trades that they are not directly involved in. We believe this is because it’s easy to look at a trade from the outside and point to one side, or the other, getting a better deal. And so as any other jealous owner would do, you criticize the idiot getting the worse value and think well this is not an even trade, I think I’ll veto it. BUT WHY DOES YOUR VOTE MATTER?! Remember the last wedding you went to where somebody stood up to oppose the marriage and then everybody thought “oh, good point” and they stopped it? I don’t either. Because that guy’s opinion does not matter. And neither should anyone’s but the two people trading or the two people being wed.

 

As Commish, this puts a lot of power in your hands but truly all you need to analyze is if there is collusion involved in this trade. This obviously requires you to make some tough calls, but we are not telling you to shut off communication with the league. If something seems questionable – consult! Talk to both owners involved in the trade and make sure that the agreement was fair. Assess whether one team is trying to throw the year or if anything else seems fishy. But do not leave that determination up to a league full of bitter owners who could not get a deal done. The Commish alone should decide and vote on whether a trade is upheld or denied.

 

*Absolutely no research analyzed

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Explain to your league the reason for this decision and reassure them that their voices will be heard even if their votes will not be registered (feel free to quote heavily from this post).
  • In your league settings, set the trade settings to votes required in order to veto and make sure that only the Commish has veto power.
  • Outline at the beginning of the season what kinds of trades will be vetoed (obvious collusion, unbalanced trades, rapid tradebacks, etc) in order to achieve transparency and build trust within the league. No trade veto should come as a shock to your leaguemates.

Change Ups

You would not be a true dictator if you allowed any Change Ups to this rule. BUT, agreements can be reached within a league as to what kinds of trades are acceptable. For example, in dynasty leagues, maybe a trade will seem more one sided for the current year, but help an owner down the road. OR for funnsies, anoint a “Deputy Commish” who can rebut a Commish’s first decision to uphold or veto a trade. If the Deputy declares the Commish’s decision hogwash, it can be taken to a league vote. This is also a good way to handle any trades involving the Commish, by leaving it up to the Deputy.


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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Redraft at Bernie’s

A Rule About Waivers

It is week 7 and you are 2-5 and the season seems lost and for some reason even your own dog looks disappointed in you, but wait. What is this? A mid-season draft? It can’t be. It is time to redistribute that wealth people! Here comes the mid-season draft where the bottom half of your league participates in a draft from a pool of the best team’s players. For all you fans of the underdog out there, this rule is for you.

 

How It Works

For the league as a whole, low-morale from bottom dweller teams is not necessarily a good thing. At a certain point in each fantasy football season some of the teams in a league lose hope. They start realizing their postseason dreams are crushed and they just stop paying as much attention. The waiver wire becomes less competitive and trash talking dies down — until the Redraft at Bernie’s.

 

At the mid-season point, the teams in the bottom half of your league engage in a draft from the top team’s players. The idea here is not to turn the league completely on its head, so every team in the top half will be allowed to protect its most important players. We suggest allowing each team to select as many keepers as you have starters in your active roster.

 

From there, no one is safe. All remaining players on the teams in the top half of the standings are thrown into a pool where the bottom half drafts, just as you held your initial draft in the beginning of the year. A one to three round draft works best to not only limit the amount of work for yourself as commissioner but also to limit any crazy shifts in the league. The main goal is to level the playing field by involving those teams who may not have much to play for and inspire them to stay engaged.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Pick a mid-season point for your league to hold a redraft involving the bottom teams.
  • Give the top half of the league a week to select their “off-limit” players for this draft. We recommend this number be approximately the number of starters per roster.
  • Establish how many rounds this draft will be. We recommend one to three rounds so there is not too dramatic of a shift, but enough for teams to get back to competitive.
  • The last place team will have the first pick and second to last the second pick and so on and so forth.
  • As Commish, you will have to hold this draft manually, either through a Skype session, preferably in person with hors d’oeuvres, or just in a text thread.
  • The teams participating in the draft will have to choose the players they will drop to accommodate the new players post-draft.

