[FF]: 2018 Year In Review

We’ve (barely in some cases) survived another Season Long Fantasy FIRST season, so now it’s time to discuss what went right and what went wrong this last season. I have a copy of the rules covered in notes, so here’s some of the items from that list and a bunch of other stuff to discuss.

I think we need to do a little clarification on timing of trades, and also types of trades (most players seem to have forgotten the third type, inter-team trading of picked teams).

This is more of a rules update, but we need to minorly adjust DCMP scoring for divisional DCMPs, likely just adding in the +5 awarded per match win that we used this year. Also need to clarify VoTY awards—incidentally, because they don’t always go to team members, I would say no points for those—and define “robot-based awards”.

Looks like better definition of pre-season vs. midseason waiver is the main thing here, along with a couple of limits on available teams in pre-season waivers. Might also slide in “break times” for midseason waivers… I mean, other than when waiting on [redacted] to decide on a team.

There are some other “minor nuisances” but I think those can be worked on by a working group, or brought up later on

Other items of discussion
This is where things are going to get a little bit interesting. Items being discussed here are likely to result in what I would call “major changes”.

TIERS. OK, so we did run into a slight problem when events that drafted as single-tier ended up as multi-tier size. At the same time, there was that midseason shift to running the larger tier as #2 instead of as #1. There are two questions here. 1) (Brennan, your answer–when you can.) Was there a statistically significant difference for the #1 and #2 position performance, comparing before and after the shift?
2) How do we want to handle tiers in the future? (Assuming that we have an odd number of players in the league again.)

I personally think this one will need to be decided up quickly because if there are changes they’ll need to be coded into any drafting program.

MIA PLAYERS (Post-build drafts) and RANDOM TEAMS
This one gets a little more interesting. A number of players made it through the regular season without drawing even a warning, but disappeared entirely at DCMP drafting time, and CMP drafting time. I think the question becomes, how do we handle the “disappearance” part, as well as, how do we handle the “random teams” part? Personally I’d say that during the regular season, make no changes (you get a random at pick time if you don’t show up), but during DCMP/CMP, I think something a little stiffer may be required. Say… randoms after the draft is over and your spot is skipped, if you no-show your first pick. (Missing a later pick still just random.) Or even just no draft for you if you miss X drafts.

As a note, I’m working on a compilation of what I would call “precedent decisions” so that if there’s an issue in the future precedent can be referenced quickly.

I know there are some other suggestions/complaints/ideas out there, so let’s get some discussion going.

Oh, and here’s the full list of rules/comments. Make sure that “markup” is turned on in the “Review” tab–seems like half of the rulebook got hit sometimes.

Season Long Fantasy FIRST Rules TO UPDATE.docx (114 KB)

My biggest suggestion is a shift from drafting teams to drafting “slots” in districts.

For example, let’s use PCH.

TBC drafts 1648, 2815, and 2974 in PCH. All play in week 1. 2974 bombs and shows no sign of improving. At the end of the week scores lock and TBC is “stuck” with that score for slot 3 (2974). No more free do-overs. However they can be waivered out for another team that either A) played week 1 but was undrafted or B) has not played at all.

In situation A those week 1 points for this new fourth team disappear and no one can get them but TBC can get their second event points. In situation B TBC would get the points from that teams first event as the second play of Slot 3.

Additionally, in situation B TBC could still hang onto this new team and use their second play as well if they were to waiver out 2415 before their second play.

Hopefully that makes sense?

As opposed to the current situation where in situation A, TBC gets that team’s Week 1 points as well as whatever other event they play but not 2974’s points, or in situation B, TBC gets that teams’ points from whenever they play but not 2974’s points.

So here’s the thing, and I’m going to be really blunt: If it confuses people, it’s bad for FF. And I can see drafting slots getting really, really confusing, really, really fast. For starters: Do you draft each team for one slot or two, in the initial draft? If it’s for one, then should we be tagging each team with which event we want them for, and draft as team(event) for all events? If it’s for two, then do we HAVE to waiver them in in another slot to keep them?

