My Commish Rules

Wagers

Live. Last. Love.

A Rule About Last Place Punishments

You know how when you walk into any Baby Boomer’s house, you immediately get bombarded with an array of quasi-motivational sayings embroidered on pillows, stamped on coasters, and hung in picture frames? Sayings like “Keep Calm and Carry On”, or “Bless this Mess”, or “Home is Where the Heart Is”. Unsettling. Who are these things even supposed to motivate anyway? Them? You, the visitor? Honestly, the giant “Live. Laugh. Love.” glued to your living room wall is stressing me out, Karen! 

 

Let’s all come together to finally and definitively declare wall words as they are – just the worst. And in our minds, it’s only fitting that the worst in our leagues should have to display the worst decorations on the market. Those owners will certainly need some of that cursive motivation after our Live. Last. Love. Rule.

 

How It Works

In addition to being just downright ugly to the point that they will throw off the entire room’s feng shui, these wall words can serve a secondary purpose as an omnipresent reminder of your terrible fantasy season. Generally, this decoration should be something the last place owner is ashamed to display openly. Be sure to stipulate in the rules that they promptly deliver on displaying it and that they have it in a prominent position somewhere. Have them hang it in their living room. Put it in their man cave/she shed.. Do they work in an office? Make them take it to work and hang it in their cubicle. 

 

Operationally, this can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. As the Commish, you could literally just have Amazon ship one of the items on the list below and force the last place team to hang it up somewhere. Or you could put a few options up to a league vote and create a whole set of rules around where and for how long the last place team must keep the item displayed. All we know for certain is that it should be highly visible and heavily documented via social media and whatever your league uses to communicate and talk trash.

 

Nuts and Bolts

Change Ups

As far as paying for this, you could siphon a couple dollars off of everyone’s league dues to purchase the decoration. Or you could probably take the minor cost hit as the return on investment will be huge. 

 

Adapt this punishment to fit the style of your league. Are your leaguemates the type of people that would get offended by using the word “suck”? Switch the punishment to something less offensive or just find new leaguemates. 

 

Last place punishments are applied in leagues that have championship trophies (or better yet – championship belts). The outstanding contrast between the glory of hoisting that belt and the defeat of hanging up a Live. Laugh. Love. decoration cannot be overemphasized. Add a Last Place Punishment. Add a Champion Trophy. And be sure to add both.

 

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Live. Last. Love.

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Undisputed Champ

A Rule About Payouts

You’ve battled your opponents well throughout the entire season. You’ve body slammed a few, you’ve been body slammed. You’ve been the crowd favorite, you might have even turned heel for a time. It was a long slog and a lot of hard work. But ultimately, you made it to the championship game and you came out victorious. Then how do they reward you? Some cash? Bragging rights? Pffft. 

 

It’s time to step up your championship trophy game.

 

How It Works

One of the best parts of fantasy football is that if you play it just right, you get the chance at a whole year’s worth of boasting about your superiority. But sometimes that just isn’t enough, is it? We know what you really want. You want something that proclaims to everyone you come in contact with that you are fantasy football’s undisputed champ. Maybe something you can even casually wear to the supermarket while getting groceries. 

 

Forget a trophy (What is this? A 1980’s bowling league?) – you want a championship belt. I mean, look at these things…beautiful.

 

 

Imagine showing up to next season’s draft rocking this thing over your shoulder. Intimidating.

 

But where to get such a thing? There are tons of sites out there that offer belts like this, but in our mind, there is really only one site worth consideration – FantasyJocks.com. If there was a championship belt for championship belts, these guys would be Stone Cold Steve Austin. They’ve built the Ultimate Fantasy Football trash talking tool and managed to keep it affordable in the process. Their quality materials and high customizable metal plates will help you establish an entirely new tradition in your league. Promise.

