Commissioner Guide, Part 4: Creating League Rules

Our commissioner guide offers a sample league constitution

Other sections:


A written constitution is a must for a well-run fantasy football league. Money on the line adds to the requirement for a guiding document of rules and settings. While it may seem like overkill for some, playing in a league for any meaningful duration will result in arising situations where the league rules can alleviate most, if not all, of the ambiguity in resolution. This article will go over much of the process, and provide suggestions on how to build your league constitution as painlessly as possible.

GETTING STARTED

Some will cringe at the thought of having to write the league rules, while others might view it as an opportunity to create a 42-page mega-document detailing every possible situation. Detail is important, but it is also important to focus more on the overall intent and less on specific language.

Circulation and consumption of the rules are important. While you do not need to have people actually sign a waiver, everyone needs to read the constitution and have easy access. If you can, circulate a copy before draft night and encourage people to have read it before the league starts.

If there are any changes from year to year, create a quick summary sheet and reference the appropriate articles which have changed. If your league software has a section for you to cut and paste information, consider posting this information there as well. Anything to make it easy for folks to read and see the rules is a good thing.

Numbered sections and sub-sections are a good idea and will make it easy to find information if there is a question. There is no magic formula to doing this, but more sections typically make for better organization. Add in a basic numbering structure to make finding things easy. Avoid page or year references if possible as those can change as rules are added or dropped from year to year. A table of contents can also help if your constitution is long.

Below you will find a sample constitution with comments on every section. The numbering and sections are only a suggestion. Feel free to change or modify any of this to fit your own league.

[1.0 LEAGUE OVERVIEW]

Welcome to GFFL, the Generic Fantasy Football League. This is a 12-team league that was formed in 2021 by a group of general managers (GMs) who all live in South Park, Colorado. This league is considered a money league, and all participants are expected to pay their league fee before the draft begins. This league is designed to be a competition, but not a cut-throat league where anything goes. The rules described below are designed to act as a guideline for overall league play, and any disputes will be handled by the executive committee of the league. Please remember the overall goal of this league is to have fun and enjoy the game of football. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.

Comments: Simple and to the point. It lets folks know what the league is all about, and where you got your start. If you have a unique name for your league or your divisions, you should detail them here as well. New GMs coming into the league may not understand all of the references and comments people make and a good league overview is a nice 'welcome to the league'.

[1.1 Executive Committee]

The executive committee for GFFL for 2021 consists of:

  • Commissioner Stan Marsh (123) 456-7890 [home] (123) 456-7890 [cell] stanmarsh@stanmarsh.com
  • Co-Commissioner Kyle Broflovski (123) 456-7890 [home] (123) 456-7890 [cell] kylebroflovski@kylebroflovski.com
  • Co-Commissioner Eric Cartman (123) 456-7890 [home] (123) 456-7890 [cell] ericcartman@ericcartman.com

The executive committee will be responsible for resolving all disputes not expressly covered by this constitution. If a committee member is involved in the dispute, that member will excuse themselves from the decision process. While all general managers are encouraged to submit suggestions to the committee, the committee's decision on all matters is final.

Comments: Your constitution will not cover everything. There are too many variables and something always comes up. Get two GMs from the league to help you with these decisions unless you want to go it alone. List as many forms of communication as possible, including home and work phone numbers if possible. While the committee has power, do not let it go to your heads. Remember the goal is to have fun. Depending on your preference, co-commissioners do not need to be elected, and can change from year to year.

[1.2 Living Constitution]

It is important to note this is a living, breathing constitution and will evolve over the lifetime of this league. Changes will happen between seasons as often as needed and will be effective from that point moving forward. If you have suggestions for changes, please submit them to one of the executive committee members.

Comments: Redraft leagues (each year is a separate endeavor) lend themselves to more year-over-year change. With keeper or dynasty leagues, be cautious about too many radical changes (read: plan more before starting the league overall) and if changes are coming for those formats, consider having one, if not two, seasons of notice of said changes before they become active rules. The key here is to let folks know this document is not inclusive and may change from year to year.

