Congratulations Osman!

Osman won the third overall pick in the 2014 Draft. Because the Dow closed on Wednesday at 16443.34, there was no winner because both 34 (last two digits) and 33 (second and third to last digits) were both in Tom’s range. So we moved on to Thursday. And today, the Dow closed at 16368.27. The last two digits were also in Tom’s range, but the second and third to last digits – 82 – fell in Osman’s range (73 – 84).

The 2014 Lottery is now complete and the final draft order is:

  1. Kennedy
  2. Dimond
  3. Abbasi
  4. Winerman
  5. Nussbaum
  6. Dunfee
  7. Weiss
  8. Paulson
  9. Saiz
  10. Cutchshaw
  11. Sampson
  12. Baxter

A full draft order, including traded picks, will be posted soon after the keeper deadline passes, which is Friday, August 15th.

Congratulations Commish!

With a 20% chance of winning, the Commissioner took second place in the 2014 BNB Lottery and will pick second in this year’s draft. The Dow closed at 16429.47, which fell in the Commissioner’s assigned ranged (45 – 59).

The third pick will be decided Wednesday, so stay tuned! See below (or here) for the lottery odds and number distribution for the remaining owners. If the last two digits of Wednesday’s number is between 25 and 59, then we will use the second- and third-to-last numbers of the Dow, and if that doesn’t work, the third pick will be decided Thursday.

Email me with any questions. Good luck!

Congratulations Tom!

With a 20% chance of winning, Tom has won the 2014 BNB Lottery and will pick first in this year’s draft. Congratulations! The Dow closed at 16569.28, which fell in Tom’s assigned ranged (25 – 44).

The second pick will be decided today, so stay tuned! See below (or here) for the lottery odds and number distribution for the remaining owners. If the last two digits of today’s number is between 25 and 44, then we will use the second- and third-to-last numbers of the Dow, and if that doesn’t work, the second pick will be decided Wednesday.

Email me with any questions. Good luck!

The Results Are In!


Thank you SO MUCH for voting. We had a 100% turnout rate, that’s fantastic! So, after collecting the hanging chads (I think it means we’re old that we know what that means), here are the results…

  • The waiver wire will now process everyday at 12pm eastern / 9am pacific.
  • The bench will be reduced from 8 to 7 spots, but there will be an injured reserve (IR) spot.
  • The divisions will be eliminated; however, teams will continue to play the same teams from their old division twice each season.*
  • In 2015, we will transition to an auction draft. Each team will have an auction budget of $200. Owners may trade auction dollars for the following season only. For example, during this season, owners will be allowed to trade 2015 auction dollars only. But, you may begin trading 2015 auction dollars now.
  • We will not value rushing attempts in 2015. That proposal failed.

*If people think that it would be fun to do an NFL-style power matching system in which top finishers from one season are pitted twice against each other the following season in a bookend fashion, we can do that too. I don’t want to force people to vote on this, so if you like this, just email me or say-so in the comments.


Welcome to the 2014 Bad News Barristers fantasy football season!

Although the season is still a few months away, the excitement has already begun, so I wanted to pass along the important dates and deadlines that are coming up…

You may propose new or modified rules until Friday, July 18th.**

The voting period will remain open until Friday, August 1st.

The Lottery will be held Monday, August 4th through the 6th.

All Keepers must be selected no later than Friday, August 15th.

The Draft will be held between August 20th and September 3rd.***

The 2014 Season kicks off on Thursday, September 4th.

This information is always available on Schedule page, and it is also contained in a Google Calendar, so if you use that (or a compatible program) would like me to grant you access to the calendar or send you invitations to these events to help you remember them, just email me.

**Please email me directly with your proposals so that I can synthesize them into a single ballot to make voting on the proposals quick and easy for everyone. Of course, any change that affects strategy or player valuation cannot take effect until 2015.

***Specific date and time will be determined based on owner availability.

Congratulations Baxter!

Ryan Baxter, of the Sophisticated Owls, is the Bad News Barristers 2013 Champion! This is Baxter’s first championship in five seasons since joining the League in 2009.

Like Rome, the Sophisticated Owls were not built in a day. In fact, the Owls’ championship strategy stands in stark contrast to that of the League’s previous two champions (Sampson and Dunfee) who achieved their respective success by alternating competitive seasons via their constant exchange of draft picks.

When they joined the League in 2009, the (then) Spanish Owls drafted Peyton Manning with their first pick and have never looked back. When Manning lost a season to injury, the Owls stayed the course until Manning found his new home in Denver. And while they must have second-guessed that decision a few times, Manning put up seven touchdowns in his first game in orange and it was clear the gamble had paid off.

Whether Spanish or Sophisticated (the name change came in the 2010 season), the Owls have always preferred to build with the draft, and they wasted no time in selecting Doug Martin as a rookie with upside in the 2012 draft. After his breakout rookie season, the Owls kept Martin along with Manning and entered 2013 season full of optimism.

