Dennis Green Constitution – Fantasy Football League Rules 2014-16

Best Dennis Green Rules

  1. Participation Agreement
    1. By participating in this league, all members including the Commish himself have agreed to play by the rules specified in this constitution.
      1. In other words, all league members have agreed that “THE RULES ARE FAIR.”
      2. Any objections to the rules themselves must have been brought BEFORE the season.
    2. Any violation of the rules in this constitution can subject league members to discipline, determined by the Commish.
      1. It’s the Commish’s sole responsibility to interpret these rules and apply them to any league member in violation.
    3. The Commish’s main job involves maintaining the integrity of this league by promoting fairness, competitive balance, and fun.
    4. As a fellow league member and equal competitor, the Commish vows to never abuse his powers.
      1. When making decisions, all league members, including the Commish, are viewed as equals, regardless of their knowledge, experience, passion, or commissioner status.
      2. In short, all rulings handed out by the Commish must be completely, 100% objective and unbiased.
    5. League Votes
      1. The Commish decides when a proposed rule change is subject to a league vote.
      2. But league votes can NEVER occur DURING the season.
      3. A majority is required in order for a proposed rule change to become adopted.
        1. Majority = 7 votes in 12-team leagues, 6 votes in 10-team leagues
        2. If the vote is tied, the status quo remains.
      4. League members CAN abstain unless the Commish indicates each member’s vote is mandatory.
    6. Rule Changes
      1. The Commish must notify league members of every change, regardless of whether it’s put to a vote or not.
    7. Tampering & Collusion
      1. Tampering is when a league member gets involved in other member’s coaching affairs.
      2. Coaching affairs include giving any type of “advice” to another league members. For example, giving opinions on which player to start, bench, trade, draft, etc… are all strictly prohibited.
      3. Intent is irrelevant – even if a coach is genuinely trying to HELP someone, it hurts other coaches by default, and can violate the tampering policy.
        1. Obvious sarcasm, joking, or neutral statements are permitted under the circumstances.
      4. Copying a league member’s draft in another league or deliberately using it against him for several picks can constitute tampering.
      5. Discussing how much you plan to bid on a player in free agency is also subject to tampering.
      6. Encouraging a league member to draft a particular player by convincing the league member that you will trade for said player after the draft can be considered tampering, especially if that league member alters his draft strategy for what he assumed was a good faith trade proposal.
      7. Penalties for tampering are wide-ranging. Penalties for collusion (including working with another league member to either hide tampering, screw other league members over, or cheat the system in any way) are even harsher.
        1. So just don’t do it.
      8. Inactivity & Tanking
        1. Coaches must be active participants all season long.
          1. To maintain league parody, competitive balance, and fairness, it’s necessary for the Commish to do what he can to prevent inactivity or tanking.
          2. The expectation is that a coach should set a full lineup of active players every week. However, the Commish understands this idealistic, as coaches have lives outside of this league, and random events happen in fantasy football.
  • INACTIVITY & TANKING PENALTIES: If there are a multiple weeks where a coach fields an incomplete lineup, consisting of players who are inactive due to BYE weeks, injuries, or suspensions, or who players have been benched beforehand, the coach may be subject to discipline.
    1. Being seemingly eliminated from playoff contention is no excuse. And tanking for a better chance of obtaining a higher draft pick is also strictly prohibited.
    2. Each coach must play to win the game… every week.
  1. What constitutes inactivity or tanking is subjectively determined by the Commish.
    1. But in order for a coach to be punished, he must usually demonstrate a PATTERN and should first receive a WARNING from the Commish, unless it is a “severe case” as explained below.
      1. A league-wide reminder to set lineups will suffice as a warning.
    2. Penalties for inactivity will typically involve the forfeiture of future draft picks and the temporary inability to trade. Penalties for tanking may involve being placed at the bottom of the draft order or in severe cases, being kicked out of the league.
      1. Severe cases – if the coach fails to comply even after discipline, or if the coach purposely benches all or some of his key players for a specific matchup, or cuts all his players just before or during the postseason – do not need a warning and can result in a coach being kicked out of the league.
    3. So set your lineups!
  2. Injured Reserve
    1. League members cannot place a player on I.R. who does not end up being ruled OUT that week.
      1. In other words, the coach is in trouble if a player in a coach’s IR is active for his game.
    2. The punishment will result in a deduction from the coach’s total score that week. The amount subtracted will be THE GREATER OF either 20 points, or the total number of points accumulated in the starting lineup by the position of the player who was left in I.R.