 

Maybe the best part of having a physical trophy/belt for your league is that, much like in other sports, the champion gets sole possession of it and has the freedom to do whatever they so choose with it to make their mark. Have it engraved, hang it on a wall, wear it to work, or all three.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Consult with leaguemates about adding a league championship belt and establishing a new tradition.
  • Commission a beautiful custom belt from our buds at FantasyJocks.com.
  • The winner of the league at the end of the season becomes the Undisputed Champ and takes possession of the belt until the official start of the next fantasy season.
  • Start planning out your WWE-style entrance song.

Change Ups

We honestly can’t think of anything better than this, so we’re not even going to try to come up with some change ups. However, if your league isn’t the biggest fan of the idea of a championship belt, no worries. The experts over at FantasyJocks.com do more than just championship belts. What about a ring a la those glitzed out Super Bowl rings NFL players get? They got ‘em. Just imagine all the great Godfather and Frank Underwood references. This stuff basically writes itself.

 

Now, unless your name is Santa Claus Commish, you may not be willing to shell out the dough all on your own for one of these bad boys (although it will practically pay for itself). That’s why you have a league full of devoted fantasy football owners all itching to prove their worth and have something to show for it. So here are a few ways to have the league help chip in.

  • Increase league dues on a per team basis to cover the cost.
  • Implement some league fines for things such as missing league dues or keeper selection deadlines.
  • Charge teams a small fee ($.05 – $.50) per transaction, add/drops, and trades throughout the season. Most sites have an automatic transaction counter and fees can be collected all at once at the end of the year. 

It’s honestly a small price to pay for the ability to pass along an Undisputed Champ belt and create a life-long tradition in your league.

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Regular Season Winner

A Rule About Payouts

We all know that the league champion gets paid. And most of us know that the league runner-up also gets paid. The end of season payout is the reason we play fantasy football. WHY ELSE DO YOU THINK WE’D BE PLAYING THIS GAME? TO COMPETE WITH OUR FRIENDS BECAUSE WE LIKE IT?!? Winning money is great! So why not spread the love a little bit and pay the owner with the best record at the end of the regular season?

 

How It Works

We’ve all seen it, maybe it’s even happened to you, an owner dominates the season and gets the top seed only for their championship dreams to be dashed by an unfortunate loss early in the playoffs. Boom, their out of the money and, for all intents and purpose, the season was a wash. Should this owner really be punished for failing to make the championship game, despite their expert roster management throughout the entire season? I dare you to look me in the eyes and tell me that this person deserves nothing for their season. Go on.

 

By instituting a payout to the regular season winner, you accomplish two things – 1) you create more carrot/stick-type incentives for high league engagement, and 2) you foster increased competition. All good things. Another good thing is that offering a payout to the regular season winner is really easy. 

 

Prior to the season, offer up the new payout suggestion to leaguemates. Once agreed upon through majority vote, you must decide how much money the regular season winner actually wins. Typically, this is less than the runner-up would get. A good rule of thumb is to just refund their league buy-in. This payout should be “robbed” from the league champion payout. 

 

For example, in a 10-team $50 buy-in league, there is $500 to pay out. Usually, leagues payout 75% to the league champion ($375 in this case) and the remaining 25% ($125) goes to the runner-up. In this case however, a regular season winner payout of $50 (the original buy-in) should reduce the league champion payout by $50 to $325. This results in a final payout structure of $325 to the league champion, $125 to the runner-up, and $50 to the regular season winner = $500. 

 

Obviously, this payout structure doesn’t account for any other payouts you might include in your league, like Weekly Goals or Bingo Bango.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • As always, get leaguemate support for a change to the payout structure.
  • Reorganize your league’s payouts to include compensation for the league owner that ends the season with the best record. 
  • Determine how much and from where this additional payout will come from, taking into account any other payouts your league may have.
  • Decide what to do if the league champion and the regular season winner are the same owner (we recommend not worrying about this, but we could see some leagues having concerns. Read more about this below).

Change Ups

The way you choose to divvy up your payout money is up to your league. If your league prefers to skew the majority of the payout to the league champion, then “rob” the regular season winner payout from the runner-up payout – bring these two payout closer to equal. 