[2.0 LEAGUE FINANCING]

The league fee for GFFL will be charged to each team and committee member, payable to the commissioner on or before the night of the draft. If a team does not have the appropriate entry fee, the executive committee may make other arrangements for payment before the season starts at their discretion.

[2.1 League Fee]

The GFFL league fee for the 2021 season will be $68.50 for each participant. This fee consists of a $50 entry fee plus $18.50 from each team to cover the cost of the league scoring software and room rental for draft night. This fee is due on or before the draft. Also, all trades and waiver wire transactions will cost each team an additional $1.00 per transaction, due once the playoffs are complete. Not paying their transaction fee will have their balance deducted from any prize money they win and will be forced to pay any outstanding balance before the start of the following season or they will not be invited back.

Comments: You are strongly encouraged to make sure everyone pays their entry fee before the night of the draft. If you have a league software expense, consider including that on top of the league fee as described above, or detail out that each team will pay a portion of the cost before any prize money is given. NEVER put up the money yourself, and if general managers do not pay, make sure to deduct their portion from the prize money accordingly. League finances should have little latitude as an incomplete prize pool or a team 'owing' the league is one of the worst scenarios to navigate after the fact.

[2.2 Prize Money]

League prize money will be paid out within seven days of the completion of the GFFL Super Bowl. The money will be held in a bank account owned by all three members of the executive committee and will be paid out in the following manner:

  • League Champion receives $500 + 75% of all transaction fees collected
  • League Runner-Up received $200 + 20% of all transaction fees collected
  • League Scoring Champion receives $50 + 5% of all transaction fees collected

Comments: This will obviously be based on your league payout system. It's important to list out all payouts. A team should be able to add up all the fees from section 2.1 and see all of the payouts in section 2.2. If you collect a fee for running your league, list it as part of the prize money as well. Leaguesafe.com and other alternatives can be used to hold the prize pool as well. Teams should have one place to go to see who is paid what at the end of the season. If your league does not collect fees or pay prize money, you can skip section 2.

[3.0 LEAGUE SETUP AND COMPETITION]

The GFFL will consist of 12 different teams, broken into two conferences of six teams each. Each conference will be broken into two divisions of three teams each. The schedule will be randomly generated, with each team playing every other team at least once in a head-to-head match-up. Teams will also play three of their division opponents an additional time for a 14-game regular season.

Comments: Obviously this is determined by how your league is broken out and your schedule. If your playoff system is based on division winners, you should have at least two head-to-head games against everyone in your division to increase the importance of divisional matchups.

[3.1 Division Rankings]

Teams will be ranked within each division based on the following criteria:

  1. Overall Winning Percentage
  2. Division Winning Percentage
  3. Head-to-head Winning Percentage
  4. Total Points Scored by the Starters - Year to Date
  5. Total Points Scored by Head-to-head Opponents - Year to Date

Comments: Use winning percentage as the benchmark. If you use total wins, a tie can throw off the ranking. Again, you can adjust this to match your league rules. Other options could be Victory Points (head-to-head setup but also rewarding high-scoring teams each week), All-Play (no head-to-head, but every team plays all other teams each week), or even Total Points (no matchups, but logging aggregate points during the season).

[3.2 Playoffs]

After the completion of the regular season, three teams from each conference will make the playoffs. All division winners will be awarded a playoff spot and the highest-ranking non-division winner from each conference will be awarded a wildcard spot. In Week 15, each conference wildcard team will play the lower ranking division winner, and the higher division ranking winner will get a bye. The winners from Week 15 will play the higher division ranking winner for the conference championship in Week 16. The winner of each conference championship will play each other in the GFFL Super Bowl during Week 17 of the NFL.

