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Fantasy Football Strategy: How To Eliminate Collusion & Tanking


Originally published at: https://www.thefantasyfootballers.com/articles/fantasy-football-strategy-eliminate-collusion-tanking/

Editor’s Note: This is one of our many strategy-related articles from our team of writers to get you prepared for this season. When it comes to fantasy football, there is nothing more frowned upon than the concept of cheating. Such an act is often accomplished through collusion or tanking, which most commissioners attempt to eliminate at all…


Love these suggestions. My league does a toilet bowl, but with real stakes. The winner of the toilet bowl gets 1st pick in the next year’s rookie draft.

So we have 12 teams and 8 make the playoffs.

The bottom 4 teams play a mini tournament. Whoever is eliminated in the 1st round and with the least points gets the next year’s 4th pick. Whoever wins the toilet bowl gets the 1st pick.

This simple rule absolutely prevents tanking in my league – and keeps everybody involved and having fun for longer.


@RyanBlackFilm That’s a bit confusing.

Winning the Toilet Bowl would be bad, would it not?

the “Winner” of the Toilet Bowl should be the bottom 4 team who loses twice in the mini-tournament, while the winner of the mini-tournament should be winning the Draft Bowl.

Our redraft league does the same thing, except with 6 teams. Also, the Draft Bowl winner gets to choose his draft position next year. We call our loser final the Butthurt Bowl.


Hi. I should clarify.

The toilet bowl “winner” in our league would be the team who actually wins their games in the loser’s bracket (bottom 4 teams). So if you lose every game in the regular season - miss the playoffs - and lose every game in the losers bracket, you would get the 4th pick in the next year’s rookie draft.

So a team that is pretty good - barely misses the playoffs - and wins out in the losers bracket gets awarded with the 1st pick in the rookie draft.

Therefore, even in a rebuild year, the smartest thing to do is to win the losers bracket. I suppose a team could purposefully lose regular season games in order to fight for the 1st pick in the losers bracket - but our $1000 grand prize goes a long way in preventing that.

We’ve also had a major uptick in trading since we implemented the rule 2 years ago.

I hope that clears things up!


“Therefore, it makes sense to allow unlimited trading between teams for players and future draft picks. Even though some questionable deals could take place under this structure, it promotes activity and allows league members to build a team with no limitations.”

Is this implying that either no or a very late trade deadline should be imposed/enforced? Curious on everyone’s experiences with regards to how this plays out. I just joined a #FootClan keeper league (3 keepers) that has a deadline of the start of championship week (week 16). I am leery about joining because of this because so many “collusion”/“tanking” type of scenarios could play out, but this quote makes it seem like this could be encouraged and/or keep owners involved.

Anyone have any thoughts/experiences regarding this?


I think the only antitanking approach that successfully distinguishes between genuine losing versus tanking, is to draft in reverse order of games won after elimination date.


That’s a great point. So then teams have incentive to continue playing their best players (i.e. not trading away assets to a contender to drastically disrupt the championship bracket) through the duration of the season/trade period. I think this is a great idea. I am going to inquire of my commissioner that something like this be instituted.

I guess the super late trading deadline was worrisome to me, but a safeguard like this could override my fears as they are not necessarily related to the trade deadline but specifically drastic balance disruptions happening as late as the playoffs, or even heading into the championship.

Thanks, @scofennell!


I make the 12th man repay fees. so its a fight to not suck or tank. Also, all 11 others vote to keep or kick the 12th man. If he lost due to tough competition, we keep. If he sucked, we boot.


@Julian_Ryan Well it’s a free league, so it’s strictly for fun and camaraderie. There’s no incentive for someone to not trade away all of their future picks to win now and then bail. That’s why I was worried when there’s such a late trade date, if it’s even worth doing. It seems like it could open a can of worms.


I’m in a 12 team, live draft league. We have a $20 dollar weekly high score payout that goes up until playoffs. For the teams who miss the playoffs, we have a toilet bowl and a consolation bracket.

The winner of the consolation bracket receives first choice where they draft the next year. The rest of the order is determined by games on draft day.

For our Toilet Bowl, we reseed the bottom half of the final standings. 12th place team is high seed and 6th place team is low seed. Like normal playoffs, the 2 high seeds get a bye the first round. But the losers of each matchup are the ones who move on. Only need to win one game to avoid bringing home with the toilet seat trophy. Which the recipient is allowed to add something to each year.

Regarding the prevention of collusion, I think the best way (not always the easiest) is to try play with honest and good people who enjoy the game as much as you do and who play because it’s FUN! I think the trickiest part is figuring out the best way to deal with the collusion once a legit case of “sketchy” dealings is identified. Personally, I can’t recall any colluding that has happened in the leagues I play in so I don’t know how frequently it happens in other leagues.

I’m sure #FootClanLeagues is a terrific place to avoid any kind of shady behavior like this. I’m not talking slippery fish tho.


The Champ (Me) & the Loser from the previous year. Not speaking from personal experience, but it really is not an honor to receive that toilet seat. Must feel even worse to be photographed holding it.


hahahahahahahahahaha Way to go, Kyle! :joy:


My league does the trade vetos a bit differently and I think it works pretty well. The veto rules are set to the Commissioner (me), I then text one or two people in the league (not involved in the league, and typically the people I know will respond the quickest) just to see if they think its collusion. Usually the trade has been processed within an hour of it being accepted. If a trade happens Thursday night or Sunday morning, I usually won’t even ask anyone else as long as it doesn’t appear to be collusion. We have never had a trade not go through, but the safe guard is there.