Getting bored with fantasy football? Even if you aren’t, these five tips can make the whole experience way more fun.
Nothing compares to the excitement of getting everyone in your league together and drafting in person. It gives you the ability to make fun of people for their bad picks in real time and it allows for the possibility of trading draft picks on the fly. It also gives you the chance to be the “nice guy” who offers to be the designated driver (while everyone else gets drunk and makes dumb picks).
Don’t bother worrying about cutting up slips of paper to make a draft board. Just hook your laptop up to your TV and run a cheap draft program like FanDraft Football, which will take care of the draft clock and allow you to export a spreadsheet with every pick when you’re done. If a member of your league can’t make it (there’s always someone who bails at the last minute), just have them text or call in their picks.
If you really want to take things to the extreme, have you league commissioner wear a suit and announce each pick from behind a makeshift podium.
While we’re on the topic of the draft…
Instead of randomly generating your league’s draft order, hold a draft lottery. My primary league holds our draft lottery in the middle of the off-season and it’s a great way to keep us excited about fantasy football at a time when we’re normally thinking about other things. Just buy some ping pong balls, write the names of everyone in your league on them and pick them out of a hat in a dramatic fashion. Guaranteed excitement. If you want to make things even more interesting, come up with a system that involves putting in more balls for the teams that finished at the bottom/top of the standings in the previous season.
Hold the draft lottery at least a month before you hold your draft, so that managers have the chance to try to trade up for the top pick.
First of all, you need to have a real trophy for the winner of your league. Put the champion’s name and the year he won the title on it at the end of every season. Winning your league is a lot more exciting when you get to take home some actual hardware (and argue with your wife about whether you get to put it on the mantle).
Come up with a few other trophies to give out, too. Get creative with it. In my main league, there is one particular manager that everyone loves to hate. We created a trophy that is awarded each year to whoever eliminates this guy from the playoffs. This trophy is just as coveted as our championship trophy, if not even more.
Here are some ideas for trophies you can give out:
- Most offensive team name
- Most players hurt in one week
- Most players arrested during the season
- Worst smack talk posted to the league message board
Every serious fantasy football league needs to have a league constitution. It doesn’t need to be anything too elaborate, but you need to put into writing how you plan to punish managers who cheat or give up on their team. Then, when it happens (and you know it will), no one can argue about the way you deal with it. The best fantasy football leagues are the ones with committed, fair owners, so don’t be afraid to institute harsh punishments for managers who tank on purpose or collude with each other.
You can make the punishments fun, too. If an owner fails to pay attention to his team and starts a player who’s on a bye, force him to drop one of the players on his team for a player voted on by the rest of the league (I recommend Rex Grossman).
Whoever finished last the previous season buys the beer for your league’s Super Bowl party/next seasons’s live draft/every single night until he gets out of last place. And no complaining.