 

Or maybe your league prefers to show no love to the runner-up and only refunds them their buy-in while giving the rest to the league champion and the regular season winner. 

 

Usually in these type of payout structures, it’s totally fine if the regular season winner is the same owner as the league champion. But if you’ve got sticklers in your league, an owner who is both the regular season winner and the league champion could forfeit the regular season winner payout to some other deserving owner – like the owner who won by the slimmest margin or kick it to the poor sap in last place.

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Rename Is The Game

A Rule About Head-2-Head Wagers

I once lost the naming rights to the middle name of my first-born child because of the result of an NFL game. The fear of this ever coming to fruition is the sole reason I’ll never have kids but, boy, what a rush!  Allowing someone else to have such free reign on something so important to you is scary – which makes this Head-2-Head Wager so exhilarating. Put the naming rights of your team on the line with the Rename is the Game Rule.

 

How It Works

In many real (and irrational) ways, our fantasy football teams are our babies. We nurture and care for them from draft day to championship week and beyond. We take care to choose the perfect team name showcasing our keen understanding of pop culture and mastery of puns. Wouldn’t it be exciting to completely undermine all of this hard work on the part of your competition by changing their team name to something terrible like “i <3 butts”?

 

Luckily for all of you sinister players out there who are loving that thought, this Rule is insanely easy to implement. First, find another owner willing to placing their team’s naming rights on the line for your upcoming matchup. After both owners have agreed to terms, be sure to announce the wager publicly to the league. This way, other owners in the league can pick sides and begin the all important smack talk. Hell, they might even get inspired and make their own Head-2-Head Wagers.

 

After the results of the matchup are final, the winning owner will inform the Commish of the losing team’s new name. The Commish will then make the change on the league site which will remain in place for the amount of time determined by the terms of the wager, typically for at least one week.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Find a fellow owner to agree to gamble naming rights on the week of your matchup.
  • Be sure to announce this publicly to the rest of the league so that smack talk can ensue and sides can be taken
  • After the matchup is completed, the winning team gets free range to change the name of the losing owner’s team.
  • It’s up to your league how long they wish to leave name changes in effect. We suggest just for one week but for the remainder of the season is great too.

Change Ups

The length of time that the losing owner must keep their team renamed is certainly up to you and your leaguemates. We think it should remain under the new name for at least a week but you could get crazy and require it remain for the rest of the season.

 

We really like the idea of pairing this Rule with one of our other unique Scheduling Rules like Rivalry Week. Imagine having all teams playing a rival in week 4. Paired with this Rename Rule, beginning in Week 5, half the league will have different team names.

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

ACT A Fool

A Rule About Last Place Punishments

We could argue about whether or not standardized tests are ruining America’s education system all day. But, instead of doing that here, we’ll make the most of an unfortunate situation – by forcing one of our friends to take one of those very exact standardized tests. Why? Well because they are terrible at fantasy football. Sounds fun? We think it does too!

 

How It Works

Imagine: you just completed a rough 15 weeks of fantasy football, you went 2-13 and you just lost the Toilet Bowl Game to your annoying coworker Jeff. It can’t get any worse, right? WRONG, obviously. You just realized that at the beginning of the season, your leaguemates voted in a new Punishment where the last place owner has to retake the ACT. You had so much confidence in yourself, there was no way you were going to be the person taking that test. We think you were even quoted saying “American Collegiate Test? More like American Can’t-win-three-games Test?“ Ufff, ouch, that hurts.

 

Facilitating this Rule is fairly simple. The Commish can probably find an old ACT practice exam at a thrift shop somewhere or you can order the same ones that all the cool kids are doing nowadays here. The Commish, or some other league owner who is available, should be there while the last place owner takes the exam to ensure that there’s no funny business. There’s a lot riding on the final test score!

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • As with any Last Place Punishment, make sure all league owners are on board to participate
  • Get your hands on an old ACT Exam
  • The owner who takes last place in the league, takes the ACT Exam. No test prep allowed!
  • The Commish or other league owner should preside over the last place owner taking the exam.

