Commish HQ: Three Things to Take Care of Right Now!

By Reginald James
Reginald James

Are you a new commissioner running a fantasy football league for the first time? You’ve probably got a lot of things on your commissioner to-do list right about now. I would like to push three items up to the tippy top of that list, or at least within close proximity, that you should make sure to address as soon as you can.


1) Review your rules! There are the usual mode-of-play rules established as the framework for most fantasy platforms. Then, there are the set of rules that you have either modified or have decided to add. We’re talking about those rules:


• Are they clear and understandable? If not, rewrite them or provide examples.

• Are they free of loopholes? Do your best to see if you can find any.

• Are there any rules that you should add?


2) Collect That Pool Money! This is one of the most common grievances I hear commissioners moaning about every year. They hate dealing with the money. They loathe trying to get everyone to pay.


• Set a payment deadline right now.

Let the league know if they don’t pay, they don’t draft.

• Have a ready list of replacements just in case someone doesn’t pay.


3) Deliver The League Rules! Even if there haven’t been any changes from last season, make sure everyone gets a copy. Do this every year, no matter what. Some league managers don’t bother to read their league rules. Cool, that’s on them. You’re just ensuring they won’t be able to say they weren’t aware of a particular rule that disallowed some nonsense they’ll be trying to get away with later in the season. Make sure they have the opportunity to view the league rules, removing the option for baseless excuses. Whether by email, passenger pigeon, or by personal hand deliver, just get those league rules to every member. You do that, then you’ve done your job. You’ve held up your end of the deal.



Ask The Commish



Hey Commish,


Our current commissioner just quit out of the blue. I agreed to take over for this year only because no one else wanted to do it and I didn’t want the league to tank. I’m not too excited to do this myself but most of us have been together in the league for about seven years, so I think we should be okay.


I want your advice on moving to a keeper league. We’ve been talking about doing it for a while, but “the former guy” wasn’t interested. He always said it would be too much work. But now that he’s gone, I’m willing to give it a try for the league. Problem is, I want us to draft again this year and choose or start our keepers next season. Some of the other guys want to choose from their squad from last season for this year. I think my idea makes the most sense because everyone starts off from the same competitive spot if we wait. If we do it now, some people might be at a disadvantage because they might not have good options to choose from. In fact, I know some of the rosters are  pretty bleak for choosing keepers. I actually don’t know how many we’re going to choose yet. If we’re going to do this,  I just want it to be fair for everyone so we at least start off on a good note.



First, good for you for coming in and saving the day. Maybe you’ll decide to stick around and do it again next season.


Yup, I’m with you. You should redraft again this season. Then, going into next season, managers will choose however many players you decide each will get to keep. We both know why some folks would want to pull players from their last roster - they probably have great options. Yup, squash that notion for them.


When your league members drafted last year, and when they traded or worked waivers during the season, no one was thinking of roster management for potential keepers. No one was looking beyond that current season. I agree that starting off from the same spot, as you put it, is the most fair thing to do. Everyone goes into this year’s draft with the same set of expectations, and will bring whatever strategy they’ve come up with for playing in a keeper league - which they certainly weren’t thinking about at all last year.


Send your questions to The Commish: