Best Way to Prevent Tanking (Dynasty)

What are some of your leagues rules on trying to eliminate tanking? I realize that some form of tanking in a dynasty league is inevitable. I’d like to implement something for the consolation bracket to keep the non playoff teams interested.

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In my dynasty league the bottom two teams play in a best of three (week 14/15/16) competition for the 1.01 pick. Loser gets the 1.03. Bottom teams are therefore incentivized not to completely tank in order to be compensated with the 1.01 pick.

Further we have a consolation bracket made of those teams who did not make playoffs and without the bottom two teams. Those teams reamining compete in a sudden death playoff where the winner in week 16 is awarded the 1.02 pick. A team has the posibility to increase their draft position up to 3-4 round amusing you would have been given the 5th and now have won the 2nd. All other draft positions are calculated based on end of season ranks.

During this time we continue to award the weekly winner $10 per week for the highest points. Each team has something to fight for every week.


i’m in a 10 person keeper league where you get up 3 keepers and they just count as your picks for rounds 1-3. anyway, we award the winner of the consolation bracket with the first pick of the 4th round (our defacto 1st round) and the loser of the 9-10th place game is obviously playing to avoid the punishments

Harsh punishment for the overall loser helps. We move the trade deadline up a good bit so that teams have to decide earlier whether they are “in or out” so that people dont’ sell off right before playoffs and boost the playoff teams too much. We also randomize the 1.01-1.04 so the last place team doesn’t automatically get the 1.01.

What platform do you use where this system works?


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One of my leagues created an additional pick.
Winner of the consolation bracket got the 1.17 (16 team league)

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That is badass! I might be stealing this idea. I knew about weekly payout is an incentive, but your (admittedly tricky) way of figuring out draft order is really nice.

It’s hard unless you establish some type of “ANTI-TANK” rules before the dynasty even starts

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@irritatedtomcat This is a great point. It’s never against the rules… if there isn’t one to break.

Also, I think that tanking can be split into two categories:

  1. Not starting your best players.
  2. Not having great players to start.

To me, these tanking methods should be treated very differently. My playoff schedule, seen above, addresses point two. It’s meant to keep teams competitive. I also don’t think teams should be mandated to have great players. Often, selling those players is how a team rebuilds.

Only a bylaw or rule can address point one. I personally think that this should be restricted as it voids the spirit of the game.


One league I’m in votes in two members to be in charge in the “anti tanking committee” every year. Rules for tanking are pretty simply defined as not setting full lineups or obvious start sit decisions as well as consistent behavior of bad trades detrimental to the league (one/two trades don’t justify such a behavior). If found guilty but the committee, you’re fined and is donated.

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Yeah I definitely classify rebuilding differently than not trading and just benching all starters lol

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We use “potential points” in benching a stud to tank is eliminated for the non playoff teams (1-6) through week 13.

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We first state that final rankings for non-playoff teams are final at end of regular season.

We have 12 teams, 5 in playoffs (3 divisions).

The non- playoff teams are ranked 1-7 for 2 weeks (weeks 14-15). Whoever ends up with the lowest number (best rank- then tiebreakers) plays the 5th place playoff team for the league buy-in money in week 16.

Basically all the non-playoff teams play each other all for 2 weeks for the best rank for the chance to get their buy-in money back from the team that loses in the 1st week of the playoffs.

The only way i have found to prevent tanking is to use Potential points for draft position for all of the non-playoff teams.

What this means is say you bench Julio Jones for player X. Julio scores 35 points and player X scores 7(helping you lose) well youre record may suffer, but your draft position wont, because it assumes you started Julio and will put 35 points towards your potential points.

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I really like the system that you have posted and have adopted it into our league. Just as long as Sleeper lets me do the consolation bracket like that.

I have done just that in the bylaws.

Potential points has merits. I see great value where someone is managing multiple leagues or a larger than 16 team league.

My concern with potential points is scenarios where a bench player unexpectedly goes off. Maybe it’s a fringe case. But early in 2018 if you had Evan Engram or Trey Burton, they were very likely your starting tight end. However, if you had Jared Cook or Eric Ebron on your bench, scoring 15-20 points more than your starter, how does one reconcile this?

Its not perfect, but there is no perfect system. Just like you can have bad match ups scoring #2 points for a week but playing #1 point scorer.

Potential points also removes the need for someone to police the situation and make a call based on their own opinion. Especially if its not clear cut such as benching Mahomes for bortles.


I hear you on potential points removing the need for anyone to police the league with regards to tanking. And in most cases I’m on side ‘less work for the commish’. If your leagues uses it and is happy with it, great. However, in this case I prefer to give authority and responsibility to my leagues mates to win and lose on their terms, within the rules. Just my viewpoint.

If it’s not clear cut, it would seem to me that there is nothing to police. Like deciding between Matthew Stafford and Marcus Mariota in 2018. They both suck! IMO, there is no way anyone could make a call based on their opinion for those two players.