Change Ups

You probably know by now that we at MyCommishRules will take literally any opportunity to gamble – this occasion is obviously no different. Have faith that the last place owner can conquer this measly college entrance exam? Put $10 on it. Or more likely, think the owner will land a score somewhere in the mid-teens that wouldn’t have even go them accepted into the local community college? Put $20 on it. What’s the over-under?

 

Actually taking the exam is bad, but having to be the person there to proctor it? Not much better, honestly. We suggest making that a punishment as well. Maybe second-to-last should have that honor? Better yet, have your whole league get in on the fun and have the scores of the exams determine next year’s draft order!

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Loser, Loser, Buy My Dinner

A Rule About Last Place Punishments

In the NFL, you hear about how poorly rookies get treated by league veterans – kids backpacks, locking them out of the facility, etc. But, one of our favorite hazing shenanigans is when the newbies have to pick up the (usually very expensive) fancy steak dinner tab for those 350-lb lineman who have been in the league for 10+ years. This Rule is similar to that but instead of rookies picking up the tab, it’s the owner who took last place and instead of a fancy steak dinner, it’s more like McDonald’s. So maybe not all that similar really.

 

How It Works

For those leagues where all the owners are located in close geographic proximity, you probably (hopefully) get together to kickoff the season on Draft Day. Well, you can think of this as post-season party of sorts. Just as the title sounds – the owner who finds themselves at the bottom of the rankings when the season is all over, accepts their punishment to buy dinner for all the owners that are clearly much better than them.

 

While the NFL’s version of this is typically a three-course steakhouse dinner, do not feel obligated to go this far in your league. Hell, it could be a dinner of Spaghetti-os and boxed wine for all we care. The point is really to shed a glaring light on how bad the last place owner was at fantasy football this year.

 

If you find yourself feeling sympathy for the poor sap who takes last place and feel weird about making them FORK out a PLATEFUL of DOUGH for a league dinner. You could supplement the last place owner’s contribution to the meal with a small dollar amount paid by all other participating owners – say $5 per person or something. In a 10-person league, that’s an extra $45 for the last place owner to use to pay the total bill and is a small price to pay for some good ol’ fashion ridicule.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Generate league consensus on introducing this Last Place Punishment.
  • Agree on the terms when, where, and how expensive the dinner will be. Clarity early on is key to reducing any future backlash.
  • Decide if owners will contribute any portion to the total cost of the year-end prize.
  • Do whatever you can to not take last place!

Change Ups

If it’s just too difficult to get all the owners in one place after the season is over, carry this punishment over into the new season and have the last place owner supply snacks and/or drinks for next year’s Draft Day Celebration.

 

Or call an audible and swap out “dinner” for “bar tab” or “keg” or “15-minute back massages” or whatever else.

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Awards SZN

A Rule About Season-Long Wagers

When I was in kindergarten I got an award for best napper, and when I was 22 years old I bought myself a “Bedtime Champ” ribbon at a dollar store. And they both meant the world to me. Why? Because everybody loves to get an award. I mean honestly, why do the ESPYs exist? So that multi-million dollar athletes can get a little pat on the back as well. So give the people what they want! Spice up your league with some good old fashioned homemade awards.

 

How It Works

The first step is to come up with some awards. Below is a list that we already came up with–wow how amazing you are so welcome how could you ever repay us?

  • Fantasy MVP
  • Fantasy Bust of the Year
  • Fantasy Sleeper Pick of the Year
  • Owner of the Year
  • Free-Agent Pickup of the Year
  • Fantasy Team Name of the Year
  • Worst Trade of the Season
  • Biggest Blowout
  • Best Rivalry
  • Worst Manager

The next step is hand out these awards in a ceremony of some sort. Make it fancy, make it over the top, or make it low-key, make it online. The end goal is just to make all the owners feel appreciated or recognized, for better or for worse. Just make sure that Ellen Degeneres doesn’t show up.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Create the awards and the awards criteria. This is a good time to speak with your most trusted cabinet members in order to delegate some of the work.
  • Get someone artistic in the league to make certificates or some sort of trinket that you can give out to the award winners, or check out these awesome tiny trophies you can buy.
  • Make it known to the league what the awards are and how much can be won.
  • Determine how much cash will be given with each award and how this cash will be acquired (i.e. increased buy-in or decreased payouts).
  • Make some concrete decisions about how the awards will be presented and what the actual prizes will be and then let the show begin!

