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Example of how a fantasy basketball league hosted at SignAndTrade works

by ja on 6/8/2012 1:53:24 PM

I get quite a few questions about how our fantasy basketball leagues work at, and there's just no short way to answer the question. They work almost any way you want! As of 2012 we do not host anything other than head-to-head format leagues.

The easiest way for you to get an idea of how it works is for you to be able to see the original "league constitution" for the first league created here. This gives you an idea of some of the capabilities of the system we've built and gives you an understanding of WHY we exist at all. It was written almost 7 years ago so there are actually even more capabilities now and some things have been changed... but it definitely gives you an idea.

Almost everything is customizable to your league so if you see a "hard number" or equation (like for computing fantasy points) then you can be pretty confident it can be altered to fit your own needs.

Here are some screenshots (each opens in a new page):
See all the bids ever placed in your league - Notice that you can tell exactly when Jeremy Lin got hot this year by looking at this graphic.

This is a view of a fantasy matchup - For those interested... the french team name there means "it is what it is". I'm not french, but the dude who calls himself Royale with cheese is. Bonus points if you know why he named himself that.

How you set your lineup - Nothing complicated or fancy here.

Here's picture of the schedule listing - You can see every year and every game ever played in your league.

Alright, everything that follows from here is that original league constitution:

League Constitution:

Roster Size

You may have up to 15 players on your roster at any given time and you must maintain at least 8. THERE IS NO IL SPOT

Number of Contracts

You may have an unlimited number of contracts but any player under contract counts toward your cap. This could happen if, for example, a player comes up for bid that you would like to acquire but you already have 15 people on your roster. You may still bid for the player if you have cap space to pay for them. If you win, you will have to waive one of your active roster players to make room for the newly signed player.

When players are signed, they must be added to your roster. You cannot simply sign players and hold their contracts to keep others from having them.

So, you would have 16 contracts, 15 of which were active players and 1 of which you basically just threw away the money (unless someone else signs them).

You MUST wait 1 month to resign a player that you have waived

Their salary will count against you however many times you sign them.

Positions played per night

8 Players Per Day

2 G, 2 F, 1 C, 3 UTILS

Lineup changes

You may change your lineup daily. The ability to adjust a player in your lineup is locked a few minutes before the game in which the player will be a participant.

Salary cap

$175 gazillion. If at any time you exceed this number, you will forfeit your points for each day until you have gotten back under the cap. You can get back under the cap by (1) Completing a trade to lower your total contract amount or (2) use your insurance to drop a player. If you are under the salary cap by the time rosters are locked, you can collect points for that day... YOU MUST HAVE AN EMAIL TO THE COMMISH STATING HOW YOU ARE UNDER THE CAP _AT THAT TIME_.


Total points for team over that 3 night period. Points will be calculated using the NBA efficiency calculation system:

FantPts = ((pts + rbd + ast + stl +blk)-(FG missed + FT missed + TO)).

It is possible that something will go wrong with loading or calculating the scores. If you believe this is true, please calculate the scores yourselves, and post a message on the league message board with what you think is wrong (and email the commish). If something is wrong with the automation, then scores can be manually updated where necessary.

Number of Teams

16 with room for expansion

League Entry Fee

Up to the league.

Salary Determination

Salaries are determined initially by the efficiency rating of the player over the last 3 years. Any undrafted player's salary will be determined by a free agent bidding process in which the winning bid will be determined based on a combination of the offered contract length and yearly salary offered.

Drafted Players: Efficiency rating over last 3 years played x $1 gazillion

Free Agents: Bid price starts at 2/3 efficiency rating over last 3 years (not including their price) during the season. FA bidding has league minimum opening bid.

Waivers: Price of current contract with previous owner

Rookie: We have a fixed salary scale for rookies based on their NBA draft order, but other leagues can choose their own custom amount.

Minimum Salary

: 1 gazillion

Regular Season Game Length

Something like the following... it will be set yearly by the admin. In the future a tool for setting up ones own fantasy schedule may be possible, but it will render some of the fantasy basketball tools moot if the schedule doesn't match up with the standard.

3 nights per matchup x 40 games, 2 nights per matchup x 1 game = 41 total games. Each team plays each other 5 times during regular season for a total of 35 games, then each team plays divisional opponent 2 additional games for another 6 games yielding 41 total.

Playoff Game Length

2 nights per game for 2 weeks (or 10 days for first round depending on regular season schedule). This allows 7 games in two weeks. First team to win 4 games wins that round. The last 6 weeks of the regular season is the playoffs.

Playoff Qualification

Top 8 teams (by record) in each conference go to playoffs.


