My Commish 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.