New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

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dlf_jules
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New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby dlf_jules » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:07 am

It seems like there should be a thread with some basic advice to new dynasty owners on how to look for and join a league -- simple stuff, like league payment issues, what to look for in a league constitution (especially for startups), and how to determine whether an existing league is likely to be a good fit.

Ideally, this won't be a discussion about the relative merits of ppr and standard scoring or other issues of personal preference. Just things that any new dynasty owner should know before jumping into a league with strangers on the internet. Some of these things (such as bylaws) will be dynasty-specific; others may be more universal.

ETA: Thanks for the vote of confidence, MEuRaH. I'm a firm believer in wisdom of the crowds, so I hope this thread can be a platform for more than one voice. But I'll get the ball rolling with a few thoughts.

New Leagues

1. Leaguesafe: I recommend it for leagues with any substantial amount of money in play. Actually, I use it for almost all the leagues I run because it's easier for me to keep track of payments on Leaguesafe than with Paypal. Also, if there's real money at stake, be sure to ask that payouts be governed by majority vote, not commissioner control.

2. Bylaws: Check to make sure the bylaws are sensible and thorough. Here's a (non-comprehensive) checklist of issues that should be addressed in the bylaws:
  • Tiebreakers -- final standings and playoff games
    Rule changes -- how and when can the league/commissioner change the bylaws?
    Trade vetoes -- what are the criteria for veto (collusion only; gross imbalance; integrity of the league; etc.)?
    Division realignment (if divisions exist) -- can divisions be realigned? If so, how? When?
    Tanking -- what are the consequences?
3. Scouting the commissioner: Ask for links to other leagues this commissioner runs, and check out the message boards in those leagues to see if they run fairly smoothly. Click on the commissioner's username and look through his DLF posts (with the "search user posts" link). If the commissioner seems like a jerk on the forum, be wary of joining the league.

Existing Leagues

1. Message Boards: Check out the league message board from this year and the previous years. This is often where grievances are aired, so you can learn a bit about the commissioner's management style here.

2. Check for turnover: Look on the past league sites to see how many teams have changed from year to year. There's always going to be some turnover in dynasty leagues, but if half the league bolted last offseason, that's a red flag.

3. Just ask: Ask why there is an opening in the league. If the commissioner goes on a rant about what a pain in the bleep that guy was, that could be a sign that the commissioner is actually part of the problem.
Last edited by dlf_jules on Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MEuRaH
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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby MEuRaH » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:14 am

Jules, you're one of the most knowledgable and respected members on these forums. Are you asking someone else to make this thread happen? Because I vote you to make this thread happen. :)
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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby dlf_jules » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:49 pm

I'll also add that the leagues I run aren't perfect, and I sometimes run into issues that I failed to cover in the bylaws (including some that are listed in my checklist). That's part of the reason I hope others will voice their opinions.

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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby Cult of Dionysus » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:58 pm

Dynasty is about commitment from all involved. Before you join a league, make sure the commissioner has invested time and energy into making a solid league with a solid site (applies principally to MFL where customization is possible) and a thorough constitution.

At the same time, you also need to weigh whether you can deliver your commitment to the league. Ask yourself why you want to join a particular league, and whether you will be excited about the format, rules, challenge. If your new to dynasty, are you biting off more than you can chew? The more complex the league, the more time it will take and the less likely you'll be competitive early on. So be sensible in picking your first league.

Are others showing their commitment (eg, on ESPN leagues, has everyone placed a logo image on their team page). Are others promoting the league or in other leagues with the commissioner (signs that they like what he delivers).
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:arrow: "New to Dynasty - What to look for in a league"

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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby kpowell1962 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:30 am

Check league activity if possible. If there is extremely high turnover there has to be a reason why. 1 or 2 is normal year to year but if it is much more than that you probably want to stay away.

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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby knotts4372 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:27 am

view league transactions for the past year or years and see if there are any severely lopsided trades. it shows if all are involved in a league or just letting ppl do dumb trades for the hell of it. first thing i look at when trying to find a new league.
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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby dlf_jules » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:23 am

knotts4372 wrote:view league transactions for the past year or years and see if there are any severely lopsided trades. it shows if all are involved in a league or just letting ppl do dumb trades for the hell of it. first thing i look at when trying to find a new league.
Good one!

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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby MEuRaH » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:01 am

Just in general, I think it's good to know what type of league you want, and then find a league that matches it. Don't just read about a league and decide "that sounds good". Actually find out what type of league you could see yourself having fun in.

