I’m no artist, but as we enter August let me paint a picture of what I see happening in many fantasy leagues:
“My team started fast and I was optimistic in May, but since then I’ve fallen out of the race and am now looking only towards next season.”
“My league’s title chase appeared to be close in June, but just a month or so later it now looks like it’s really over – it’s a one (maybe two) horse race.”
“Our league trade deadline is still 30 days away but no one is really buying at this point. It makes for a tough sell.”
“A lot of the owners in my league seem like they’ve checked out for the summer. There’s just not a lot of activity from those teams lower in the standings.”
Familiar? Of course I’m using very broad brush strokes here but you get the point: it’s rare to find a fantasy league that has a hot race involving half your league’s teams in August (and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in September). But this isn’t really surprising, is it? Still, if you’ve ever won a fantasy league then you know the only thing better than winning is winning a competitive fantasy league. We all want to win among the best, don’t we? That’s what bragging rights are all about.
My original intent for this article was to debate whether or not it’s possible to legislate competitiveness within your fantasy league, but we’ll just skip to the conclusion and say “it’s not”. This fact is probably obvious to you but in 20 years of being a fantasy commissioner I can tell you I’ve tried many times to drive competition up and down the standings each season, but in the end there’s no secret sauce. Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion that attempting to build an active league is far better than trying to manufacture a competitive one, so today I’ll leave you with a few ideas that might help increase engagement in your league, and also ask for your feedback on what else might be working for you.
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