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If you're like me, joining one or two fantasy leagues per sport just doesn't cut it. You need one competitive league with some experts, one with co-workers, that one you've been doing with your high school buddies for 15 years, the random one you join online just so you can prove your dominance to strangers, and a couple you join just because you were bored that Saturday night and felt like doing a real draft. But despite your cat draft fever (Ted Nugent song reference alert), some of those drafts wind up a little stale. Why not take a cue from everybody's favorite 80's pop group (that would be The Cars, naturally) and shake it up? Here are some ways to make drafts more interesting by changing up the rules a bit on draft day. Now I'm dating myself big time. 80's music is still the best though...

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Shake It Up (Part 2)

(1) Both Sides of the Ball - draft equally on defense and offense

Why should offensive players get all the glory? Sure, many leagues use Individual Defensive Players (IDP), but it's usually limited to 2-3 at most. Play fantasy football the way it was never intended - use just as many defensive players as offensive! Pick from each of the standard positions (DT, DE, ILB, OLB, CB, S) plus a KR and require at least one of each, plus three bench spots. Some dynasty leagues actually go 11 deep on defense, so this isn't as far-fetched as it seems. Now let's see who really spends way too much time watching football!

(2) Deal or No Deal - auction league owners select one player post-draft to secretly trade, White Elephant style

In auction drafts, there's always at least one player you have buyer's remorse for (sometimes an entire team). You got desperate and overpaid for a RB4 who is stuck in a committee situation and now you wish you could just make that pick go away. Why not take a page out of the undesirable Christmas party games playbook and re-gift it? Each owner can select one player of a pre-determined value range (maybe between $5-$10) to throw back in the pool. Then, in reverse nomination order from the draft, each owner can select one mystery player from that pool to swap theirs with instead. This also works well as a social experiment to see who you really trust in your league, if anyone.

(3) Get Devy With Ithold a separate developmental draft including college players for dynasty leagues

Some dynasty and best ball leagues hold a separate rookie draft where only incoming first-year NFL players are selected. If that doesn't satisfy your appetite for prospecting and adding young players, take it down a level, literally. In developmental leagues, you have a supplemental draft of one or two rounds where each team can either select or purchase a college player to add to his/her dynasty team. This adds a deeper level of investment in your players and further integrates the college and pro games for fantasy purposes. I can't take credit for this idea, but I can certainly promote it!

(4) Hitch Your Wagons - pick two teams and own their entire offenses all year

This makes for quick offline drafting, but more careful maintenance throughout the season. The idea is simple enough: your draft pick is not a player or position, but an entire team's offense. You get two picks and you become the proud owner of every player on the two teams you select. Each week you then get to mix and match players on those offenses in your lineup, but you have to monitor injuries and playing time more carefully. Who becomes the #1 overall pick in this scenario? Steelers? Packers? Cardinals? Saints? How soon do you pick the Texans? Do you really like the Cowboys that much? Why so many rhetorical questions?

Have your own unique rules for re-draft leagues or ideas to add? Hit me up on Twitter and share!

 

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