Examples:

Do you only want offensive players? Or do you want IDPs?
Do you want a league that implements a kicker and/or defense? Is it important if it does or does not?
Is a salary cap important to you? Would it be too complicated?
How much competition do you want? 10 teams? 12? 14? More?
How deep of a roster do you want to deal with? A league that has 10 players and 50 per roster might be deeper than a 16 team league with 20 per roster.
Some leagues have "devy" players (aka, developmental, college players). This requires some knowledge at the college level to compete.
Are good payouts important to you? Do you want to be in a league that only rewards the best teams? Or a league that gives nearly equal payouts?
Is the league you are joining a startup league? Or would you be taking over an existing team?

The best way to get to know a league is to read the rules & message board. The rules will give you insight to the specifics of that league. I think dynasty leagues are like snowflakes, no two leagues are alike. I once found a league I thought I loved, but I found out that they awarded 20 point bonuses for various achievements, which was just too insane for me. If I hadn't read the rules, I wouldn't know this ahead of time.

The message board will give you an insight into how the members of this league communicate, and how friendly they are, or how they handle their differences. Sometimes, you can find a HUGE argument, resulting in several members leaving the league due to the incompetence of the commissioner. Or maybe you'll find the reverse, and read about several owners praising the league as the best one they are in.

Lastly, someone else said it best; read the transactions, especially the trades. If you plan on being a highly active owner, find a league with a TON of transactions and trading. If you are very relaxed and don't care about activity, find a league with fewer transactions.
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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby bruiser » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:20 pm

What portion of the startup leagues being advertised do you believe to be commissioned by a service? I am becoming more aware of startup leagues that don't have a commissioner actually in the league, but rather just running them for profit. That may work just fine, but I have to wonder how attentive or accessible a commissioner is when he is running 100 leagues for profit.
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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby knotts4372 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:35 am

never join a league like this where you pay someone just to commish a league. it is literally the most retarded thing i ever seen.
Good and the Bad 16 teams 50 man rosters http://football5.myfantasyleague.com/20 ... =07&F=0013

DLF hall of famers 16 teams 25 man roster
http://football29.myfantasyleague.com/2 ... =07&F=0016


IRONCLAD 16 teams 40 man rosters http://www.fleaflicker.com/nfl/leagues/133985/teams/
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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby Doggie » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:20 am

A few things I am unbending about when joining new dynasty leagues are the following:

1) Commissioner Lockout -- this feature must be turned ON manually by the commissioner in MFL leagues well BEFORE the initial draft and must be left on at all times other than when they are ADDING NEW MEMBERS (as lockout must be off to do this). The Commissioner Lockout is controled through the Commissioner settings > Abilities > Lockout is located at the bottom of the page. When the lockout is turned ON the commissioner CANNOT see pending transactions. Likewise, if the Lockout is left OFF the commissioner CAN see everyone's pending offers to each other. That is a seriously unfair advantage that needs to be monitored. I was in two drafts where the Lockout was left off and the commissioner cleaned house. Mind you, he also ran off with our money the next year but that's another story..

that brings me to point #2

2) Do your research on the Commissioner before joining. This may have been touched based on already, but you cannot do enough due diligence when playing for money. Like I mentioned above, I was in two leagues (RED and MIRRORS) where the commissioner (Sean Nichols - yeah I'll say the theif's name) STOLE all the money we sent to his PayPal account (thousands $$).

that brings me to point #3

3) Make sure your league funds are all handled through League Safe with MAJORITY RULE on payouts. PayPal will not do very much if the commissioner steals from you. They only give you 90 days to request a refund, after that you can only file a complaint. League Safe is comparable to an "Online Escrow for Fantasy/Dynasty leagues". It holds your money and disperses funds at the end of the season, pending either commissioner or majority rule. I recommend Majority Rule, unless you know the commissioner well enough to trust them.

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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby FrozenBiscuits » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:56 pm

I've seen multiple responses in these forums with people interested in taking more than 1 position/team in a league. Why does anyone want to do this, and why is it even allowed at all?

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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby ff_wmd » Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:58 pm

It may have been mentioned already, but make sure you check out the payout ratio. I recently joined a startup league and it has since been pointed out to me that the site was taking a very large percentage of the prize fund (vig). The league hasn't filled yet and they have agreed to let me cancel and return my money. I feel pretty foolish for not only not realizing how much they were taking (30%), but also inviting others to join.

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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby melish1631 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:59 am

On the flip side... What do we think or say about commissioners who repeatedly post openings in the same leagues? To me, this says something about the style and due diligence of the league and the person who runs it! 'Flipping' owners only adds to the turnover volume...I see 5-6 members posting their same leagues with open teams!
Maybe the league isn't that good and people keep jumping ship... Eventually, you lose that dynasty feel and attitude. This leads to awful trades and minimal activity....
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Re: New to dynasty? What to look for in a league.

Postby cospec914 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:58 am

There's lots of really solid information in this thread. I just wanted to compliment everyone involved and especially the OP.


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