In what turned out to be a Championship preview, the Owls faced the Jennis in Week 1 and lost narrowly by 33 points despite Manning’s 613 point virtuoso performance and another 294 points from Phil Rivers in what turned out to be the season’s highest scoring game. The two teams would take very different paths the remainder of the season, but they would meet again in Week 16 (to a different result).

After starting the season with two straight losses (falling to FLACC OFF in Week 2), the Owls were barely able to make it to .500 by the midway point of the season. And when Doug Martin went down last season in Week 8, the Owls had to act fast or risk their promising season. So the Owls traded the injured Martin and their 2014 1st Round Pick to the Weinermans for Shady McCoy.  Starting with their Week 9 devastation of the Yester Cooch in which the Owls prevailed by 400 points, the Noble Birds would go on to win 7 of their final 8 games (including the playoffs) on their way to the ultimate victory.

Happy as they must have been to have Shady on their side heading into the playoffs, the Owls had to be a little nervous after failing to secure a first round bye thanks to a 300 point loss to the 1-Legged Deer in the final week of the regular season. But Shady came through big time in Round 1 by putting up 356 points against the Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars. Peyton Manning tossed in another 435 points and the Owls topped the AllStars by 250 points. But McCoy disappeared in Round 2, putting up a measly 130 points. Even though the Owls put up one of their lowest point totals of the season, it was enough to squeak by the BOOs by 150 points and the Owls found themselves in the Championship against none other than… The Jennis. Manning and McCoy came through again, combining for 748 points and delivering the 2014 Bad News Barristers Championship by a margin of nearly 200 points.

So congratulations to the Sophisticated Owls! They have a tough road to hoe for repeat as champions without their 1st Round pick, but they also have Manning and McCoy as keepers. Good luck!

Playoff Standings

Just so there is no confusion come play-off time, the top six teams by record will make the play-offs, regardless of division. The first tie breaker will be head-to-head record, the second tie breaker will be ‘points for’ and the third tie breaker, if necessary, will be ‘points against.’

This accords with our past practice of not automatically awarding play-off spots to the division winners. Note that this may require that we override the ESPN default settings, which will automatically award the byes to the two division winners with the best records. While this works for the top seed, as a League we have decided that we would rather have the team with the second best record have the second bye, even if they didn’t win their division. Similarly, if all the teams from a single division have a better record than the winner of another division, we have decided that overall record should prevail over divisional performance.

These things usually work themselves out on their own, with no intervention required. But I just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of the rules regarding play-off seeding well in advance of the play-offs.

If you remember a different procedure in the past, please let me know right away. And if any of you feel that divisions should come into play when determining playoff eligibility and seeding, please email me. If we need to have a league vote on this, I would like to do so right away before we can tell whether it will even matter. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

And the 3rd Pick Goes to…

Paulson and the 1-Legged Deer! Congratulations, Erik–you had just a 4% chance of winning overall, yet you nabbed the third pick with the winning number of 95 (we had to utilize the ‘move one digit to the left’ tie-breaker).

Well done. You join myself and Winerman as your 2013 Lottery Winners.

That concludes the 2012 Bad News Barristers Lottery. The 2013 Official Draft Order is… Winerman (1), Dimond (2), Paulson (3), Sampson (4), Saiz (5), Cutchshaw (6), Weiss (7), Nussbaum (8), Baxter (9), Abassi (10), Kennedy (11), and Dunfee (12).

The first two rounds will be in this order, and then the draft will serpentine after that. Please refer to the Trade Picks page for more information on what picks were traded last season. After the keeper deadline passes, I will post the full draft order, pick-by-pick.

Congratulations… Me!

I won the second installment of the 2013 Lottery with the winning number of 59 and Don’t Shit the Money Bed! will pick second in this season’s draft. I had the third highest chance of winning (15%), so sorry to Greg and Emilio. And congratulations to me.

The third pick will be decided at the close of the Dow today, so check the Journal’s homepage at about about 1:30 pacific to see who will pick third! Good luck to everyone left!

And, if one of Winerman’s, or my, numbers comes again (97–99, 45–59), the winning number will simply be the second- and third-to-last digits of the DJIA (i.e., the two digits on either side of the decimal), and so on as necessary.

Picks 4 – 12 will be determined by reverse order of last year’s standings in accordance with League rules.

Congratulations Winerman!

Justin has won the Lottery with the winning number 97 and Suckmy Winermans will have the number one overall pick in the 2013 Bad News Barristers Draft. Congratulations! With the lowest odds of winning (just 3%), Justin has pulled off the unthinkable. Although it must suck to be Greg right now, this is truly what the Lottery is all about.

