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5 Ways to Know Your Fantasy Football League Stinks


Some of us are lucky enough to be in a fantasy football league with active owners, many of whom may actually know each other, as well as a responsive and fair commissioner. Some of us may actually be in several leagues that fit this description. I seriously doubt everyone has always had great success with their leagues though. Many likely had to drop out of a few duds, or even fold them as the commissioner.

Fantasy football is addicting, and very fun as you may know, but it can become a miserable affair if you are in a terribly run, or terrible league in general. Many just stop playing while others begrudgingly set their lineups out of habit.

Related: Strategy and Tips to Prepare for Your Fantasy Draft

Either way, knowing whether a league will be a solid one or not prior to joining would be optimal, but isn’t always possible. Knowing the warning signs mid-season however can be beneficial so you can bow out for the upcoming season and move on to a league far more worthy of your precious time on Sundays. With that let’s get into these...

5 Signs Your Fantasy Football League Stinks

1. You constantly have new owners in your league

This one just happens sometimes and if it happens every once in a while it is to be expected. An owner gets a second job, has a baby, moves, etc. However if you are in a league where owners are consistently dropping for whatever reason your league may be struggling.

The league format also is something that needs to be considered. For example, ownership turnover is probably more likely to happen in a dynasty league. An owner who drafts a team that struggles mightily and has no hope for the future will more often than not give up and keep their money.

This is where you need to make sure the league has ways to keep this owner interested, or more importantly find a new owner who is willing to take over a dumpster fire team.

If your owners get bored and are quitting this is a red flag. There are many reasons owners quit, and you need to know why. Reasonable excuses make sense, but if it is consistent it may be time to move on to greener pastures and a more stable league. Or heck form your own with your current league’s favorite owners.

Positional Tiers/Rankings: Top 200 I QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

2. Your league frequently uses trade vetoes

I am of the mindset that vetoes simply shouldn’t exist unless it is blatantly obvious collusion. If trades are getting vetoed for any other reason, it’s my opinion that your league stinks and the rule needs to be removed. If every trade sparks a debate, your league stinks. No single owner or owners can honestly predict the future, or determine if a trade is terrible. If an owner makes a deal with another owner, it is their decision. Could it impact the league? Sure. But that is part of the game.

Are you upset a player you like got moved? Well you should have made an offer, or a better offer. What if the star player in the deal gets hurt a few weeks later, or during the fantasy playoffs?

Is this trade still horrendous? Vetoable? The bottom line is that if the league uses vetoes or if other owners feel so powerfully opposed to trades your league stinks.

3. Your league is a dinosaur league with no rule or scoring changes EVER!

Look, tradition is good, and a league filled with stability and the same core is something to be proud of. There is no doubt you won’t need to worry about finding new owners but if you are in a league with minimum rosters, no fractional points and the owners don’t know what PPR means your league likely stinks.

The NFL changes, and your fantasy league should adapt at some point too. It is hard for me to believe there are still leagues where you have a running back that finishes with 79 yards only gets seven (instead of 7.9) points.

To each his own, and if the league is fine with this so be it. However, if owners are suggesting changes and getting shot down, or asked to play in a different league then your league should remain in the Stone Age... without you in it.

4. You have a dictator for a commissioner, or worse an indifferent one

This one can tie into all of the above too. If you have a commissioner who rules with an iron fist, refuses to listen to league rule change proposals, loosely and frequently vetoes trades, argues with owners about their decisions constantly, or worse of all, takes advantage of particular rules and trades to benefit themselves. You need to quit. End of story.

If you have a commissioner who is non-responsive, making rule changes midseason, hemming and hawing over what to do whenever controversy arrives, you also may need to leave the league or volunteer to assist as a co-commissioner to ensure your league integrity is intact. That is, if you like the league in the first place.

5. Your league fees and payouts are never made on time

This is far too common, even though there are resources such as or other options where owners can deposit their league fees and they are held safely until the end of the season.

Instead you have a commissioner trying to collect cash from owners after the draft, possibly “borrowing” some of the league fees in the meantime. Trust him, he will pay it back. Or you have owners not paying in general, or being owed money from the previous season.

This simply shouldn’t happen anymore. If you are in a cash league be sure your money is safe and that if you win you will get your cash in a reasonable amount of time.

There is simply no excuse for owners not paying their fees by the due date, or a commissioner not making prompt payouts with today’s limitless options.

If the league opposes using Leaguesafe, or other options then you are stuck with this possible scenario: you are told that you will get your winnings once owner A, C and F pay their fees. The problem is Owner C never received their full payout from the season prior so they won’t pay in assuming they are square. See where I am going with this?

If you are in a league where you pay money with the hopes to actually win money and there is no guarantee you will get it all or only some of it why play?

— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.