I understand the concept behind drafting slots. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t confusing as heck.

I personally think we should ban waivers on district teams that have already competed at least once. Everyone’s stuck with the results that team gets. Would certainly make midseason waivers a lot easier.

The easiest way to start to explain it is that scores lock every week. Boom done no more free wipe outs of trash scores.

That’s my biggest complaint with the system as it sits currently. While drafting slots might not be the only solution to this problem, I do think it’s something that needs to be fixed.

Based on discussion between several members of this year’s team the general consensus thus far is to make any district team that has played any in-district events not able to be waivered in or out. This would also fix the problem you are looking at.

General points that are somewhat agreeable by people on the TBC discord server:

-Change district rules to be once they get a play in their region, no swapping in or out
-Each MIA gets score equal to the lowest scoring team of the draft (no post draft randoming)
-Have picklist format samples.
-Clarify rules/An simpler version of the rules. With examples of implementation (a la Blue Boxes)
-Google calendar with all draft dates (even if they are approximated) Regionals, Districts, Waivers, CMPs, DCMPs

If we could get a more official commitment to all of the above, that would be great.

There was some key committee discussion and back and forth that didn’t really come to a conclusion. Most of the back and forth centralized around if the KC was necessary to supplement the commissioner, and so far (in my opinion) there hasn’t really been an answer for that other than a more formal way to introduce new rules.

Also talk about an offseason fantasy league done on CD.

Simplifying/clarifying the rules, I can easily get behind. That’s why I put up the attachment with all the notes–there’s a pile of KC discussions behind most of those. As a “ticky-tack”, simplify and clarify may be opposites, so if a choice needs to be made “clarify” will take priority.

Picklist format samples, I’ll slap into a Blue Box Equivalent in same. (Or an “Appendix”).

I think a Google Calendar can be done. We’ve tried that before on occasion; it does take time to set up but can be worth it. Ideally it’d be in parallel with the main spreadsheet (Calendar for overall schedule, spreadsheet for details like attendance/selections).

I have some questions on the “MIA” item.
–This is MIA teams, not players, correct?
–And there would be opportunity to correct that, yes? (Any other answer I think is like 5–right out!) Obviously excluding a team not showing up at the event on the very last day or something like that.
–And would appreciate the reasoning behind doing MIA score vs. random team.

This is something that I think I could get behind if it makes life easier. Just a few questions. If it’s a penalty, we haven’t had those in FF before, so we may want to discuss the implications of doing a penalty system.

If it’s MIA players… well, that’s another discussion altogether. For now I assume those get randoms (unless they’ve gotten a warning). As per my opening post, MIA players in late-season drafts (DCMPs) is a concern; I’m also wondering how we want to handle MIA drafting regarding normal/DCMPs.

On the “lock after first play” for district teams, I’m curious as to the reasoning but can get behind that.

Re: KC function. I can’t always be online (work…) so it would be a good idea to have someone, or some group, designated as the “Eric’s out, we need an immediate decision” person–and also I may want to bounce ideas off. I think that’s something to do further consideration on.

Oh, right. Offseason fantasy league. Answer: have at it! I might play along.

I’m relatively agreeable to the rest of the offseason rule changes, but the “lock on first play” is not one I’m on board with.

I think we’re all well aware that more and more areas are transitioning to districts. Which means fewer regional drafts (which are the historic core of SLFF) and more transitioning to this hybrid, slapped together district draft setup.

I think we’re also all well aware that waivers play a relatively significant role in other fantasy sports. In Fantasy Football, did you draft a player that has played quite poorly in the first two weeks? Swap them out! You don’t need them holding back your roster, especially if you can find a better player!

So with the increasing number of district drafts, locking teams in from the start of week 1 immediately declares a relatively significant part of other fantasy sports more-or-less irrelevant, when it shouldn’t really be that way.

I think what a lot of people view as a major issue (being able to waiver out teams that are doing poorly and receiving no consequence) is a view based on the idea that we should be rewarding the teams that “draft” the best. The counterpoint to that is that they’re already receiving a big benefit: they own the best teams! They do not have to use waiver draft capital on filling that position, and instead can focus on snagging teams in other top areas.

