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The following is a sample fantasy football constitution complete with rules and rationale behind the rules. Feel free to use and modify for your own league according to the creative commons license. This document will be updated as the constitution changes.

Roster Makeup

The roster consists of the standard Yahoo positions (QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, DST) and includes four extra positions to enhance the roster depth.

Two Option Positions 1 W/T 1 W/R

Rationale

More playing positions result in more points and less bench regret. I have added two positions to the active roster to make the game more interesting and add depth to rosters. If a fantasy-to-real life football rationale is necessary, this is it. There are 11 offensive players in this league plus one DST, just like in real football. Although there is no “front five,” the theoretical maximum amount of players for each position is available to you. i.e. you, as a manager, could have a lineup that reflects a 5-wideout scheme because you could play 5 WRs (the most you can have on the field in real football.) If you wanted to have three running backs, you could do that as well. If you wanted a two tight-end set, you could run that. The two option positions allow this and they also allow the player pools to be more fluid. This helps with depth in free agency, on the waiver wire, and for the draft.

A Flex Position 1 W/R/T

Rationale

Think of this flex position as a “relief” position if you need a connection to real football. In reality, this position helps add depth to the player pool and your roster. Instead of benching a player that may not perform well, this position gives you the opportunity to play him without much risk.

A SuperFlex Position 1 Q/W/R/T

Rationale

This opens the QB pool so that more than the top 16-18 QBs are drafted and increases flexibility and waiver/FA depth. From a value perspective, QBs should be drafted like a RB as their depth/value is similar and their point earnings are substantially deflated. Because of the point system of this league, QBs are projected to score points roughly at the same rate at RBs and WRs, e.g. Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, and Calvin Johnson are all projected to score close to 600 points. The 10th highest QB/RB/WR are projected to score similarly. It is very possible that the second QB on a team is not much better than other WR/RB/TE options, so this format shouldn’t require drafting two top-teir QBs. It’s true that you can’t play 2 QBs simultaneously in an NFL game, but your second QB is akin to your second string QB. And, this is make believe football.

6-15 Bench (any position) 2 IR (for keeper leagues)

Rationale

The target number of rostered players for the league is ~230, which is a number that allows managers some flexibility. Managers should be able to roster two defenses or kickers if they choose, two or more QBs, and other players at a deeper level, especially in 8-team formats. While this does affect the waiver wire, it encourages trading and a more in-depth examination of players and teams, which I feel is an important fantasy exercise. 12-team leagues will have 6 bench slots (228 total rostered players, 19/team,) 10-team leagues will have 10 (230 rostered, 23/team,) and 8-team leagues will have 15 (224 rostered, 28/team). Max IR slots are available for keeper leagues, so that injured players may be kept until the next season.

Scoring System

This league deviates from the standard Yahoo scoring system in the ways listed below. I have taken extra care in crafting a scoring system that rewards player consistency and skill actions. I believe that this system is superior to standard scoring in reflecting true fantasy value and player equity. In normal scoring leagues, the top 25 projected scorers are all QBs except for two, in this system, most are non-QB players. It’s similar enough that most PPR cheat-sheets should not be too far off of the mark, see the tips section at the end for some help. Before listing the specifics, in general, player point totals should tally just under twice what they would in PPR scoring leagues. Everyone likes more points, right? This league uses fractional scoring and negative points are possible.

Receptions = 1.75 points

Rationale

This is a points-per-reception league. Points are awarded to a player who successfully catches a ball. Since skill is certainly required to catch the ball, I feel like it’s a justified modification to standard scoring. Additionally, it provides added value to the WR/RB/TE pools to potentially make more players ownable/startable and adds value to the WR position, that is very deep. Nearly half of all leagues award a point value to receptions. Because of yardage increases, 1.75 points are awarded instead of the standard one, making it very close to a standard ppr system.

Receiving Yards = 1 point/5 yards Rushing Yards = 1 point/5 yards Return Yards = 1 point/20 yards

Rationale

Yardage is modified in a significant way to reward players who provide consistent fantasy production moving the ball down the field. Rushing and receiving yards are counted as one point per 5 yards. This effectively devalues reception points and touchdowns by *approximately* one half, since yardage will make up more of the WR/RB/TE point totals. Additionally, return yardage is included at the rate of one point per 20 yards. Unlike rushing and receiving yards, return yardage is essentially a “sure thing” because the returner is not competing with any players for it. They also have some room to run, depending on the play, so they are appropriately devalued.

