Looking to start a new devy fantasy football league in 2023? Hopefully, the bylaws below will help you get started! Typically devy fantasy football leagues consist of at least 12 owners, and you can either do offensive players only or do both offensives (single quarterback or Superflex) and IDP (individual defensive players).
Your devy fantasy football league bylaws document should include (at least) the following items:
League “Government”: Who the commissioners are, what their roles entail, and what the expectations are of the commissioner(s).
The League Commissioner is charged with interpreting league bylaws, settling league disputes, and handling day-to-day operations and website functionality. Every attempt will be made to run the league with transparency, order, and integrity. If you ever have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Commissioner. Any changes to the Bylaws will be agreed upon by 8 of the 12 GMs in a public poll. The league time zone is set to Central Standard Time (CST), accounting for all events accordingly.
Communication: What mobile app your league will use to communicate, some apps typically used include GroupMe, Discord, and Whatsapp, and set the expectations for throughout the off-season, draft time, and in-season communications.
Schedule: When your initial league startup draft will take place, as well as each subsequent rookie draft on a yearly basis.
Costs: How much the yearly fees are, as well as what payouts look like. Typically will be collected via LeagueSafe.com and will look something like the following:
League structure: Is your league going to have multiple divisions? I have leagues of 12 teams that are one big division or two divisions. If you’re in larger leagues, 14, 16 teams, or more, you will want to have divisions and explain what the schedule of weekly matchups will look like (similar to how the NFL does yearly).
Roster Size/Limits/Starting Lineups: How many players can each team have at each position? How many will start for your teams each week? How many devy positions will you have? I have devy leagues with as little as 3-5 players or as big as 15+ players. Will you do injured reserve in your league? How many injured reserve spots will you have? I typically see 3-5 injured reserve spots but it’s up to you and what’s best for your league. In season and off-season roster sizes, cut down dates, and what punishment is if those sizes aren’t followed.
Example for starting positions in a Superflex league:
Taxi Squad: Will you have a taxi squad made up of devy players, 1st or 2nd year NFL players? Taxi squads are players that can’t be played in your weekly lineups but can be stashed (developmental players), typically I see it being a mix of your devy players and NFL players (see below).
In-Season Schedule: How many weeks will be your regular season? When do the playoffs start? Will you have a bye-week for the top 1 or 2 seeds? How many teams make the playoffs? Do you have your championship in weeks 16, 17, or 18? Typically it’s week 17 but I have leagues that go all the way to the end.
The league playoffs will take place during weeks 15-17.
The 6 postseason participants will be seeded as their overall standing.
Week 15 = Wildcard Round.
In each division: Seeds #1 and #2 receive byes; Seed #3 plays Seed #6 and Seed #4 plays Seed #5.
Week 16 = Semi-Finals.
In each conference: Seed #1 plays the lowest remaining seed; Seed #2 plays the other remaining franchise.
Week 17 = Dynasty Super Bowl.
The two remaining seeds will face off for the League Championship!
Standings: How the teams will be ranked in season, see example:
Tie Breakers: How will you handle if a tie happens in your league?
How to determine your inaugural and rookie draft orders: When you hold your first draft, what will you use to determine draft order? There are sites like Random.org where you can enter the names and have it randomly sort the order. After the first draft, you can use rankings to determine rookie order, though some leagues do a lottery for the top 5 picks (I don’t encourage it but I’ve seen it).
League Scoring: How many points for each position? See Example: We also have IDP scoring here.
