Should You Stay Or Should You Go?
Posted Jul. 24 at 03:01 PM
Over time, fantasy owners tend to collect leagues like a shut-in on Hoarders: They join an office league and stay in it after they leave the job. A girlfriend's brother's league becomes an ex-girlfriend's brother's league, but they're still playing. They join a league with a couple of buddies, but when their buddies drop out they're still in it. After a while an owner might be in multiple leagues that look very different than when they joined.
Nothing wrong with that, of course. Part of the fun is the friendships you develop over time, and a good league can survive decades of change and player turnover. But just as often, we find ourselves in a league we really don't get much out of anymore -- and at some point (like the hoarders at the end of the show) we clean house and throw out the ones we don't need.
That can be a great move, too...if you make it now. In late July, you're making wise decisions regarding how to spend your discretionary dollars and free time. But in late August or early September, you're being a jerk. If you're going to leave a league, don't wait until the last minute.
Sometimes I think the hardest part of fantasy football isn't a draft or auction, or trading, or managing the waiver wire. Common sense and league etiquette seem to be much more challenging for some owners than player evaluation. And there's more at stake too: Bad fantasy football decisions hurt your team, but selfish fantasy football decisions can hurt an entire league.
It shouldn't take long to evaluate each league you were in last year, and decide if you're up for another season. There's nothing wrong with deciding to pare down your leagues, or simply replace one you don't like much anymore with a new opportunity. It's important that you have enough money, time and interest for every league in which you agree to participate. So if you don't want to play -- for whatever reason -- take a moment and let the commissioner know while they still have time to find a good replacement for you.
Please note that I said a "good" replacement. Finding somebody to replace you probably won't be hard... but it will just be "some body" -- maybe a person at work, or a friend of a friend, or someone with an extra space in their draft calendar. While they might qualify to be last-minute fill-in (they have money and are willing to take a team), that doesn't make them a good replacement. They might not be the best fit for the league or the person the league would choose if they had more time. But if you bail at the last minute, they'll have to take whoever they can get. And if that person loses interest or ends up being a bad owner, that hurts the entire league. You'll be long gone so it won't affect you, but you still played a role in that mistake.
Just take a moment and let the league know. It's also a good idea for you to evaluate your leagues now, so you have a better idea of how many teams you'll have this year. You might even thin out enough that you have room for something different-- maybe a dynasty, auction or defensive player league. If you do, you'll want as much time as possible to find the right fit for you and learn the nuances of that league, or you'll just end up being another "some body" that fills a space. That's definitely not the right way to enjoy a new format.
You can avoid all of those problems by taking inventory now, and letting leagues know if won't be returning. It might not help you win a title, but it's the right thing to do.
Besides, a little good karma never hurt a fantasy owner, did it?
Youtube Clip of the week: I think this guy left his league a little early.
Have you ever had problems with owners quitting a league at the last minute? Share your stories below.
Posted by ERIC SCOLNICK | Jul. 24 at 06:46 PM
Several years ago one of our members left 2 weeks before the draft when he previously swore he was going to be back for another year. We had to find a last minute replacement who ended up being a no-show for the auction and we had to play the season with only 11 teams.
Posted by Nathan Kline | Jul. 26 at 07:44 AM
Never quitting at the last minute but inactivity was a problem for my one league for a few years. We now have a stable 10 guys and we are going into our 10th league year.
Posted by Brandon Moore | Jul. 26 at 02:59 PM
I am the commissioner for a league and in 2004 I had someone bail late. We were all at the draft, and I was worried heading into the draft and repeatedly asked if he was for sure playing, he kept saying yes, even the day before. I even gave him some outs, like if you don't time, you can help run my team with me... I get a call 20 minutes past the draft time and he can't play. I luckily have a few good players in mind or on a waiting list for a cancellation. During the draft time was ridiculous. @Nathan Kline - inactivity is worse. I have booted guys for that.
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