The rule in trades is that both parties must end up under the salary cap or the trade will be void. If one of the players involved in the trade gets injured or suspended before the trade is accepted by all parties and processed in the system, any of the team managers involved in the trade can request for the trade to be voided. This rule exists so that a trade that would have been fair for all parties could be all of sudden one-sided because a player gets injured. Also, for any trade to be valid, all teams involved in the trade must give up a player or a draft pick. No players cannot be acquired without giving up something. A player traded away by a team cannot be reacquired by the same team in another trade during the same season. In regards of trading draft picks:

It is basically a "gentleman's agreement". You may trade draft picks for future years, but they cannot be 'protected'. And BOTH parties must prepay their league fees all the way up until the year in which the traded pick occurs.


You may waive players, but this does not relieve you of their salary. If a player is picked up off of waivers then you are relieved of the current salary and the new owner assumes it under their own cap space.

If a player becomes a free agent and is picked up by bidding, you will still be responsible for the difference between what the salary was when you waived them and the salary that they were purchased for throughout the remainder of the contract that they were under with you.

Length of time on waiver

6 days.

Ways of Acquiring Players


: See contract breakdown.

Picking up off of Waiver: Player on waivers can be picked up by any owner at their previous owners contract price. If more than one owner attempt to claim the same player from waivers, the owner with the highest waiver priority will get the player. The owner will assume the old contract length AT LEAST, but may extend it to 2 years if it was only 1 yr.

Bidding on Free Agents After first bid, 48 hours for counter bid. Process continues until 48 hours passes with no additional bids on the player.

Contracts of Free Agents These are no different than normal except that they are retroactive to the beginning of the season in which they were acquired. If you acquire a free agent in Feb 2006 and sign them to a 1 year deal, then you will only be signing them for the remainder of the current year. Signing them for 2 years means you would have them through the following season as well.

Types of Contracts

Contract rule adjustments: 6 multi-year contracts can be


by a team per year. 3 3year and 3 2year. This means that if team A has no more 3 year contracts and team B does, then B can sign a 3 year deal to a player (including the premium listed below) and then trade them to A.

There are no "Restricted" contracts.

You do not have to assign all of your multi-year deals at the beginning of the season. You might be making moves that you might want to use those contracts for. Teams can keep contracts in the bank (they become void at the end of each season if they were not ever used) for use on future acquisitions.

No contract upgrades can be performed on a player once the season starts unless they are acquired after that point and it must be done immediately in that case. To increase a players contract length (only possible in a "sign and trade"), a premium P will be added to the contract and will be paid for by the new owner. P will be based on the number of years added to the contract. P = (1.5 x Number of Years Added to Contract). In addition, the trade salary will be based at the players current "going value" (greater of 3 yr eff including the current year, or current contract price). *NOTE* If no contract upgrade is involved, then the player goes at their current rate.

All contracts for owned players must be declared before the beginning of the season. Any unspecified contract will become a 1 yr by default and cannot be changed.

Off-season moves

There will be a moratorium period. TBD

Injuries and Retirement / Insurance (leagues may choose not to utilize this feature)

In an effort to keep injured players or unexpected retirement from causing a team to be completely hopeless, the following types of insurance are available for US dollars. This money will be added to the pot for the year the insurance was purchased.

$10 Team insurance: Can be used on any one injured player for 50% relief. Player will go to waivers and then on to free agency if not claimed. Player filed against must have collected stats since the purchase of insurance before it can be used on them. (Can't buy insurance on an already injured player).

$10 Ohh, I just have to have the cap space insurance: Can be used on any one player for 100% relief. Once added to a team, a player can only be dropped after a period of 2 weeks of NBA regular season games. The only exception to this rule would apply when a player has a long-term injury (the commish will rule on this kind of drops on a case by case basis). This insurance can only be used as many times as needed by a team.

$5 Individual Insurance: Can be purchased for use on one specific player that must be named at the time of purchase. If the player is injured/retires, you will receive 100% relief of their salary. Must drop player to FA. Player file against must have collected stats since the purchase of insurance before it can be used on them. (Can't buy insurance on an already injured player).

Drafts (Inaugural, Expansion, Rookie/Yearly)

There are three different types of drafts. The inaugural draft is the leagues first draft (2005-2006 season). The other drafts are explained below.

Inaugural Draft:
15 rounds of 8 picks. Teams must remain under salary cap throughout the draft.

Expansion draft:
In the event that the league expands (increases in # of teams) there will be an expansion draft which will be held prior to the yearly and rookie drafts.
Each current owner will be required to "un-protect" at least 3 players on their team that they have rights to for the upcoming season. This will create an expansion draft pool. Note, if more than 1 team is being added to the league, then more than 3 players may become required.
The expansion teams will draft 7 players from the pool created. For any player drafted in the expansion draft, contracts are simply transferred. They are also GUARANTEED. "Guaranteed" means that if a team drafts an expansion player, they must sign them for a 1 yr deal. You cannot draft and release during the expansion.

Rookie/Yearly Draft:
Each year there will be a 2 round draft of available players. This draft is planned to be for Rookies only. In this draft you can sign the players to any valid contract length. Their yearly price is their current DRAFT PRICE for the duration of the assigned contract length.

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