Change Ups

This can truly be as big or as small as you make it. Choose to go all out and wear suits and drink champagne. OR text the winners and send over some venmo cash. You have all the power when it comes to the number of awards and how you announce them at the end of the season.

 

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Bingo Bango

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Bingo Bango

A Rule About Season-Long Wagers

Ever feel like you should be rewarded even more for all the monster games players on your roster have throughout the season? This Bingo Rule combines the best of fantasy football, the NFL, and that game you always play at your family get togethers. This ain’t your grandma’s Bingo, however. This kind of Bingo involves excitement, heart-pumping suspense, trash talk, and cash prizes. Wait…maybe this is your grandma’s Bingo.

 

How It Works

This rule is really just as it may sound. Throughout the course of the season, league owners will all play one big game of Bingo as a supplement to your normal fantasy season. Except, instead of Bingo’s typical numbered-squares, owners will mark off bingo squares based on the performance of their rostered players. To fund this Bingo competition, additional dues should be collected at the beginning of the season or, if the league agrees, money should be co-opted from the final payouts.  

 

At the beginning of the season, provide a single, common bingo card to all league owners. You can post this in the group chat or somewhere otherwise easily accessible. The Bingo card should be the standard 5 x 5 matrix of squares with player objectives in each of the squares. Examples of these objectives can include “QB passes for 400+ yards in a game”, “RB rushes for 1,000 rush yards in a season”, “Player scores an 80+ yard touchdown”, “Kick at 55+ yard field goal”, “WR catches 10+ passes”, “WR passing touchdown”, etc.

 

Only a starting player’s performance can be counted towards marking off Bingo squares, owners will not be rewarded for the performance of their bench players. The first owner to fill out a line will be declared the winner. That owner is responsible for announcing their Bingo to the league and must supply the Commish with information on the player, the week, and the objective that was completed. The Commish will determine if it is a legitimate Bingo and payouts will be distributed. If no owners completes a Bingo during the season, payouts should be carried over to the following season.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Create a common Bingo card with season-long, semi-rare player objectives. If you want, include the “Free Space”.
  • Have owners pay a Bingo Dues fee either in addition to your existing league dues or divert some of the final Champion payout dollars to the Bingo payout
  • Starting players can achieve objectives on the field that will qualify to check off the corresponding Bingo square
  • Owners will be responsible for keeping track of which players have met the objectives and in which weeks
  • If an owner declares a Bingo, the Commish will confirm if it is a legitimate Bingo.
  • If it is legitimate, the owner will receive the Bingo payout.

Change Ups

If you’re a really ambitious Commish, we like the idea of converting this Bingo game into one that takes place on a weekly basis rather than a whole season. Instead of more difficult objectives that only happen semi-rarely throughout the entire season, change the Bingo card to include semi-common objectives that happen more frequently, like “a non-QB scores twice in a game”, or “100 yard rusher”, etc. Owners would then have the option to opt into the Bingo game each week, paying a smaller fee, and have a greater likelihood of scoring a Bingo. If no owner secures a Bingo in the current week, the payout is rolled over into the next week where the pot will grow and grow until someone is declared the winner.

 

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Weekly Goals

A Rule About Payouts

“I want it now,” said the bad egg girl in Willy Wonka and BOY DID SHE GET IT. Well we feel you and that is why we are introducing the Weekly Goals Rule. No longer must you wait an entire season to see dividends. It’s time to collect baby, by hitting a goal each week of your fantasy football season.