So, in summary, I think a “set it and forget it” approach is the wrong way to go. That being said, I recognize that the current system is also not ideal.

So what I propose is that we treat the district team scoring differently. How most fantasy sports work is that you choose a subset of your roster to compete each week. This is also how FFiM is done.

Why not replicate this in SLFF? Each player must start two or three teams per week, and they get credited with the points from that team. This obviously benefits teams that draft well, but doesn’t excessively punish teams that do not, and promotes engagement in the game.

I understand that this method is more complex, but I think the other proposed methods either have a lot of potential edge cases (“slotted plays”) or promote a lack of attention (“set and forget”).

I also have a few opinions on trading, but the above topic seems to be the main topic for the moment, so I’ll hold off.

So, because there was confusion last year with things that are actually confirmed, i’ll be keeping a list up to date, which right now consists of:

-Sample Picklists
-Google calendar with all draft dates INCLUDING champs, dchamps, and waivers
-"Blue box" equivalent being added. Rule simplification continuing discussion here and in discord.

I should add that I think that calendar should have all it’s items at the start of the season, or even sooner if possible.

Also… Can we draft districts first? Fewer dropped teams, more stable team list…

This is correct, MIA teams. There were probably close to 100 teams that needed to be randomed over the season, and it makes scoring much harder/more time consuming. It’s a time saver to just be like “They didn’t play at this event? Okay so they get this score”

I think in general we have been focusing on trying to get less MIA’s rather than how to deal with MIA players.

Rule simplification, and the removal of the zero repercussion drop bad teams scenario we have right now. Slots were discussed, but this is a simpler solution that most people could live with that is simple to communicate, and is just like any other event we draft. “Once they start playing, you can’t sub em out”

It’s only if they play week one. You lock teams that have played in that district from being traded in or out via waivers.

It’s not just that. It’s also the fact that you can click three buttons, press cntrl + F “Chairmans” and get 50 whatever points for free. Or you can cntrl + F “winner” or “Engineering Inspiration”

There is almost zero skill involved with waivering districts under the current system, and that’s dumb.

Also to counter your point. QD subbed out at least 50% of their fim teams, TBC subbed out 2/3 on many regions, FP basically subbed out their entire FIM roster. Something like 9/12 teams got swapped.

So no. Clearly drafting the best teams first isn’t a huge advantage when you can just search in 5 minutes for a better team. It’s dumb. You are picking locked in points, everyone can count how many points a team has scored and pick the highest number… **You shouldn’t be able to retroactively get points for something a team did when you didn’t have them picked.

That’s why I liked the slot idea as an alternative. You keep your bad mistakes, and you don’t get 100% locked in points just for pressing control F and showing up to a waiver draft.

I disagree in the premise that it doesn’t hurt teams that don’t pay attention… If a team doesn’t play do you not receive 0 points? It’s also a pretty drastically different picking system, and drastically more intense than what currently exists.

Functionally, it’s set it and forget it. Rarely do you make a sub before a team plays a match, because for most teams, you would have to have intimate knowledge of at least two teams (the one you picked and the one you’re picking up) to make that swap. This is doubly important because then you would also only be able to replace teams that play in Week 2 with teams that play in Week 2 or later (which in districts is a rather rare occurrence).

I’d like to point out that FiM is the exception, mostly because of the enormous size of the district. It was much less frequent for us (and everyone else!) to replace teams in other districts.

I personally see the district scoring system as a non-issue, and I would honestly rather only draft district championships than draft districts with scoring in the proposed way.

Secondary proposal: we draft one team per district event.

Example: TBC picks 225 at the Hatboro-Horsham district event. Then QD selects 5895. Then FP selects 303…and on for a single round. That’s then repeated for all district events. First/Second/Third/Fourth event? Doesn’t matter. They score points either way.

This maintains the scoring structure, but allows teams to make swaps more fluidly.

