Don't dodge the decimals
Posted Aug. 07 at 02:45 PM
Sometimes it's the little things that really matter. I mean the really, really little things.
At the Olympics in London, Michael Phelps isn't the only American swimmer going for gold. In the Men's 50m Freestyle, The USA's Cullen Jones was edged out by France's Florent Manaudou, 21.34 seconds to 21.54 seconds. Jones can be proud of his silver medal because it was a competitive race: He finished just ahead of Brazil's Cesar Cielo Filho, who clocked in at 21.59 seconds.
Now, imagine for a moment that the Olympics didn't use decimal scoring. Manadou and Jones would have tied for first with 21 seconds. Cielo Filho would have been in first, too. In fact, 10 swimmers in that race would have tied for first place with 21 seconds. It would have made for a crowded podium and a lot of gold.
Now, you might say "That's stupid, Michael. The Olympics would never jeopardize the integrity of their games by not using decimal scoring." And you'd be absolutely right. But how many fantasy football leagues do just that, with no set tie-breakers to determine a head-to-head winner in the playoffs?
This is what I consider my last column of the fantasy preseason. The NFL preseason/charade/dress up/cash grab is just getting under way, but fantasy preseason -- where you should take inventory of your leagues, owners and formats before you start worrying about who you're selecting -- is coming to an end. We've discussed leaving leagues the right way, as well as the criteria for suitable replacements. Now you should make sure that the leagues in which you're participating are actually ready for the upcoming season.
If you don't have decimal scoring yet, get it. Or have a tie-breaker. If you don't have them in the regular season, know how it affects the standings and how wildcards are determined when there are ties. If it happens in the playoffs, figure out how to determine a winner now -- not when two angry owners expect to advance. It's less likely to come into play in a total points league, but in head-to-head competition there's no excuse for not taking care of scoring problems now.
There are other issues you want to get settled before even worrying about who to draft: How do you deal with owners who haven't paid by draft day? Have there been any scoring changes proposed, or division realignment? Are you using a different website this year, or have roster requirements been relaxed or tightened? For every league in which you have a team, you should know all of these things. It could change the way you value players, so take care of this business first.
I know that everybody wants to fill their rosters with shiny new players and get to the business at hand of winning a league championship. But there's a lot of information you don't have because it simply hasn't happened yet: Preseason injuries, signings, roster cuts and depth chart movements will affect how you draft. Until you have that information (or as much as you can have if you're in an early draft), you're better off getting ready for the season instead of pretending it's already begun. Make sure you're in the leagues you want and can afford, you have suitable replacements for owners who bail, the scoring system and other rules are set in stone, you've implemented whatever can help make the league better (like decimal scoring). The time you spend doing this is more valuable than scouting backup tight ends who might be cut, injured or promoted tomorrow.
Oh, one other thing: Make sure you don't have conflicting draft times or other events that would interfere with a draft you're already committed to doing. And if you have a significant other, do the right thing and let them know what days and times are reserved for fantasy drafts and auctions as well. Don't wait until that morning as you're heading out the door to let them know that you added another league and the checking account is $200 lighter. Sometimes avoiding problems at the draft starts with avoiding problems at home. It's common courtesy, but skipping it has become pretty common, too. So finish those preparations, watch the backup tight ends play pretend football in August and get ready for your inevitable title run!
Youtube clip of the week: This might be the most unusual Olympic swimming heat you'll ever see.
Are you making any league adjustments this year? Are fighting for (or against) decimal scoring in your league? Share your experiences below.
Posted by James COSTELLO | Aug. 07 at 07:46 PM
The playoff tie breaker we have in our league(my idea)is that the home team receives half of a point for home field advantage. Scores are fairly high such as 131-118. But if the score was 131-131,the higher seed would advance
Posted by Scott Anderson | Aug. 08 at 06:41 AM
We use an 'Overtime QB' position for tiebreakers; if a game is tied in regulation, then the team whose OTQB scores more wins the game. If it's still tied after that, then we use the "home field wins" rule.
Posted by PETER STEINKE | Aug. 09 at 09:54 AM
GO Equatorial Guinea!!! The clip is just as great for the hilarious commentary as the content. For tiebreakers we have an "OT" QB, RB and WR/TE identified among reserves ahead of game time. Total score of these three reserves breaks the tie. Second tiebreaker is total reserves score. This is our 20th year and so far we have not had a playoff tie. (We average one tie a year in regular season)
Posted by Nathan Kline | Aug. 10 at 07:05 AM
For owners who don't pay the day of the draft, they lose their first round pick. They are then given an extra pick at the end of the draft so that they fulfill their roster quota. If they don't pay before the beginning of the season, their team is locked and controlled by the commissioner until payment is made. Since we instituted these rules, no one has ever "forgotten" their money come draft day.
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