|Long Passsing Play of 20+ Yards||0.25|
|Long Passsing Play of 30+ Yards||0.5|
|Long Passsing Play of 40+ Yards||0.75|
|Long Passsing Play of 50+ Yards||1|
|Length of Passing TD (40-49)||2|
|Length of Passing TD (50-110)||3|
|Passing Yards||.05 each (1pt for 20 yds)|
|Passing Yards Bonus||3 points for every 300 yds|
|Passing 2 pointers||2|
|Rushing Attempts||0.15 pts for each|
|Rushing Yards||0.1 each (1pt for 10 yds)|
|Long Rushing Plays of 20+ Yards||1|
|Long Rushing Plays of 40+ Yards||2|
|Length of Rushing TD (40-49)||2|
|Length of Rushing TD (50-110)||3|
|Rushing Yards Bonus||3 points for every 100 yds|
|Rushing 2 pointers||2|
|Receiving Yards||0.1 each (1pt for 10 yds)|
|Long Receptions of 20+ Yards||1|
|Long Receptions of 40+ Yards||2|
|Length of Receiving TD (40-49)||2|
|Length of Receiving TD (50-110)||3|
|Receiving Yards Bonus||3 points for every 100 yds|
|Receiving 2 pointers||2|
|Fumbles lost (to opponent)||-2|
|Offensive Fumble recovery TD’s||6|
|Punt Return TD||6|
|Punt Return Yards||0.5 for every 10 yards|
|Long Punt Returns of 40+ Yards||1|
|Kickoff Return TD||6|
|Kickoff Return Yards||0.5 for every 10 yards|
|Fumbles Lost (to opponent)||-2|
|Number of Offensive Fumble Recovery TDs||6|
RULES FOR RB, WR
|Receptions||1.0 points each|
RULES FOR TE
|Receptions||1.5 points each|
Free agency and Blind Bidding: How will you allow people to pick up players that weren’t drafted? Example:
The free agent acquisition process is made by way of Conditional Blind bidding (CBBW) and First Come First Served (FCFS) waivers.
Each team is given 1,000 free agent “dollars” at the start the offseason and it resets back to 1000 at the start of the regular season, which they may use to bid on free agents during a weekly blind bidding process.
After the completion of Week 1, the blind bidding processes will be available weekly and will continue until prior to Week 16 for ALL teams.
Wednesday’s bidding process: Bids will be allowed to be entered from Sunday at 1:00 PM CST until Wednesday 9:00 PM CST. See the HELP CENTER for instructions on Conditional Blind Bid Waivers.
After bidding is processed the waivers are on a first come first serve (FCFS) basis. FCFS waivers will be allowed to be entered from Wednesday at 09:00 PM CST until Monday at 8:00 PM CST. Players are locked at the start of their game.
All bids will be processed and the rosters updated with the results of all successful bids after 9:00 PM CST on Wednesday & Friday, following the completion of the blind bidding process.
Any player who is dropped from a roster is “locked” until the next round of blind bidding.
Free agent NFL players whose teams played on Thursday will NOT be available for pickups on Friday (following Thursday’s game) and will ONLY become available for next week’s Wednesday bidding process.
The Commissioner reserves the right to remove a dropped player from the free agent pool or reinstate that player back to its original team, if the Commissioner determines that doing so is the interest of upholding the integrity of the contest, or that the dropped player would unfairly impact the outcome of the league, or to correct an error. In this rare instance, all participants will be notified and an explanation will be given.
In the event that there is a tie between bids, the team which is awarded the player will be determined in order by:
all “blind bidding sort criteria displayed below are applied in a “worst to first manner”
Overall winning percentage
Conference winning percentage
Divisional winning percentage
Head to head record
Total points scored
Bids shall be placed by a team with conditional bids following the primary bid. The top bid is the primary bid in a bidding group. The bids underneath are conditional bids. If you lose the primary bid, the first conditional bid directly below will be considered next. If you lose the primary and the first conditional bid, then the second conditional bid will be considered, etc. The rest of your bidding groups will be processed in the same manner. A maximum of one player can be won in each bidding group. Bids within a group may have different designated drop players. It’s important to remember when placing multiple free agent bids that you cannot win two players if they both have the same drop player. You may not place different bid amount on the same player. In this case, only the highest dollar bid will be considered.
Dollar amounts do not determine preference of bids – only the order in which the bids are placed determine preference. Example: conditional bid #3 can be a higher dollar amount than the primary bid.
Teams may submit as many bids as they like. There are no limitations as to the amount of players that may be acquired by any one team during the course of the weekly blind bidding processes or during the course of the year, provided teams remain within the maximum number of 30 players allowed on each roster.
Teams will not have the ability to bid on free agents once their initial 1,000 free agent “dollars” have been spent. All bids must be in increments of dollars, with no cents. The minimum bid amount is $1.
NOTE: If a devy player is dropped during the season they are unable to be picked up via waivers. They will become eligible to be drafted again on the next rookie/devy draft.
