Back during the pre-season, my (well, everyone's) bud Andy Behrens, who leads the motely crew of writers known as the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA), sent notes to a number of us asking to organize and sort of guide a league among a collection of writers for the coming season.
Andy trolled the writers and I set up an AL-only league, and Andy gave me a list of "volunteers" and we drafted right before the season began.
I wanted to make this a tough league, and though I do indeed love playing the daily format, I wondered how many of my FSWA colleagues had played according to some of the original roto rules Dan Okrent and his mates first used.
So, AL-only, no reserves, no FAAB, with the waiver picks awarded last-to-first each week. Teams could trade, and have up to five players on the DL, but otherwise, 23-man traditional roster with just weekly moves, in a 5x5 set-up.
So, my "volunteers"--Chris Kay, Howard Bender, Tom Schriner, Rob Pallazola, Mike Wollschlager, Mike Nease, Jim Bukowski, Jeff Boggis, Keith Hernandez, DT Short, and Randy Ball and I--picked our squads among the slim pickings of such a deep format.
It was tough, and tougher compounded by such early season fun as Chris Sale's ankle (sigh, I got him), Ervin Santana's suspension, and Josh Hamilton's everything, making a fun and interesting scramble then within the rules to plug holes (or at least try to).
Unfortunately, projections were run for the league, and worse, my team was at the top of the projected winner list, something that the rest of the league acknowledged, suggesting they were playing a "legend" when they played against me. However, my reaction was fear, as I knew if nothing else, top of the projections was "the kiss of roto death." Although, I did name my team "The Obscure Legends."
After a little bit of administrative craziness--and then thanks to our pals at RealTime Sports, Tim Jensen and Mike Rooney, who gave the time and commissioner administration for the league--things got going and Monsieurs Kay, Bender and Pallazola moved atop the standings while my team, as expected, sank like a rock.
As it is, with active playing of the waiver wire, my team has climbed out of last and is within striking distance of tenth place, a triumph considering our start, but with Chris and Rob having such dominant hitting teams--both with very good pitching--while @Rotobuzzguy Bender has really strong pitching with good hitting--finishing much higher than even fifth seems like a pipe dream at this point of the season.
However, playing is still fun, as is varying the format and tightening the rules, even if my team dies a slow death in the process, for this is a game where we play because we love baseball and bonding with our fellow junkie buds.
In this case, the latter holds true for me: I am happy to win somewhere else, as necessary.