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Robrain

Ideas For Adding Longevity To Your Fantasy Football League

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What do those of you who have been in long-running fantasy leagues do to keep interest high?

When I started playing again in 2009 (hadn't since like 2000), I didn't really know what I was doing. My interest at that point was learning enough so that I could be competitive with everyone else in my league.

In 2010, since I'd been randomly making small videos, I decided to do a different form of smack talk by making a "team intro" video for my fantasy team. Basically a "look at my players, they're awesome, we're going to destroy you this year" sort of thing.

That video was received quite well, so I did a sequel Team Intro video for my 2011 fantasy team, but also branched out and created a separate League Intro video for the 2011 season.

The League Intro video was intended as a fun way to remind everyone participating in our league that fantasy football season was starting back up, so they should all start signing back into the league and getting prepped for the draft.

It went over well, so I've of course came back and made a League Intro video for the 2012 Season. Since I gave the 2011 video a loose "Highlander" theme ("There Can Be Only One!"), I decided to go with the flow and give the 2012 video the appropriate End-of-the-World theme:

Our Commissioner also writes a weekly blog post for our league including his predictions for everyone's matchups. He's also periodically done a league podcast, basically an audio version of his blog posts.

While a live, in-person draft isn't really an option for our particular league (we're scattered across the country), I'm considering creating a physical trophy that can be passed around to the winner each year. Potentially with each team that wins the league adding a small element of their own to the trophy to memorialize their victory.

What extra stuff do you guys do to keep interest high in your league? Always looking for more good suggestions.

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A good friend and I who run a very popular rotis baseball league, both were looking for a football league that was somewhat comparable two seasons back, so we decided to put our heads together and form a league that we thought would be sustainable and good quality. Here is our format:

12 - team, 6 teams make the playoffs - $250 entry fee

1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1 WR/RB/TE flex, K DEF

Live Auction Draft - $200 cap, 3 keeper league, keepers are 1.5 times their previous year salary, they are max 3 year contracts, so acquired year plus 2 keepers.

Minor Leaguers - we have a 2-round minor league draft each year, these can be for any player who has not started an NFL game yet, so can be college guy or NFL rookie. These go on a reserve roster, cant exceed 6 players and once they start and NFL game, you have 1 season to activate, they are at a $5 price. This is kind of good for two reasons:

1. Encourages trades for teams "out of it" towards the end of the year to acquire next years rookies or draft picks plus does provide some interest at NFL draft time to see what situation your player lands in.

Keeper League - anytime you have a keeper league, I think it tends to keep owners active through the season as they troll for waiver wire nuggets that can turn out to be good keepers OR make trades playing for the next year.

Blind Bid Waiver Acquisition - so the bid price is their salary, so active owners constantly trolling WW in effort to maybe land great future keeper.

High Week end of year payout bonus - in the "you never know" category, we have a high week payout and this year we are adding a knockout and bottom 6 end of year playoffs. All of these are a way to earn from $100 to full $250 back.

Fines and peer pressure for open line up spots - plus we have a waiting list to get in the league, so owners know if they arent active or make ridiculous deals, they could find themselves out.

When you combine all of that, it makes for a very active league and it has worked well the first two years as the original 12 are all still in the league and confirmed for our auction later this month.

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Ours is actually a free league, we don't want money to ever be a barrier to someone not returning, especially with the way the economy has been.

I can see how it could potentially increase activity though.

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Ours is actually a free league, we don't want money to ever be a barrier to someone not returning, especially with the way the economy has been.

I can see how it could potentially increase activity though.

I get that, but you have to understand free leagues with online draft in their basic nature and structure dont require much commitment, if anything, perhaps maybe a "boobie" prize for the guy who finishes dead last, maybe an outfit he has to wear out on the town or something thats fun and embarrassing and would keep people active in that they wouldnt want to do that. If you watch the show "the League" they have a sacko where last place does a bunch of different things.

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What extra stuff do you guys do to keep interest high in your league?

