Last Week's Question: Dr. Frankenbode's Super
Happy Funtime League
In my column for Week 6, I shared a series of questions from a frequent
contributor to this column named Michael, who is trying to set up
a fairly complicated league for next year. Readers who want to review
a full description of Michael's proposed league should look at last
week's column, but the most relevant details are 1) a week-to-week
rotisserie scoring format; 2) lineups subject to constant changes;
and 3) an auction-limit model of player acquisitions (with incentives
for owners to spot hot players before they break out).
I am grateful to Andy not simply for responding with a thoughtful
answer, but for providing us all with a hyperlink to a league that
shares some key similarities with Bode's brainchild:
I can't help with everything, but I can give
you help on some portions. I started a league this year called the
AFFL (because teams must name themselves after Arena League Teams).
If you're so inclined, you
can find it here.
As for Part 1 of Mike's Question:
As you can see, we use MFL for this league. MFL has a function where
you can set it up that every team plays every other team each week.
We have a 14-team league, so you play 13 games per week. The top
scoring team goes 13-0, the next highest goes 12-1, etc. The great
part of this is that no matter how you're doing on the season, you
start each week with the chance/hope of going 13-0 for that week.
(As a side note, I 'invented' this system a few years ago for my
baseball league, where instead of cummulative roto stats for the
year, we take them just for one week and assign wins and losses,
and then start over the next week.)
As for Part 2, I have something similar that he could use:
The AFFL is a dynasty league, where every player drafted is a keeper
forever. BUT, pickups during the season are NOT keepers, with one
We allow teams once, and ONLY once, to make just ONE of their pickups
a keeper. They must decide as soon as they pick them up what they
want to do, thus increasing the toughness. Here's how this practice
might apply to Michael's league:
To make it more interesting for him, I'd have different levels of
'Lock' for his players. Allow teams to ONLY ONCE lock a player's
salary for the entire season. Then, I'd add several different levels
for other players. For instance, maybe allow one 5 week lock and
one 4 week lock. Then, allow two 3 week locks and maybe four two
week locks. The rest would be just one week.
The beauty of this is that owners would be forced to allocate their
'locks' over the entire season, and that would be part of the strategy.
Imagine if the owner who picked up Kevin Ogletree after week 1 used
up his season-long lock on him. Or the guy who got Alfred Morris
really cheap who then doesn't really believe in him so he just gives
him a one-week lock. The whole thing would be very interesting.
Anyway, these are just some random ideas about that, but I would
definitely encourage Michael to use MFL's 'Play-All' function where
everyone plays every other team each week. The effect is that the
best teams scoring-wise will certainly rise to the top, and it eliminates
those times (we've all had them), where you are 2nd in the league
in scoring and find yourself 2-4 because of bad beats.
I really like Andy's idea of staggered locks being applied at will
by owners who are making their own best (but hurried) guesses about
the future performances of players.
Perhaps the best thing about Andy's response is that it suggests
so many possibilities for Bode's hypothetical league to handle locks
for players who are injured or on a bye. Perhaps the Bode league
could automatically grant a one-week extension to all players whose
prices have been locked in for four or more weeks, but they have
only a limited number of bye week extensions (say two or three for
the entire season) to use on players on lockdown for three weeks
As for injury, one idea that Bode's league might toy with could
involve converting the one-week lockdowns to injury insurance policies.
I am just tinkering playfully with Bode's question and Andy's answer,
but since the Bode league is already shaping up to be highly complex,
I can imagine the following scenario:
An owner picks up Brian Hartline in Week 3 for
$1 and then tags him with a 4-week price lock immediately following
his explosion in Week 4, which ensures that he will be able to get
Hartline for $1 in weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8. Furthermore, this owner
gives up one of his one-week price locks as an injury insurance
policy on Hartline. In the Week 7 game, Hartline pulls a hamstring
that forces him to sit out for Weeks 8 and 9. The injury insurance
policy kicks in, automatically extending the 4-week lock into Week
I hope the ideas behind my hypothetical scenario can get through
despite the obvious logical problems (not the least of which is
that in reality, Hartline has a bye in Week 7 and is therefore very
unlikely to pull his hamstring). As Andy says, owners who use locks
on players acquired midseason in his league must do so at the time
the player is acquired, so if Bode implemented a similar rule, then
the owner who picked up Hartline in Week 3 would have had to opt
for a price lock before Hartline's Week 4 explosion against Arizona.
I see oodles of intriguing possibilities here.
As for the question about bye weeks, I agree that it seems unfair
for owners to lose a week of locked in production to a bye. Perhaps
the Bode league could institute a "bye reserve" category
for players (analogous to the "injured reserve" category
in many fantasy leagues).
If Jerry Jones is correct and DeMarco Murray will be out with a
sprained foot for Dallas' Week 7 matchup against the Panthers, then
we should expect to see lots of owners placing Murray on IR, which
will allow them to pick up an extra player in Murray's roster spot
without throwing Murray back onto the waiver wire. The Bode league
could easily arrange for something similar to happen with all bye
weeks . . . or most bye weeks . . . or only some bye weeks.
I hope to hear more about Dr. Frankenbode's Super Happy Funtime
League after it actually gets off the ground. In the meantime, perhaps
this week's question will help to get Bode's brain juices flowing.
This Week's Question: What are
the pros and cons of switching to a scoring system that treats all
players on a roster as active?
The person who sent in this question signed off as "Commish
Mike," but I prefer the name in the email address: Lilprincesskoopie.