      1. For example, if a coach illegally leaves an active running back in the I.R. spot, and the RBs in his starting lineup combine to score 33 fantasy points that week, then this amount will be subtracted from the coach’s final score that week. If the RBs happened to combine for 17 points, then there would only be a 20-point deduction.
      2. The penalty CAN change the win/loss result of a matchup.
  • SUSPENDED PLAYERS cannot be placed on I.R.
  1. Trades
    1. LIMIT: Each team is allowed a maximum of 6 trades every league year.
      1. Offseason / keeper trades ARE INCLUDED in this number.
        1. For more information on offseason / keeper trades, see the “KEEPERS” section below.
      2. DEADLINE: The trade deadline shall fall between weeks 12-13 every season. The last day to make trades for the 2016 league year will be December 1, 2016. December 1st is the default trade deadline annually if it is not posted or announced.
      3. Barring Neglectful Teams From Trading: teams that do not set their lineups (including leaving an inactive injured player in the lineup, a player with a BYE week, or leaving a starting spot empty) are prohibited from making a trade for the next two weeks. This time-based restriction resets every time that team does not set their lineup.
      4. Future draft picks cannot be traded during the regular season.
      5. Trade-back clauses or temporary trades are prohibited.
        1. “If Player X gets hurt, we’ll trade back.”
        2. “We’ll trade back in two weeks.”
  • The Commish will not uphold a second trade between the same two coaches that involves, for the most part, similar player(s) being returned.
    1. Coaches cannot sneak around this rule by involving third parties to reach the same or very similar results.
  1. PROCESS: 1) Both teams ACCEPT the trade; 2) The Commish EVALUATES the trade and makes a decision to uphold or reject the trade; 3) The Commish NOTIFIES both parties involved in the deal of his decision to uphold or decline the trade; 4) The Commish PROCESSES the trade and then should inform each team to reset their lineups.
  2. COMMISSIONER’S DECISION: Generally, trades that are accepted by both teams will be upheld and pushed through in a timely manner. However, the Commish does hold every right to reject a trade from going through, EVEN IF BOTH TEAMS HAVE ACCEPTED.
    1. This ability represents an effort to promote fairness, maintain competitive balance, and uphold the integrity of the league.
    2. There is no specific formula to determine which trades are deemed unacceptable, but trades that would jeopardize those efforts, or trades that are so one-sided as to lack any legitimate, competitive argument to be made for one side, may be rejected.
    3. The Commish uses an capitalistic-friendly threshold inquiry to determine whether a trade may be unfair. That is: if the Commish, in his honest, unbiased judgment has to QUESTION whether the deal is unfair, then it is FAIR and should be upheld. In other words, the Commish’s power to reject a trade that is accepted by both teams is only triggered when the initial reaction is something along the lines of: “no way is this fair.” Simply stated: if the Commish has to think about it, it’s fair enough to uphold.
  • The Commish understands that nearly every trade will appear as if one side getting a better deal, and the Commish shall uphold any trades that are merely advantageous to one team. Rather, declining otherwise accepted trades should be reserved for deals where there is a CLEAR disadvantage to one side, and leaves little doubt that the other side’s reason for acceptance was arbitrary and capacious, or made for non-competitive reasons.
    1. For example: the trade deadline is approaching, and one team who is completely out of the running for postseason contention deals with another team who remains in the hunt, and the deal is so one-sided that it appears the losing team merely accepted because of a carefree attitude.
    2. When the Commish confers with the coach on the side lacking the apparent advantage, the coach would be wise to have at least one legitimate football basis to make the trade. If the only basis is “because I felt like it,” and there’s no other reasonable basis, the Commish is less likely to uphold the deal.
  1. EVALUATION PERIOD:
    1. In general, the Commish will try to review the trade as soon as possible and push it through in a timely manner.
    2. However, the Commish may also delay a decision on a trade if a player has sustained an injury until further clarifying reports come out, unless both parties have assumed the risk in writing or verbally.
  • Additionally, for trades that are border-line in terms of fairness and acceptability, the Commish may take 1-3 days to evaluate the trade.
  1. If both parties in a trade want the deal to be processed ASAP (before a game starts), the Commish will try to quickly review the trade, verify the deal with both teams, and process it. The Commish is then required to NOTIFY both teams that the trade has been processed and they need to adjust their lineups accordingly.
    1. That said, teams should not reasonably expect the Commish to go through this entire process on Sunday morning just before the games kick off.
  2. TAMPERING: Trades can stir up heated debates, but keep in mind that tampering policies prohibit coaches from discouraging another coach from going through with a trade or encouraging him to renege on the deal while it’s being evaluated by the Commish.
