Welcome to Commissioner’s Corner, the new series on FantraxHQ! Commissioner’s Corner will be all about the role of a fantasy commissioner, along with advice, challenges and other topics to help you succeed in that role. From complexities to basics, draft ideas to league rules, payouts to punishments, everything will be covered here.
Not sure who to start for today’s game? There are fantasy rankings for that. Need to find a sleeper for your draft coming up? There are late-round draft target articles. What about some assistance with setting up a new fantasy league? What about how to handle a league member quitting mid-season? Now, that’s a different story. There has not been a lot of content dedicated to the commissioning side of fantasy sports. I aim to change that and provide quality content for commissioners of all different types of leagues.
Should I Be a Fantasy Commissioner?
Every fantasy league needs a commissioner. Someone to create the league, run the league, and make sure everything is coordinated. Also, someone to collect league fees or buy-ins if your league plays for a monetary prize. Without a commissioner, fantasy leagues would not exist. It seems like a pretty straightforward job, but is it for you?
The short answer: probably not. But maybe!
There’s a reason there’s (usually) one commissioner in every league and nine to 11 non-commissioners on average. Being a fantasy commissioner falls somewhere in the middle of simply sending a text or email and herding cats. Some leagues, and more specifically league members, are more difficult while some are simple and easy. This is not a one size fits all type of job, every league is different.
If your interest in fantasy sports starts and stops with just wanting to set a lineup every day, being a commissioner definitely is not for you. Now, if you don’t mind coordinating a draft date at a bare minimum, that’s a start. Like I said before, not all fantasy leagues and commissioner duties are complex or exhausting. If you have a “standard” fantasy league with an online draft or auction, your job as a commissioner will be about as easy as being a commissioner can get, especially if there is not a monetary fee to collect and be responsible for paying out. Once you start introducing buy-ins and payouts, that’s when the job of a fantasy commissioner can start to get a little tougher.
No one wants to be a Collector. But keep in mind that if you want to play for a monetary prize (and many, many leagues do so nowadays) you’ll have to make sure your league mates all pay their entry fee. This may take some text or email reminders, and even make you feel like you’re collecting a debt. If everyone does not pay their agreed-upon league fee though, it’s unfair to those that do and shorts the overall prize pool. Again, this is a tough part about being a commissioner, and if you don’t want to deal with it, maybe being a commissioner is not for you. However, if the collecting and distributing of money is the only thing holding you back from being a commissioner, there is a solution! Luckily, Fantrax has Fantrax Treasurer, which takes care of all that for you. Fantrax Treasurer can collect all the fees and send them all out at the end of the season. All you have to do as a commissioner is designate the amounts. This really is a great tool to use to force league members to pay without having to feel like you’re part of a collection agency.
Another thing to keep in mind when deciding if you should be a fantasy commissioner or not is the aspect of time management. Depending on the level of complexity of your league, you might spend more time than you had initially expected with your role. As I’ve previously said, this varies from league to league. Anything more than a basic, standard league however, will require a bit more attention. If you don’t have the necessary time, energy, or mental capacity to dedicate to the league, you probably should stick to just being a team manager.
Being a Fantasy Commissioner is a Thankless Job, But it Has its Perks
Now, I gave you some of the things to think about to help decide whether to be a commissioner or not. Being a commissioner is a commitment, and you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you perhaps bite off more than you can chew. If you’re on the fence though, being a commissioner can absolutely be a positive experience.
First of all, you’re the glue that holds the league together. Without you, there would be no league. What is better than being able to hold that over your friends’ heads? In all seriousness, if you simplify it as much as possible, being a fantasy league commissioner is like project management, the more dedicated and committed the commissioner, the better the league will be. If you are a highly organized person, being a commissioner should not be too difficult, and if you are a creative person as well, you can institute some fun features to make the league great (and if not, I’ll help you out with that in future editions of Commissioner’s Corner).
Have you ever played in a fantasy league where you did not like the scoring settings? Or part of a league that just wasn’t fun because there was no interaction or engagement? As a commissioner, you have the ability to make your league exactly how you want it. You can use the scoring setting you think is best, or have an auction if you prefer that over a draft. Essentially, you can play in the fantasy league that you want to play in.
One other thing that is an underrated benefit from being a commissioner, is that it has helped me to be a better fantasy player. I am more of an analytical person, and I carry that into my commissioner role. I look at statistics of not only my own players but the players on the other teams in my league. Also, I like reviewing the strategies of my opponents, waiver adds and drops, and the makeup of rosters. Being more connected to the league has given me an advantage on drafting as well. I’ve been able to study the patterns and habits of my league mates, and predict how they will draft, to know if and when I should take a player I am targeting. Being an extremely involved commissioner has really increased my level of enjoyment of each league I’ve been a part of.
So, Should You Be A Commissioner?
Hopefully, after reading this you’re leaning one way or another. While there are challenges and demands of being a commissioner that simply do not exist if you are just a manager, there are also benefits and positives. Each league demands more or less attention from the commissioner depending on your league structure, members and rules. But as a commissioner, you can control all of that to make your job easier or more difficult. Being a commissioner is not for everyone, but if you can handle the administrative side, it is not something that should deter you from trying.
If you’ve gotten this far, and have decided you want to try your hand at starting a league or taking over as a commissioner for an existing league, welcome aboard. It can be a very satisfying role and is an essential one, to ensure the success of every league. Think of being a fantasy commissioner as being Spider-Man: With great power comes great responsibility.
I will be hosting a month of best ball leagues this summer; sign up to @Fantrax today and get ready for the best fantasy football season ever! #fantrax #fantasyfootball https://t.co/YtLEhMoo5J pic.twitter.com/ffSt00FY9R
— Lisa Ann (@thereallisaann) May 6, 2023