Anyone who has ever watched even a single episode of the television program “The League” is very familiar with Taco. While he is arguably the funniest of all the main characters, the humor often arises from his lack of knowledge of the NFL and Fantasy Football. If you have never seen the show, Taco once tried to draft CFL players, and even tried to set a lineup with multiple kickers.
Truthfully, he really is a great, quirky character. He is revered in much the same way people love Kramer on “Seinfeld.” “I’m out there Jerry and I’m loving every minute of it!”
However, for those of us who have played in a Fantasy keeper league with someone like Taco, there is nothing funny about it.
His character is, of course, an exaggeration of how truly bad Fantasy players can be. But in reality, it usually is the same person, year after year, who quickly loses interest and compromises the integrity of the rest of your Fantasy keeper league.
When this happens, what do you do? For many of us, friendships in our leagues date back as far as the league’s themselves. Back when newspapers and spreadsheets were used to calculate standings. So unlike a disgruntled boss who can just fire a useless employee after yet another screw up, it’s never that easy to usher someone out of your keeper league.
5 Fantasy Keeper League Tips for Booting Taco
To help, I am offering up a handful of suggestions for those currently stuck with their own version of “Taco.”
1. Introduce Taco to Daily Fantasy Sports
If your Taco refuses, or is just too lazy, to set their lineup each week, what better reason to introduce them to DFS? And while it may not get him out of your league immediately, when you start dropping hints that maybe he should consider retiring his spot at the end of the season, it might just go over a little smoother.
2. Update Your League Rules Before the Start of Next Season
Nobody wants to be the one to have to tell Taco that he needs to go. Instead, update your constitution or league rules to include certain mandates that all players must follow. For example, if they forget to replace their QB on a bye week, or fail to replace injured players on a consistent basis, they risk being kicked out — particularly in Head-to-Head leagues.
You know better than anyone, your league’s own shortcomings. Adjust your rules accordingly.
3. Offer to Have Taco Share His Team with a Mutual Friend Who Wants to Join Your League
Many of us who are in multiple Fantasy keeper leagues often share Fantasy teams with a partner. It not only helps with overall strategy, it also ensures we stay on top of our lineups. We all have families, jobs and vacations to worry about, etc.
If you suggest to Taco that he takes on a co-manager, his new partner may take over most of the full-time responsibilities within a few weeks, if you are lucky. And since Taco has most likely been mismanaging his team for years, it is doubtful his team is competitive at this point. So while paying close attention and “building for next year” will be of interest to the new partner, Taco hopefully loses interest altogether and declines his participation next year. Introducing DFS with this tactic can have a multiplier effect.
4. Introduce a Relegation System
One of the reasons why I love the EPL (English Premier Soccer League) is that they have a real mechanism to stop bottom teams from “tanking.”
Unlike North American sports, where tanking can reward you with LeBron James, finishing last in the EPL doesn’t offer such luxuries. They don’t have an amateur draft as we know it.
To guard against lazy owners however, the EPL has a great system in place. If your club finishes in the bottom three positions in the standings (out of 20), you get relegated to the lower division. That would be like an MLB club being demoted to Triple-A. And with this demotion also goes the millions of dollars in guaranteed television revenue. This fear keeps even last place teams motivated to improve their standing until the final whistle of the season.
If Taco understood that last place meant he could be replaced in the league the following year, he might think twice before “forgetting” to set his lineup. And if not, removing him from your league simply becomes a matter of executing a rule, instead of a decision left to opinion.
5. Raise the Stakes
Many Fantasy keeper leagues I play in haven’t raised the cost of entry in over 10 years. The cost was decided at a time when we were all earning a lot less money. So when a Fantasy owner says, “It really isn’t about the money,” it often really isn’t.
Why not make this another barrier of entry for Taco, who only plays year after year, out of routine? Say for example, you’re currently in a 12-team league that pays the top four places. Try proposing an entry fee increase. But instead of only paying out the top four places, suggest that fifth- and sixth-place get their money back or something to that effect. This mitigates the fee increase for half of the players, but should also help to keep only serious players interested moving forward.
In reality, it’s impossible to completely eliminate every Taco from Fantasy keeper leagues, but these suggestions just might help get as many Tacos off the menu as possible.
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