  1. Tie-Breakers
    1. TIES IN THE REGULAR SEASON:
      1. TIE-BREAKER #1: FRACTIONAL YARDS – If two teams tie in the regular season, the win is awarded to the team with more total fractional yards.
        1. Fractional yards are NOT the same as total yards. Fractional yards are the yards that DO NOT count as fantasy points. For example, a running back who has gained 91 rushing yards and 33 receiving yards would have 4 fractional yards – calculated by (1+3), the yards gained that did not award that player a point. The commissioner will add up the total fractional yards from each team’s SKILLED POSITIONS only, and whichever team has more fractional yards will be given the victory.
        2. The idea behind fractional yards being the primary tiebreaker is that it rewards the team who was closest to getting the extra fantasy point needed to break the tie.
      2. TIE-BREAKER #2: BENCH POINTS – If both teams have the same amount of fractional yards between their skill positions, we will look to bench points to break the tie. Whichever team has the most points on the bench will be awarded the victory.
        1. BOOK-KEEPING: Because ESPN would otherwise record the game as a tie in the standings, the Commish must adjust the scoring so a broken tie will result in a win/loss.
        2. To do this, the Commish will [temporarily] add an extra point to the team that won the tie-breaker. The Commish will then subtract 1 point from that same team for another week’s performance (in a game where the -1 subtraction won’t change the outcome, of course). That way, the manually added point for the tie-breaker will not affect the “points fared” in the league standings.
  • TIE-BREAKER #3: DRAW – If somehow both teams have the same amount of fractional yards AND bench points, the game will result in a tie.
  1. TIES IN THE STANDINGS: For the purposes of ranking teams in the standings and/or playoff qualifications, a team’s win-loss record holds first priority.
    1. If two (+) teams have the same win-loss record, the team with the most TOTAL POINTS will have priority.
    2. If two (+) teams have the same record and an identical point total, then the team with the most POINTS ALLOWED will have priority.
      1. This advantage is given to the team that has had to face a more challenging schedule.
    3. TIES IN THE PLAYOFFS: see below…
  2. Playoffs
    1. WHEN: Weeks 15-17 (the playoffs last three weeks)
    2. ENTRY: The top-4 teams in the standings at the end of the Week 14 automatically make the playoffs.
      1. In 12-team leagues, a 5TH TEAM WILDCARD can clinch a playoff berth if they achieve BOTH of these qualifications:
        1. The 5th Team Wildcard must have a winning record (8-6 or better), AND
        2. The 5th Team Wildcard must have more points than at least two of the top four seeds (the playoff teams).
      2. If no other teams after the top-4 have met both of these requirements, the playoffs will proceed with four teams.
  • If there are two or more teams outside of the top-4 that have met both requirements, then the higher-ranked team in the standings gets the nod.
  1. There cannot be more than five teams in the postseason for 12-team leagues.
  1. HOW THE G9 PLAYOFF SYSTEM WORKS: Beginning in week 15, each team presumably goes into the playoffs at 0-0. There are no individual matchups between two teams in the playoffs. Every playoff team plays every playoff team each week (weeks 15, 16, and 17). So if four teams make the playoffs, every team would accumulate three results (wins or losses) for each of the three weeks in the playoffs. The team with the best overall record in the playoffs will be declared the league champion.
    1. Perhaps this is better explained with a demonstration. If one team outscores the other three playoff teams in week 15, that team would go 3-0 for that week. If they outscored only one team, they would be 1-2, and so on. A coach’s overall win/loss record throughout the playoffs is accumulated for weeks 15, 16 and 17. By the end of the three weeks, each team should have a total of 9 games played. The team with the best overall playoff record will be declared the winner.
  2. TIE-BREAKERS IN THE PLAYOFFS: If there is a tie in the 9-game standings (if two teams finish 5-4) OR in an individual matchup (if two teams score the same amount of points in a given week), the advantage goes to the team with the most total points in regular season PLUS playoffs.
    1. This tie-breaking procedure rewards teams for good seasons.
      1. Think of this as the “home-field advantage” for the better team throughout the season.
    2. PLAYOFF STANDINGS: Located on the League Home page. The Commish will post the results for each week and the updated playoff scores/standings throughout the postseason on the league home page.
