Every year the fantasy football season seems to end too quickly for my liking. Though I often have teams make deep playoff runs, the years I don’t I am glad I’ve thought ahead to ensure interest. Most leagues start shedding teams (and therefore interest) after just 13 weeks of play. By Week 16 most leagues only have two owners left.
There’s no doubt that the league championship game in Week 16 is a staple that shouldn’t be tampered with. However, over the years I’ve worked as commissioner to try to keep league members engaged for as long as possible. In each case the basic premise has all teams playing a full 17-week schedule. Here are a few ideas I’ve done or seen to help keep owners interested longer.
SCORING TITLE – Many more leagues have gone to scoring titles as part of what they compete for. The problem is most of the end things nearly a month before the season ends. By keeping owners battling until the end you are rewarding a more complete effort. The more places you pay the more owners stay interested.
HIGH WEEKS – Reward the top scoring team each week for all 17 weeks. Even a team with just a few wins on the year could still take the money over the final week or two and recoup some of their investment in the league.
SKINS GAME – You could take high week to another level by having a progressive skins game. In week one, the highest scoring team is awarded a skin ($10 for example). The next week, if the highest scoring team beats the highest score posted in week one, another $10 skin is awarded. If not, the skin is carried over to the next week and the skin is doubled to $20 as so on. This could lead to some great late-season drama and big stakes.
GRUDGE MATCHES – Week 17 has turned in to some real fun by creating customized matchups that have a storyline behind them. Some examples have been championship rematches or pitting family members against each other. Creating rubber matches between division rivals always offers more bragging right material for the offseason.
ALL-STAR GAME – Have each division your league comprise a pre determined roster comprised of a balance number of players from each team within the division. The entire roster starts. The top scoring division in the league wins with each owner getting a share of the jackpot.
PLAYOFF GAME - Have owners in your league have a re-draft or use a software to set up a league for the NFL Playoffs. It gives a second chance for owners that missed out the regular season's big prize to get a last laugh and make up for their shortcomings.