Let’s face it: The NFL offseason stinks. I mean really stinks. Sure, there is the NFL Combine and the free-agent season will be opening soon, and this is all fine and dandy, but what about your oh-so-sweet Fantasy Football keeper league?
Your league-mates barely check the message board. Heck, you may not even have a year-round message board.
So, what do you have? Contact by email or text? An actual physical phone call from your $700 cell phone? Do you even get together with the fellas for a drunken trade-induced night?
If the answer is, no, Hell NO!, and they are just too busy, fear not, for I am here to re-kindle that in-season magic with some keeper league ideas.
Fantasy Football Keeper League Ideas
These are a few keeper league ideas we think might help keep the league exciting — even in the offseason.
1. Make nice with ALL of your league-mates.
That’s right! Get to know the other people in your league.
I know there are a lot of hometown leagues out there that claim they have been buddies forever and they know the people in their league, but do you really? People grow up and move on. Think about it.
Remember all the time you could commit to Fantasy Football before you got married? Had kids? Moved out of the neighborhood? Things are different with you and they are different with people in your league.
Here’s an example: What if your league-mate was from Minnesota and then he (or she) moved to Seattle? Was he a Vikings fan, but now he is a Seahawks fan? (Yes, this example is directed at the Seahawks bandwagon stereotypes.) Sounds like someone may be a little bit more excited to trade for Russell Wilson! Use this to your advantage.
The other reason that this may work to your advantage is during fire sales or when a league-mate wants to leave the league. They may contact you first to see what scrubs you may want from their team. If you’re lucky, you could even be involved in some collusion!
2. Join the same March Madness tournament contest.
(Be ready for some self serving.) This works great for one of my favorite leagues I part-take in. It is a monster 16-team keeper league in which each team keeps three players (more on that later) but every off-season, our commissioner runs an NCAA tournament pool.
Now, granted, there is a heck of a lot more than just the 16 teams from our Fantasy league in this pool, but I would be willing to bet 14 of the 16 partake in the action.
It’s just another way to get to know your league-mates and help feed the itch until September rolls around. I’ve even heard of some leagues where draft order is determined by how you finish in the tournament standings. Not for me, but an interesting way to pick draft order nonetheless.
3. League promotion.
Do you have a wait list to get into your league? Do people in your city/area — or bedroom — want to get into your Fantasy Football keeper league?
This is important because it creates a status symbol. Being in good Fantasy Football leagues is awesome. The competition is tough and generally those leagues result in a larger prize pool.
In the case of my aforementioned league, the money is great but the bragging rights are even greater! The other nice thing is that it deters owners from being shady because they know that they can be replaced quicker than Conan O’ Brien.
4. Get a kick ass trophy!
Don’t think this matters? Wrong. It’s pretty cool to have that league trophy for the year.
I’m a fan of the championship belt, but whatever you think you and your league-mates might like is up to you. Did you know that there are even businesses popping up that specialize in Fantasy Sports trophies? Trophies matter.
Plaques however … no thanks. What are you, the Employee of the Month?
Gimme that trophy, that belt, that tattoo, or whatever it is you’re playing for. No one can take away your Fantasy greatness for the year. Face it, you are no longer an athlete, so enjoy your Fantasy prowess.
5. Talk smack throughout the year…
…especially if you are the previous season’s champion. Despite what your league may call luck from the previous season, you know better.
You won and now it’s time to leave that subtle reminder at every chance you get. Talk smack during the draft, talk smack when you are 0-8 — and when you are 8-0. Talk smack when you are up 10-0 at kickoff because your DST is going and your opponent’s isn’t.
Talking smack breathes life into leagues. Without trash talk, it’s very easy for leagues to become stale. I’ve seen it happen too many times. Be careful, though, too much smack talk can also kill a league, if it’s not done tastefully. Once again, know your league-mates!
6. Be unique and be open to change.
We live in a day and age where people are overly attached to their ‘tronics. It is now easier than ever to do everything and anything online or electronically. That includes finding other leagues.
Are you doing anything to separate yourself from the pack? Why should people stay in your league? If you haven’t made rule changes in years, has this negatively impacted you? Are the same teams winning year after year?
All of these things need to be considered when fixing your keeper league. Think about the NFL. While parity is great, people generally get turned off to things that are the same. Unless you were a fan of either team, were you really excited to watch this year’s Super Bowl?
So, what are some fun things that you do that makes people want to play in your league? Maybe for finishing last place, the loser has to sit on a toilet the entire draft. I’ve even heard of people getting tattoos for finishing last in the league. So, spice it up and change your rules — maybe even expand!
7. DRAFT LIVE!
I can’t stress this enough. Once again, in my big 16-team league, the commissioner does a great job of getting people together. In the morning, we have the annual SFL Invitational Golf Tournament. Which is 18 holes of knock-out, drag-out golf, followed by our annual draft.
As you can imagine some people have had their fair share of adult beverages at this point and this is where the draft becomes legendary. There is inevitably the guy who drafts a guy already taken, a guy who can’t properly pronounce Michael Hoomanawanui and the guy who is passed out by Round 10. All of this makes for great memories and entertainment. None of which you will get from an online draft. I can’t stress it enough. If there is only one thing you do for your draft this year — DRAFT LIVE!
So, there you have it. Seven changes on what yours truly would to do to make keeper leagues a better place. If you are interested in checking out some of the teams give the SFL a peek. If you have a unique rule or punishment let the world know in our comment section.
Photo Credit: FX Network’s “The League”
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