  3. PREVENTING NON-PLAYOFF TEAMS FROM “UNLOADING”: Once the playoffs commence at the beginning of Week 15, non-playoff teams cannot directly affect playoff teams by releasing valuable players who are then added by teams competing in the postseason. Purposely unloading valuable players for no appropriate reason could be seen as a tampering or tanking violation, especially if it’s before the postseason begins. Accordingly, teams competing in the postseason will not be permitted to add players who are cut from teams who did not make the postseason. The only exception to this rule involves keeper leagues: all teams can make transactions that involve setting themselves up with a possible keeper or preventing others from doing the same. The Commish determines what moves qualify as a keeper decision, but it should be apparent on the surface. However, an exception to this exception is that if a playoff team adds a “possible keeper,” he cannot use or start them in any playoff matchup. In sum, the general rule here is that teams who have been eliminated from the players should not cut their players (unless it’s to add possible future keepers in this format), and if they do, playoff teams will be prevented from starting the valuable players released by non-playoff teams after Week 14.
  4. Keepers
    1. Coaches must select ONE keeper to retain from their team last season.
      1. Teams cannot opt out of keeping a player.
      2. A keeper must be on the roster at the end of the prior season when the league locks.
        1. Picking up a player once the league is reactivated in an effort to name said player as a keeper is prohibited.
      3. The keeper takes the place of each team’s first round draft pick.
      4. TERM: Each team can only keep the same player for a maximum of TWO consecutive seasons.
      5. DEADLINE: Keepers must be declared ONE WEEK prior to the draft.
        1. If a coach does not declare a keeper before the deadline, assuming the Commish has made several attempts to contact the coach, the Commish will automatically assign this team’s keeper.
          1. The default keeper will be based on the highest ranked player (in terms of Quality of Keeper) on the coach’s roster at the end of the previous year.
        2. NEW MEMBER: If a new coach enters the league in replacement of a former league member, he will take over the former league member’s team.
          1. This means the new coach must choose his keeper based on the former member’s team from the prior season, regardless how barren the roster appears.
        3. LEAGUE EXPANSION: If two new owners are added to the league via expansion (going from 10 to 12 teams, for instance), the Commish – if he elects to continue the keeper system rather than start from scratch – will give each team will provide the new owners with various options – between 6-10 players who are not being kept – to choose from as their keeper.
          1. The provided options would all rank lower (according to Quality of Keeper rankings) than the worst keeper that is being retained by a present owner.
          2. As a result, the two expansion teams would end up picking 1st and 2nd overall in the draft.
  • The provided options must be quarterbacks or wide receivers (for reasons relating to the scarcity and unpredictability of running backs).
  1. Assuming two new teams/coaches are added, the coach that signed up and entered the league first gets his first choice among the possible keeper options.
  1. INJURY CLAUSE: If within the one week leading up to the draft – after league members have declared their keepers – a keeper gets hurt, suspended or the keeper’s value has taken a dramatic hit due to an unfortunate circumstance, a coach will be allowed to select a new keeper.
    1. Coaches may not designate a new keeper simply because he “changes his mind” OR a perceived rise in value of another potential keeper on his roster.
    2. The coach must notify the commissioner of his new keeper selection as soon as possible so the commissioner can reveal it to the league and reset the draft order accordingly.
  2. TRADING KEEPERS: Swapping keepers during the offseason is permitted until one week prior to the draft.
    1. If a coach trades a keeper, he MUST keep the player he traded for!
      1. In other words, if you make a trade for a player during the offseason, the player you acquire must be designated as your keeper.
    2. Additionally, the trading of keepers naturally includes the exchange of draft slots with it.
      1. If Coach A trades Drew Brees to Coach B for Tom Brady, Coach A’s new draft slot/picks will be based on Tom Brady’s Quality of Keeper ranking.
      2. Basically, if you trade keepers, you’re also trading draft slots… no matter what.
  • A keeper-for-draft pick(s) trade is not allowed.
  1. However, coaches may include ONE draft pick as incentive in their keeper-for-keeper trades.
    1. For example: Coach A deals Drew Brees to Coach B for Tom Brady and Coach B’s 12th round pick. This is acceptable.
      1. Recall that this trade will still require both teams to switch draft slots.
      2. Note that the 12th round pick would be technically in exchange for Coach A’s 17th round (or last round) pick. Because ESPN league settings do not allow for the trading of draft picks, the coaches would have to work that aspect out with each other as a post-draft trade. However, the full trade would only count as one trade toward each team’s trade limit.
    2. Off-season trades require a stricter scrutiny from the Commish.
      1. The Commish is less likely to uphold seemingly uneven trades when they involve keepers and/or draft picks.
    3. Draft Order
      1. (depends on league)
    4. The Draft
      1. Coaches cannot trade draft picks during the draft, but they can agree to trade players selected at specific picks after the draft.
        1. Trades that are discussed on the DRAFT MESSAGE BOARD, even ones that are expressly agreed to by both parties, will NOT BE BINDING.
