Some guys or gals in your league may not realize, but being the Commish is not all “peaches and cream.” Sure it’s fun to create a league, invite your friends and family and try to beat the snot out of them week in and week out, but there’s a whole lot more to running a league than just that.
My goal is to help you run your league better and eliminate some of the stress that you may feel throughout the fantasy season. Here are a couple of ways to do that:
Get Opinions From Your Other Players
No matter what, hearing your players opinions on making a change will help your league stay healthy and happy. Realizing that not everybody views the league like you do and integrating their differences into your thinking will help keep your league well rounded. Expanding your way of thinking will only help you as your league ages.
Do you want to change from a standard-scoring league to PPR (points per reception)? Ask those in your league about it and wait until you’ve heard from at least half of your league before making a decision.
The best way to stay connected to your league is either through your fantasy platform (if they have league-wide chat rooms) or via Facebook (Messenger) and Twitter. I can't stress to you enough how important it is to keep everyone on the same page.
No one wants to play in a league where the Commish is seen as a dictator or unapproachable. If it’s changing to scoring, roster format or general league guidelines, seek the advice of your league, and if need be, those outside your league.
Don't Hide Anything
One thing that makes it so hard to govern a league is the fact that you have to be fair and consistent across the board, no matter what the consequences. When people start doubting a Commissioner's integrity, you could very well start to lose players from one year to the next.
Being open with your league about vetoing trades, setting the draft order and any other special circumstances is vital. Say you randomize the draft order and your spot is less than desirable, who would know if ran the process until the outcome was suitable for your team?
This is one reason I really like Sleeper, a fairly new platform that I just started a league in. Every move the Commish makes is noted in the league chat room. Now you make not like all of your moves being documented for the whole league to see, but if you have to admit one thing, it forces you to stay honest. Your league will appreciate that and it should help retain your players.
Provide Consistent Help for All Players
You may have a new player or two that need more help than others in your league, and if you do, make sure you lend a helping hand to that person. If they are a football fan and are just getting into fantasy, chances are it won’t take them too long to pick up the concept of fantasy football.
However, understanding the players and their roles on their respective teams is entirely different. If you can provide honest and quality advice, that’s good. However, I’d recommend sending them to a trusted website/app for help (and you could really direct your whole league there as well, not just the beginners).
This does two things:
1. If you redirect any and all player/team personnel questions to the same site or app, no one in your league can argue about unfair resources available to one player while others were unaware of said resources.
2. Sending them somewhere else to gather their own evidence/opinions will keep your influence off of their thoughts. Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to build their own opinions on players across the league, no matter how accurate/inaccurate their opinions may be.
Set Your Draft Date Up Well in Advance
I don’t know about you, but Draft Day is like Christmas Morning. Nothing else in Fantasy Football beats it. Whether it’s hoping a guy falls to your next pick or making a bold move to get a sleeper just gives most players a jolt of adrenaline.
On the flip side, missing your draft because you had prior commitments is the worst. As a Commish, set up your Draft Day well in advance so everyone in your league can make sure to be tuned in come Draft time.
If everyone is present, it eliminates the chance of receiving any flak from a team owner that auto drafted and took four running backs in the first four rounds (or any other less-than-ideal scenario).
These are just a couple of ways that you can improve/keep the integrity of your league as a Commish. If you have any other idea’s, feel free to let me know on Twitter @dustin_fp.
******If you missed the first article of this series, here it is.