Adding weekly bonuses and season-long bonuses will make your fantasy leagues more competitive and fun for both experienced and novice players.
One of the complaints about season-long fantasy leagues is that struggling fantasy teams, whether due to injuries or perhaps inexperience of the fantasy owner, can oftentimes be eliminated by week 7 or 8 of 14 week season. Daily fantasy is a nice substitute when your season-long fantasy league team is struggling. But DFS can’t replicate the fun of playing against friends and family for season-long bragging rights.
So what can you do to keep every owner in your league invested, even the ones with double-digit losses after Thanksgiving?
The fix is simple. Raise the buy-in for the league without changing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place payouts, and use that extra money for weekly payouts.
What you raise the payout to should depend on the amount of the original buy-in. A good baseline is 20% to 30%. This can be done in leagues both big and small. In a 10 team league, if the new buy-in is $125.
The payout structure can go something like this:
That leaves $250 for in-season bonuses. For a 14 week regular season, you can add a $15 weekly bonus for the team with the highest score. With the remaining $40, you can turn them into season bonuses. Some suggestions for bonuses include
$10 to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points
$10 to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points scored against (even the unlucky deserve a break)
$10 to the team that finishes the regular season with the single highest game score
$10 to the team that finishes in 4th place in the playoffs
Weekly payouts give everyone the chance to rebound and still have something to play for in the second half of the season. If an owner has an incentive to win money, even if they are 2-11 they are much more likely to stay engaged, make add/drops and set lineups to keep the entire league competitive. This is particularly true in dynasty and keeper leagues. Maybe you reconsider trading away players that could help you win money next week. The other added benefit is no easy victories because a mathematically eliminated owner stopped bothering to set their lineups during the playoff push.
Whether you add weekly payouts to freshen up leagues that have been around years or to newly created ones filled with novices, you will get more enjoyment out of the season.
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