At this point it’s hard to believe, but 50 years ago people needed a calculator to play Fantasy Football. Yahoo and ESPN didn’t exist–in fact, I’m not even sure computers did–but people still managed to beat the hardships of 1960s life and play Fantasy Football. 50 years later Fantasy Football is as American as apple pie, but college football is neglected and still without a governing body. There are multiple outlets that offer a “College Fantasy Football”, but none of them can equal the following experience.
College Football is more challenging to fit into a fantasy format, but where there’s a will there’s a way and as Jim Delaney as my witness we’re not turning down the possibility of extending the fantasy weekend experience. Apart from having a seamless automated tallying system and experience, the two major hurdles are NCAA rights take away the ability to name players so we’re stuck picking entire units (i.e. USC receivers, or Alabama tailbacks) and the saturation of teams and players to pick from. The solution isn’t simple but it is rewarding.
1. Your draft will be off the grid and live. Gather your group of 8, 10 or 12 and follow the forthcoming rules. Additionally, you’ll need to tally the scores yourself, but if you have a middle school diploma you should be able to consistently add.
2. Depending on the size of your group, you’ll need to limit what conferences are eligible. I organize my fantasy football roster size and active players to strategically dry up the free agent pool. What’s the fun if you can pick up justifiably ready-to-start free agents every week? For example, an eight-team league could use only the Big Ten or SEC –if you have 10 or 12, you’ll probably need multiple conferences to account for bye weeks. But even with a 12-team league, I wouldn’t step beyond using two conferences for fear of saturation.
3. Use only BCS conference teams. You’ll want to watch your players on national television, and with an adept cable package you could pretty much watch 75% of your team on game day. Using only BCS conferences also eliminates the video game crap like Houston or Hawaii, getting one Case Keenum could shift the tides too far. And if you really really really want to add Notre Dame, you’re allowed a +1 into any major conference.
4. Each owner will tally their, and their competitions scores for the week and submit to the commissioner.
- Number of Starters -
2 Running Backs, 2 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight end, 1 WR/RB Flex, 1 Kicker, 1 Defense
- Point System -
Since you are tallying yourself, let’s make this easy.
Quarterback points: Passing and rushing touchdowns = 6 points. Passing yardage = 1 point per 25 yards passing. Rushing yardage = 1 point per 10 yards. Interceptions and fumbles = -2
Running back, receiver and tight end points: Receiving and rushing touchdowns = 6 points. Rushing and receiving yardage = 1 point per 10 yards. Fumbles = -2.
Kicker: Extra points = 1 point, field goals = 3 points.
Defense: Sacks, interceptions, fumble recoveries = 1 point. Opponent point total divided by 5 to be subtracted from total points. (Example: You own Ohio State defense and Penn State scores 20, subtract 4 points from your total week.)
- Schedule and Playoffs -
Set up teams 1-8 (or 1-10 or 1-12) for a head-to-head schedule and have 1 play 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and then back to 2. If you follow this pattern for every team it will be easy to set up. The regular season will be weeks 1 through 11, and the top 4 teams of any league will advance to a playoff for weeks 12 and 13. Use an Excel spreadsheet for maximum organization.
Playoffs are decided by record, ties are settled by total points – ties after that are nearly impossible but will be decided by a pit fight.
- Free Agent List & Trades -
Each person starts with 100 points to spend on free agents. By 12:00 p.m. every Wednesday teams will email the commissioner with their free agent requests and transactions, next to the players team and name will be a number of points wagered from that persons 100 (or however many points remain). The person with the highest point risk will be awarded the player in blind auction, and the points wagered will be deducted from his total for the year. Trades are to be negotiated person to person, and points may accompany players to help initiate trades.
For those interested I will research and publish rankings for major conferences. Don’t let the NFL run a monopoly on Fantasy Football! Consider yourselves lucky to be part of the age or technology, but honor thy past, and start your grassroots NCAA Fantasy League in 2012.