Comments: It is never a good idea to have your Super Bowl in Week 18 because NFL teams may sit their star players. Adjust your playoff schedule based on what works best for your league. Conference runner-ups can also play during the Super Bowl if you want to award a prize for third place. If re-seeding during the playoffs in the second round, make sure to mention it here.

You can also work out a playoff bracket for the non-playoff teams to keep everyone interested in every game and even award a consolation bracket prize if desired.

[4.0 ROSTERS AND LINEUPS]

Rosters in GFFL consist of 22 active players from any NFL team. There are no position limits, and teams are free to have as many players from any position as they like. Only players from the active roster may be used as part of a team's starting lineup.

Comments: In keeper or dynasty leagues, you may also want to add a section about the injured reserve or taxi squad where teams may designate players who are not active, but still available for protection for next season.

[4.1 The Draft]

The commissioner will designate a draft night each season. General managers are expected to attend the draft in person and must have all league fees paid before the draft. The draft order will be determined by a random draw. GMs will pick numbers (No. 1 through No. 12) out of a hat, and the number will correspond with their draft position in the first round. The draft will be a serpentine order, where the person with the first pick in Round 1 will have the last pick in Round 2 and the first pick in Round 3. When it is the team's turn to draft, they will have two minutes to make their selection. The commissioner will designate a timekeeper and when the timer expires, the next GM may make their selection. The skipped GM will then have another 30 seconds to make their pick, or the next GM will be on the clock.

Comments: This section should be a little more detailed than the previous sections. The draft is the single most important night of the season and if you penalize people or have a draft timer, it should be clearly spelled out here. If you have an internet league where the draft is held over several days, you need to be specific about what will happen if a team takes too long to pick. Give an example, if necessary, but participants need to know exactly how the draft will be run. Teams do some crazy things at times, and one rogue drafter can derail the entire draft.

[4.2 Free Agency]

Free agency will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. Teams may add or drop up to four players from their active rosters each week, starting on Tuesday evening at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Each time a GM adds or drops a player, their team will be assessed a $1.00 transaction fee. This will be distributed at the end of the season as detailed in the Prize Money section of this constitution. For accounting purposes, the fee will be charged each time a team drops a player. If a GM drops a player one week, then adds a player the next, they will only be charged one transaction fee. If they drop a player but do not add a replacement, they will still be charged a transaction fee.

Comments: Modify (or eliminate) this section as needed for your league. Most leagues have no transaction fees.

[4.3 Trades]

Trading is allowed and encouraged in GFFL and may be conducted by any team. Trades may include multiple players from any position, as well as draft picks. Trades must include the same number of players or draft picks from each side to avoid any roster limit conflicts. Each team will be charged $1.00 for a trade ($2 total) and it will be added to the transaction pool for distribution as described in the prize money section. Teams may not make trades during any given week once one of the players involved has a game already started. Teams are free to trade once the final NFL game of the week is complete. No trades will be allowed after Week 12 of the fantasy football season.

Comments: You can modify this section as needed if you want to allow unbalanced trades or trades after an NFL game is played. If you allow unbalanced trades (two players for one player), you'll need to include a provision to prevent people from exceeding the roster limit. You should always have a trade deadline to avoid roster stuffing at the end of the season. Most leagues have no trading fees.

[4.3.1 Trade Veto]

The executive committee reserves the right to reverse any trade they deem inconsistent with league competition and fair-play standards. This veto will only be invoked in extreme cases where it is obvious one team is trying to give another team an unfair advantage. The teams in question may offer reasons why the trade should be allowed, but the decision of the executive committee is final once it has been rendered. If the trade involves a committee member, they may offer reasons for the trade to be allowed will not have a say in the final committee decision.

Comments: This rule is tricky, but needs to be in place, especially in money leagues. Commissioners need a way to overrule a trade that is clearly designed to give someone an advantage to avoid collusion. However, it should not be used to protect a team from a bad decision. DO NOT allow league GMs to vote on if a trade can be revoked or not. This will cause exponentially more harm than good. There is a reason the executive committee is in place, and they should have the power and responsibility to make this decision. This rule needs to be in place but should almost never be used.