          1. The trade must be proposed and accepted after the draft by the normal methods in order for the Commish to uphold it.
          2. This does not mean two coaches can’t negotiate deals or even verbally and expressly agree to them during the draft. That’s permitted. Just use caution: make sure you trust a coach’s word before you alter your draft strategy or specific picks to conform to an alleged post-draft trade. And please use good sportsmanship to avoid tampering penalties.
            1. In the scenario where one coach promises the other coach that if he drafts Player X here, he’ll trade Player Y to him after the draft, and then the first changes his mind shortly after and screws over the coach who altered his plans to accommodate the alleged trade… While the Commish cannot force the trade to go through, he CAN DISCIPLINE THE UNFAITHFUL COACH for his unsportsmanlike conduct via the Tampering policies.
              1. Evidence showing why the coach reasonably relied on the proposed trade in good faith would likely be required.
            2. Free Agency & Waivers
              1. Bids for the weekly free agency auction must be placed in the following timeframe: The bidding period for a given week typically opens around 5 a.m. on Tuesday mornings and closes at 2 a.m. (C.T.) on Wednesday morning, when the auction commences. Essentially, you have all of Tuesday to make claims.
                1. After the weekly auction, waivers are temporarily lifted, and free agency is a free-for-all, first come, first serve format leading up until each player’s game that week. During this time, coaches can add and drop players freely until players are locked at game-time.
              2. Bidding money that is not spent does NOT carry over to the next season.
              3. There is no penalty for teams that spend all of their bidding money.
                1. ESPN will allow teams with no remaining bidding money to continue bidding for players as long as coaches set their bids at $0.
              4. AUCTION TIES: When two or more coaches bid the same amount of bidding money for a player, the bidding team lowest in the standings will be awarded the player.
              5. ACCIDENTS: If a coach mistakenly cuts a player or makes a decision that was not intended via genuine human error or a computer malfunction, he must immediately notify the Commish if there is any action that is going to be taken. It is up to the Commish to decide whether the mistake is genuine and whether notification was immediate enough to make a correction. If the action leads to a chain of events that the Commish would be forced to undo, it’s highly unlikely the Commish will retroactively correct the mistake. For example, if a team accidentally drops a player, and doesn’t notify the Commish before he has cleared waivers and is added by another team, the Commish will not have much sympathy. However, if a team’s computer malfunctions or a coach genuinely didn’t understand the result of his action, and he notifies the Commish IMMEDIATELY that this was an error and asks if it can be fixed, the Commish will likely make the correction within his discretion.
            3. Can’t Cut List
              1. We follow ESPN’s “CAN’T-CUT” List AND the most recent of any “Can’t Cut List” periodically and manually posted on the message board throughout the season by the Commish.
                1. It’s worth noting that the Commish will be post a much broader Can’t Cut List prior to the postseason that will include a wider spectrum of players so that careless (or intentional) drops will not affect playoff teams.
              2. There will be no penalties for teams who cut players on the Commish’s CAN’T-CUT list, and the players will be simply returned to their owner with message notifying them of the error.
            4. Stat & Scoring Corrections
              1. Through a league vote, the Commish has been given discretion to make controversial scoring adjustments at his discretion. However, the Commish must notify the league members directly involved, if any, about the correction and the reasoning behind the adjustment. There must also be documented proof via NFL.com (the official stat keepers of the NFL) to make a correction.
              2. STAT-UTE OF LIMIATIONS: During the regular season, the statute of limitations for stat corrections is 3 weeks from the Tuesday night at 2 a.m. following the Sunday in which the games were played. This is because Tuesday at 2 a.m. is technically when the new fantasy week begins, so all scores are presumed FINAL in the standings. Therefore, any future stat correction the league website makes after 3 weeks is VOID. Also, once the playoffs begin, all stat corrections from the regular season are VOID. And once the playoffs end, all stat corrections are VOID.
            5. Unforeseen Controversies & the Commissioner’s Code
              1. In the event of an unforeseen minor error, the commissioner will make any necessary minor or housekeeping adjustments if the change is not controversial. However, if the event is controversial and the situation presents a fairly obvious and reasonable unfairness arisen from a situation that is not addressed in this constitution, and a decision must be made and cannot wait until the offseason to be addressed, then and only then will the commissioner make a ruling based on applying past precedent AND a complete and thorough textual-based analysis + application of this constitution.
            6. Contacting the Commissioner’s Office
              1. EMAIL: nick_guarisco@aol.com
              2. PHONE: 985-502-6405
              3. Or via Facebook

 “THE RULES ARE FAIR. THE REGULATIONS ARE FAIR. THE COMPETITIVE BALANCE IS FAIR.”

-DENNIS GREEN

 

 


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