I get plenty of questions and answers from people named Mike or
Michael, but I can't resist the urge to share a question posed by
Our league is toying with something I have seen
on a rare basis, but the guys in our 4 F Club see the following
as a great way to play FF.
We have 19-man rosters and start a roster as follows (and have done
this for years): 1QB, 1RB, 2WR, 2 FLEX, 1 TE, 1K & 1 DEF. This
is a 12-man league, and the 2 flex positions help greatly if you
get short at RB. But the point of my writing is we have seen a few
leagues that score your ENTIRE roster - then sort it out to give
you the best QB score, best 2 RB's score, best 2 WR's score, best
FLEX, best TE, best K and best DEF.
No calling in a lineup or worrying about if a player who is hurt
will or won't play. Our league is in its 16th season and we all
think the proposal I just mentioned could catch on big time. We
are not using it yet, but I am in a new league that does use it.
There is an incentive to carry 3 starting QB's as well as 2 TEs,
2K, 2DEF as you will automatically get the best point total at each
I do not think that leagues such as the one described by Lilprincesskoopie
are as uncommon as her majesty thinks. I routinely encounter leagues
that allow owners to start multiple quarterbacks and then take the
score from whoever has the best day. Such leagues have been discussed
in this column in the past primarily because, as the writer points
out, they eliminate "worrying about if a player who is hurt
will or won't play."
I guess what strikes me most forcefully about this question is that
it is coming from someone who has been in the same league for sixteen
years. I tend to think of older leagues as trying to shake things
up by requiring owners to pay more attention to NFL news, whereas
the model proposed by Lilprincesskoopie seems like more of a "draft
'em and forget about 'em and find out in Week 16 if they got you
to the Super Bowl" approach.
Although I gravitate towards leagues in which I have to set my own
lineup every week, I will admit that there are some weeks when I
have so much going on that it is more of a chore than a joy for
me to have to decide between Receiver C who is questionable with
a favorable matchup and Receiver D who is probable with an unfavorable
I look forward to hearing about the pros and cons of leagues like
the one described by Lilprincesskoopie from anyone who has ever
participated in such a league. I suspect that the most helpful
responses will come from commissioners of leagues that started
out by having owners set their starting lineups and switched to
a format that treats all players as active.
Last Man Standing - Week 7
(Courtesy of Matthew
Trap Game: San Francisco over Seattle (4-2,
Was, CLE, TB, Den, ATL, NYG):
San Francisco came out flat against a beatable NY Giants football
team with a suspect defense. This week, the Niners face the second
best rushing defense in the NFL in the Seattle Seahawks, a team
that squeaked past the New England Patriots on the strength of Russell
Wilson's throwing arm (who knew?). The bookies have this game leaning
way in the favor of the Niners, but in a close divisional game,
anything goes. This is a game that has AVOID written all over it.
You don’t want to be knocked out of a Survival Pool because
of a “trick” play between division rivals that are tied
for first place and would do anything to win, but if you twisted
my arm, I would lean towards the home team.
#3: Green Bay at St. Louis (5-1: PHI, TB,
CHI, ARI, HOU, BAL):
Welcome back Mr. Rodgers! The Packer offense did not simply look
great in Week 6; Rodgers and company looked great against a VERY
good Houston defense that still has not allowed a rushing touchdown.
This week, however, Green Bay must head indoors to match up against
the Rams (and an impressive passing defense that currently ranks
fifth in the NFL). The Packers will need to show off some of that
precise passing from last week’s six-touchdown game to get
past a scrappy 3-3 Rams team that has found a balanced rushing attack
between Stephen Jackson and Daryl Richardson. Jackson is only getting
on the field for 15 to 20 plays a game, so he remains fresh and
is a threat to strike at any time, unlike years past. That said,
look for the Packers to pull this one out (barely).
#2: Minnesota over Arizona (3-3: CHI, Was,
NO, HOU, SF, PIT):
The Vikings are coming off a road loss to Washington, a team that
is surprisingly ranked 5th overall in total offense. This week,
however, Minnesota should have an easier go of it when the Cardinals
and their 31st ranked offense visit the MetroDome. The Cardinals
have announced that Kevin Kolb, the NFL’s most sacked QB over
the last month, will be sidelined with a rib injury indefinitely.
The best thing Cardinals fans can say about this is that John Skelton
is healthy, and might be able to avoid a hit or two. If you’re
worried about relying on the divisional contest between New England
and the New York Jets, than this is the next best bet.
#1: New England over N.Y. Jets (5-1: HOU,
SF, IND, BAL, NYG, ATL):
Spygate. Need I say more? Okay, I have a few more sentence fragments
up my sleeve. Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick. Tom Brady and Tim Tebow.
Good Jets or bad Jets? The team that beat up on Buffalo and Indianapolis,
or the one that was destroyed by San Francisco and Pittsburgh? Will
Ryan's team use trick plays in punting formations, run the ball
efficiently, and create turnovers, or will they be inept on offense
as their passing and overall offense ranking suggest? It will be
interesting to find out. But unfortunately for the Jets faithful,
Brady and company should have no problem no matter which Jets team
shows up. When New England's top-ranked offense takes the field
after a long road trip, look for BOTH Hernandez and Gronkowski on
the field at the same time as they create matchup problems for the
Jets, who will struggle to fill the gaps created by Belichick’s
pawns. Take the Patriots in this game, but know that it will be
a fight to the end. Nothing this season has been easy for the once
reigning champions, and this one won’t be any exception.
For responses to this month's fantasy question please email