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Keeping nonplayoff teams active


I run a long standing 16 team redraft league. In such a big league, people can find themselves out of the playoff hunt with multiple weeks left in the season. What’s the best way to keep all owners fully engaged through the entirety of the season? In our league people don’t check out, they are good dudes, but clearly they turn on the autopilot.


I struggled with the same thing two seasons ago and my whole mission in my Couch League is to keep everyone active. What better way to keep up the activity than to reward them with $$$. So this is what we implemented last year, it works for all 14 of us because we are competitive as it is and we may as well try to recoup any bit of the buy in back. So this is our tentative 2017 payouts for next season. Hopefully this helps spark some ideas for you.


Sidenote I am still debating on whether or not I want to have a payout for the K and/or DEF. I was thinking I could massage that money over to the non-playoff payouts. Increase the payout each round as more teams are eligible once they are eliminated from playoff contention.


I’m not running much as far as Dynasty Leagues anymore. But, in my Dynasty League’s the winner of the “Last Place Bowl of Doom” receives and extra 1st Rd rookie pick the following year. That is a pretty good prize if I do say so myself.


Here’s my recommendation and let me tell you it WORKS! So i had the same issue with our 12 team league. We decided to make it a 3 playoff bracket scheme, 4 teams make ‘Big Boy’ Playoff bracket, 4 teams make the ‘Mediocre’ Playoff Bracket, and last 4 make the ‘Losers’ bracket (which we call the Choad Bowl). $50 Buy in.
Playoffs will be 3 brackets all with something to fight for:
-Champion wins $400 (plus trophies)
-2nd Place wins $100
-3rd Place wins $75
-Medicore Bracket winner will win the 5th overall draft pick for the following year. (this meaning we do our draft pick seeding for the following year by reverse order of finish. So the champion gets the last pick in the draft, so on and so forth. So normally if you’d win the mediocre bracket you would end up with the 8th pick in the following year. But with this system the loser of the mediocre bracket and the winner of the mediocre bracket switch draft seedings. So now the winner of the middle bracket wins the 5th overall pick and the loser gets the 8th pick next year. So literally they are playing for next year draft value capital.)
-Choade Bracketers are fighting to not come in last place for the losers bet. (Every year we do something for the total loser, i.e. we have a custom license plate cover that the loser has to have on his car for the entire year (its bright pink and says " I suck at FFB" and has our league name on it) and other stuff, it gets creative.

-I didn’t mean to write a novel just kinda got carried away but I hope that helps.


dude i love the pay out system, but I gotta ask, where did you get your league emblem made? I made one for my league but its just a thing i drew out by hand…


I made it myself, it’s evolved over the last four years and I finally feel content with it moving forward. I used to dabble with Illustrator and Photoshop in college and starting this league sparked that interest again.

All our owners have logos and helmets that reflect their personality rather than their team name because guys like to change their names all the time. Here is our stuff from last year.


Our league idea is nowhere near as cool as the Couch League.

In the 12 team redraft, the 6 non-playoff teams compete in a tournament. The winner bracket is for the #1 overall pick (which the winner can also choose his draft position), where the loser bracket is for the Butthurt Bowl.

There’s also the thought that sometimes that’s just part of fantasy football. I know I’m in multiple leagues and if I’m out of the playoffs with weeks to go in a league, I just set my lineup, do some add/drops but I don’t spend more than 10 minutes on it.


Not that it keeps them active per se (you can only use the carrot so much), but I’ve implemented this provision in all of my leagues (in order to ensure no one gets a win against a skeleton crew):

" iii. Lineups: During the last 3-weeks of the regular season, the commissioner will have the power to set line-ups for absentee owners in order to preserve fair play.

a. Commissioner must first try to get the absentee owner to act on their own accord

b. If gaps in the absentee owner’s lineup exist, the highest-projected player at that position will be added from waivers no earlier than Saturday evening of that week."

We also have a process for removing inactive owners from the league. Basically they get two warnings and, on the third, the league votes to keep or remove.