• How to Commish a Devy League

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    You could not find a devy league, so you are going to start one. This article will tell you how to commish a devy league.

    After reading How to Find a Devy League, you still cannot find a league that suits you. So you decide to be brave and start your own league. There are many things you need to consider and this article will go through those pieces from devy commissioners themselves.

    Create Bylaws for the League

    Just like any fantasy football league, it’s important for you to create bylaws to make sure there is no confusion on how the league is run. Below, I’ve outlined a list of important things to be covered in the bylaws for a well-run devy league.

    • Basic league overview
      • What platform will you host your league on?
      • How much is the yearly cost?
      • How will the commissioner collect league dues?
      • What is the payment deadline?
    • Scoring/ Roster Size
      • Scoring: PPR, Points for TD if there are bonus points for certain yardage amounts.
      • Size of the NFL Roster, including the number of starters, position limits, IR spots, and Taxi Squad.
      • Size of the Devy Roster, including whether or not to include players in the roster limit or on the Taxi Squad.
    • Playoffs
      • How long the regular season will last?
      • How many teams make the playoffs?
      • How are Playoff teams decided?
    • Payouts
      • How will you pay out the winnings?
      • How many places (first, second, etc) will you pay out?
    • Startup Draft
      • When it will start?
      • How will you decide draft order?
      • How many rounds in the draft?
      • Will rookies and Devy Players be included with the NFL players or will there be a separate draft?
    • Yearly Rookie/Devy Drafts
      • Will you combine the rookie/veteran draft, or will it be separate? If separate, which draft occurs first?
      • How will you determine the draft order?
      • Clearly, state what devy players are in the player pool for the devy draft?  Are high school players eligible?
      • How many rounds are in the rookie or devy draft?
      • How will you keep track of devy rosters? You can either use a spreadsheet or placeholders.
    • Waivers
      • In most leagues, devy players are only available through drafting or a trade.
      • Decide if there is a waiver order or a set amount given to each team every year for bidding.
      • When waivers will be open every year. Usually, open up again after the rookie draft for the league.

    Questions for Commissioners

    I have given an outline for bylaws, but there are some other items that vary from league to league. So, I asked some devy commissioners questions about the structure of a devy league, and below are their answers. The questions and answers can help guide you in customizing your own league that you will commish.

    When creating bylaws, what are the most important things to keep in mind?

    I try to create a concise skeleton for how things should run and create an infrastructure for productive adaptation to fit the will of the league membership. The bylaws create stability during times where unusual action must be taken – removing and unruly manager, COVID policies, etc..

    Making sure everything is clear. Try not to leave too much ambiguity or open interpretation to rules, it just invites trouble. Be open to suggestions. When considering any league altering changes, make sure they happen the falling year and the entire league is in agreement.

    What do you think is a good number of rounds for devy each year?

    I have always found that having a five round devy/rookie draft is the best way to do it. This allows for better rookies in the draft and gives flexibility when building teams.

    4 imo. Any more and the talent pool starts to get depleted really quickly, people start to lose interest because they aren’t hitting on picks and the value system of picks is a complete mess. It’s difficult enough for most people to value picks properly. When there’s a lot of uncertainty they just opt not to trade at all or worse trade away picks without placing any value on them. Which of course would upset others in the league.

    I only have experience with combining devy and rookie drafts. The league I run caps devy picks at 24, but I also play in a league with 36 picks. Both of these are solid in my opinion, it just depends on the expectations of the league body.

    Do you think high school players should be available in the player pool?

    No, given that this is a game where a certain amount of gambling/betting on real world events. I think there would be some considerable ethical questions to answer if the players in question are predominantly legally minors. Furthermore, I think it would be tough to create a level playing field. However, I’d be open to hearing the opposition argument.

    Devy is kind of free flowing imo. It depends on the group of people in your league and how knowledgeable they are. For casual devy gamers or someone trying to get into the format, I would suggest not making it too complicated for them. I’d rather see the format grow than people run away from it because they don’t know who to draft.

    No but its basically just up to the league. I would always just keep it to only college eligible players.

    Devy draft — before or after the rookie draft?

    After the rookie draft, if they are not combined.

    All up to the league. I manage four different devy leagues and all four handle drafts differently. It’s fun to have some uniqueness to your individual leagues. Forces people to strategize differently and creates small edges.

    I have only experienced a combined draft that allows for managers to “choose their own destiny.” I think this is a great way to do it.

    Struggles in commissioning a Devy League?

    First and foremost – strong personalities. This small pool of dynasty managers tend to  be intense and opinionated.

    My struggles are keeping track of devy players because I exclusively play on Sleeper. This might not be an issue for others. I’m also not an Excel wiz, I know how to use it in the most basic way.

    The roster management is the toughest. On MFL it allows for easily customization because you can create players and input them into the system. That is great but can be very time consuming. Other then keeping the rosters up to date its not that hard to be a commissioner. There will always be orphans

    Thanks for checking out my article, make sure to watch out for the last piece in the series on devy league strategies. You can read all my work on my IDP Guys Author Page and find me on Twitter @hayeb3

    Brandon Haye

    Dog & Craft Beer Lover. Go Browns, Jags, & Wolverines. Devy Dude for IDP GUYS and fantasy football analyst
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