Shortened Season Fantasy League Options
The baseball season will be different this year, so why not change up the way we play fantasy baseball? Have you been wondering – how should we change up my redraft league during a shortened season? With fantasy baseball, the majority of leagues are rotisserie (roto), head-to-head categories, or points leagues. Many prefer roto leagues with head-to-head categories and points leagues being the next most popular.
There are so many league customizations on Fantrax, so let’s be creative and think of ways to adjust league settings. We know there will be some randomness in a shortened 2020 season and it could be a wild ride. So let’s take a look at different Fantrax league setups in a shortened fantasy baseball season in 2020.
What?! Your league is not planning on using Fantrax? Inconceivable! Check out everything Fantrax has to offer and I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.
Fantasy Baseball Ideas for a Shortened Season
First, let’s consider the roster setup. The default Fantrax setup for roto and points leagues are the same in terms of roster setup, which includes 14 hitters and 9 pitchers. Depending on league size or preference, you could adjust the roster size to three outfielders or two utility spots and no corner or middle infielder, etc. I prefer the nine pitchers instead of a specific number of spots for starting or relief pitchers, especially in a shortened season. It allows teams the flexibility to adjust their draft and in-season management strategy with more or less starting and relief pitchers.
- 13 Hitters (1 catcher, 5 outfielders, 1 corner and middle infielder, and 1 utility spot)
- 9 Pitchers (no specific spots for starters and relievers)
Bench & Injured Reserve Spots
Bench spots would be something to increase due to the uncertainties in a shortened season. Another question that comes up often relates to what happens if players get sick? You could increase the number of injured reserve spots or put no maximum so there’s no limit on the number of injured reserve spots. It’s yet to be determined if a player will qualify for injured reserve if they’re sick.
If you did want to adjust the injured reserve spots, then there’s a checkbox under the Fantrax roster settings that states “Only players on the MLB Injured List may be moved to the Injured Reserve slot.” There are pros and cons to unchecking this setting. If unchecked, then the commissioner and people in the league would need to agree to not misuse this setting and “stash” an ineligible player on their injured reserve spot. However, a positive would be that a player could be put into an injured spot even if these players don’t officially get put onto the injured list.
Your league may want to discuss adjusting the games needed from the current season to qualify at a position. Current Fantrax default is 10 games needed to qualify at a hitting position, but your commissioner could adjust that to five games or whatever the league decides on. Then that would allow players to gain positional eligibility quicker in a shortened season. The same can be done for starting and relief pitcher eligibility if your league decides to designate specific spots for starters and relievers.
For buy-ins, one thought would be to prorate or lower the buy-in by 50% or what the league decides on. This shortened season will be a wild ride and another thought would be to roll over the original buy-in to the following season. Then just play the 2020 shortened season for fun. The Fantrax treasurer feature is great to safely collect and distribute league fees as well.
Rotisserie or Categories
In general, rotisserie or season-long leagues without head-to-head weekly matchups may be the way to go this year. There are positives and negatives for both types of leagues. Season-long rotisserie leagues seem to be the way to go, but the head-to-head matchups can be appealing like real life baseball.
If you’re in a league with scoring categories, then the league should rethink or adjust the categories. The hitting categories could stay the same, but the pitching categories will be trickier. In a shortened season, one intriguing thought would be to swap in innings pitched or outs as a category instead of wins or quality starts. Most pitchers are unlikely to pitch 6+ innings for a quality start this year.
Saves plus holds as a category seems to be gaining popularity to adjust value for relievers which seems needed in a shortened season. Another thought would be to adjust pitching categories to be more ratio based such as K/9, BB/9, etc. Again be creative with your league and have fun with it.
Let’s look at a couple of ideas for points league scoring. The first would be a default Fantrax points league set up with adjustments to the points scored for hitters and pitchers. There’s also a Fantrax league setting to set a weekly win/loss against the league median or league average, which is a cool new feature. This option is available in head-to-head points leagues under league setup -> teams & schedules -> schedules. The picture below will show you the exact boxes to check.
Now let’s look at the default scoring for a Fantrax points league.
|Hitter Category||Points Assigned||Pitcher Category||Points Assigned|
|Walks||1||Earned Runs Allowed||-1|
|Home Run||4||Quality Starts||3|
|Hit By Pitches||1||Saves||7|
|Runs Batted In||1|
For a shortened season, it makes most sense to adjust the pitcher scoring in the area of wins, saves, and quality starts since those might be a bit more random than we’re used to. Your league could adjust the points earned from saves, wins, and quality starts to make it more even to something like five points each. Maybe even add in holds that count for five points as well. Or play around and adjust the scoring to however your league decides on. Overall, I’m warming up to the idea of switching to points leagues for baseball even if I’m in the minority.
Best Ball Leagues
Another option would be best ball leagues where you draft and there’s no in-season moves. The fantasy points are calculated from the top players on your roster during each scoring period. And the team with the highest point total at the end of the season wins. The Fantrax default allows you to draft 40 players with some positional maximums.
I love that best ball leagues incorporate points for a scoring system. The Fantrax default best ball scoring system varies slightly from the Fantrax default points league. One suggestion would be to add in points for doubles, triples, adjust pitcher scoring, or some combination of it all. Here’s the scoring system for Fantrax best ball leagues.
|Hitter Category||Points Assigned||Pitcher Category||Points Assigned|
|Home runs||3||Earned runs allowed||-1.5|
|Runs scored||1||Hits allowed||-0.5|
|Runs Batted In||1||Innings pitched||1.5|
|Stolen Bases||3||Strikeouts pitched||1.5|
In summary, find what works for the people in your league, be creative, and have fun. It’s important for your league to discuss and communicate about the shortened season plan. For redraft leagues, I’m warming up to the idea of a points or best ball league. I like the variations and adjustments for different point values for each scoring category.
If you have additional suggestions or ideas for leagues in a shortened season, feel free to let us know. You can reach me on Twitter at @corbin_young21
Check out Fantrax FAQs for questions and help with league setup. If you have additional questions, then reach out to Fantrax support at [email protected]. They’re great and they’ll answer any and all questions about league setup.
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