Highly Custom League: Owners and Managers

The Highly Custom League series is back with my most ambitious design yet. Previous entries covered 2×2 Roto, Split Auctions, Roto-to-HeadRotating DivisionsWAR warsCategory WarsPublic Trade NegotiationsIf Only, Elimination, and Home Team.

Today we’ll focus on a league that forces owners to choose their partners – and pay for the privilege!

Design Aesthetic

Draft Type: Any

League Type: Redraft recommended

Teams: 10- or 12-team recommended, any number

# of Participants: 2X number of teams

Scoring: Roto, Points, or Head-to-Head

Waivers: Any type

Trading: On

Compatible Modules: Roto-to-Head, Rotating Divisions, Public Trade Negotiations, Elimination

Using a 12-team league as the example, 24 participants will contribute to a prize pool (for example $50 each). Prizes will be awarded normally. For roto, the top two or three rosters are paid. For head-to-head, awards may be split between the regular- and post-season. Just do whatever you’d usually do.

Every season, 12 participants will be designated as Owners. Their job is to “hire” a manager to help with the running of their club. Owners may choose to be hands-on (i.e. handle most duties) or let their manager carry most of the weight. Ostensibly, this will affect how much they’re willing to pay a manager.

Hiring is done through a one-week bidding process in the offseason using real money. I recommend using Discord or Slack for the negotiating phase. Optionally, an upper limit may be placed on the cost of a manager, although this is probably not strictly necessary. If somebody wants to bust open their wallet to hire the best perceived manager, let ’em. Take it as a challenge to outperform them then put it on your resume for next winter. A lower limit might be desirable as well i.e. a “league minimum salary”

As an additional wrinkle, one option is to send half of the manager’s pay into the prize pool to be divvied up accordingly. The role of Owner or Manager could either rotate each season or be randomly assigned.

This concept could probably use some additional crowdsourcing to polish the edges… so let’s do that!

We hoped you liked reading Highly Custom League: Owners and Managers by Brad Johnson!

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Trying to figure out the incentives here…

Owners are, generally, less active and are mostly just making a bet on someone they’ve chosen to win a fantasy baseball league?

Manager are, generally, more active and are hoping to secure a winnings floor (their salary) to offset their own entry into the league? And maybe bonuses for good performance?

If you have a bifurcated fee structure where owners pay in significantly more than managers do, then I see the attraction for the managers. I’m not sure I see the appeal for owners, however, unless there is an untapped market of people who enjoy gambling on fantasy sports that they are not actually participating in.

Is that a thing? Or is it just a sign of a gambling problem?