Rule Changes That Will Liven Up Any Fantasy Football League

Most of you who play all season fantasy football leagues have written or will write from one day to the next. I’ve heard the grumbles over the past few years that one season fantasy football leagues aren’t what they used to be. All the options for everyday fantasy have cut the knees of some of the past fantasy-loving owners all season long. They find it difficult to stay invested. But right now, we can turn to the wisdom of this child to find the real answer: *{why not both gif / meme here}*

I understand that if you have a tough injury streak early in your league of a season, or if you’re just in a league where the waiver wire isn’t an exciting glove every week, that there’s something good thing about the challenge of selecting a few (or a few dozen) new teams each week in a daily fantasy.

However, make no mistake, the true test of fantasy greatness is always settled by winning a season-long league title.

Fantasy Football is serious business. Remember that.

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

There are no redos in the traditional fantasy football format. Team up ‘Kyler Soze’ in champions, you have to write well, make smart exchanges, work the waiver wire and adapt to injuries. It takes stamina and long-sightedness to climb to the top, like running a marathon, but adjusting your roster after reading fantasy football articles every time you’re on the john.

A resounding complaint about full season leagues is that it seems like every league always has that person who either has a poor performance in the first few weeks, a tough injury chance or frankly just doesn’t have the passion or the time they run out of steam by the end of the year. No matter what we do, we can’t convince the director to ‘Herbert is just bad ice cream’ not to start an injured player or someone on the week off. So far.

Weekly prizes for winners only

Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after scoring a touchdown during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills

Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Here’s the perfect fit that can reinvigorate your league, even for ‘Bring back JohnnyFootball,’ who, like the namesake, feels like he missed his moment. You throw a prize for the Winner of the week. Whoever has the highest points total each week gets that prize AND you need a video victory speech in the group chat for them to claim their prize. It’s easy. JCollect a few extra dollars from each team manager (or take some from the existing pool) and distribute them for each week of the regular season.

Speech, Speech, Speech!

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell speaks to the media prior to the start of the afternoon practice session at Detroit Lions training camp

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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I started this rule a few years ago in a league of which I am the commissioner (it’s on my LinkedIn, no big deal). We added the victory speech stipulation during the 2020 pandemic season and since then it has become the most active and fun fantasy league I have ever been in.

The speeches became incredible roasts, with managers calling out other managers and their lists. Some speeches were changed to music or included player highlights. Others lasted three minutes before realizing the person speaking was sitting on the toilet, which even for ‘CeeDeeze Nutz,’ seemed out of place. Some were recorded live during the final minutes of “Monday Night Football” as the clock ticks.

Last year, our league champion recorded a victory speech that was a verbatim recreation of the trailer for “The Man in the Arena” by Tom Brady but instead edited with photos from his childhood and photos of players from his team replacing those of Brady in the video.

It was a gutting masterpiece worthy of a title. Believe me, I know because I lost in the championship and I’m a follower of Tom’s Church.

Since we started these weekly win prizes and talks, we’ve had virtually no issues with people setting up queues. Even a 2-7 team is incentivized to keep playing to try and get the weekly high score and an opportunity to roast the group. The league has become more competitive. There are no walks at the end of the season because ‘LambeauBeatsByDre’ is 2-8 and has Deandre Hopkins who is out for the year so the guy who plays him in week 11 has an unfair advantage that you don’t have because you played him in week 3 when Shred was trying and his team just put in a million. Now this team is making moves on the waiver wire and trying to swap parts for Dionte Johnson and Hunter Renfrow just to see if they can buy a few weeks to end the year, all for the thrill of the prize and the talk .

Flag on the (worst) game (st of the week)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) comes out of the pocket as an official throws a penalty flag for holding against the Bills

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Do you need to add even more incentives to make your league all season long have the same excitement as your daily leagues? You can create a penalty for the team with the lowest score of the week, where they have to pay part (or all) of the prize money earned by the top scorer of the week.

Nothing like ‘Hide and seek Zeke’ have to pay up’Wentz, two times, three times champion’ to foster the ingredients for a great victory roast speech, inspiring future greatness in the loser never to be called again.

Over the next few weeks, you might hear someone who thinks they’re a true “fantasy guru” say, “I don’t play fantasy football all season anymore, I just do too many daily fantasy leagues -” like if they don’t have time for something they think is below them.

Don’t be fooled. You listen to someone with a classic fear of commitment. They tell you they don’t want to be locked into one team. They don’t want to be tied down. They are not in a position right now to be responsible for the bad decisions they made weeks ago. They tell you that they end up getting bored with one team, but you can see through that.

You listen to someone who doesn’t want others to rely on them for fear of letting them down. They think they don’t have what it takes to take that special group of someone and make it matter. Someone who isn’t creative enough to keep hanging out with that same team week after week and keep it sexy and fun, while building the kind of healthy relationship that future dynasty teams can grow out of. But they are enough. And like Dr. Phil, you just need to help them believe in themselves.

Ask them to look in the mirror and say, “I can score the most points this week, so I can tell Carl that his team played badly because his new haircut stinks and his fantastic players don’t don’t respect him.”

“And if it’s not this week, it’s next week. Because I deserve a full season of fantastic love. I’m enough. I have the heart of a champion. I’m so much money and I don’t even know it.”

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