Fantasy Files: Rotating the stock AND Pride of the Lions: Redraft, 2011 style

My dynasty league is about to enter its eighth season. We will shortly have our first draft other than rookie drafts since the inaugural draft. For the first time in eight seasons, I had to replace multiple owners at the same time. I’ve had multiple owners leave before but not at the same time. The way it’s done in Zealots land is with a Replacement Owners Draft. Yeah, ROD is not the most rad acronym.

I had to find new owners. It took me a lot of back and forth on Twitter and e-mail to find folks. Luckily I have a bit of an audience on Twitter so I was able to find potential owners in a hurry. At first I thought I was going to get one of my interview subjects on board, but that fell through. I got my three owners, one of whom has played in this format before and actually commishes another one of the leagues.

Step one was to get the owners. Now I need to organize the draft. The three new owners will conduct a 54-round draft. This will be serpentine with 53 players and one package of rookie picks. So the owners will draft players on the abandoned rosters and the very thin free agent pool. They will also draft one of three pools of rookie picks left behind by the previous owners.

Rosters need to be set first. During the regular season you get to put up to four guys on IR, but when the season’s over, those guys have to be activated. It’s nice to have that extra roster room, but you must release a few players to get down to 53. I have one owner who hasn’t completed that yet. That’s a step.

Once the rosters are good and I release all unclaimed players into the free agent pool, I’ll get the new folks to state that they’re ready, conduct an online dice roll to determine draft slots, and begin. The draft will occur on the message board. While I love the “keep ’em forever” aspect of dynasty, I do itch to have a “from scratch” draft. I do like my roster so I’ll stay put.

Pride of  the Lions: 2012 goes back to 2011

Another task I had to complete was one more draft. This was tougher than I expected. I’m working on a manuscript that takes place during the 2011 NFL season. I wrote my initial draft of the manuscript during the summer of 2010. In short, I projected what was going to happen. Now that the season’s almost complete, I’m going to throw some realism is and use the actual 2011 results. Also, on advice from a couple of writers and agents, I’m dropping the league from 12 to 8 players. I know eight-team leagues are an abomination against everything holy but I think it’s going to help me having a smaller pool of main characters. Combining and deleting characters means the ones that remain should be stronger.

I had some trouble looking up fantasy rankings from the 2011 preseason. My normal main stop, footballguys.com, was under some kind of construction. It looked like a Web site that was missing a style sheet. I went to Yahoo, where I did my work league, and downloaded their “latest” cheat sheet. It must have been a few weeks into the season as guys like Garrett Hartley, Ryan Williams, Mikel LeShoure, Jamaal Charles and Kenny Britt weren’t on the list. In order to give the book a real feel, I’m going to actually play out the entire fantasy schedule, including waiver picks. The draft has to be about three weeks prior to the season. Yeah, I have an owner who gets screwed by the Peyton injury just like I was.

Finding a balance is going to be a challenge also. I need to include enough details so the hard-core fantasy footballers aren’t yawners, and I want the game to be accessible to folks who might not understand football, let alone the fake version.

Sadly, my initial dramatic ending of the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl, in overtime on a safety no less, had to be scrapped as well. Writers must bury their babies, babies being words, characters, plot lines and entire manuscripts, often.

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