I speak more from a drafting/waivering standpoint, but yes, you are right. Personal preference, doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.

Yeah I can see this. For me personally I would much rather have this than have teams beat us in a district in part because they can control + F sooner than we do because our teams haven’t played, and their bad picks have…

I disagree here actually. FIM is just the best example due to size. This was also an issue in ONT, NE, and MAR. Basically any draft that was 6 or more teams.

I’d still rather run a more complicated slot system. I like going deep into a regions teams and finding new teams that are underrated. Perhaps there is a way to simplify the edge cases of this system? I also think that having a visual updated after each waiver helps a lot.

Scaling districts is important I think, and we did that well last season having districts be worth a lot of points. You would have to put some sort of multiplier on things.

There has been some discussing of MIA players causing some serious problems late in the season. A large part of my non-participation came from a lack of time/dedication. I simply wasn’t willing to put in the time necessary to draft live or even picklist at most late season events. I do quite enjoy FF but lacked the time to play effectively. By the end of the season the number of actively participating teams was effectively cut in half, my understanding is that this sucked for draft runners, but also the participating teams.

I think a lot of the problems stem from the fact that there is no real alternative to SLFF. You’re either in it for the long haul or you don’t get to play. So as a rookie interested in SLFF you just have to commit and then when you realize you can’t commit to everything you start randoming and MIAing drafts.

I have an idea that I think could solve a few of these problems, let me know what you think.

Create two “versions” of SLFF. One that is the “full” version of SLFF (SLFF as it exists now) and one that is a “small” version of SLFF.

The small version would include significantly fewer drafts. I’m thinking to draft whole weeks of Regionals together, for example, every team at Utah, Palmetto, and Miami Valley would be available for the 2018 Week 1 draft. Regionals could also potentially be drafted by region but that seems harder.

Districts would be handled collectively in 2-3 drafts (someway that created roughly the same amount of available teams per draft). There would be no DCMP drafts, if your picked district team advanced to DCMP maybe you’d get points from that?

Each CMP would have 1 draft instead of individual division drafts.

And that would be it. No more than 12 drafts total, no waivers, no trading, super simple.

It would probably draw the MIA bound teams out of the “full” SLFF. It would probably also make drafts take less time over the course of the season (7 teams in 12 new drafts is way less time than those 7 teams in drafts that already exist) If a team of all rookies joins the “full” version, let them, but at least they’d have the option to get their feet wet in something similar but smaller first if they wanted.

I personally will not compete in “full” SLFF next year but I would totally compete in a small version similar to what I have outlined.

You’re right, that’s a factor. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the short-form SLFF you have proposed, but there’s nothing stopping you from running that (or a similar league setup).

How about a hybrid slot/FFIM idea.

You draft x number of teams, they always play, first two events count per slot. You can swap teams in and out of a slot as much as you want, all slots get points each week presuming they don’t have plays.

I get that. But I brought it up here because I think it would have to exist as an appendage (at least for a year) to true SLFF. I’ve never even run a draft so I can’t really see myself just going and starting a league from scratch. Plus it doesn’t really help to reduce MIA players if it isn’t visible in the same place as SLFF.

I referenced that earlier, but I think you have a ton of edge cases surround this that make the rules for it quite confusing (can you shuffle teams around the slots? What if it’s their third in-district event? etc).

Yeah, I think the only edge case that is confusing is the 3 play and using the third play in another slot.

I think for this to work, all the edge cases would have to be “Yes” and then the only hardish part is keeping track of it.

What’s stopping you from starting the league? Running a draft really isn’t that hard. Play around with the Excel page.

Furthermore, if you yourself didn’t have the time to play SLFF during the season, would it not also be a reasonable assumption that most people also playing SLFF don’t have time during the season? Which of those people would be both interested in the league AND interested in running it?

There’s nothing stopping you (or anyone else) from running a secondary league on CD. FFiM (the only other FF league I know of at the moment) just prefers to run it through Google Docs because it smooths out our process. But we also have a much smaller number of people.