Passing Touchdowns - 3 points Interceptions - negative 3 points Completions - 1 point Incompletions - negative 1 point Passing Yards - 1 point/20 yards

Rationale

The quarterback scoring system is in some ways dramatically different from standard leagues. Many have tried to modify leagues to correct the difficulty with the QB score, this is my attempt. There are three contributing aspects of play that contribute to the point totals of quarterbacks, yardage, completion %, and touchdowns. I feel this system provides accuracy to point totals in the position. I have also taken steps to ensure these aspects are valued appropriately and that the overall point totals will reflect both the importance of the QB position without overvaluing them. Passing yardage for a quarterback is guaranteed, similar to return yardage and they are awarded at the same rate, one point for 20 yards. One point is also awarded for each completion and one point is taken away for each incompletion. This is called point-per-completion. Some PPC leagues don’t remove a point for incompletions, which skews the totals in favor of those that simply throw a lot, without considering completion percentage. Without the negative point, leagues vastly overvalue quarterbacks, just like leagues that award a full 6 points for passing touchdowns. Three points are awarded for passing touchdowns in this league. The assumption for half-value TDs is that they require a receiver to catch the ball (takes two to tango) and the QB will receive the yardage for the pass as well as the point for the completion. This means that each touchdown will net the QB 4 points (3 for the TD, 1 for completion) and the yardage associated with the catch, which is more or less standard. 3 points are deducted for an interception so that they are negatively proportional to TD values since many quarterback rating systems appropriately tie TDs and INTs together in a ratio. The end result of this QB system is just shy of twice the number of points for QBs as compared to standard leagues.

Kickers remain unchanged. They are overvalued to begin with and the average point differential between a top 5 and top 20 kicker is very low. 99% of PATs are made and most short field goals are made. Essentially they have a very high guaranteed production percentage, whereas other skill players are less likely to score.

DST Return Yards = 1 point/20 yards 4th Down Stops = 4 points Tackles for a Loss = 1 point Three and Outs Forced= 1 point

Rationale

The role of DST substantially contributes to the success of a team. Because of this, and also because of the increase in points for the rest of the positions, several accomplishments are being given point values for the DST position. Again, it effectively doubles the point totals of the position. Just as receivers and quarterbacks both receive yardage from a pass, both punt/kick returners and the entire special teams will receive return yardage points at the same rate. The successful return is a endeavor by the entire blocking group in addition to the returner. 4th down stops are rare and often important turning points in games and for the defense are almost as important as touchdowns, they are awarded 4 points. Tackles for a loss and forced three and outs are akin to a completion or reception for a defense and are awarded one point each. Effectively these modifications provide a second scoring metric that values specific accomplishments of the DST instead of solely valuing the final score. They inflate the score of the position in a similar way to the other positions and add value.

All other scores are standard and can be found here: http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?locale=en_US&y=PROD_SPORTS_FAN_FOOTUS&page=content&id=SLN6489

League Dues/Fees/Buy-Ins

All league fees/dues are to be paid in advance of the draft. Exceptions must be requested to the commissioner and must be paid in full no later than the Monday prior to the first game of the season. Payments can be made with cash, check, money order, paypal (sent as gift and pay the fee), amazon payments, or other agreed-upon means.

Draft Type

The draft will be auction-style with a starting budget of $500. It will take place on Yahoo’s site at the time stated in the league summary. Breaks will be facilitated and permitted according to the Commissioner’s wishes. Pooling money is not allowed. Draft collusion is not allowed. Bids are non-reversible. A computer is required to participate in the Auction Draft. Attendance in person is recommended if offered, attendance online is also available, auto-draft is a last resort. All players are encouraged to rank/value their players prior to the draft in case of an emergency. The draft will proceed as long as more than half of the players are available. Managers are encouraged to bring snacks to share at in-person drafts. Drafts take between one and four hours to complete, depending on circumstances. Please anticipate approximately two and a half hours for most drafts. Remaining draft money will be applied to the manager’s FAAB budget.

Alternate Auction Style:

For leagues that need to draft by distance and cannot be online at the same time, an alternate style is available. It is facilitated by a shared google spreadsheet and allows managers to bid on 10 players every 24 hours until all rosters are filled.

Free Agency and Waiver Wire

Free Agent Acquisition Budgets (FAAB) will be used. Essentially, these are blind auctions. All players receive $50 in budget money immediately after the draft as well as any unused draft money. When using FAAB, place the highest bid for the waiver wire player you will want to pay and when the pickup day arrives, the manager who bids the most receives the player. Ties will be broken with a continual rolling list. If you have a successful bid, you move to the back of the line to break ties. All players are placed on waivers at the time of their first game of the week, either Thursday, Sunday or Monday. The FAAB bids will all be processed on the following Tuesday at midnight PST. Immediately after the draft, all players will be placed in free agency, where pickups do not require a bid. After a player is dropped, he will be on the waiver wire for 48 hours, if there is a bid, the auction will happen at midnight on the second full day. If there are no bids, the player is placed in free agency. There is no limit to the number of drops/adds managers can do via. free agency or waiver wire. Additional $50 of FAAB money can be purchased for $5 (or 1/4th of a buy-in, whichever is more) at any time. Payment must be up-front, no refunds for FAAB money. Money collected goes toward non-monetary prizes (e.g. trophy, shirts, etc.), the winner of the seasons “pick-em” game, or other league prizes as determined by the Commissioner. FAAB money may be used in trading transactions as well by informing the Commissioner of the agreed-upon arrangement.

