Figure you’ll never win the Lottery?
Does it seem like half the first round goes to one team?
Does it feel like you’ll never have a shot at drafting your favorite player?
I propose that in 2015 we transition to an Auction Draft.
I doubt I have to explain how it works (but in case I do, click here). And I probably don’t need to explain why it is awesome, so I will suffice it to say that it is simply the most fun way to draft. I think it would be particularly fun in a league like this one, where everyone knows each other’s tendencies so well. I am sure that many of you have participated in auction drafts in other leagues, and I encourage you to share your feelings about it with the rest of the league.
I have spoken with several of you in past seasons about how awesome this would be, but I have never before proposed it because it would un-do the future draft pick trading system that has made this league so unique. But now, ESPN allows us to adjust the auction budgets for each team before the draft, and so, we will still be able to accommodate trading of future draft value. Just instead of trading picks, owners would be able to trade draft dollars in exchange for players (only for the following season).
For example, if the standard auction budget is $200, then I could (theoretically) trade Aaron Rodgers to Weiss for $50. Flash forward to the 2015 draft: Dave would have Aaron Rodgers as his keeper, but only $150 in his auction budget. Meanwhile, I would have $250 in my auction budget with which to make it rain at the draft.
We would still have two unrestricted keepers and the change couldn’t take effect until next season, but I think it would really spice things up. What do you think? We’ll vote on this (and other proposals) later this month, but I would love to hear what people think about this idea. Feel free to email me or the entire League with your thoughts.
I propose we process the waiver wire every day**.
Currently we use an auction-style free agent system and the waiver wire processes for the first time each week on Wednesday morning at 9am pacific. As a result, owners have approximately 36 hours to submit their bids.
The problem with that is there isn’t any opportunity to get a ‘deal’ on a highly coveted free agent because every owner has time to read the week’s ‘Top Add’ articles before submitting their own bid. I think it would be nice to reward owners who follow the games and are ready to submit their bids on Tuesday.
**Tuesday is currently the only day that wavier wire does not process. It technically processes on Monday, but only for players involved in the MNF matchup.
The League currently allows 10 starters, 8 bench players, and 1 injured reserve spot. This means that all 12 teams could, and often do, roster 19 players. Simple math tells us that means that 228 players are locked up at any given time. The result of that was felt by each of us last season–waiver wire scarcity.
Just think about what your bench looked like last season–how much garbage was on there? Now think about that time you ran to the computer to bid on some guy you just heard about, only to find out that he was already rostered. It also allowed people to hoard valuable positions. Scarcity, and to lesser extent, hoarding, is what allowed Winerman to overbid on free agents in early weeks only to (unsuccessfully) attempt to extort a trade from the rest of us shortly thereafter.
The ESPN default for 10 team leagues is to have 7 bench spots with no injured reserve. I think this is a good compromise for us since we are a league of 12. And so…
I propose that we eliminate one bench spot and the injured reserve spot.
This would have no effect on the rest of the roster setup. It is simply a reduction in the size of our bench. It’s a very small change, but it will go a long way to alleviate the roster pressures created by such an active league with enormous benches.
It is difficult to imagine what the pros of such a large bench are because, beyond hoarding, it promotes inactivity among owners because they don’t need to cycle any bench players to accommodate for injuries or bye-weeks, plus there is little reason to do so when you know the cupboard is bare. But, if there are folks who like the big bench, I’d like to hear why. So please email me or the League with your thoughts.
This is a tough one for me to suggest, because these divisions have been in place since the League’s inception in 2006. But there is more to like about them then just tradition. It makes scheduling easier, because with 12 teams and 13 weeks in the regular season, each team must play two other teams twice and since there are three teams in each division, that’s an easy choice. Playing your divisional opponents twice each season also helps promote inter-seasonal rivalries.
But it is also a little confusing because we don’t strictly follow the division results when determining playoff seeds. And frustratingly, it makes it more difficult to directly compare teams on the stats page because ESPN breaks them down by division.
I propose eliminating divisions in favor of a unified 12-team league.
That way, we could easily determine our place in the standings, making crystal clear which teams are in the playoff hunt. We will still have the decide which two opponents each team will face twice in a season. Perhaps we could maintain the matchups from the old divisions to preserve some of the history. Just an idea.
Let me know what you think.
When the Bad News Barristers began in fall of 2007, gas was $1.25 per gallon, a gallon of milk cost a quarter, and you could get a z-job on any corner for a nickle and a song… A $50 entry fee made sense in that time and place. But in 2013, even a dime-bag costs twenty bucks. You can see where this is going…
I propose that we raise the entry fee. But rather than just give the champion more sweaty cash, here are some ways more money might mean more… Fun!