[4.4 Starting Lineups]

Starting lineups in GFFL will consist as follows:

  • 1 quarterback
  • 2 running backs
  • 2 wide receivers
  • 1 tight end
  • 1 flex (running back, wide receiver, or tight end)
  • 1 kicker
  • 1 defense / special teams

Teams must submit their starting lineup each week, even if the lineup does not change from the previous week. Players may be added or removed from the starting lineup up until the start of the first NFL game. On weeks where the NFL has a Thursday game, general managers may make changes to their lineups up to the start of the second NFL game, but may not change a player that has already played. For example, If you started your quarterback on Thursday night and he has a bad game, you cannot switch him out for a quarterback who has not played. Also, if you did not start a wide receiver who played on Thursday night and he scored three touchdowns, you cannot add him to your lineup on Friday. Once the Thursday game begins, players from that game may not be started or benched.

Comments: You may want to lock lineups after the Thursday game or allow substitutions mid-day on Sunday as well. Examples work best when trying to implement more complex lineup rules. The most important thing to stress is teams should not be allowed to do anything with players who have already played in an NFL game.

[4.4.1 Position Designations]

From time to time, the NFL may change their designation of a particular player from one position to another or a player may line up in multiple positions throughout the game. For example, a wide receiver may be switched to a tight end and vice versa. For the purposes of GFFL, a player may have only one official designation; any disputed designations will be resolved by the executive committee, using the official distinctions on NFL.com as a guide. Players may only start and score points based on their GFFL distinction. See the League Scoring section for more details.

Comments: Players move around and sometimes even switch from offense to defense. You need a provision like this, especially in IDP leagues to avoid the "Can I start my quarterback as a running back since he runs more than he throws?" or "Can I start my linebacker as a running back because he comes in to block in goal-line situations?" If you specify that a player may only have one league distinction, then they can only score points based on that distinction and you avoid any scoring madness from week to week. See below for more details.

[4.5 Bye-week Penalties]

Any general manager who starts a player on a bye week, regardless of intention, the team will be fined a $1.00 transaction fee and be forced to drop the player from their active roster. The penalty will be added to the transaction pot and distributed with that money at the end of the season. The player will become a free agent and will be eligible to be added to any roster, including the original team, during the normal free-agent policy. It is each team's responsibility to submit a valid lineup each week and no exceptions will be made.

Comments: You can add or remove this clause, depending on how you want to run your league. If some other penalty is appropriate or the fine is charged in a different way, spell it out in this section. You may also penalize a team if they start a player who is officially listed as "Out" on the NFL injury report or a player that has been placed on injured reserve. A clause like this will keep general managers engaged from week to week. With a clause like this, you can expect teams will make sure they will log in each week to submit their lineup.

[4.6 Active Management Requirements]

Each general manager is expected to actively manage their team each week, even if they are eliminated from any playoff consideration. GMs must submit a lineup each week, or be fined a $5.00 transaction fee, even if their lineup is the same as the previous week. GMs who do not submit a lineup by the start of the first Sunday NFL game will carry over the previous week's lineup and will not be allowed to change it. Any additional penalties for starting a bye-week or injured player will also be assessed to a lineup that has been carried over. If a team does not submit a lineup for two consecutive weeks, the executive committee will have the right to assume control of the team and manage it for the rest of the season. A committee-run team will be exempt from any transaction fees, but the team may not make any trades and is only allowed to add or drop players if the team cannot field a legal starting lineup due to injury or bye weeks. Any prize money won by a committee-run team will be distributed evenly to the other active GMs in the league.