Change Ups

You obviously have some flexibility with the point in the season you hold the draft, and how many rounds the draft will be. To limit detrimental losses to the top teams you can also put a limit on number of players drafted from each team. Once the limit is reached in the draft, that team’s remaining player pool will be removed.

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Trade Summit

A Rule About Trades

There is a reason the Fantasy Draft is one of the most exciting aspects of each fantasy football league. It is the meeting of the minds where all you leaguemates gather either in person or at least online in order to show how much (or how little) they know. So why not bring everyone together again for a beat-the-deadline trade summit hosted by funds accumulated through season transactions! Beers, brats, and bad trades galore!

 

How It Works

The fundamental principle of this rule is that each add/drop transaction throughout your league’s season will cost the owner a real dollar amount. Depending on the frugality of your league, this can range anywhere from $.50 to $2 to $5 for you big spenders. Owners will send the commissioner whatever the agreed upon dollar amount is per transaction leading up to the Trade Summit. It’s best to set this date sometime near the trade deadline in your league in order to amplify the urgency of trades being made. All of this money that has been collected up until this point is then put towards food and drink for the Trade Summit, for all to enjoy. From there, sit back and watch the madness ensue.

 

Of course, this rule works best when all owners are able to gather round in the same place and enjoy the goods purchased by league transactions, so it may work best in leagues where the owners all live near each other or can easily travel. Setting a countdown to the trade deadline at the end of the night is an easy way to increase intensity and drama that will likely unfold throughout the summit.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Establish a dollar amount per transaction for the league and set up an easy way for owners to pay. Perhaps setting up a deadline each week before game time on Sunday for owners to have paid up for their weekly adds.
  • Set a date and location for the Trade Summit to take place, preferably near the trade deadline date and at a time when every owner can participate.
  • Use the accumulated funds to purchase food and drink for all owners to indulge and be sure to build up the importance of this final trade summit to get everyone excited and active in the live wheeling and dealing of players.

Change Ups

Offering food and drink and corralling everyone in a room together should be enough to instigate some trade talks, but if your league is tentative on trading there are some ways to incentivize deals. Offer door prizes for various things at the summit such as “first trade” or “largest deal.” This is a great way to get more people involved and add to the excitement. Head on over to our Trade Deadline Rule to learn more about setting an appropriate deadline that will coincide with your Trade Summit.

 

Related Rules

You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

So Flex Zone

A Rule About Roster Configuration

They knowwwww better. And you should know better as well. Gone are the days where we put owners in a box and limit their freedom and creativity. “You must have 2 RB’s sir, and 2 WR’s and do not forget your 1 TE” – NO! It’s an all out flex war with this rule change in which the only thing required of each owner is to fill 1 QB spot. After that, all bets are off.

 

How It Works

Every team needs that QB to lead them to victory. But after that, why shouldn’t an owner be able to fill their roster full of running backs if they so choose. Oh, you play in a full PPR league? Maybe you opt to skip running backs all together and roster wideouts and tight ends who see a lot of action on a per-game basis. The idea is to free up each team to flex positions (RB/WR/TE) after the standard 1 QB spot. This type of league throws out the traditional nature of Fantasy Football, but it can be a ton of fun when everyone is on board. Not for the faint of heart and definitely for the open-minded, this is a really fun way to shake up a stale league.  

 

What will likely happen (except for maybe a couple crazies) is that you will see each team be relatively balanced depending on your league scoring settings. But this is when your bench spots become valuable. Maybe you have 2 tight ends with incredible matchups and 3 running backs on bye. No worries, throw in those tight ends. The interchangeability of your new roster configuration may make things easier on your owners, or for those indecisive in nature it may be a nightmare. Either way, it will be a heck of a good time to see the unique ways in which owners choose to play out the season.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Adjust roster configurations to have 1 mandatory QB position and the remaining roster spots will all be RB/WR/TE flex spots.
  • Determine a scoring system and make it well known to league members so they can strategize how to fill the new roster, full of freedom.
  • You may still want to limit (or eliminate limit) on players per position. Many sites automatically cap the amount of RB’s you can select per team, for example. If you are really committing, eliminate these caps all together and watch the madness ensue.

