GMRRFFA LB6: Making the Consolation Brackets Relevant
Like every fantasy football league, a few years back, GMRRFFA suffered from a host of squads who became almost immediately irrelevant early in a new season, facing multiple-game losing streaks while the league's cream of the crop vied for playoff supremacy. Despite allowing up to three keepers in the league, Riff Raff owners enjoyed minimal motivation to remain competitive week-to-week.
Unlike boring snake drafts, GMRRFFA's auction drafts at the onset of a new season limited motivated trade partners and the owners finding themselves on the outside of the playoffs saw minimal reason to remain invested in the once-and-future greatest league in the fantasy football world.
To that end, owners collectively assembled a new strategy ahead of the 2018 season, focused solely on ensuring every week - and every personnel decision - mattered regardless of an owner's win-loss record.
First, beginning in 2018, GMRRFFA owners were allowed to trade future draft dollars during the current season, meaning win-now Owner A could trade potential assets plus the next season's draft dollars to acquire players from Owner B, who was facing a disappointing season. Subsequently, these trades also included a league tax, known as the LB6 tax. In 2019, for every trade featuring draft dollars above $5, a $1 tax was included in five dollar increments (in 2018, the tax began at $1; it was changed ahead of the current season). Last season, 50-plus trades took place with a $109 draft reward for the winner. In 2018, we saw only 37 trades with future draft dollars, but a $129 balance (!!!).
At the conclusion of the regular season, GMRRFFA implemented a new tournament aptly called the LB6, where the six teams out of the playoffs would compete to win the the LB6 tax. In 2018, it was a winner-take-all tournament, where Fredo Maisel ulitmately won $109 towards his 2019 draft budget. This season, the $129 balance will be split 75% for the winner, 25% for the runner-up. Even further, this year, all six LB6 contestants will battle in Week 14, with the four highest scoring teams advancing to a four-team single elimination tournament in Week 15 and 16 (these four teams will be re-seeded based on total points scored in the regular season).
Traditional fantasy football owners will cry foul about this set-up, but your Commish assures you its been successful. Not only does strategy change dramatically in both the off-season and during the season, it's become clear that a hefty draft account doesn't necessarily assure success the following season. For example, the two highest draft balances ahead of 2019 find themselves in the LB6 this year.
Meanwhile, the win-now mentality versus investing in the long-term isn't any different than traditional snake draft leagues trading draft picks and such. When it comes to fantasy football, ensuring every owner in the league, regardless of record, remains the most pressing issue. For GMRRFFA, the LB6 is the solution.