A few weeks back, I discussed a couple of rules changes being implemented this year in Tout Wars, the impact of which will be felt starting in 2012. Rule changes--in the form of behavior modification--is desirious to keep all league members “pushing for points all season long.”
The first action is a penalty: the stick. FAAB dollars will be withheld from the next season’s budget if a team finishes below pre-defined thresholds, to the tune of one dollar off the season’s budget of $100 for each point short of the respective mark.
The higher order thought idea here of altering FAAB totals is something I have advocated for some time. Now that the Tout Wars leaders have officially crossed that line, I think they should go further.
My first proposal is to allow unused money on draft day to be added to one’s FAAB total for the upcoming season. I would not support taking this in the other direction, however, using any or all of the $100 full-season FAAB money to augment the draft-day total of $260.
If an owner chooses to not spend his full allocation at the draft, instead preferring to hold off and save some of that cash to purchase free agents during the season, why should he not be allowed to do that?
I would imagine we have all been in situations where the draft left us with more money in the endgame than we wanted to spend. It isn’t necessarily an ideal or even a planned circumstance, but it does happen.
Especially in an expert league where others closely scrutinize values paid, it would be better to pay fair price for one’s last players instead of overpaying just to ensure we spend our total. After all, as we draft, we are helping to establish player values for our readers.
My other idea is related to the second Tout rules change to be implemented this coming season and next.
The new league action is a carrot. The sequence of picks in the reserve snake draft rounds is changing from a random draw to instead correspond to the order of finish in the previous season. This should provide an incentive to try to achieve as high a placement in the standings as possible. Even if that is only eighth place, it will now have value.
My suggestion is to take the reserve draft in an entirely different direction.
I would like to further accentuate one the main tenets of Tout, which is an auction format, by changing the four-man reserve rounds from snake to auction.
Again, I take seriously the number of fantasy players that look very closely at the market we help define though our player values paid. By having a simple snake draft as we do currently, we pass on the opportunity to place values on roughly 50 additional players each season.
I would implement this by requiring the early use of that season’s FAAB allocation for the reserve draft. One would begin with his full-season stipend of $100 if the current rules were followed or $100 plus whatever remained after the first 23 players were taken if my new rule proposal outlined above was accepted.
There would be little risk of overspending here, since every dollar spent in the reserve round would be one less dollar available for in-season free agent purchases.
In my last-article example, of trying, and failing to acquire Ike Davis in the first round of the reserve draft as a handcuff for Daniel Murphy, a better and fairer result would have ensued had this rule been in place. I could have (and would have) been provided the opportunity to pay a dollar more than someone else for Davis. Instead, under the current snake format, Davis was gone before my turn and I was helpless to react.
So there you have it. Two new ideas built upon existing rules, which in my opinion could help make a fun and innovative league even better.
Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 13-year history. He is a 2009 NFBC league winner and finished in the top 25 nationally in both the NFBC and NFFC that season. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com.