Playoffs/Winners/Losers

The winner of the league is the manager with the most fantasy points at the end of week 17. The league runner-up is the manager who wins the playoff championship and the third-place finisher is the loser of the playoff championship game. The playoffs begin in week 15 and end in week 17. A single manager may win both first and second place by winning the championship and having the most season points. Six teams make the playoffs, the remaining teams participate in the consolation bracket. The loser of the consolation bracket will be the league loser. The league loser is required to an additional league buy-in.

Prizes/Payment Distribution

Payment will be distributed to the winners as soon as possible after stat corrections have been posted and must not be later than the last NFL playoff game. In addition to monetary prizes, the league winner is granted the option of choosing the name for the league loser for the next season. Trophies are may be coordinated separately. An additional buy-in is to be posted by the league loser.

Exact distribution will be posted on the Yahoo league site.

Keeper Rules

In keeper leagues, you may keep players worth up to $100 of draft value from the previous year AND you may “franchise tag” a single player for 120% of the previous year draft value. Franchised players cannot be kept for more than one year. You may also choose to both acquire and/or trade a single player under the “transition tag.” The amount of the trade is deducted or added to the manager’s auction budget for the following year. This may make for a rather shallow draft pool in subsequent years and will be adjusted if necessary. FAAB dollars remaining at the end of the year in keeper leagues are applied to the next year’s FAAB budget. In order to prevent player “hoarding” an increasing keeper “fee” will be applied. The cost is $10 for the second year a player is kept, $20 for the third, $40 for the fourth, $80 for the fifth, and so on. This means that players will eventually be recycled back into the draft pool, likely before the sixth year. Players acquired under the “transition tag” are considered second year players. This will keep the draft pool populated and prevent a lucky $1 FAAB pickup from skewing the year-to-year results too much. The cost of a player is determined by their initial draft value. If they were drafted for $40, then dropped, then picked up for a $30 FAAB bid, their keeper value is still $40. Undrafted players picked up through free agency or FAAB waiver bids have a value of $1.

Conduct/Other Rules

No collusion in drafting/trading. Trades between partners/couples will receive additional scrutiny. Harassment is not allowed. Intentional player dumping is not allowed and is grounds for expulsion. Other conduct rules may be added as necessary.

The Constitution is the guiding document for the league. However, it can be overruled/modified as deemed necessary by the Commissioner who has ultimate control of the league and will act in good faith to resolve conflicts or grievances as they arise. If the Commissioner fails to resolve an issue and is seen as inept or severely damaging to the league, a vote of no-confidence can be held through the league polling/forum system and a near unanimous vote of all the league players (Commissioner abstains) will allow the election of a new Commissioner.

Penalties

Violations of rules will be addressed by the commissioner and may result in forfeiture of FAAB dollars, draft dollars, weekly points, players, or expulsion of the league without refund. All infractions and results will be posted on the league message board. Other league managers may provide input to the Commissioner as they see fit, but ultimate decisions fall to the commissioner.

Tips

Before drafting, look at the “players” list on the yahoo page and sort by projected seasonal points. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect out of players (barring injury or other circumstances).

Return yardage slightly inflates the value of certain players. Again, use the players list to see who’s affected.

PPR effectively inflates the value of WRs and RBs who catch passes.

The increase of yardage points DEvalues touchdowns… making goal-line running backs less valuable than 3rd down backs (who benefit from PPR) and TD-heavy players are less valuable.

Quarterbacks are substantially devalued from standard-scoring levels, so a QB1 should be roughly equal to a WR1 or RB1 but because two can be played, they will likely be drafted higher than in standard leagues.

Potential Changes for 2014

WRs are OP, suggest lowering PPR to 1.5 and/or adding another required WR slot Middle-to low-end RBs are severely underwhelming, suggest adding .1 to 0.25 per rushing attempt Reduce QB variance without making them OP, suggest .5/comp -.25/incomp / 25yd/pt / 4pt/td -2int Make returners viable flex plays, prevent it from skewing results, consider 10yd/pt or parity Increase TE value, suggest adding a 2 TE requirement and/or 2-3ppr value (if Yahoo allows) DST increase points for interceptions/fumble recovery to 4, made penalties for points allowed

Football


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