13 Ways To Make Your Fantasy Baseball League Better

Since we’re nearing baseball season, it’s time to figure out ways to improve your fantasy league, or if you’re beginning one, how to start off with a bang.

Here are some ideas based on my 10 years of experience running my ‘League of Champions.’ Hopefully you find some value in this piece. Hopefully. 

12 teams or more

The league isn’t going to be incredible if you have 6, 8, even 10 teams. This isn’t fantasy football. Each MLB team has a vast majority of contributing players, not to mention constant call-ups of guys from the minor leagues. More teams will equal a more competitive environment more often than not. That’s three “mores” in one sentence. 

Forget the standard 5×5

Even the fantasy baseball experts like Matthew Berry (read his book. It’s awesome) enjoy mixing things up a bit. Sure, 5×5 is classic, but by changing and adding categories, it can make it much more fun — and that’s the point of fantasy baseball isn’t it? To have fun?

If you want to take away AVG and add OBP, do it. If you’d rather count catcher interference and wild pitches, be a rebel. Add ’em!

Start a Facebook group

… or forum, meeting place, ANYWHERE the guys can get together and share ideas, talk trades and smack talk. Like I said above, my fantasy league is in its tenth year and we’ve had a Facebook group the entire time. The picture below is just one slab of smack dished last season.

Have a trophy

… or some kind of big payoff. Not only do we put a little bit of cash to give out to the top three finishers each season in our league, the winner takes home the very beloved Rumspringa Trophy. For those of you who don’t know what rumspringa is, let’s just say it defines our entire league. And the winner of our travel trophy not only gets their name engraved on it for all eternity, but they must drink from the cup their favorite beverage as well.

Have a theme for your league

In our case, it’s rumspringa. You know, the Amish. It’s a fairly long story. But because of this theme we’ve been able to come up with some great ideas. 

Have a league constitution

Our constitution is fairly short and straight forward — about two pages long. But it’s saved some arguments during its short existence. Here is just a little snippet of the ‘Season Rules’ section:

1.    Thou have team location and team name.

2.    Thou have team logo.

3.    Thou talk smack, ye be friendly. Troublemakers nay allowed.

4.    Thou pay dues.

5.    Thou be interactive and respond to inquiries timely.

6.    Thou be competitive all season by setting rosters daily.

7.    Thou have fun.

Keep a record book

How cool is it to look back and see who has the best all-time record? Who had the most All-Star players in one year? Or who absolutely sucked, losing the most games in a season? After a decade, these type of stats become invaluable fuel for smack.

Make the loser do something incredibly embarrassing

A toilet trophy is fun, but that’s not original. Of course there’s the league that makes their loser get a tattoo. How about a happy medium and make them run around the house naked? I guess there’s also a Yoo-Hoo dousing?

Allow draftable minor leaguers

Being able to draft George Springer last year helped me finish the regular season in first place. It’s kind of like having your own farm system. 

Always live draft

… if possible. Even better if you can draft in-person, auction style. If that isn’t possible, it’s very easy to setup a Google Hangout. That way you can all chat live on camera during the draft, making the experience exponentially more fun. 

Do a live draft lottery

Before the draft, how do you determine the draft order? Don’t let the computer pick randomly for you. Do a lottery! We do this live via webcam by drawing names out of a hat. However, you can be more creative if you wish. Some leagues determine order by betting on the outcome of games or how many tickets they can win at Chuck-e-Cheese.

Do something unique

Every year it’s important to liven up the league by doing something uniquely fun. Last year we used the Rookies app to create our very own custom baseball cards. Nerdy? Yes. But incredibly fun. 

Invite the girls

Being an equal opportunity commish is great. Not only will having a female balance out some of the testosterone, but if she actually wins the league, will allow the both of you to give hell to the rest of the league for years to come. There are plenty of girls out there who know their baseball way better than most men. Invite them into the league. 

Of course I’m Moses, but hopefully these ideas lead to a more prosperous and fun league for you and your friends.

God speed.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

Photo Credit: flickr



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