Let us paint you a little picture. It’s the first week of the playoffs. You have gone 13-1 on the season and you have the clear-cut best team in the league. But guess what – your QB sits with a minor injury. Your RB1 gets vultured twice and your WR1 has a season low two-catch game. You lose by 20, which was the average amount you were winning by on a weekly basis throughout the season.
HEARTBREAK! MISERY! SEASON-ENDING DUMPSTER FIRE HOGWASH!
But what if you got a second chance to right this wrong? What if you got to play the same match up over again? Well call us Bob Ross because we are about to paint you a little picture to remedy this one and done playoff scenario. We like to call it “The Two-Weeker.”
How It Works
The NFL is just about the only professional sport with single game matchups in the postseason. That does not mean your league has to abide by these standards. Consider changing each of your fantasy football playoff matchups to two weeks in length.
Two-Week Playoff Matchups offer less room for flukey one-week disasters like one we already described (a very real example, btw. NO, I’M NOT BITTER ABOUT IT!) and should give the overall better team an advantage. This is a nice format for those leagues who offer no payout for the leader at the end of the regular season.
The set up for this rule is pretty simple – decide how many teams will make the playoffs, when you want your playoffs to begin, and in the league site change the matchup length from one week to two.
We do need to take just a second to make one big note here: this scheduling format really works best for a four-team playoff. This is because if you double the length of each matchup in a six or eight team playoff, you’re going to have to cut out regular season games. Not that this is a deal killer or anything but it’s a functionality thing you, as The Commish, need to be aware of.
Logically, the playoffs continue in traditional fashion in this format. The only difference is that teams will face-off two weeks in a row upon entering the playoffs and point totals will accumulate for the entirety of those two weeks. After two weeks, the team with the most points will move on to the next round. The championship round works exactly the same way. For example, four teams enter the playoffs beginning in Week 13. The first round of playoffs will be Weeks 13 and 14 and the Championship round will run Weeks 15 and 16.
Nuts and Bolts
- Many league sites provide the option for two-week matchups somewhere in the league settings.
- You and your leaguemates will need to make a decision as to when the playoffs will begin, which will likely be earlier than they would in a one-week playoff matchup league.
- If you would like your league to avoid playing the championship match during the NFL’s Week 17, begin your playoffs in Week 13.
Implementing a Scheduling Rule such as this, will ultimately reduce the number of owners in the playoffs. This may prompt a discussion regarding the Payout structure of your Fantasy Football league. We suggest scrapping regular season champion payouts for an increased focus on first and second place overall payouts. As always, we suggest perusing the Last Place Wagers to find the perfect “punishment” for the owner at the bottom of the standings when it is all said and done.
If you proposing to cut the number of playoff teams down to four raises talk of Commish mutiny (we can’t have any of that), consider looping in a two-week playoff for only a portion of the playoffs. How about a modified Wild Card round where you have six teams enter the playoffs in Week 12. The top two teams get a bye week and the remaining four teams faceoff in a one-week, single elimination playoff matchup. The two winners of the Wild Card round advance to join the top two teams in a four team, two-week playoff for the championship trophy beginning in Week 13 and ending in Week 16. Hey, that sounds pretty fun actually!
Other variations on the Two-Week Playoff Rule include deciding when your playoffs will run. If you still want some unpredictability and excitement then have your playoffs run right up until the end of the NFL regular season. Week 17 often sees some of the best players on playoff teams sitting to rest up for their run down the stretch and could put owners in some tough predicaments. Or you can choose to have your championship matchup end Week 16 and begin earlier in the season.
Afterall, you make the rules, we just provide options.