Cool Fantasy Football Rule 1

55-Pt_PotThis is my first post regarding cool fantasy football rules, and as such, you may expect that this rule will be one of my favorites.  You are absolutely right.  It ranks right up there at the top.  But the beauty of this rule is that, unlike so many others, it will add a lot of enjoyment to your league with little work.  It’s a simple rule that’s easy to administrate.

The 55-Point Pot Rule

The 55-Point Pot rule rewards a team that scores exceptionally high on a given week.  This is how it’s set up in my league:

Prior to the first game in week one, each team chips in 25-cents.  There are 12 franchises in our league, so the pot will total $3.00 for week one.  If a team scores 55-points or more, that team wins the $3.00 pot.  If no team scores 55+ points, then each team kicks in another 25-cents and the pot grows to $6.00 for week two.  The pot keeps growing by $3.00 each week until someone wins it.  Once a pot has been won, it starts over again at $3.00 for the subsequent week.

To clarify, each team doesn’t literally chip in money each week.  The total amount that they will contribute is simply added to the entry fee at the start of the season.

What happens if more than one team scores 55+ points?  In that case, our league awards the pot to the team with the greatest score.  The pot is evenly split if there is a tie.

Our league has a very basic, antiquated scoring system that dates back to 1986.  (We’ve discussed changing it to include yardage points, but felt that such a change would be detrimental to the continuity of the league’s history.)  Our scoring system is as follows:

  • 3 points = Touchdown pass thrown
  • 6 points = Touchdown run or catch
  • 3 points = Field goal
  • 1 point = Extra point kick
  • 2 points = Two-point conversion run, catch, or throw
  • 6 points = Interception or fumble returned for touchdown
  • 2 points = Safety

With this scoring system, it is a rare occurrence for a team to eclipse the 55-point mark.  In fact, it’s happened only 15 times in the past five years – an average of three times per year.  That’s just about right.  When you incorporate this rule, you need to take into account your scoring system.  You’ll probably need to bump the echelon to a higher level.  One league may settle on 75 points as the mark to beat.  Another may use 100 points.  Just shoot for a score that will be surmounted around three times per season.

You may also need to adjust the amount of money teams put into the pot.  As I’ve already stated, each team in our league chips in 25-cents a week.  That’s a total of four bucks over a 16-week season.  To put things into perspective, the entry fee in our league is $50, and includes the four bucks.  Try to maintain a ratio close to this.  For example, if the entry fee in your league is $100, then $8.00 (50-cents a week) devoted to the pot would serve your league well.  If you add more than this proportion, the other payouts in your league will be cheapened.  It would suck to win the championship, yet earn less than a team that’s won the 55-point pot a time or two.

Lastly, if there is a balance in the pot at the end of the year, our league carries it over to next season.  This works well for us because our league is a keeper league.  Also turnover is low.  It’s not very often someone opts to drop out.  An alternative you may want to consider is to add a caveat to the rules for the last week.  That is, to payout the pot in the final week to the highest scoring team, even if they don’t exceed the high-water mark that’s been established.  I.e., the highest score in the final week wins the pot.  Period.

I hope this rule strikes a chord with you, and that you’ll consider it for your league.  It really does add a lot to the game.  When you’re just a few points away from cracking into the rarefied air of the lofty mark your league has instituted, and you’re watching your player rack up the yards on Monday night, it is very exhilarating.

As always, run to daylight.


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