Rubik's Leagues

After 25 years of mastering basic fantasy football, advanced fantasy football, and crazy fantasy football, the only leagues where I can find much enjoyment (or challenge) these days are in what I call “Rubik’s Leagues”–leagues with a lot of moving parts in terms of lineups and/or scoring.

So my first draft this year was this 12 team auction draft…

$351 auction budget; any $$$ unused in the auction would be added to your $51 FAB for the season (but only one guy added $1 to his FAB–lol).

League Name: Noah’s Arktion 2x2x2x2x2x2x1

13 starters: 2QB, 2RB, 2WR, 2TE, 2Flex, 2DST, 1SFlex, 11Bench, 2IR

Passing: 20 yds per pt, 1 pt at 275 yards, 2 pts at 400 yards, 4 pts at 525 yards, 4 pt TD, -2 INTs, 2 pt CONV, 0.5 per 40 yard completion, 0.5 per 40 yard TD

Rushing: 0.4 per attempt, 5 yards per point, 2.5 pts at 75 yards, 5 pts at 100 yards, 10 pts at 125 yards, 6 pt TD, 2 pt CONV, -1 FUM, -2 FUM LOST, 2 per 40 yard run, 4 per 40 yard TD, 0.25 per rushing 1st down

Receiving: 0.1 per reception, 7.5 yards per point, 1 pt at 80 yards, 2 pts at 130 yards, 4 pts at 180 yards, 6 pt TD, 2 pt CONV, 2 per 40 yard completion, 2 per 40 yard TD, 0.2 per receiving 1st down

Defensive scoring is pretty standard, but like 1 pt more than usual for everything, so like 2 pts per sack, 3 pts per turnover, 3 pts per safety, 7 pts per TD, etc.

The Kakorrhaphiophobiaxe

QB: Marcus Mariota (14) $19, Mitch Trubisky (9) $17, Kenny Pickett (9) $4, Gardner Minshew (7) $1

RB: Derrick Henry (6) $102, Jonathan Taylor (14) $96, J.K. Dobbins (10) $28, Damien Harris (10) $20, Gus Edwards (10) $1, Damien Williams (14) $1

WR: CeeDee Lamb (9) $23, Keenan Allen (8) $16, Chris Godwin (11) $4, Amon-Ra St. Brown (6) $4, Marquise Brown (13) $4, Michael Gallup (9) $1, DJ Chark, Jr. (6) $1, Marvin Jones, Jr. (11) $1

TE: Mike Gesicki (11) $2, Albert Okwuegbunam (9) $2, Evan Engram (11) $1, CJ Uzomah (10) $1

DST: Arizona Cardinals (13) $1, Washington Commanders (14) $1

Remaining: $0

Now let’s see who comments without reading the scoring rules…

Where my first draft was ultra-complex, my second draft was ultra-simple in comparision. There are only 8 scoring categories: Passing Yards (25), Passing TDs (5), Rushing Yards (10), Rushing TDs (6), Receptions (1), Receiving Yards (10), Receiving TDs (6), and 2 Pt Conversions (2).

Start 1 QB, 3 WR, 2 RB, 1 W/T, 1 W/R/T, 1 Q/W/R/T–with 8 Bench and 2 IR. So your basic 12 team PPR Doubleflex Superflex league, with TEs not mandatory, and no Ks or Ds.

The way this draft started, I was afraid I would be embarrassed to share it with the world–I was literally breaking every rule of sound auction drafting.

#1 - I was locked into a strategy–and several specific players going in. Better auction strategy is to wait to see how the draft unfolds. But since I’d just done the RB-heavy PPC league, I wanted to do the opposite strategy in this PPR league (build around the WRs) and the one player that I was absolutely, positively going to get, who I believe will be the #1 overall WR in 2022, was Justin Jefferson–no matter what. I mean, how much could he cost, right? 45? 50? I can work with that.

Unfortunately, someone else had made that same vow, and so next to the $68 paid for Jonathan Taylor, I paid the second highest price in the auction to secure the services of JJ at $57.

I also had in mind a trio of QBs I was targeting, Cousins (to stack with JJ), Carr, and Winston. Unfortunately, Winston came out shortly thereafter–still rather early, when people were still paying $30+ for QBs–and Winston, whom I was hoping would be the cheapest of the three, cost me $19.

So #2 rule broken, I overpaid for a lesser player because I drafted him too early in the draft.

The #3 rule broken here was not to overpay for the first few blue chip players nominated in an auction, especially when you need to fill out several flex slots–better to balance your spending and get good players up and down your roster, rather than blowing your wad on two or three of the most expensive players. And after paying the price I paid for Jefferson, I had no intention of drafting Stefon Diggs–but I wasn’t going to let him go for LESS THAN $30(!), so I bid at the last second, just hoping to keep the bidding going–and won him for $30.

Oh. Lord.

#4 rule–Don’t draft two stud WRs with the same bye week.

I have Winston and two ace WRs (who share a Week 7 bye) and I’ve already spent $106. I’m doomed.

AND then after scoring a minor bargain on CEH for $9, I paid $17 for Amon-Ra St. Brown, just because I had to have him–another overpay for a player I should have been able to get cheaper later.

Now, if this were an old-fashioned movie serial, this would be the point at which the narrator would come in with the organ music and ask penetrating questions like “WILL AXE ELF SUCCUMB TO HIS FRIVOLOUS SPENDING?” “WHAT WILL HIS TEAM’S RUNNING BACKS LOOK LIKE??” “HOW WILL AXE ELF GET OUT OF THIS ONE???”

Well, you just knew I would come out smelling like a rose, didn’t you?

Granted, I’m going to need some luck at RB, but I picked some pretty solid PPR options for my backfield–and nobody can touch my WRs.

QB: Jameis Winston (14) $19, Matt Ryan (14) $9 (DOH! Did it again on the bye weeks! My only QB in Week 14 might be…) Daniel Jones (9) $9 (…but then there’s time to fix that by then.)

RB: Travis Etienne (11) $24, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (8) $9, Cordarrelle Patterson (14) $5, Damien Williams (14) $3 (dumped my last $3 on him), Rachaad White (11) $1

WR: Justin Jefferson (7) $57, Stefon Diggs (7) $30, Amon-Ra St. Brown (6) $17, Chris Godwin (11) $7, Robert Woods (6) $4, Michael Gallup (9) $2, Tyler Lockett (11) $2, Skyy Moore (8) $1, Romeo Doubs (14) $1

I didn’t really want Doubs–he was one of those nominations where you hope there’s enough buzz about him that someone bids $2–but no one did, so… Guess I got a flyer.

Kinda fun watching people pay $40 for the top TEs in a TE-optional league. lol