Trading: What are the rules around trades? Trading future picks? Will you ask for owners to pay to trade future picks, to ensure that if that owner leaves the new one won’t be left trying to rebuild without picks? Example:
Trading will be allowed between teams that are paid in full for the current season. You may not trade in the off-season until you have paid for the upcoming year meaning that both teams must be paid up in full to complete a trade. Trades can involve players, draft picks, and blind bidding dollars (BBD$). You may trade a player you have placed on injured reserve and/or on the DTS.
Trading future round draft picks: Trades may include future draft picks of the next calendar year ONLY.
Any team that wishes to trade future round draft picks must pay for that year in full before the trade will be processed. Payment not submitted will result in the trade not being accepted. This additional deposit will be applied towards the following year’s entry fee or could potentially be used to cover the difference between the selling price and the annual entry fee if the team owner does not return for the following year and the team has to be heavily discounted.
The trading deadline is before the kickoff of Week 13. There will be NO TRADES between Week 13-17 of the league season.
Trades can be made after the completion of the Week 17 games, provided the following year’s Entry fee has been paid by all teams involved in the trade.
Trading will be automatically handled within the system upon approval of the trade by the relevant owners. This will occur without automatic league review or voting. However, ANY team (including the commissioner) can object to a trade by posting in the league message boards their objection within 48 hours of a trade. In that objection, they must state their case with valid reasons why they believe the trade should be reviewed and possibly overturned. This reason may be for whatever reason they wish but it must be articulated as per above. All teams have the right to post their thoughts on the trade in question, to discuss the matter in an even handed manner.
Once this objection is made, one MORE team will need to post a seconding motion to the objection within 24 hours.
Upon the second objection, the Commissioner will put a poll out for the league to vote on. A simple majority vote is required AGAINST a trade to get it reversed (including reversing all subsequent trades that may have been made with involved players).
There will NOT be a limit to the number of challenges an owner can propose.
Additionally, the league is strongly advised not to “flame” , “insult” or use harsh language against any team making an objection. Every owners right to object must be respected since it is an important part of any league, in order to maintain the integrity or the league or to help prevent collusion or the threat of collusion.
If a team flames or insults someone making an objection, the Commissioner will issue a warning. If they do it again in the same season, they automatically forfeit the chance to win any prize winnings for that season. If they do it a third time, they will be banned from the league.
Any challenges made that result in an overturned trade, will be extremely rare. However, It is important that people have the right to object to trades, and am serious about protecting that right and preventing any flaming.
In order to get trades reversed, owners who accidentally accept a trade must alert the Commissioner and the league via message board within 10 minutes after the trade is processed. Owners who accidentally offer a trade that is accepted within 10 minutes of the offer’s timestamp must alert the Commissioner and the league via message board within 10 minutes after the trade is processed.
Accidental trade reversal decisions will ultimately be made at Commissioners’ discretion. In short, accidental trade protection is not meant to cater to those with buyer’s remorse or those who receive better post-trade offers. I strongly urge Owners not to accept/reject trades via the MFL notification emails. These emails will not prompt you for verification if you accept a trade via the provided link. I equally urge Owners to proofread all trade offers they’re making as MFL does not provide a review prompt before officially sending the offer.
Owners’ Responsibilities and Conduct: Basically set the expectations! Also cover tanking, or purposely losing to get a better draft pick. Example:
All GMs are expected to comply with the following expectations. Failure to comply with any of these expectations may result in a penalty listed under item # 26 or being asked to leave the league, depending on the severity of the violation.
- Knowing and following all the league rules, bylaws & schedules.
- Always field the most competitive starting lineup possible.
- Respond to trade requests (accept, reject, or counteroffer) in a timely fashion.
- Respond to emails from the commissioner or other owners in a timely manner.
- Ensuring that their team has current contact information and is accessible via the phone, email, and/or league message board.
- Inform the league members if you cannot be reached for any extended period of time.
- Inform the commissioners if any condition (no access to the internet, etc) prevents you from being able to fully comply with these expectations at any point in time.
- Taking part in league votes and debates.
- Execute draft picks in a timely fashion.
- Treat fellow GMs with courtesy and respect.
Leaving the league and getting new owners: How is the league going to replace an owner that’s left the league? If you’re replacing multiple will you have a draft of the teams for the new owners? Where you take all the players of the teams that were open and put them into a draft as well as the picks, to try and make it fair for the new owners.
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