The second pick will be decided at the close of the Dow today, so check the Journal’s homepage at about about 1:30 pacific to see who will pick second! Good luck to everyone left!

Although it’s unlikely, if one of Winerman’s numbers comes again (97 – 99), the winning number will simply be the second- and third-to-last digits of the DJIA (i.e., the two digits on either side of the decimal), and so on as necessary.

The third pick will be decided tomorrow. After that, picks four through 12 will be determined by reverse order of last year’s standings in accordance with League rules.

Lottery Today!

The 2013 Bad News Barristers Lottery is today!

Although it won’t be official until the print edition of the Wall Street Journal hits newsstands tomorrow morning, check the Journal’s homepage after the market closes this afternoon to find out which lucky owner will have the number one of all pick in this season’s draft!

Remember, it’s the last two digits of the Dow Jones, so if–hypothetically–the Lottery had been on Friday, the winning number would have been 83 and Weiss would have the first pick. So close, Dave!

The number two pick will be decided by the Dow’s closing number tomorrow.

Here are your number assignments:

Greg 00 – 24
Emilio 25 – 44
Brandon 45 – 59
Ben 60 – 72
Dave 73 – 84
Lane 85 – 92
Erik 93 – 96
Justin 97 – 99


Lottery Postponed – Sorry!


I am really sorry to say that I am not able to hold the Lottery today. [insert typical lawyer excuse here] Basically, I haven’t had time to paint my balls…

My ping-pong balls that is. And I’m traveling next week, so the earliest I could do the video draft is the week of August 5th. That sounds like a painfully long time to me, so we are going to revert back to the tried-n-true stock market lottery…

And so, the Lottery winner will be determined by the final two digits of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the market close on Monday, July 30th. The official number will be those reported on the front page of Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, July 31th. Here are your number assignments…

Greg 00 – 24
Emilio 25 – 44
Brandon 45 – 59
Ben 60 – 72
Dave 73 – 84
Lane 85 – 92
Erik 93 – 96
Justin 97 – 99

Good luck to everyone in the Lottery and again, I am really sorry I didn’t get my shit together in time to have the video lottery this weekend as planned.

Regarding League Finances

As many of you have noticed, the League has transitioned from using to collect fees and distribute winnings to using In case you’ve wondered, here’s why…

LeagueSafe was an excellent option back in 2007 when sending money to-and-fro online was a tricky business, but it lacks the flexibility that services like WePay offer (and that our League demands). The League needs to be able to accept payments in any amount, at any time of financesyear, and without penalty. LeagueSafe could not deliver that. To say nothing of the fact that there is no good reason to allow a third-party service to retain the time value of League funds (however paltry that sum may be). LeagueSafe is for beginners, the Bad News Barristers are seasoned veterans.

WePay is way more flexible, but since it ties to a personal bank account (rather than in escrow with LeagueSafe), it requires that funds be tracked to prevent administrative mistakes. And while I would never embezzle from the League, it is not impossible to imagine a dispute over whether an owner had paid their dues as the result of a bookkeeping error. To solve that problem, I created a separate bank account with Citi (ending in x1099) solely for Bad News Barristers league business. So whenever you receive a WePay invoice from the League, you can be assured that your money will be deposited directly into the League account where it will remain safely until it is to be properly distributed.

Does this stop me from absconding with all of the League’s dough? No, I suppose it doesn’t. It does, however, mean that all monies going in-and-out of that account are League monies, which makes it very easy to monitor–including producing an accounting of all League financial transactions to any owner who might request it.

The Bad News Barristers have an excellent record of paying all League fees on time. Thank you very much for your continued diligence in making those timely payments. And of course, do not hesitate to ask any questions regarding League finances. has arrived!

Now in it’s eighth year, the Bad News Barristers fantasy football league has a website!

Although you will still use the ESPN website to manage your team, all the league information you need will be contained here–think trades, important dates, rules, stuff like that–and you can also pay your 2013 dues right now! There’s even a mobile site!

This is also the future home of the revamped Power Rankings, so stay tuned…

To make it more convenient to communicate with other owners this season, you can send an email to all league members quickly and easily with the form to the right. Or, you send an email to the league from anywhere at

More than that, though, you can post on the Message Boards to talk smack or trash, or what-have-you. In order to keep those messages nice and private, however, you need to log in (you do not need to log in to view the rest of website). Your username is your first name and your password has been emailed to you separately (if you have not received it within 24 hours, please email me).

As an added bonus, each of you now has a custom, private email address which is <your-first-name> To find out how to send from this address through your gmail account, click here. And if you’d like to have your email address be your last name instead, have any questions about email security, or prefer to have your email address deactivated, just email me.

I hope you find the website useful and fun and I welcome any feedback. So enjoy, and here’s to best season of Bad News Barristers fantasy football yet!

–The Commish