Weekly Assembly: Spicing up Roto

Ask Assembly 0Each week we will feature one reader question here. Each member of the Assembly will attempt to offer the best answer for you. Together you’ll have more than 100 years of experience responding to your issue.

Aaron sends in an interesting question about spicing things up in his Roto League. Thanks for sending this in. We’re happy to help!! Check back in the upcoming days for our answers. Good luck and thanks for visiting us at The Fantasy Assembly!

Hey guys. I’ve been playing fantasy baseball for about 15 years now.

I have always preferred and played in 5X5 H2H leagues. I currently play in a 16-team 5 keeper league. We have discussed expanding into another league as well, and I have been anointed the “honor” of commishing and running this new league. In order to attempt to keep the league separate from our other league, I have been toying around with the idea of changing the scoring format.

As far as points leagues go, I am not the biggest fan. Mostly in part because even basic scoring and points settings, someone always feels that the system is broken and needs adjusting. I’m not really fond of tweeking and twerking the scoring system for 2-5 years til its to our liking. I kind of like the idea of Rotisserie Leagues, for the fact that is the original scoring for fantasy baseball. And that it rewards the team that was the best from Opening Day until the end of the season, instead of whos team was the best for 5 weeks at the end of the year.

I do want to keep it in the 5X5, maybe 6X6 with SLG% and QS or Holds, just because that is what we are used to and I’m not trying to get too crazy, kind of keeping it a little more basic. A few of my leaguemates are somewhat against Rotisserie, just for the fact that they think it would be boring, and there really isnt anything to look forward to aside from the end of the year to keep it interesting.

I was just wondering if anyone has heard of any customized Rotisserie Leagues where they have incorporated their own flavor to the league? I was kind of thinking along the lines of doing it in two parts…Pre-Allstar game/Post-Allstar game, because I know alot of teams get down early, and their mindset is that they will never catch up, so they leave their team in limbo. And in that format, have the top 3 teams from each segment, make their own playoff (kind of like the NASCAR Chase?) Whether or not I need to keep track of it on my own or not, I’m just fishing for a few ideas on how to make my league more fun and unique than your average run of the mill Rotisserie League. Thank you so much for reading, and keep up the great work guys!

Thanks again for the question Aaron.

Have at it gentlemen!

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7 comments on “Weekly Assembly: Spicing up Roto

  1. Hi, Aaron, thanks for the question. Indeed there is a new surge of monthly leagues out there, primarily for the reason you stated: a lot of people hate having an entire season sunk due to injury or luck. The problem is that you likely can’t find them on the main, free hosts like ESPN, Yahoo, and CBS. I’m not sure of all the league-hosting sites out there (maybe Fantrax has a custom option for this), but one place you can go is Shandler Park (http://www.shandlerpark.com/games). Ron Shandler is a bigwig in the fantasy world, and he has started hosting these leagues.

    Another option is to keep track of things yourself in a standard Roto league. Every calendar month, you note the totals of each team and the placement of each. That way you have the standard league winner at the end (which Yahoo would obviously post for you), but you could post those monthly results and perhaps have your own prize/bonus structure for whoever wins the most months of the year.

    The bottom line is, fantasy baseball should be fun. Brainstorm your own ideas, run them by fans on message boards, and even ask for people’s suggestions. CBS used to have a fun message forum, and every offseason people would talk about new rules and formats to try. Good luck in your new league creation, and let us know what you come up with!

  2. I think that any of the ideas that have already been mentioned could work well.

    I have two more small things that you can do. One league that I play in has a “loser’s tax”. The bottom two finishers from the previous season pay for the league fees the next year. This keeps the bottom few teams engaged as they try to avoid the extra charge.

    Also, if you make it a keeper league, everyone has something to play for regardless of their position in the standings.

    One suggestion though, if you do make it a keeper, you might want to place some restrictions on keepers to make it harder to form a dynasty. There is nothing less interesting than a keeper roto league where the same team wins every year (unless it is you).

  3. Hi Aaron, thanks for the question.
    I like the way your mind works!! It’s important to make leagues as fun as possible. While, ultimately it is the level of competition that makes leagues great, some little fun additions certainly don’t hurt.
    I wasn’t aware of the monthly leagues. Thanks Kevin.
    If it’s free leagues you are playing in then I suppose you could simply start 2 of them. One would run for the first half. The other could run for the second. Or 10 weeks each and then playoffs. It’s possible, might even be fantastic!
    If it’s a keeper league, the same idea could work. Run a free league for the 10 weeks, then shift to the standard keeper league for the last 10 and playoffs.
    I’ve heard crazier ideas….I just can’t think of any right now :) I do really like the thought though!

    Like Tommy mentions, there are other ideas too that you can just spruce up the one league you’re in.
    I’ve wanted to run a Rule 5 draft for so many years, but 2014 will be the first time I`m going to do it. Winter meetings is another one you can try.
    If it`s a re-draft league, then these may not work. Using the playoffs to determine draft position is also a good way to keep it interesting.
    There are endless possibilities. A good place to go is league finder forums. Check out as many constitutions as you can. I’m happy to send you a few of mine if you’d like.
    It’s not going to be easy to please everyone. Being a commissioner is a thankless job. Just be fair and consistent and transparent. If your ideas aren’t received well then it’s fine to admit defeat. But once your rules are settled, then defend them as best you can.
    Good luck, let us know what you come up with. I love new fun ideas. And if you want some constitutions drop an email in the ask the assembly page and I’ll send you some.

  4. I have played in a roto league for about 5 years, and came up 0.5 points from winning it this year. I finally figured out some of the nuances of roto compared to the points leagues I was used to. The hardest one was the daily roster changes. But I found roto to be in many ways more fun than weekly points because of the daily aspect. I waited to draft pitching because I felt I could stream to get some of the counting categories. I finished the year #1 in K’s, ERA and WHIP. I drafted 1 closer (Chapman) and some high end setup guys, and ended up winning the saves category.
    I like the idea of expanding the typical 5×5 style. Maybe if you punish batter strikeouts in your points league you could do the same in roto, or HR allowed.
    To Tommy’s point about keepers, in my roto league we are allowed 5 keepers. However, you can only keep a player 3 times. And in the final year, if you do not deal him by our trade deadline, he automatically becomes a free agent. You can elect to keep less than 5 players, and you would draft in the keeper rounds from the free agents.
    Make the league fun, make the league unique. In the end, the league is only as good as its worst member, so be sure to have a league full of people who love to play fantasy baseball. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

  5. What we are doing these year is give monthly prices. For the first place on batting and first place on pitching. And at the end of the season we are going to have prices for first, second an third overall. And also a smaller price for the best on batting and the best on pitching.

  6. I find roto leagues very boring. I’ve been in a runs created league which basically uses bill james runs created formula for offense. You then calculate how many runs created per game your starters get and subtract your pitching staffs ERA from that to get a net runs created per game. I think by doing this you get a real baseball team instead of theseroto leagues where you draft players based on what mlb they play on. In the runs created league all that matters is how good a hitter/pitcher each player is. Rbi, runs, wins, saves don’t matter nor should they.

    I love it and it is completely different from these other leagues.


  7. Hey Aaron, I’m a little late to the party but your question got me thinking. Actually it inspired me to address not only your question but a dilemma many fantasy owners face, who do I spice up my dull drum league? I’ll be posting an article next week addressing this very question. It may or may not answer your question directly, but hopefully it will give you and the other owners out there something to think about for their future leagues. Stay Tuned.

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