The ethos of this league is to constantly iterate in the quest of the ultimate game. To have a competitive, fair balance that gives everybody a chance but requires a deliberate strategy and attention to succeed.
It's our history, it's what spawned and quickly killed the Double DS, and birthed contracts, the rookie tourney, sixteen teams and deals year round. Here are some ideas I suggest to keep with our tradition and improve the game play for '14.
- Why? This eliminates value in dumping all your players early in the season to guarantee a top 4 pick. There will still be some trading of short term studs at the trade deadline of teams out of it but it'll reduce the return of doing so and curtail those deploying that strategy. It also makes the tourney more exciting and fair; but still forces the best non-playoff teams to win 4 games to get the #1 pick and will guarantee the worst team the #5 pick (similar to NBA lottery style).
2) Playoff Spots Seeded 1-8 - Regular season division winners (and corresponding payouts) would remain the same but the playoffs would be seeded one through eight, based on record, then power ranking, irrespective of division/conference.
- Why? The end of the year intrigue of match ups is significantly reduced with two spots tied to breakdown/points, this is how the "real" NFL is setup and maybe as important the league website supports this automatically opening up a cool "watch the hunt" feature that gives everybody always on access to the performance.
3) College DS - this is the most radical one, the other two are obvious game play upgrades while this is an open question as to whether it will bomb or a huge hit, and advancement since say the DS spot or rookie tourney. The idea is each team has the ability to draft a college player. The player must be at least a junior (class year) and can't play the quarterback position. Each team only has one spot so if they pick up a junior who doesn't come out, they must decide whether to keep or dump for a new pick. Player becomes an automatic rookie selection that can be topped or holdover when they enter the NFL. This would be a new pick, in addition to, the rookie selections. Selection order would be doled out by the final regular season standings.
- Why? Because the knowledge of and appreciation for college football is high and this adds a unique, realistic asset teams can use to build from within or trade for immediate assets.
4) Clean up Rules - we need consistency with how we apply tiebreakers, so make tiebreakers head to head, then points + breakdown to determine/break ties.
- Why? Today there are head to head, some are points, some are breakdown, consistency will make it simple and easier to administer.