Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fantasy: Against Head to Head

I've already argued against the logical fairness of head-to-head standings here and here. But there's a better argument for cross-country scoring in fantasy football: fun.

Cross-country scoring works like this. Each week, you are essentially competing in a head-to-head matchup with every team in your league. If you are in a ten team league, and you score the most points, then you won each of your matchups to finish 9-0. If you had the second-most points that week, then you beat eight opponents, but suffered one defeat, to finish 8-1. Etc. You can use an online league to keep track of the scoring, and then you simply have one person in your league keep the standings based on that scoring.

This makes fantasy football incredibly fun because virtually every football game features fantasy interest. If you are playing head-to-head, the only games with a fantasy impact are games featuring your team's players, and games featuring your opponents' teams' players. But in cross-country scoring, you are competing against every starter in your league, and there is rarely a game that doesn't feature at least one starter.

Monday Night Football is particularly fun. Let me paint a simplified and imagined scenario. Going into a Monday Night game between the Jaguars and Steelers, you have 60 points, the fourth most of the week so far, and have Maurice Jones-Drew. Another opponent has Santonio Holmes, and he's going into the week with 61 points, third most of the week. The second highest score is 68, and the highest score of the week is 75. As you are watching the game, every play made by either MJD or Holmes is full of tension. Every point scored by one of these players pushes you ahead of or behind your closest opponent. Furthermore, you know that if MJD scores a TD and gets even a modest number of yards, you can catch the second-place finisher to finish 8-1. And if MJD runs wild, you could win the week with a 9-0 finish.

Every play matters; a touchdown at any point by your own player might give you 2-3 more wins that week. This is a frequent occurrence in the Hazelweird League: a bunch of teams are bunched together within five points of each other, and one player scoring a TD late in a Monday Night matchup can push his team past multiple other teams.

Of course, this is a simplified scenario. In a Monday Night game between the Steelers and Jaguars, typical fantasy starters would be MJD, Holmes, plus Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, the Steeler Defense, the Steeler Kicker, and possibly the Jaguar Defense, Willie Parker, Heath Miller, the Jaguar Kicker, and David Garrard. In a head-to-head league, you wouldn't care about most of those players. In a cross-country league, you care about every one of these players. You have to: every single fantasy starter in a game could impact your finish for the week.

Cross-country scoring means you're watching every game with fantasy interest. The Hazelweird League features 90 starting positions--that means there are 90 players out there impacting your fantasy finish. You can imagine how fun it is to follow stats and scores on a Sunday.

Any questions about our revolution?


  1. Anonymous12:34 PM

    o most fair one, wilt thou let down your hair?

  2. Anonymous3:00 PM

    This is an awesome idea. I'm going to propose it to my league.