Playoff Seed-Based Schedule
A Rule About Scheduling
Imagine it’s week 12. With the playoffs looming, you find yourself on the fringe of playoff contention. What’s worse, you take a peek at the schedule, you are set to play the league juggernaut. Meanwhile, the lucky dog you are competing with for that last playoff spot has a matchup with the league punching bag. Your playoff hopes have been dashed by an arbitrary scheduling coincidence. Playoff Seed-Based Schedule does away with scheduling randomness during those weeks when it matters most.
The playoffs are a sacred part of the fantasy football season. It’s where Champions are made and legends are born. Why should an owner be kept from playoff glory because of flukey scheduling? By grounding the latter part of the regular season schedule in performance based metrics, we can not only create a more equitable schedule, but one that is also a hell of a lot more fun.
Playoff Seed-Based Scheduling pairs teams, based on their record, for head-2-head matchups in the last two weeks of the regular season.
In Weeks 1-11, set up a schedule as you and your league see fit (in a 12-team league, this works out perfectly to play each of the other 11 teams once). In week 12, the top two teams based on record will duke it out for league supremacy, the third and fourth place teams will battle to get into that upper tier, the fifth and sixth place teams try to hold onto the last playoff berth, the seventh and eighth place teams fight for playoff contention, the ninth and tenth place teams play to stay relevant, and eleventh and twelfth place teams faceoff to keep their pride. The Week 12 schedule should look like this:
Game A: 1st place team vs 2nd place team
Game B: 3rd vs 4th
Game C: 5th vs 6th
Game D: 7th vs 8th
Game E: 9th vs 10th
Game F: 11th vs 12th
As the winners and losers of each of these Week 12 games shake out, Week 13 games follow a similar playoff-seeding based format.
Winner of Game A plays the winner of Game B
Loser of Game A plays the winner of Game C
Loser of Game B plays the winner of Game D
Loser of Game C plays the winner of Game E
Loser of Game D plays the winner of Game F
Loser of Game E plays the loser of Game F
These games are sure to be competitive as they all have a direct impact on the final playoff seeds (which is more than we can say about the close of the regular season in normal random scheduling formats). And it creates a perfect transition into the intensity of what comes next – the playoffs in Weeks 14-16.
Thanks to the amount of flexibility in scheduling we are allowed on most league sites, it should be fairly easy for The Commish to facilitate this schedule change. The Commish can manually create matchups as described above.
Nuts and Bolts
- Determine how the league would like to schedule the first 11 weeks of the season. We have a whole bunch of recommended formats in our Schedule Rules page.
- Week 12 matchups should pair teams in order of league standings. First place vs second place, third vs fourth, and so on.
- Week 13 matchups will be determined based on the results of Week 12 games.
- After Week 13, final playoff seeds will be determined and the playoffs begin in Week 14.
There are many ways to schedule the first 11 weeks of the season. This format just so happens to work really well in 12-team league given that scheduling can be super simple – just play every other team once in those first weeks. But what about those beloved 10-team leagues? How about this – extend the Playoff Seed-Based Scheduling by starting in Week 10, after you’ve played all of the other teams once. You’ll go through two iterations of the Week 12 and 13 schedule format outlined above but at the end, there will be no question about who deserves which seed in the playoffs.