Upped the buy in to $2000 in our 12 teamer this year. Needless to say, interest is pretty high.

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We've got a 12-team redraft league. Been around since 2003. $125 entry. Draft is in person, all live nearby. Past 2 yrs we hold live draft at a low key sports bar, after eating we get a dedicated waitress to post player names to the big board. We tip after...generously. Top 6 get payouts, $700 to winner. Real cheapie trophy, engraved each year with team name; winner keeps trophy for the year. End of year beer banquest, winner picks up beer tab only. A newbie or two each year but most return for many years. Commissioner posts draft grads and commentary. Smack talk is encouraged in season. Fun times, keeping interest peaked is work but we try.

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Live draft, lots of smack talk, constant email chains going around.

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Based on your skill with video editing, I bet you could put together some kind of NFL Primetime spoof each week that everyone would look forward to.

That video you posted is some next level s---. I wouldn't mind seeing the other one(s) you did.

And, it's very respectable to care a lot about a league that doesn't involve money, but if you add it, everyone's experience will be intensified.

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And, it's very respectable to care a lot about a league that doesn't involve money, but if you add it, everyone's experience will be intensified.

Yeah, it's first and foremost a Friends-and-Family style league, thus the primary need to make sure that no one is excluded for monetary reasons.

I'm gradually branching out by joining other additional leagues (including $ leagues), but that one will always remain my primary focus.

Based on your skill with video editing, I bet you could put together some kind of NFL Primetime spoof each week that everyone would look forward to.

That video you posted is some next level s---. I wouldn't mind seeing the other one(s) you did.

The complement is appreciated.

I actually still consider myself an amateur at video editing, mainly because I still have a lot of learning to do regarding the finer points. I'm efficient enough at most of the basics now that I can piece together something that looks good, but adding effects is still time-consuming for me since I'm quite new to that area of video editing. The audio splicing also takes a large majority of the time I spend on the videos, since I have a rather limited knowledge of audio editing so I have to compensate for that by using a method that is probably a lot more time-consuming than it should be.

Gathering all the pieces to use in the video actually can take just as much time for me as the creation process itself does, and in HD, those source video clips can take up a huge amount of hard drive space. The 720p HD movie files that I used in the above League Intro video were anywhere from 2-5GB per movie that I pulled clips from. The folder that contains the majority of the source video files I used in video above was around ~20GB. The new laptop I bought has a 114 GB (total usable capacity) SSD, so a single video project can take upwards of 20-40% of my laptop's total hard drive space. It's less than ideal. :(

I actually just purchased that new laptop, which is quite a bit better for video editing than any of my previous laptops were, but it's still nowhere close to what I'd really need to do some ultra cool stuff. This new one though is at least passable for doing the basics; the above video was just the second one I've created with the new laptop. ALL of my videos from previous seasons were created using horribly underpowered computers, that would lag insanely during the creation process, making the whole thing take a LOT longer per video than it should have. That's the reason I only ever made a maximum of two videos (League Intro + Team Intro) during previous seasons. I'm surprised the quality for those previous season videos were as good as they turned out.

As far as previous season videos I've done, here they are.

The one that started it all, my 2010 Team Intro video (done on a horribly underpowered laptop that froze constantly, and actually the first time I'd ever used text/titles in a video, haha - also I sourced pretty much all the NFL clips from random Youtube videos, thus the subpar visual quality and constantly changing aspect ratio):

By the point where it was time to do my 2011 League Intro video, I'd learned a lot more, including how to properly set up my video project for the correct aspect ratio. This was the first video I'd ever made using only 720p HD clips, so the quality on this one is noticeably better. I found a way to source the 720p HD NFL clips from the video section at NFL.com - since it's such a small-time video that hardly anyone is going to see (target audience after all was just the 12 people participating in our fantasy football league), I figured there won't be any overblown copyright issues for using the clips.

