Top Half Cut Line format

I’m a 30 year fantasy football veteran, been playing since the 80s when we scored with newspaper box scores. I’m Commish of my current league, 14 teams with a limited keeper rule, in our 21st season. We have used a revolutionary system for the last decade, we call Top Half Cut Line. Simply put, the top half of weekly scores Win, while the bottom half Lose. Matchups are adjusted prior to MNF game, establishing the Cut Line, and pairing up the teams on the Cut Line bubble. This completely eliminates bad beats, while still having the excitement of head to head matchups as 1,2,3 (or more) teams battle for the Top Half win on Monday night. This hybrid system of rotisserie + head to head, allows for W/L records, while eliminating bad beats, and sends the best teams into the playoffs every year.

This is a really interesting format for fantasy football. I’m just a little confused on the part where you adjust matchups prior to MNF and establishing the cut line. For that are you just listing teams from highest to lowest score before MNF so people see where they stand, or how is head to head incorporated into this?

It’s very simply done by manually changing matchups prior to MNF (using LM powers, we run on espn). I just start by matching up the highest projected scores (clear winners) vs the lowest projected scores (clear losers), this creates (by default) the one or two “cut line matchups” with the teams falling in the middle. A final adjustment (if needed) at end of game gives the top 7 scores of the week a win in our 14 team league. Though rare, a tie on the 7-8 cut line is left as a tie. Our playoffs also use this format, sending the top two semi final scores into the championship.

In our 14 team league, the weekly cut line is amazingly consistent from week to week… you can be sure that 130 pts will safely get you a win, and 115 will be a loss, while 120-125 will have you on the edge of your seat on Monday. On Sunday, you don’t have a specific group of guys to “root against” so it’s just about Your Team scoring as many points as possible… Then come Monday, you could find yourself on a three team bubble for one spot in the Top Half, or a five team bubble for two spots in the Top Half. It’s a great system, eliminates bad beats, still has head to head excitement, and rewards the top teams every week and every year.

Ok, thanks. Seems interesting, might try to convince my league to make a change, my league is also a keeper league entering its 7th season on ESPN

Our league initially tried it for one year, following a year of a ridiculous amount of bad beats in our league. After one year trial, it was unanimously voted into our league constitution. ESPN fantasy support is aware of the format concept (via my lobbying for it as a setting choice for the last few years). Another long time espn league asking for it as a setting option can’t hurt the revolution!

Yeah, I just went back to my leagues previous season and determined how the season would have gone using this format. The playoff teams, not the seeds, were the same, and the championship matchup and champ were the same. Most teams had similar records, but the 2 exceptions were my sister, who would have gone 6-7 instead of 9-4, and me, who would have gone 11-2 instead of 7-6.

Only issue I see with this matching up teams based on projected points thing is that projected points on most platforms, especially ESPN are pretty trash. Especially once you get into more complex league formats which is the majority of what I am in for scoring (ppc, ppfd, different reception points depending on position, etc.).

Definitely still interesting though for more standard redraft formats.

Using the projected score on Monday is pretty accurate, and just the way to establish the Cut Line matchups - allowing players to easily see where the Cut Line is when watching the scores live on MNF.
The matchups may need to be adjusted once again at the end of the game, in order to reflect Top Half of scores Win.