The most obvious way to spread the good times around is to keep final payouts the same and to add mid-season payouts. We could, for instance, offer $50 to the highest scoring team every week. Or, we could give $100 to the last undefeated team, or the mid-way points leader.
Another fun twist would be to offer $100 for the best draft(er), or best general manager–which could be determined through league-wide votes. I suppose it’s possible that people would just vote for themselves, but with 12 votes, I still expect the cream to rise to the top.
Although I’m not set on any amount or specific use for the money, I do think if we could offer some early-to-mid-season payouts for certain achievements, it would increase excitement for everyone. And we can do all of that by increasing the entry fee by just $50 per team. There are probably a number of other good ideas for what we could do with a little extra cash–which I welcome by email or in the comments…
Trade-Deadline Party in Vegas?
What’s wrong with the current keeper system? For starters, it doesn’t promote trading the same way our draft pick trading does. But worse then that, it allows players to be locked up in perpetuity (yes, like Aaron Rodgers). And it’s confusing–I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked if someone can trade a player in the off-season that they don’t intend to keep (for those who still don’t know the answer–no, you can’t). Despite these flaws, every year someone suggests adding keepers! Well, I’ve got a proposal that will change all of that: the K-System. Here’s how it works…
Every player drafted is automatically signed to a 1-year contract. This is nothing more than a change in terminology, it simply means that you have the rights to that player for the season in which you drafted him (unless you trade him before the deadline, or cut him).
But here’s the twist–each season every owner will have a single 1-year extension and a single 2-year extension to give to two players that remain on a team’s roster when the season ends. For instance, this off-season I would sign Aaron Rodgers to the 2-year extension and Jonathan Stewart to the 1-year extension (yes, my team is that bad–I just checked, and no joke, I have Titus Young on my roster).
Fast forward to this time next year: the Stewart contract will be up (thank God) and Stewart will re-enter the draft, for one of you lucky SOBs to nab. A player can’t be extended by the same owner twice (and I wouldn’t want to with Stewart), but that is how the K-System prevents controlling a player indefinitely. So I can’t sign Rodgers to the 2-year extension and then try to extend him again (with my 1 or 2-year extension) when that runs out. Still with me?
In the summer of 2014, Rodgers will be entering the final season of his 2-year extension and so I will have him “under contract” until the trade deadline in 2014–at which point he would become a free agent at the end of the season and re-enter the draft. Here is where the system really promotes trading–if I trade Rodgers at the beginning of 2014, the owner who acquires him can extend him for 2 more years, which means Rodgers’ new owner will have him for the 2014, ’15 and ’16 seasons (although that owner will face the same dilemma in the summer of 2016).
That makes Rodgers a lot more valuable at the beginning of 2014 then the end of it, because it means 13 more weeks of production from Rodgers. The same would have been true of Jonathan Stewart right after we inked his extension. The possibility of a sign-and-trade makes things much more interesting.
Now don’t forget that I also have two more extensions to hand out in 2014. Since I can’t extend Rodgers (who’s still under contract) or Stewart (who’s 1-year extension is up), I will give the 1-year extension to Jordy Nelson and the 2-year extension to Trent Richardson, both of whom I (hypothetically) drafted in 2013.
So, what does that mean for the 2015 season? Well, if I don’t trade Rodgers (or anyone else), I will have the rights to Rodgers, Richardson, and Nelson for the 2015 season. Without trading, I won’t have more than 3 active contracts at once, because the Rodgers and Nelson deals would expire after 2015 and I will only have two new extensions to hand out in 2014, plus the last year of the Richardson deal.
I say “without trading,” because there is nothing stopping an owner from acquiring multiple players with one or two years left on their deals and carrying over several players without drafting. But, I imagine that it would be difficult to do that because you only have so much to trade away–I think its a very exciting wrinkle, though.
How would draft pick compensation work then? Well, you don’t get any compensation for cutting (ie, dropping) a player to whom you have given an extension. Or if you acquired a player under contract from another team and cut him, again you get nothing. But if you choose not to use one your two annual extensions, then you will receive a compensatory draft pick in accordance with rules we already have for not using your keepers. This helps ensure parity because we don’t want teams to end up in an infini-loop of shitty players and shitty draft picks.
I think this would be a real improvement to our current system, but not really a significant departure from our current model. I would like to put the K-System on the ballot this off-season to be implemented immediately. I know that we traditionally wait one year before implementing a new rule, but if we do that, then I would have Rodger for 4 more years (thru 2016) because I wouldn’t have to burn my 2-year extension until 2014, which is too long, in my opinion. In this special case, I think it makes sense to institute the K-System right away, if the league votes it in.
I welcome any questions or thoughts in the comments or by email.