Choose Me as Your Fantasy Football Commissioner

Fantasy football the way it should be run in 2012…

I’ve been playing fantasy football for ten years. I’m currently in two fantasy football leagues. One is with a group of guys I work with and used to work with. The other is with a group of guys (and a couple girls) that I’m friends with. There aren’t that many differences in the two leagues. They’re run similarly, the scoring is comparable, rosters are built in the same fashion.

For some reason I’ve been thinking about fantasy football a lot more this year. Not my team. Not trades or waiver wire pick-ups or analyzing player stats. I’ve been thinking about the actual structure of fantasy football. It seems that most leagues are run the same way they were ten years ago. Yet the game has changed greatly from the way it was played in 2002 to the way it’s played now. Technology has improved. Statistical analysis has improved (and is much more readily available). So why are we still playing this game the same way when we could be playing it in a way that lines up much closer with the way the game is played in the NFL?

This is an open letter recruiting people to be in a fantasy football league with me next year, where as commissioner, I will bring the game into the year 2012. Want to join the league? Read my proposal and let us know by dropping us an email at If for some reason there’s huge interest, I’ll have to limit it to the first 11 people I hear from.

Dear fellow Fantasy Football player,

The time has come for change. A change from the norm. A change in the way we’re playing fantasy football. A change to a model that more closely resembles the way the NFL works and an NFL franchise is run. It’s being done on Madden. Why don’t we do it with a fantasy league?

This is my proposal. This is my recommendation. This could be our 2013 fantasy football league…

—The league will be a dynasty league. We’ll keep all players from 2013 to 2014 and the years following. If, for some reason, someone decides to not play the next year, someone will inherit a current team.

—The exchange of money will be handled via PayPal and posted to a site like Splitwise so everyone in the league can see the status of money owed. Seems like handling physical money and trying to keep track of it always gets messy, so we’ll be doing it completely online.

—Draft order for the first draft will be determined randomly. The order for all drafts following the first will be determined by the previous year’s finish. The team that finished last will draft first, the champion will draft last. It will operate this way for all rounds. There will be no snaking.

—The draft will be done online. People within close proximity of each other will be encouraged to draft together at one physical location (though it’s not mandatory), but you will make all your selections online yourself.

—All drafts following the inaugural draft, we will only draft players that were taken in that spring’s NFL draft. So we’ll be drafting college players. There will be 6 rounds for each year’s ‘college’ draft.

—All drafts after the inaugural draft will be held in late summer. The inaugural draft will be held after the first two pre-season games of 2013.

—We will use the pre-season to determine our final rosters. Team owners will have the option of keeping players from their past season’s team or keeping newly drafted rookies. Either is fine, but teams will be cut down to a maximum roster size of 26 players following the final pre-season game, which means everyone will drop 6 players.

—The rosters will look like this:

Offensive Starters
Offensive Flex (RB, WR or TE):
Offensive Flex:
Offensive Flex:
Offensive Flex:
Offensive Flex:

Defensive Starters
Defensive Flex (DE or LB):

Special Teams Starters

7 bench players

That’s right. We won’t be forcing you to play a running back in this passing era. After all, it’s not 2002. The days of Shaun Alexander, Priest Holmes and Marshall Faulk racking up huge fantasy weeks is gone. It’s a passing league. A number of teams rarely use a RB in their offensive scheme, more and more are using two TEs. Of course there are others, like San Francisco or Baltimore, that focus on the run (it’s a Harbaugh thing, I guess). It should be your choice how you want to build your team.

We also won’t be forcing you to pick one defensive team. That system is flawed and dated. A team could allow 20 points and lose, but have 2 INTs, 3.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries and still give you a good number of points. Meanwhile, another team could win, allow 3 points by just playing solid defense, have no INTs, no fumble recoveries and maybe 2 sacks and give you less points than a team that lost. A poor system – so we won’t be dealing with it. Individual players will give you tackles, sacks, tackles for loss, INTs, fumbles forced, fumble recoveries, etc. No defensive ‘team’ also means that punt and kick returns will count for the individual players.

The Defensive Flex position will allow you to build your defense as you like – either a 3-4 or a 4-3.

Yes, you see a punter included. Punters will receive points for pinning opponents within the 5 yard line, within the 10 yard line and on a sliding scale based on length of the punt. If a punt goes a short distance and isn’t a pinning situation, you could lose points.

—Each owner will be allowed one in-game substitution. So if your QB gets hurt in the first quarter and you have another QB on your bench you can sub that player in. Or, let’s say you have Reggie Bush and he’s resorted to playing like 2009 Reggie, you have the option to replace him. However, you can only substitute using a player on your bench at the beginning of that week’s games. So if your QB gets hurt and you don’t have one on the bench, you’re screwed. You can’t go pick one up.

So that’s it. A fantasy football league for 2012. A league that will allow for more strategy. A league for us. Who’s with me?

Your future commissioner,

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york