Comments: Your constitution needs to contain a provision that allows the commissioner or a committee to take over an inactive general manager's team. Things happen over the course of a fantasy season. In some cases, GMs move, are hospitalized, or simply drop out of the league completely. Your constitution should provide a method for someone else to step in and take over to avoid the imbalance of an unmanaged team giving teams an easy win late in the season.

[4.7 Anti-Tanking Provision]

GFFL is a competitive league, created for league general managers to have fun while playing fantasy football. While the competition may be fierce, this is not considered a cut-throat league. In the spirit of competition and league fairness, GMs are not allowed to intentionally create a legal starting lineup that gives the opposing team a clear advantage. The executive committee reserves the right to step in and adjust the starting lineup of a team that is clearly trying to intentionally lose a game. GMs will be assessed a $1.00 transaction penalty that will be included in the free agent/trade transaction prize money distributed at the end of the season. If the committee must adjust a team's lineup in two consecutive weeks or for three or more weeks in any one season, the team will be considered inactive and the executive committee may assume control of the team as detailed in the active managing requirements section.

Comments: Harsh but necessary. While you hope that you never have to use this rule, it must be in place to prevent one team from screwing up an entire season. As with the trade veto section, this rule should be used only in extreme cases.

[5.0 SCORING SYSTEM]

Scoring in GFFL will be computed to two decimal places. This will allow points to be awarded or deducted for every positive or negative yard and will dramatically reduce the chance of a tie game. Players are awarded fantasy points for each week that they are included in the team's starting lineup. Players may only start at one position in any given week and will only be awarded points as described by their position distinction below.

QB / RB / WR / TE Scoring

  • 0.1 points for every rushing yard (-0.1 points for each negative rushing yard)
  • 0.1 points for every receiving yard (-0.1 points for each negative receiving yard)
  • 0.05 points for every passing yard (-0.05 points for each negative passing yard)
  • 6.0 points for each touchdown scored (rushing, receiving, passing, fumble recovery, or kick return)
  • 2.0 points for every 2-point conversion pass
  • 2.0 points for every 2-point conversion run or reception
  • -2.0 points for every interception thrown
  • -1.0 points for every fumble that is recovered by their own team
  • -2.0 points for every fumble that is recovered by the other team (lost)

PK Scoring

  • 1.0 points for every extra point made
  • 3.0 points for every field goal made
  • 0.1 points for every yard a field goal is beyond 30 (ex: 35-yard field goal will receive .5 additional points)
  • -1.0 points for every missed extra point
  • -2.0 points for every missed field goal

Comments: By breaking out placekickers from other positions, you designate different scoring rules for that section. So if a kicker runs in a touchdown, they will not score any points for the run or the touchdown. If you want to add that option, you should spell it out here. This type of position breakdown isn't needed as much in standard leagues, but can really help in leagues that start individual defensive players and have players that may play both sides of the ball. A linebacker that comes in on offense would not get a rushing or a receiving touchdown unless it was specifically broken out, and wide receivers who are on special teams would not get additional points for return yardage or touchdowns unless specified in this section. If you want players to score points in any way possible, simply designate that all positions score points in the same manner - this way if a kicker throws a touchdown pass on a trick play or a special-teams wide receiver makes recovers a fumble, they always get the points.

Defense / Special Teams Scoring

  • 2.0 points for every interception and fumble recovery
  • 2.0 points for every sack recorded
  • 2.0 points for every safety recorded
  • 6.0 points for each touchdown scored (fumble recovery or kick return)

[5.1 Point Totals and Final Scores]

GFFL will be hosted on MyFantasyLeague.com. Head-to-head scoring will be determined each week by the stats from that website. From time to time, the NFL may go back and change the scoring of certain plays later in the week. MyFantasyLeague.com gives the commissioner the option to make these scores retroactive. However, to maintain a sense of fairness and avoid confusion in the league, all head-to-head scoring will be resolved as of Tuesday at noon Eastern. Any scoring changes that come out from the NFL after that time will not be applied to the league.

