Sometimes, I can’t sleep. So I think. Very dangerous, I know.
In this case, though, I thought about a bunch of (completely unreasonable and irrational) ways that our beloved Fantasy Football game could be even better! How can you improve the Mona Lisa? How can you make apple pie taste even better? How can you make “Old School” funnier!?!
It’s as if I decided to play God, and redo the Fantasy Football world the way I would like for it to be.
(That’s what I’d probably do if I were God, let’s face it. World peace and healthy donuts can wait for another day.)
24 Ways to Improve Fantasy Football
I completely understand that these are unreasonable things to request, but join me in imagining how good life would be if we could make some/most/all of these things happen.
1. Sunday Inactives Must Be In 3 Hours Before Gametime
No more late-morning pressure to get your lineups set! With all of us adding leagues to our plate every year, and the addition of Daily Fantasy Football to our task list, things are pretty crazy around 12pm ET on Sundays. If they named players active/inactive by 10am ET, then we could use that extra time to relax and think out our lineups.
2. NFL Sunday Shows Must Not Air at the Same Time
If I had my druthers, I’d give the NFL Network from 8-10am ET, with CBS/FOX going from 10-11am ET, and ESPN wrapping it up with the Sunday NFL Countdown from 11am-1pm ET.
3. FoxSports1, NBC Sports, CBS Sports Channel or ESPN2 Will Have a Fantasy Show Every Day at 3pm ET
The Fantasy Sports Channel on SiriusXM is not only one of their most popular channels, but it’s also one of the stickiest and the one that has the most interaction with its listeners.
If any of these Cable TV channels were smart, they would have a daily show that featured Fantasy Football news and notes. There’s TONS of content that can be culled for it, with daily appearances from stat geeks from numberFire, Football Outsiders, Pro Football Fantasy Focus, RotoViz and more. These should really be hour-long shows.
And even if you weren’t home to watch it – you’d DVR it and watch it later!
4. High School Math Classes Will Have Fantasy Baseball and Football Chapters
Just like how you have to learn how to balance a checkbook in your Economics class, you should have to learn how to calculate ERA and understand why you should wait on quarterbacks!
5. Financial Wizards Must Play in Separate DFS Leagues
Let’s face it, these guys built Daily Fantasy Sports, but let’s have them battle with each other each week, allowing the rest of us Fantasy players to do battle alone at the kid’s table.
6. RotoWorld Will Give Analysis With Updates Related to Your League
As a person that used to write updates for CBS, I hate how Rotoworld does their updates. They deliver the news the fastest, usually, I’ll give them that. But rarely do they give any Fantasy relevance – it’s usually just news – followed by another paragraph of stats or more news.
In my world, each update would be tied to your favorite league, and the writer would be able to mark each player on a value and a risk scale, that would relate inside your league, to let you know his worth to your team.
7. Fantasy Writers Will Be in a Relegation System
Yep, some Fantasy Football writers stink. And some are awesome. There’s no getting around it. I’d love to see a system that rewarded the very best with gigs at ESPN, CBS, Yahoo! and NFL.com, while the second-best set worked at a second tier, with sites like RotoWire, RotoWorld, FootballGuys, etc. Beyond that would be a third and fourth tier with all the other sites.
Then, once a year, the bigger sites would demote their worst-performing writers, and they would have a “Fantasy Experts Draft,” in which they would draft which writers they want for their sites that year.
8. One Site Will Create Weekly Fantasy Newsletters For the World
CBS Sports has a cool app that sends out weekly newsletters about how things went for your Fantasy Football league over the weekend, with a special paragraph for you and your opponent. I’d like for this to be worldwide, written by just one team of writers, obviously using auto-fill for all events. But I would set it so that commissioners could set it for “Trash Talk,” “Office League,” “Family League” or “Just For Fun’ so that the newsletters would be different depending on the type of league you’re in.
9. Fantasy Baseball Will End on Aug. 31
With rosters expanding to 40 spots on Sept.1, and the NFL season about to begin, Fantasy Baseball gets shoved into the back of the closet every year at this time. So let’s just end it one month early and move on. (I actually stole this idea from RotoWire’s Chris Liss on his radio show.)
