Earlier this offseason, I began a series about highly custom leagues. This is the fourth installment. Previous entries covered 2×2 Roto, Split Auctions, and Roto-to-Head. Today we’ll dive into a fresh innovation called Rotating Divisions. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Draft Type: Any
Teams: Any number
Positions: Any configuration
Hitter Categories: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG or similar
Pitcher Categories: W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP or similar
Waivers: Any type
Once again, we’re working with a flexible design. Nearly any configuration can be paired with Rotating Divisions. In my opinion, it’s best suited to 10- or 12-team roto with a modest four to six keepers. It can be played as a redraft or dynasty too. The following analysis assumes you’ll be running a modestly sized keeper league.
Intuitively, Rotating Divisions employ… rotating divisions. While a true NL or AL Only league uses just 15 teams, Rotating Divisions adds a fourth (or fifth) division, increasing the player pool while still retaining the strategic elements of the “Only” formats.
Every season, one division is removed from the player pool. A new one is added. It can be done at random or on a predictable schedule. Either scenario ensures long term roster churn with plenty of interesting new players entering the draft pool every season.
If opting to rotate divisions randomly, keeper value becomes compressed in the near term. Instead of selling your house for that forever share of Vladito, you might only sell the guest suite over the garage. If you’re lucky, Guerrero might avoid the keeper axe for 10 seasons. If you’re unlucky, he might be gone after just one campaign.
The sanest time to announce division rotations is prior to the preceding season. For example, if the AL West were rotating out for the 2020 campaign, then the commissioner would tell the league in January of 2019. That way, every owner can conduct their season with full knowledge of who is leaving the player pool. AL West stars like Mike Trout would hit the trade block.
However, volatility can be increased by choosing the division to remove after the season. This changes in-season valuations. Instead of one-quarter of players having no keeper value, all players lose one-quarter of their future value. This allows for owners to make bold bets to escape purgatory – or slip back into it.
Although Yahoo does not offer support for this format, I have confirmed that FanTrax can very easily handle these specifications. It’s not even a premium feature. Other sites like CBS and ESPN may be able to support icing out a couple divisions from the player pool.
Would you like to try this format? Take the poll.