Tips for Commissioners
So you're running your own league. Congratulations, you now have joined a fast growing fraternity. So do you want to be a rookie making the beer runs or a veteran who just sits back and has it delivered to you? Here are some tips that will prevent you from getting screwed.
#1 Get a software program
I used to go through the box scores my first few years because there wasn't any other option. It worked fine then, but now I run a 12-team league and each team starts 9 players. That is 108 players that I would need to look up each week and I really don't have that kind of time. I use FFLM but you can use whatever you want.
#2 Give the owners the rules before the draft
When they should get the starters, pick-ups, or trades in each week should all be included. I found the best way is require that all transactions need to be in at 10 PM the night before the first game of the week. This way if two owners want to pick up the same player, it leaves me plenty of time to let the other owner know so that they can make a switch. Do not accept any requests after the deadline, otherwise teams will start to bend the rules even further.
#3 Buy a fantasy football draft kit
Don't waste time tracking draft picks manually, you'll end up having somebody that's not paying attention constantly asking who's available. Here's a site with one for $25. It comes with a 4'x6' poster and 300 pre-printed 1"x4" player labels. UltimateDraft
#4 Give out a complete list of the owners' contact info
Otherwise you'll waste a bunch of time on the telephone throughout the season. A good idea is to post their e-mail addresses and phone numbers on the web in case people lose the sheet, which they will.
#5 Require owners to get their starters in early
They should be in at least a half hour before the first game of the week. Otherwise people will bother you during the game, plus I don't know about you but I like to watch pre-game. One way to evade this entire problem completely is to require everything be sent to you via e-mail rather than having people call.
#6 Don't allow owners to call you to find out how they did
It's much better to just post results on the web. Otherwise you will spend all night fielding calls from owners. If they do not have Internet access, just give them a quick rundown of their score.
#7 If you run a pay league, get the money in advance of the draft
Otherwise you get stiffed in the end. By getting the money in advance of the draft you can find somebody to take their place that will pay.
#8 Have new owners take the dead teams
Make sure your rules state clearly that if an owner doesn't make changes for a several weeks that they will be kicked out. You can do this by selling it to the highest bidder or you can take control of the team and make changes. This will allow for better competition the entire season, instead of having a few really bad teams not even having a chance to win.
#9 Have a trading deadline
This will keep a bad team from trading all of his players for future draft choices, or a team stockpiling players to win the whole thing at the end. This is not only unfair but it really screws up the season the next year. Another reason is that it very rarely works. In my league one person traded a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounders for a bunch of players to put him over the top. He ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs and the next year both teams still were terrible because it was a 4 player keeper league.
#10 Don't be afraid to add new and different things to your league.
For instance, add an IR spot. If a player is injured let the player be placed on the IR and a roster spot can be opened up. Another idea if everybody hates the Cowboys is to not allow any of the Cowboys players to be used in the league.
I hope these were helpful, just remember that fantasy football is supposed to be fun, even for the commissioner. So if it stops being fun for you, think about splitting duties with somebody. Good luck, and remember just because you have the power, doesn't mean you can cheat!