Change Ups

If you are feeling really frisky then open these positions up to QB’s as well, or even IDP’s. Due to the high scoring nature of most QB’s it probably would be a good idea to cap how many each team may own. Or then again, MAYBE NOT, you crazy commissioner you!

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Individual Defensive Player

A Rule About Roster Configuration

We get it. You are sick and tired of the days where you chase last year’s best fantasy defense and get let down again and again. It is hard to predict. But why drop defense altogether? It can be an integral part of the game and just as impactful as offensive players if you choose to make it so. Here is your solution: Draft one (or more) Individual Defensive Players (IDPs).

 

How It Works

Teams can do a lot in the off-season to shake up their defense and address different issues. They change schemes, hire new coordinators, and even switch around player-positions at times. Things can get hairy quickly and even a bit flukey for fantasy purposes (defensive/special teams touchdowns especially). But individual players can be a bit more predictable. Like any position things like injury or suspension can happen, but you can also follow trends and regression like you would for offensive positions.

 

With this rule you add an IDP to the roster configuration instead of an entire team defense. When it comes time to draft, all defensive players are available just like offensive players, and points are awarded for things such as tackles, sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles. Playmakers become a priority and depending on how involved your scoring gets, these defensive players can have a significant impact week-to-week.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Determine whether the defensive player will be position specific, such as LB/S, or if it will be open to the field.
  • Determine how many defensive players each team will roster. For early implementation, we recommend just one or two.
  • As commissioner, review and determine the scoring you will use for these players. Some sites have pre-set settings, and this can be done on your own or collectively in your league depending how involved all members are in the decision-making process.
  • When draft day hits, the player pool will now include both offensive and defensive players.

Change Ups

It is your decision on how many of these IDP roster spots you want to include and also if you want them to be position specific. To ease into it, try just adding one roster spot for Linebackers. As your league becomes used to the scoring increase the flexibility to include different positions or have multiple IDP roster spots. Another fun way to increase the impact of these players is with big game bonus points. Similar to our Long Play Bonus Rule where offensive players getting bonuses for high-impact games. Bonus points can be awarded to IDP’s. For example, if a player records 10+ tackles in a game they are awarded a 5 point bonus. Use your discretion on these bonuses, after all, you are the commissioner.

 

Related Rules

You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Drop Defense

A Rule About Roster Configuration

Less predictable than a family reunion is the DST position in any fantasy football league. A good NFL defense can sometimes translate to successful fantasy football numbers, but no expert fantasy analyst can accurately predict a team’s defensive numbers in any given year. So why try? Drop that D!

 

How It Works

Traditionally one of the last drafted positions, Team Defense is sort of a crapshoot. A staunch defense does not necessarily translate to a high scoring one in fantasy football unless of course there happens to be a stellar kick returner to rack up those special teams touchdowns. Which means this: DST is a filler position which requires relatively little skill as far as draft preparation is concerned. The only people who will be championing this position in the league will be those who recently won a week by having their defense score two touchdowns and putting up 20+ points to win. And in that case, their opponent should have a strong case against the position existing. Overall scoring will obviously take a hit, but with any rule change we implement there is flexibility in order to limit that.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Edit rosters in your league settings to remove the DST position altogether.
  • If you so choose, replace that position with something like a flex position or a defensive player position.

Change Ups

While trimming the excess waste in your league why not combine this rule with the Boot Kickers Rule? Focus on the positions which require more strategy and impact the league. If complaints rain in over a totally offensive league, feel free to add an Individual Defensive Player position in order to supplement. The more hardcore players in your league will likely welcome the challenge and by adding just ONE defensive player, it should not be too overwhelming of a switch.

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.