This one is of course, the first League Intro video I'd done. Also, it's Highlander themed using the "There Can Be Only One" motto as a metaphor for the fantasy football season (champion). Sean Connery's voice can be hard to hear though at some points during it, since at the time I didn't know how to properly increase the volume past a certain point in my video editor. It gets drowned out a bit by the music at some points in the video because of that:

In order, the Sean Connery quotes from Highlander that I used:

"You have no knowledge whatsoever of your potential"

"You must learn to, harness your power"

"With heart, faith..."

"'Til only a few of us are left" (referencing the playoffs now)

"'Til the time of the gathering"

"The fight, for the prize"

"It is the only one of it's kind"

"We must fight until only one remains"

"To the last"

"Now!"

"The sensation you're feeling, is the quickening"

"In the end..."

"There can be only one."

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The sequel to my original Team Intro video, this is my 2011 Team Intro video:

On that one, the joke is that, since it's fantasy football and we can pick any players we want for our team, the Russian "Opulence" guy is the franchise owner, "Mayhem" is my team's defensive coordinator, and Terry Tate is the team's linebacker coach. Just a way to add extra entertainment value to the video.

Lastly, a long one (practically 15 minutes long), what I've dubbed the 2011 Championship Video (I won our league for the first time in 2011). This is actually a combination of a bunch of different individual videos that I'd intended to create throughout the season, all rolled into one long video. Basically, I meant to create a separate video for my team making the playoffs, which was supposed to be a recap of my team's season. A different video was supposed to introduce all the teams in our league that made the playoffs. A different video was supposed to be done each playoff week about my matchup that week. A different video was supposed to memorialize the two different teams that made it all the way to the Championship game. Lastly, a different video was supposed to be about the team that won the league (which ended up being me).

So, since I never got around to all that, a couple months ago when I purchased that new laptop, I just rolled all those videos into one long one in order to provide one big recap of the season. First video I created using my new good laptop:

Also, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to fit many more Terry Tate clips into future videos, so I decided to do a sort of extended intro to commemorate how cool the Terry Tate videos of old were.

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Those are sick. I mean...you're nitpicking.

You could probably submit those to get a job at a network.

Was your 2010 team really 1-13?

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How about extreme changes to the scoring rules of your league to change the dynamics of the draft and the game?

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Russian Roulette for the 2 least active owners

Always gets people's attention ... it is kind of a pain in the a** finding a new member every year ... but it sure does keep trade talks active

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Russian Roulette for the 2 least active owners

Always gets people's attention ... it is kind of a pain in the a** finding a new member every year ... but it sure does keep trade talks active

Puts the OP's question about "longevity" into perspective right here.

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make it an auction league... it will never get old

the only site i have found that is auction only is Fantasy Football Auctioneer

they have articles and values that are auction specific... no snake draft, just all auction all the time.

they have a sweet podcast on Itunes too... fantasy football auctioneer

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Robrain I sent you an e-mail in regards to your 2012 video.

When you get the chance send a reply.

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Just finished my 2012 Team Intro Video this morning. It's a parody of the Batman Dark Knight Rises commercials.

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Pretty awesome, man.

And I know you must have an empty slot on your bench for #4, right?

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Entering our 29th season. No gimmicks needed.

We still have four original owners from that 1984 season. 9 of our current 12 owners have been in over 20 years. Live draft at a local hotel. CBS Sports filmed our 10th anniversary draft for part of a pregame show feature on this new fantasy football craze sweeping the nation. For our 20th anniversary, we invited our first ever draft pick, John Riggins, who unfortunately could not attend. We will soon decide how to mark our 30th anniversary next year. It will be something special.

The structure of the league helps longevity. We keep only one player. Draft order is based on last year's finish: 1-12, 12-1, then predetermined scramble for every round. So, besides money, trophy, and bragging rights, the real prize for winning is the first overall pick next year. Teams that are out of contention will often trade usable players for draft picks the next year. You can also trade a draft pick prior to the draft to acquire a better retained player. For instance, if a team has two stars, he can only keep one. A team without a star to retain will trade a decent draft pick to get that other star. They will also receive a lower pick in exchange so they have heir full complement of picks.

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