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Fantasy Football Today

Ways to make Fantasy Football season last longer

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Fantasy Football season is still 21 weeks away. Too long for many of us.

An emailer named Ken sent this proposal for starting earlier:

"I'm going to hold our first draft on the first Wednesday in July. Since this is an office league, we'll do this at lunch and only draft the first two rounds, plus the person with the first pick will get to make the first pick of the third round.

"On the second Wednesday in July, the person with the second pick will start the remainder of the third round and we'll complete the fourth round and the first two picks of the fifth round. We'll do this through August until the draft is complete.

"What do you think?"

Interesting. It gets things going much sooner but could put certain owners at a disadvantage. The first-round pick you drafted in early July could tear his hamstring in late July, when camps open. Drafting off incomplete information is always risky.

How about playing two leagues with the same members? Draft once in June or July, draft again in late August when position battles are clearer. Set aside prize money for the best combined finish in both leagues (win-loss record or total points). Set aside something for the overall champ -- the highest point scorer among the four finalists.

The draft lottery is another way to start early. Pick the draft order two weeks before your draft and allow league members to swap slots.

"Originally we were doing our draft lottery a week before the draft, then people were like, 'We want more time,'" said Todd Schechter, a commissioner in Atlanta. "The reality was they were ready for Fantasy football. Now we're doing it two weeks ahead of time and you can trade your slot, which generates a lot of discussion.

"No. 1 and No. 10 traded last year. Calvin Johnson went No. 10, Adrian Peterson went No. 1, and the team that gave up the No. 1 overall slot turned out to be the best team."

At the other end, playoff Fantasy leagues are getting more popular and last through the Super Bowl.

Still doesn't help with the dog days of April, especially with the draft moved back to May. Sept. 4 can't get here fast enough.

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