Just a quick post to update on the RotoViz Dynasty League, now entering its fourth season.
Our internal dynasty league, open only to RotoViz contributors, started in 2013 on FleaFlicker. A fourteen-team, deep roster league, it featured a bevy of cool rules, like a three-week playoff tournament and draft lottery #balls. In 2014, we added IDP, and roster sizes bumped up to 53, with an additional seven spots for injured reserve. If you’re thinking of starting a dynasty league, I recommend reading those two sets of rules for ideas.
Despite featuring players like first (and second) place Fantasy Football Championship winner Shawn Siegele, former Pro Football Focus analyst Bryan Fontaine, DFS guru Jonathan Bales, Fantasy Douche, ESPN’s Renee Miller, college and wide receiver expert Jon Moore, Fantasy Labs’ Matthew Freedman, and Fantasy Insiders / Rotowire / Twitter persona Davis Mattek, to date only two people have won the league title: Ryan Lessard (twice) and yours truly. Oh yeah, this shit’s competitive. But it’s also changing.
We’ve had a few owners come and go over the first three seasons, like most dynasty leagues do. This year, instead of just swapping in some new owners, we’re undertaking a few substantive changes.
- Move to My Fantasy League. We’ve been hosted by FleaFlicker, which is a very good – and free – platform. But given the huge size of our rosters, complex scoring and playoff scheduling, and full range of both offensive and IDP positions, we’re excited to move to MFL, which can easily accommodate all of our needs. This is my first experience commissioning a league there, and I’m impressed with all the features.
- Cut the league from 14 teams to 12. We’re trying to reduce franchise turnover and restore some competitive balance. By the end of our third season, a few of the original franchises had fallen behind in terms of overall roster talent. More on this next.
- Eliminate three teams. I realize that might look confusing so let me clarify. We had 14 teams. Three of them were orphaned. The 11 remaining active owners elected one new owner (John Solis) to join our ranks. We let the new owner choose which of the three defunct franchises to take over. Then the two remaining orphaned teams were liquidated.
- Dispersal Draft. All of the assets – players and 2016 rookie draft picks – from the two liquidated teams were placed into a dispersal draft. The dispersal draft order was as follows: Reverse order of 2015 finish for two rounds, then regular snake. This means that the worst team – the one taken over by the new owner – received the first pick of both the first and second round, and the second-worst team got the second pick of each of the first two rounds, etc. Back to competitive balance. The dispersal draft gave a disproportionate boost to the worst teams, but it also allowed every team to swap out some end-of-bench players for new assets. The dispersal draft is happening here, if you’re curious.
- Cash Money. Formerly played for pride alone, our league now features a buy-in, as well as a contribution from the site, to create a modest prize pool. Payouts are awarded to the top three finishers (heavily weighted to league winner) as well as the overall points leader.
- No Injured Reserve distinction. Instead of dealing with players moving on/off injured reserve, we just went with a flat 60 player roster limit.
What We Didn’t Change
We didn’t change the starting lineup requirements, scoring, draft, lottery, trade, or waiver rules. We figured we had enough moving parts already, and we didn’t want to change the fundamental structure of the league. Everybody made draft picks and trades with a specific scoring and roster framework in mind, and we thought it would be unfair to change that.
I know that reading about the nuts and bolts of someone else’s dynasty league isn’t always the most exciting thing to do. But I thought the insight into how we handled some significant changes might be helpful if similar situations arise in your leagues. Also, since the site sponsors the league, we’ll continue to document its major happenings. Finally, some of the other participants plan write-ups on their strategies down the road, so this can serve as a common starting point. We haven’t moved our rosters over yet, but you can follow the league here.