Home Dynasty Navigating COVID-19 as a Commissioner

Navigating COVID-19 as a Commissioner

With so much uncertainty around the upcoming season due to COVID-19, it is important that Fantasy Commissioners are ready for a multitude of situations that could potentially arise. Whether it be a full normal season (PLEASE!!!), a shortened season, or an interrupted season, or heaven forbid, a cancelled season, fantasy commissioners need to be ready before the proverbial hits the fan.

This article is mainly geared towards Dynasty leagues and how to crown a champion together with how to go about setting next years’ rookie draft order. However, redraft leagues may also take note on ideas as to how to crown a champion in a COVID effected season.

We’ll break this down into 5 Scenarios, and look at how to manage payouts, playoffs, crowning a champion, and rookie draft order. So lets get into it with the first and worst case scenario:

Scenario 1: Cancelled Season (0 games played)

Clearly the one we all hope to avoid but need to think about and talk to our league mates about before any announcements are made.

  1. Crowning a Champion:
    This is easy. There is no champion.
  2. League Payouts:
    There are really only a few options here. Refund league dues, credit owners for next season, or perhaps make 2021 a double pot.

  3. 2021 Rookie Draft Order:
    This is the trickiest one, and the issue that needs a solution prior to any announcement from the NFL.
    These ideas can apply to long running leagues and some can apply to recent startup leagues. Options include (but not limited to):
    1. Same order as 2020 Rookie Draft
    2. Weighted Lottery based on 2019 Standings
    3. Multiply lotteries, with teams that have missed playoffs for 2+ years have a lottery for early picks, then teams that missed last years playoffs have a lottery for the next few picks. Then a lottery for playoff teams
    4. Random lottery (since strong teams missed out on the opportunity to win this year, there’s an argument that they deserve a shot at decent picks as well)
    5. Order based on Trade Calculator Values (go by optimal starting lineup) to determine strongest teams. The weakest team then get the 1.01

If you have other ideas on how to come up with Rookie Draft order, mention them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.

Scenario 2: Cancelled Season (less than 8 games played)

  1. Crowning a Champion:
    Options include:
    1. No champion
    2. Champion crowned based on:
      1. Points for
      2. All play (MFL option)
      3. Overall record (not ideal, as some teams will have harder schedules than others, even if you add an extra game against the median)

  2. League Payouts:
    1. If no champion, same as previous scenario. Or perhaps share payouts to top 4 or 6 teams based off of Points For or All Play record.
    2. If your league is comfortable crowning a champion, then follow normal payout rules of your league.2021 Rookie Draft Order:

  3. 2021 Rookie Draft Order:
    You could still apply the previously stated ideas from a fully cancelled season in this scenario. Or perhaps use a mix of those strategies with team records from the small amount of games played (eg. 50% of 2019 record, with 50% 2020 All Play record/2020 Points For/Potential Points/Max PF).
    Ideally you’d avoid using a simple W-L record of less than 8 games, and either use Points For, Extra Game against Median or All Play to determine order.

Scenario 3: Cancelled Season (at least 8 games played)

  1. Crowning a Champion:
    Ideas for managing this scenario include all the same ideas as the previous scenario, but may want your league to consider a different way of working out champions/payouts etc. for this amount of games played. Obviously with more games played, you may be more comfortable to go to a normal W-L record rather than using All Play.
    For my home league, less than 8 games will result in no champion, and once 8 games have been played we will crown a champion based on Overall Record (with extra game against the median) or Points For (Vote pending).
    If the season is cancelled on the eve or during Fantasy Playoffs, you can use these ideas to crown a champion as well.
  2. League Payouts:
    See previous scenario
    If you don’t crown a champion, payouts can be split between teams that are still playoff eligible, or between playoff teams as they stand at time of cancellation.
  3. Rookie Draft order
    I feel that once 8 games have been played, you can start determining draft order like you normally would
    1. Reverse W-L standings
    2. Reverse order based on Potential Points/Max PF
    3. Or perhaps mix with ideas from previous 2 scenarios.

Scenario 4: Scheduled shortened NFL Season.

This covers the situation that the NFL perhaps delays the season, and resets the regular season schedule to have less games.

This should be easy to manage, where you set your Fantasy Playoffs to be the last 2-3 weeks. Perhaps you make it only a 4 team playoff series for this year to cater for less games.

Playoff Winner is the Champion, and payouts and rookie draft order all follow league rules.

Scenario 5: Interrupted Season

Once scenario, is a similar one that happened to the NBA where the league is suspended, and resumes at a later date.

In this scenario, I would suspend the Fantasy Season and resume upon the NFL’s resumption. Perhaps adjusting Playoff schedules if the season resumes with less games.

I hope this has helped you clarify what you want to do to be COVID ready, or perhaps what you may take to your commish if they haven’t put anything in place yet. Hit me up with any other suggestions in the comments or hit me up on twitter @ArchTFL or @TheTFLPodcast

A lot of credit has to go to Scott Fish and Ryan McDowell on their recent COVID Roundtable episide of their Commission: Impossible Podcast. You can catch it here.

If you want an example of what I am using in my home league, click here.

If you haven’t caught up on our podcast, you can listen here.

Chris Archerhttps://thetflpodcast.com
Co Founder and Co host of The TFL Podcast. Fantasy Football hack who pretends to know a bit, but is really just pointing others to smarter people


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