Blog Entry

Fantasy Football Unified Rules

Posted on: October 25, 2008 4:33 pm
I would like to propose a commission for the unification and standarization of fantasy football rules.  While some differences between leagues are good, there are some that can create problems and confusion.  There are also overlooked areas that could be tapped into for fantasy football points, making it even more competitive.

My personal favorite rule change to FF that I propose, concerns DST- or Defense/Special Teams.  As current rules in all leagues I've ever played in, part of the DST points are based on the amount of points the Defense gives up.  In reality, this number isn't always a true number.  If a quarterback throws two INT's for touchdowns, the DST gets unfairly penalized for the 14 points the QB gave the other team.  In my proposed rule change, these points would be subtracted from the DST point total given up, fairly reflecting the DST's performance. 

Another proposal to be considered is Win/Loss.  A lot of FF points get racked up by players on teams who are behind, and are forced to score, and score fast, to attempt to get back in the game.  For example, let's say the Giants get a 21 point lead on the Lions after 3 quarters.  The Giants can now sit on the ball, and try to run out the clock.  Any Giants player from this point on, fantasy-wise, is next to worthless, barring a huge defensive mistake by the Lions.  The Lions offense will now be racking up yardage on offense, trying to get back into the game, while the Giants defense sits back in 'prevent' mode- merely trying to avoid the 'quick score'.  By the time the game is over, the Giants will probably hold off the Lions, and win by 7, but the game was never technically that close.  Anyone who has played FF for some time knows exactly what I mean, and has been frustrated by the fact that his the Giants players on his team hit a 4th quarter roadblock because of their own success, meanwhile his FF opponent, who has Lions players, ends up winning the FF game because of this 'slow-down/catch-up' mode of play in the real game.  My proposal is to give FF players, including DST's, 3 extra points if their NFL team wins.  This also adds another dimension to the FF draft- now you need to consider how well a player's team will fare during the season. 

I think some standardization of some rules are in order also.  For instance, the use of Flex players.  This is perhaps the biggest difference between league rules, and can make a huge difference in how you draft.  Some leagues don't use the Flex player option at all, some use it, but only use RB/WR, others allow TE's, some QB's, a few allow all four.  With the myriad of rules and options, if you forget an option like this during your draft, it can cripple your team.  For example, I have a team that I forgot didn't use the Flex option- it used 2 RBs, and 3 WRs.  During the draft, there were great RB's available, so I grabbed them, expecting to use a 3rd RB at the flex position.  I drafted RB heavy, WR light, and after an injury to my #1 WR, my team was crippled at that position, and unable to replace him with a quality player either through trade, or waiver wire.  Granted, it was my mistake for not remembering the 'rule', but with so many options, it can be very tough to keep to a draft strategy, trying to flow with how players are being drafted, while remembering how your league point system works.

This brings other point variations to the forefront.  Some leagues give 6 pts for a TD, others 4.  Some give Points Per Reception, others don't.  Some give bonuses for 100 yard games, or long runs/receptions.  These and many other differences can add another dimension to the game, but at the same time, it can detract from the game, and spoil it, if not accounted for. 

Standardization of the rules doesn't mean inflexibility of the point system- it just provides for a consistent, fair set of rules to use as a base for all fantasy football systems, whether on CBS, Fox, ESPN, or independent FF leagues.  With a base set of rules for everyone to use, the game is easier for new players to use, and easier to keep track of variations, because a variation from the standard set of rules is easy to call out in league rules.  In fact, leagues can be rated for difficulty, based on the amount / type of variations from basic league standards.

If CBS would like to help back me in my efforts, I'm listening !
Category: Fantasy Football
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or