It doesn’t matter which sport you play, everyone wants to be in a great fantasy league; the best league possible. But what is “the best league possible”? It’s definitely not a standard public league. Public leagues are fine for what they are: profile filler, and minimal participation. These leagues are mediocre at best, and mediocre isn’t sufficient. What you’re seeking, is “The Best League Possible”!
So if you want to be in the best league possible, you’re probably going to have to host it yourself. That’s right, you’re the commissioner. Congratulations, Mr./Ms. Commish! You have absolute power. With that, comes responsibility.
The first thing you must decide is what type of league you want to be in: Rotisserie, Head-to-head, or some points-based variation thereof? Different styles of leagues will attract correspondingly different managerial pools to choose your members from.
Next, which stats should you use for scoring? A common rookie commissioner mistake is going overboard with statistical categories. Everyone knows, that you know, everything there is in the world to know about basketball. There’s no need to prove it by getting cute with your league settings. Our rule is to keep it simple. If you want the best, cutthroat management from your league, don’t make it difficult for them by including esoteric penalty stats! Simple keeps it fun, and fun = engaged managers.
After that, you have to decide what kind of draft you will conduct. Offline is generally not the way to go, unless it’s the type that takes place pick-by-pick, over an extended period of time. You want to conduct a live draft. In-person would obviously be ideal. Sadly, we’ve never actually drafted in-person, face-to-face; those leagues are tough to come by. So hopefully you’re drafting live…but is this live draft going to be a standard snake or non-snake draft, or will you be auctioning players with a salary cap? Obviously, these are massively different draft strategies with massively different time requirements. Keep that in mind when recruiting your managers!
And that’s the next step, fill your league with managers. 10, 12, 14, 20? It doesn’t matter. When it comes to league size, you should keep in mind that the larger your league is, the more turnover you’re likely to endure from year to year. Slightly more intimate leagues tend to have higher return rates for obvious reasons. You should recruit managers with strong, active player profiles. Winning managers tend to be more active, and if you want the best league possible, you want active managers. Active managers are the best managers, and the best managers belong in the best league, right?
So where do you get the best managers? Fantasy sports message boards, such as those we feature on our own website, are often filled with enthusiastic managers eager to join active, competitive leagues. Also, if you’ve been in a good league with other quality managers in the past, it’s worth reaching out to them with an invite to your new league. These managers are usually on the lookout for other leagues offering that same level of challenge and competition.
Now that you’ve got the best league and the best managers, it’s time to set league policy. The best league should have high standards for participation. Membership in the best leagues is a privilege, not a right. It goes without saying, that privilege can be checked at any time! Here are a few of the expectations we have of the managers in our own leagues:
-All managers MUST participate in the draft by AT LEAST pre-ranking players.
-All managers MUST be active BOTH competitively and communicatively.
-All managers MUST respond to trade offers, emails, and league polls.
-All managers MUST show their main, personal email address.
Other than that, we just want our managers to have fun, and do some friendly shit-talking with each other. Like you, we want these managers to keep coming back, year after year. That’s the kind of thing that makes a league great. And you might find yourself making some new friends along the way.