Fantasy Football Rule Changes to Consider

Dec 26, 2018

As we prepare to enter 2019, it’s time to consider things like which New Year’s Resolution you’ll break first. It’s also time to think about 2019 fantasy leagues. Yes, even re-draft. There is always an opportunity for optimization, and that includes the rules of your fantasy leagues.

As such, our NFL writers joined forces to bring you a list of rule changes that your league should consider entering the 2019 season. Be sure to vote on these quickly before your league mates forget how annoying things like streaming kickers and playing meaningful games in Week 17 are.

Rule Changes to Consider

Add more roster spots
Add as many starting spots as possible if you’d like to reduce the “luck” variant from your league. By adding another wide receiver or two more flex spots, if someone lands the top pick and selects Todd Gurley, it doesn’t automatically guarantee them a weekly victory. The idea of doing this will let the best fantasy owners shine.
Mike Tagliere – @MikeTagliereNFL

Increase the value of the QB position
It’s time to restore parity to lineups by adjusting scoring. No one argues that quarterback is the most important position in football, but the same doesn’t apply to fantasy. Every August, the depth of the position causes quarterbacks to be selected later and later each season. A simple tweak go reward all touchdowns six points would increase the value of the QB position and would help alter drafts.
Jody Smith@JodySmithNFL

Draft order reverse order of standings in keeper leagues
In keeper leagues: You should really consider having your draft order be the reverse order of standings. That gives the weakest teams the most opportunity to improve come August-September by having first dibs on the available player pool. Of course, having anti-tanking rules or last place punishments make this even more viable. If someone gets first pick, at least make them wear a dress or something.
Josh Dalley@JoshDalley72

Avoid the ‘forever keeper’
If you keep a player, you lose the round he was drafted in, though there is a catch. To keep fantasy owners from keeping Odell Beckham Jr. forever as a 13th rounder, the minimum cost for a keeper is the 6th round. So any player drafted after the 6th round would still cost a 6th rounder. If you have multiple late-round keepers, that’s the only time you could lose something later than a 6th. Those players would cost 7th and beyond (depending on how many keepers there are).
Mike Tagliere – @MikeTagliereNFL

Drop the lowest score
Drop the lowest score from your starters. Fanduel has started doing this with some NBA contests recently. It would allow for people to ignore kickers, defense or tight ends completely if they wanted to.
Steven Roy@rockhead_roy

Eliminate the randomness that is those two extra matchups in 12-team leagues
You play every team once and then arbitrarily play two teams twice? That doesn’t seem fair. Instaed, in Weeks 1 and 13, have a “Battle Royale” week where everyone plays everyone. The top six point scorers get a win and the bottom six get a loss. Not only does it solve the issue of playing two teams twice for no legitimate reason, but it gives everyone a chance to get a win when they need it in Week 13.
Jason Katz@jasonkatz13

The last playoff seed goes to the team outside the playoffs with the most points
Every year we hear the same gripes from someone in 80% of leagues: “I had the most points in the league, but got screwed and went up against by far the hardest schedule so I missed the playoffs.” Typically, you would call them a sore loser, but it doesn’t quite apply here because the goal of fantasy football is to have the best team, and in order to have the best team, you have to score points. Their complaints are legitimate and fantasy commissioners can and should rectify this error before it becomes a problem again next season. There are all kinds of fancy ways to ensure these teams don’t get the shaft, but the easiest is to just clarify at the start of the season that the final playoff seed belongs to the team with the most fantasy points among the remaining squads. You can easily edit your playoff teams in any commissioner platform. Your league mates will be grateful and your job will get easier.
Bobby Sylvester@bobbyfantasypro

Switch to a hybrid roto/playoff system
All season long, each team gets ranked in 1) record, 2) points scored, and 3) record if you played every team each week. At the end of the season, the team with the highest rank wins half the prize pool. The team with the second-best rank wins a quarter of the prize pool. Separately, run a traditional playoff setting. Winner of the playoffs wins the remaining quarter of the prize pool.
Dan Harris@danharris80

Use an FAAB system
Leagues should have a Free Agent Acquisition Budget system in place. Having owners bid on players either in the draft (auction) or through the waiver wire is a true testament to how much each owner values a certain player or position. Therefore, they must prioritize their budget and claims accordingly. No two owners will have the same strategy as some are more aggressive than others, and no two owners are likely to have the same amount of FAAB funds once the season is rolling along.
Josh Dalley@JoshDalley72

Eliminate the TE position
Eliminate the tight end roster spot and replace it with an RB-WR-TE flex. If we learned anything this season, it’s that tight end is increasingly becoming a scarce position. Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz were the clear-cut No. 1 and No. 2 tight ends in fantasy this year, and after that, it was a total toss-up over who to use on a week-to-week basis. Only 23.5 fantasy points separate the No. 6 fantasy tight end as of Week 13 (O.J. Howard, who is on injured reserve) and the No. 12 tight end (Rob Gronkowski, who was drafted higher than Ertz and Kelce in most leagues). That works out to roughly 1.8 points per game. Late in the season, some owners are just grasping at straws hoping Jonnu Smith or Cameron Brate catch a touchdown in any given week. Eliminate the tight end position and make it a flex so owners don’t feel like they have to reach for a tight end in drafts. If they want to start Trey Burton in that slot, then let them. But 2019 drafts could see guys like Eric Ebron being drafted so much higher than they should be based on position scarcity.
Jon Munshaw – @jon_munshaw

Add a second flex position
There is a lot of randomness in fantasy football with kickers, defenses, etc., so adding a second flex adds strategy and rewards skill. It makes you dig deeper for sleepers and means you won’t necessarily lose a matchup because one guy on the other team went bananas.
Andrew Seifter@andrew_seifter

Protect the integrity of your dynasty leagues
In order to protect the sanctity of your league, have an owner who trades away a future draft pick pay for that year’s buy-in. So if I wanted to trade away my 2019 and 2020 first-round picks for AJ Green, I’d have to pay the league buy-in for both 2019 and 2020 up front. This will prevent teams from trading their future draft picks just to win now, only to leave the league the following year.
Mike Tagliere – @MikeTagliereNFL

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