Comments: The NFL will never change the final score of a game with a scoring update, but fantasy football can have that happen. A few extra yards or a fumble recovery may actually change the outcome of a game. To avoid confusion, you should draw a line at some point before free agency starts each week where all fantasy football scoring from the previous week is final.

[6.0 OFFSEASON ACTIVITIES]

Teams are strongly encouraged to maintain their current contact information as part of the league software. Please make sure to include your name, phone number and email address in the event that we need to reach you during the offseason. You should expect to be contacted in July with information about next year's draft. Thanks and welcome to GFFL!

Note: You can add additional rules or twists to the league as you see fit. This constitution should only be a guide to help you get started.

IMPLEMENTING SCORING CHANGES

For commissioners who have run a successful league for a couple of years, you may be looking to make a few changes to keep things fresh and new. By now you know the GMs in your league and you have a pretty good idea of what they like and dislike. Changing your league can be a great way to improve the overall experience and keep everyone interested and engaged. Changes can take a couple of different forms.

WHEN AND HOW TO IMPLEMENT SCORING CHANGES

Changing or adding rules to your fantasy league is a straightforward process, but there are a few general things you should think about when you do. For starters, think about the goal of making the rule change. Is it to provide more flexibility for GMs, or create more scoring opportunities? Do you want to improve the performance of a particular position, or create a more balanced scoring system? Whatever your reason, make sure it improves the league overall. Implementing rules which only benefit two teams may actually hurt your league rather than help. You should always consider the good of the league before making any changes.

Always make sure to implement a rule change between seasons. Unless it is an immediate need that will really hurt a majority of the GMs if it doesn't happen, it is better to wait until the offseason when everyone is on the same footing. general managers build their teams each year with different strategies in mind. Some draft starters and backups while others play the waiver wire fast and often. Some target specific players because of bye weeks and others draft players from their favorite division. Whatever the case, implementing a rule change mid-season is going to impact someone in a way that they were not expecting when the season began. Even if you think it will impact everyone the same way, do not implement it until after the playoffs. Your standard position should be "This is how the rules were when we started the season." Teams may complain, but they can't say it was unfair or they did not know.

Scoring rule changes do not always need a consensus. Ultimately you are the commissioner and you make the rules. You can get input from the league or ask for suggestions, but it will be very difficult to get everyone to agree on every new rule. This is another reason to implement a rule change during the offseason - if someone doesn't like the rule, they have time to adjust or in an extreme case, they can drop out and you can find a replacement. That's not going to happen 99.9% of the time if you are implementing changes for the good of the whole league during the offseason. If you choose to let the league vote on new rules, as commissioner you should abstain unless there is a tie.

DIFFERENT SCORING IDEAS

Here are a couple of ideas on how to enhance the scoring system and the general impact that they will have on the league:

Performance Scoring

If you run a touchdown-only league, changing to performance scoring is a great way to reward actual player production. If a running back breaks off an 89-yard run but is tackled an inch from the goal line, the running back receives no points in a standard touchdown-only league. If the team's quarterback then noses the football for a touchdown, the quarterback gets full credit for the score. To reward the running back as well as the quarterback, you could implement a performance scoring system. This rewards players for every yard that they gain either rushing, receiving, or passing. Typical numbers are 1 point per every 10 yards rush/receiving and 1 point for every 20 or 25 yards passing. Many fantasy teams consider this to be a more accurate reflection of how the game unfolds, but the league's final scores won't be 24-18 anymore either. If you are going this route, you should consider the next rule change as well.

Two-decimal Scoring

No one likes a tie in fantasy football, and basic touchdown-only leagues (or even yardage leagues without decimal scoring) can sometimes end in a tie. Even in performance-scoring leagues which round or truncate their performance, you are going to have a few ties. Implementing a two-decimal scoring system will dramatically reduce the chances of a tie, and it also takes another step to really reflecting what each player's performance really is. In this case, every positive yard rushing or receiving would be with 0.1 and every positive yard passing would be worth 0.05 or 0.04.

