Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Feb. 14 at 02:38 PM
Publisher Ian Allan fields your questions on strategy, how to run your league, player ratings -- and whatever else you think of. Updated every Friday during the season; Tuesdays and Fridays during the last two months of the preseason. You must be registered and signed-in to submit a mailbag question. After you sign in at the top of the page, the link to submit a mailbag question will become visible.
Can Luke "The Truth" Esser ever stay away from controversy? Now that he's no longer a part of your publication, he is calling extremely close elections for Presidential candidates when only 87% of votes have been counted. What gives? Has he abandoned his moniker?
Michael Rogers [San Dimas, CA]
Hey, the nickname is The Truth, not The Whole Truth or Nothing But The Truth.
And yes, that's our Luke Esser. He was a columnist for the magazine for about 10 years, then he became a state legislator, and now he's the Chairman of the Republican Party in Washington State. For those who missed it, The Truth got called out nationally on Sunday and Monday by Mike Huckabee, who didn't like the way Esser handled our state's caucus on Saturday.
John McCain was leading by about 200 votes on Saturday night, with 87 percent of the precinct votes counted, when Esser declared him the winner, saying that if the vote trends held, McCain would be the winner. McCain led 26-24 percent at the time. But while Esser declared McCain the winner (and told the troops to stop counting the ballots), Huckabee wasn't ready to concede. He angrily likened it to something that might happen in the old Soviet Union and sent his lawyers up here.
Esser had to re-open the deal and count those final 13 percent, as well as taking a look at some precincts that had sent in their information improperly. Ultimately, McCain wound up winning by a slightly larger margin than Esser had projected/declared on Saturday.
Not a good week for The Truth. The next time we put together one of those reunion touch football games, he's definitely wearing No. 87.
A few friends of mine are kicking the idea around about a dynasty league with a salary cap. We are thinking about protecting at least an entire starting lineup therefore making the initial draft quite important. we also want the protection of players for possibly their entire careers, or until their "cap" number became prohibitive to keeping them, just like the NFL. we have questioned what rate should player "salaries" rise if at all. My argument is that if you acquired MJD his rookie year he would have cost something like $2. however, if you had a sweeping rate hike then first round players would always price themselves out of a job. this is the first of what i am sure will be many arguments this offseason. if you had any sites for reference or personal advice for starting this type of league would be appreciated.
CHRIS LOZO [BUFFALO, NY]
I don't like percentage rate hikes. Some guys would grow too quickly, and for others, they'd be a great deal for way too long. Maurice Jones-Drew, as you point out, might have been a $2 player as a rookie. It would take him forever to get up to a viable salary if you had a automatic rate of 10, 20 or 30 percent. But for other guys -- guys worth about $25 or whatever -- a 20 percent rate hike would make them one-and-dones -- you wouldn't be able to keep any of those guys for more than a year or two.
Instead, why not have a system where players are signed to three-year contracts? At the end of those three years -- at that salary -- that player would become an UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT, tossed back into the general auction. Existing teams could retain some rights with these players. If, at the end of those three years, teams wanted to re-sign those players, they could go one of two routes. First, they could simply let them go back into the general auction and try to re-sign them. In that case, they would be unrestricted free agents. Or, by agreeing to pay them at least their existing salary, those players would then become RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS.
With a restricted free agent, the auctioning would be slightly different. Firstly, those players would be auctioned off PRIOR to the unrestricted guys -- helping teams understand where they stood in regards to the cap before the rookies and whatnot were put on the block. Also, teams holding the player's rights wouldn't participate in the auction. Instead, that player would sit out until the end -- until a higher bidder from all the other teams was established. At that point, the team holding the player's matching rights would simply announce whether it wanted to protect the player by matching the high bid. If so, the team would get that player for another three years -- at the new salary.
If you wanted to have less movement of top players, you could also give teams a "franchise player" or two -- let them keep players at 80 or 90 percent of the high bid or something along those lines.
If you wanted more movement, you could shorten those three-year deals down to two. Also, you could have that three-year contract rule apply to players bought at the initial auction -- not to in-season free agents. With Earnest Graham of the Bucs, for example, if you picked him up during the season last year (after Cadillac Williams got hurt), Graham would be just a one-year guy -- he'd be a free agent (either restricted or unrestricted, depending on the team's matching decision) at this year's auction.
Keeper leagues, of course, are a completely different animal then the year-to-year arrangement of typical fantasy football. If anyone else has any dynasty rules that they'd like to share, I'm sure people would like to hear them.
Question 2: A few friends of mine...
Posted by Timothy Concannon | Feb. 17 at 02:59 PM
The system my league has adopted puts players bought at the auction or drafted in the rookie draft on three-year contracts. During the life of these contracts, a player's salary will increase based on games started during the regular season. For example, LT's salary went from $48 to $60 based on his twelve REGULAR season starts. A rookie, who we do not auction but rather draft after the auction with an NFL-style draft, starts at $0. At any time during the contract, an owner can "opt-out" and re-enter the player into the auction pool with restricted free agent rights as described above by Ian. Also, at the end of the three-year contract, a player returns to the auction pool with restricted free agent rights as well. Finally, any free agent picked up during the season is put back into the auction pool with no rights attached to any team. This means that the only way to keep players from year to year is to either buy/draft them or to trade for a player bought or drafted by a different owner. This rule is a must if you have at least one owner in your league who cannot always jump into the free-agent pool to claim a player. If your league uses some kind of free-agent bidding system that takes multiple days, then that system is fair enough where you can consider allowing free-agents bought in-season to also have keeper rights during the next summer's auction. Regardless of what system you use, it is important to incorporate some kind of length of contract. It creates an interesting dynamic when a player is approaching the end of his contract because he will not have "re-signing" rights but instead MUST go into the auction pool as a restricted free agent. Also, it is fair to allow every team a shot at a player in the auction at least once every three years. Finally, if your league goes through ownership changes then it will be easier to replace an owner if the new owner understands that he will not need to wait a decade to have a chance to bid on his favorite players.
Question 2: A few friends of mine...
Posted by ADAM HOLTZ | Feb. 18 at 12:31 AM
I personally like the idea of a 2-3-X rule for drafting in a dynasty league. Rounds 1-2 are held under contract for 3 seasons each, rounds 3-5 are held for 2 seasons each, and the rest ("X rounds") are only under contract for one season. It makes the first rounds of the draft even more important, and allows teams to keep the best players for a year or two.
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