 

How It Works

Each week a different goal will be set in which one team who reaches that goal will receive a weekly payout. As commissioner you will likely set the goal for the first week. Keep in mind it should be something that will easily be awarded to just one team, i.e. most points scored. Set a payout amount to be awarded the team who reaches that goal. It does not have to be big money, but a little something something to keep the excitement going week-to-week. Whichever team wins the payout will then decide on the goal for the following week.

 

This will require either shaving a little off the end of year payouts, or increasing the league dues. This can be a really fun rule for those teams that get obliterated, but still somehow manage to win the weekly payout. Maybe the goal was to have their kicker kick the longest field goal and they just happened to win a little extra spending cash for that 52-yarder.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Determine the dollar amount for the weekly payout.
  • Establish where the extra cash is coming from, i.e. increase league fees or lower final payouts.
  • As commissioner, decide the first week goal and give the league examples of future goals, such as:
    • Longest field goal, most points scored, least points scored, most rushing yards by QB, etc.

Change Ups

There are endless opportunities for thinking up new week-to-week goals. Check out our Roster Configuration Rules for inspiration on position-specific goals. We can think of a ton right now: slimmest margin of victory, single longest play, highest scoring defense, see how easy this is for us?!

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Player Pink Slips

A Rule About Head-2-Head Wagers

You’ve probably heard of street racers putting up their cars as the prize in a winner-takes-all race (shoutout Vin Diesel). We borrow heavily from our drag racing friends and lay it all on the line, including some of our best players. This ultimate fantasy football Head-2-Head Wager pits you against your opponent where the owner who takes the L loses more than just the matchup.

 

How It Works

During the week leading up to their matchup, each of the two owners will place one of their own rostered players on the line. The winner of the Head-2-Head matchup will be rewarded with the losing owner’s pink slipped player.

 

To ensure some semblance of uniformity in determining which players should be put up as collateral, you should institute a rule that pink slipped players be within a certain range of the overall points rankings. We suggest a limit such that only players ranked between 50-100 in total season points to date be put up for wager. These players are typically mid-tier players who are ranked low enough as to not completely destroy the losing owner’s roster but still high enough to make it interesting and can perhaps be an integral player in the winning owner’s championship run.

 

After the owners come to an agreement on which players to put up and the results of their Head-2-Head matchup are final, the losing owner must forfeit their player to the winner. It is helpful to have a player in mind that you would like to drop in place of your newly acquired player. In most online fantasy applications, the Commish can then easily facilitate this transfer from within the league’s Commissioner Dashboard without any special maneuvering in the free agent market or via trade.

 

Are you confident enough in your team to put them on the line?

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Find a fellow owner to agree to gamble player pink slips on the week of your matchup. (Announce you and another owner are participating in this wager to the entire league so that sides can be taken and smack talk can begin.)
  • Throughout the week of your matchup, come to an agreement with your competition about which specific players you will each put up as collateral.
  • We suggest both owners put up a quality player while avoiding gambling superstar or bottom-of-the-barrel talent. Try to stay within the Top 50 – 100 players.
  • Have an idea of a player from your roster that you would need to drop in order to provide room for your new player
  • The winner of the week’s matchup is rewarded with the losing owner’s player.
  • The league’s Commissioner can then use the Commissioner Dashboard features to realign the rosters of the two owners accordingly.

Change Ups

We love the idea of expanding the Pink Slips concept beyond individual Head-2-Head matchups and to the entire league. Choose a week, preferably early in the season, to be deemed Slips Week. Within each matchup, the competing owners come to an agreement on which player’s rights will be up for bet. Think about how intense these matchups would be if you parlayed Slips Week with another Head-2-Head Wager like Rivalry Week!

 

Maybe the stakes are not high enough for you in this scenario? Once the Pink Slips matchup is agreed upon, allow owners to freely select any player from their opponent’s team to steal if they win the matchup. You can continue the rule of a certain range of players to choose from, or if you happen to be running one of our Keepers rules, you can make those players off limits.

 

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You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.