Kicker Performance

Some leagues award bonus points for long field goals. Under a performance scoring system, you can add in the bonus based on distance more precisely. With two decimal scoring, it is even easier. A typical idea is to award 3.0 points for any field goal of 1-30 yards and then at 0.1 for every yard after that. For example, a 42-yard field goal would be worth 3.0 + 1.2 or 4.2 points.

Point Per Reception and Variants

In many leagues, quarterbacks and running backs are the most valuable players. You can improve the value of wide receivers and tight ends though by awarding a point for every reception that a player has. This rewards players who catch a lot of passes and can make possession receivers and third-down backs more valuable to your league. If you adopt two decimal scoring, you could also implement a variant to give running backs 0.5 points for a reception and 1.5 points (or more) to tight ends. This reduces the lift pass-catching running backs will have but will also reward pass-catching tight ends who act more like wide receivers in places like San Francisco, Kansas City, and Philadelphia.

Team Defense Performance

It is hard enough to try and predict when a team defense or special teams will score a touchdown. To more accurately reflect a team-defense performance, you could add points based on how well a team defense performs in holding the opposing offense in check. Usually, these points are awarded on a sliding scale such as 10 points for a shutout, 8 points for allowing seven or less, 6 for allowing 14 or less, and so on. You can also award points for yards allowed such as 10 points for less than 100 passing and rushing yards, 8 points for 100-200, and so on. If you choose to award points for yards allowed, make sure to specifically exclude (or include if you like) return yards and sack yards.

Other Ideas

There are a lot of different ways to award points for performance including points for rushing attempts, points for pass attempts and completions, and special teams points for tackles and return yards. Some leagues deduct points for things like fumbles and fumbles lost, interceptions, and missed extra points. In team defense performance leagues, you could also deduct points for giving up 30 or more points or 400 or more yards as well.

Test Drive Before You Buy

Many league management software packages like Yahoo.com or MyFantasyLeague.com will allow you to set up and configure your league for free. If you want to see how a new scoring rule will impact a league, simply set up a mock league and input your current scoring system. Then add in your proposed scoring changes one rule at a time and see how that impacts the overall player performances. Pay particular attention to the performance of a typical starting player. In a 12-team league, you should look at the Top 12 quarterbacks, the Top 24 running backs, the Top 24-36 wide receivers, and the Top 12 tight ends, defenses, and kickers. Spend some time playing around with each proposed rule change will help you avoid making a change that might skew too strongly toward one position or another and unbalance the next season until you can adjust it again.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

Once you have settled on your new scoring changes, make sure to update your league constitution. You may want to create a one-page summary sheet of the rules that you implemented so that everyone has one place to go for the new rules. Try to circulate the changes a week or two before the draft begins, so teams have a chance to review the rules and create a draft strategy.

If you hold a league draft night, make sure to bring extra copies of the new changes to the draft and pass one out to every general manager. You'll always get one or two guys who didn't read the email or did not see the notice and halfway through the draft will say something like "Hey, how come everyone is drafting a tight end so early? Did something change?" By circulating things early, you eliminate GMs claiming 'I did not know' and prevent any issues that might come up.

Evaluate the impact of your changes after the season is over. Did your scoring changes make running backs too powerful? Did one or two teams figure out a loophole and exploit it to the detriment of the rest of the league? If so, look at making improvements for next season. You can always remove the rule during the offseason if you think it hurts the league too much.

Finally, put some thought into making scoring changes but don't go overboard or obsess on making the perfect rule. Fantasy Football is ultimately about having fun, and if you keep that in mind, everything will work out. There will always be one or two teams who complain that they don't like the new format or wish things were the way that they were last season. That is okay. They may just be throwing rocks because they can. Be happy with the changes you have made. If you make a mistake, admit it, and change it for next season. As long as people are having fun, the rest will work itself out.


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