10. Fantasy Basketball and Hockey Will Begin on Jan. 1
This isn’t too crazy, is it? Real fans will still be able to play Daily Fantasy Basketball and Hockey!
11. Every Team Gets One Waiver Trump Card Per Year
At any point during the season, an owner can use his “Waiver Trump Card” to move to the front of the line. But if another owner uses his card, too, then it goes by standings, like the waivers normally would.
12. Week 17 Will Be a DFS Free-For-All For All Owners in All Leagues
Rather than have Week 17 be a nothing weekend in Fantasy Football, how about making it a Daily Fantasy tournament for your entire league, with 10-percent of your league’s fees up as the winnings.
13. Fantasy Owner Must Play That Week’s Opponent With Their Teams on Madden NFL
This just makes good sense. Oh, also, winner gets a 3-point home-field advantage in their Fantasy matchup that week.
14. Fantasy Teams Automatically Get the Replacement of Any QBs Injured in a Game
Have you ever had your quarterback get bounced out of a game in the first series? You just lost. You’re done. Well, with this little trick, you’ll at least get his crappy NFL backup player for the rest of this game, so you’ll still have a chance. Fantasy games shouldn’t be decided because of injuries.
15. Saturdays Shall Be Deemed Family Days With No Fantasy News
No NFL news. No Fantasy news. No waivers. No lineup altering. Just you, your spouse, your kids, your neighbor’s weird kid, and your dog.
16. A Fantasy Supreme Court Rules On Conflicts That Are Settled Forever
I would like a nine-person group selected from the FSTA and FSWA Halls of Fame to start ruling on these crazy things that happen in every league. After two or three years, I imagine nearly every precedent will be set, and there won’t be as many Fantasy problems within leagues anymore! Hooray!
17. Fantasy Writers Will Get Sports Card Stats to Show Their Past Performance
Sort of like my relegation system, writers should have Fantasy League stats follow them around wherever they write. It would should their year-to-year record in both expert and non-expert leagues, as well as their records in Daily Fantasy play. And it would give tomahawks on their helmets for correct breakouts/busts/sleepers picked each year – or dog turd symbols for incorrect ones.
18. Your Fantasy Team Gets 50-pct of the Points From Your Highest Scoring Bench Player
Real NFL teams get to use their bench players, so why can’t we? If you have good depth, this rewards you! It would only count for backup running backs, wide receiver and tight ends, though.
19. Bad Beats Earn You One Free Do-Over Pick Later That Season
There’s nothing worse than scoring the second-most points of all the teams in your league, but you happen to lose to the team that scored the most. That’s a bad beat!
In my world, you’d get one free do-over pick in a future week – which means they can replace a stinker Fantasy starter with a bench player that did good that week.
20. Children Will Not Be Able to Beat Their Parents Until They Turn 18
This just makes good sense. We have to keep these kids in their place! Millennials!
21. All Drafts Will Feed Into One Site For a True ADP
Enough with the multiple league services and mock draft sites, with different ADPs on each, mostly based off of the rankings from that site’s writers.
I understand that FantasyPros.com has something similar to this, but even they don’t include MockDraftCentral.com, MyFantasyLeague.com or FleaFlicker.com. Also, you can’t set the mocks to only include drafts that happened after a certain date.
22. Waivers Don’t Begin Until After a 2-Round Supplemental Draft in Week 4
This is how we did it in the early ‘90s, where each team would have to wait until after Week 4 for their pickups. NFL replacements for injured players were available to be picked up in earlier weeks, but they were then available to be drafted in the supplemental draft by another team.
The reason this is better is because you’ll often see a good team get a high waiver pick after a Week 1 or 2 loss, and their awesome team gets bolstered. This way, after four weeks, the absolute worst teams will get the best available free agents.
23. Bonus Points Are Given For Longshots That Come Through For Them
For teams that are facing playoff elimination, they can start some longshot players for a chance at a big bonus. It’s like a Fantasy Football 3-point shot!
24. Commissioners Get Free Entry Into Every League
Really, this should already be implemented in all Fantasy Football leagues everywhere. Commissioners have to deal with so much crap, they should absolutely get free entry. Then you might actually have other people that want to be commissioner for once!
Let me know if there are some unreasonable and irrational ideas you might have to improve Fantasy Football!
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.