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How to Quit a Fantasy Sports League Gracefully

by ja on 11/26/2008 12:27:42 PM

One of the best things about fantasy sports is the competition. Each league is made up of a group of people that each aim to build the best possible team. Owners may not have anything specific that they want to prove, but they pretty much all want to win. The fun of the competition can be ruined by other teams quitting early. This is especially true if the quitting manager does not quit "ethically".

There are a lot of reasons that can keep a team from being a winner. Injuries can ravage a team, players might not pan out as planned, and the manager might occasionally forget to set their lineup. Even great teams can be losers if the fantasy gods frown upon them. I was once in a league in which the team that had the second highest average points in the league did not even make it into the playoffs. Somehow every other team scored a ton more when they played this team, but then went back to being terrible when playing against everyone else.

So what's the right thing to do when losing (terribly) in a fantasy season? Ideally one would just keep playing and try to get better. But, no doubt, that can be a hassle, especially when they have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Maybe they are in other leagues where their team is competitive and they need to focus on winning those other leagues. If that's the case, then it might make sense for them to lay down their king and move on to the other challenges presented by their other leagues, but there is a right way and a wrong way to quit a fantasy league.

If you are going to quit then the best thing you can do for the fantasy sports community is to do so gracefully. If you are going to play every other team in the league exactly the same number of times you might consider just benching your whole team and being a bye team. It is far more likely that you will be playing some more than others though. In that case, finish setting your lineup for the year and "lock your team". By "lock your team" I mean commit to the concept of no more drops, no more adds, no more lineup adjustments, and no more especially no more trades. The following paragraphs explain why each of these commitments are important.

  • No more drops - if you drop players (especially good ones) then all of a sudden the balance of the whole league is shifted. A manager with a good waiver position gets better through no effort of their own. Whether that manager is the #1 manager or the #9 manager, it is unfair to everyone else that they are getting something for nothing from a team that has no vested interest in the outcome.

  • No more adds - the same principal as with the "no more drops" rule applies here. Don't "steal" players when you don't care to be in the league anymore. A guy you randomly pick up may be someone else's sleeper.

  • No more lineup adjustments - adjusting your lineup is playing the game. If you only do so occasionally, then that is actually worse than just quitting. If you don't play against one team you should not be playing against other teams. One team will get the benefit of playing a mediocre version of your team. Another will have to face the best version of your team. That is not fair to either team. It's not even fair any of the other teams. Those wins / losses will affect their position in the standings as well.

  • No trades - this one is a big one. There is always often someone (I will call them "the gull") who is just waiting for someone to appear to drown. When a team becomes eliminated and seems to quit the gull will swoop in and try to grab as much as they can for themselves. The gull will offer some ridiculous trade for the best players on the team that has been eliminated. In return, they offer their worst players. The hope is that the losing team will be so dejected (or uninterested) that they will just accept the trade. If your team is drowning then you may view participating in a trade such as this as either a final strike against the league that dashed your hopes or you might view it as "giving hope" to the gull. In reality it just ruins the league for half of the other managers (the ones still playing competitively). Resist the temptation to be involved at all once you make the decision to quit.

Quitting a fantasy sports league is not something anyone ever really wants to do. But sometimes, all circumstances included, it is what makes the most sense. If that is the case, then it is still important to do so gracefully. Follow the tips presented in this article if you must quit and the other managers involved will appreciate that you handled it the best possible way for everyone.

(Note to the reader: This article is meant mostly for those involved in yearly leagues. Keeperleagues and / or longterm contract leagues have different etiquette. For example, in a longterm contract league you should always make every effort to find a replacement owner before quitting unless your league's constitution forbids it. The other rules still apply.)

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Article has 1 comments.
#18 by Anonymous posted on 9/19/2012 7:56:56 AM
Here's some stats and trends for you baeblasl fantasy players today. When OAKLAND team played as a Road team Playing on Friday Vs Non Division Opponent Coming off a Loss vs. AL EAST opponent Coming off a lost in game 3 of a series.SU Record: 8-7-0O/U/P Record: 2-13-0 When SEATTLE team Played as Home team as a Favorite During a night game Vs. Right handed pitchers Coming off a Win vs. AL EAST opponent Allowed 1 runs AGAINST in their last game.SU Record: 10-1-0O/U/P Record: 7-4-0 When ATLANTA team played as a Road team Vs. Right handed pitchers Before a non division game Allowed 3 runs AGAINST in their last game Coming off a Road loss as a Underdog.SU Record: 8-8-0O/U/P Record: 12-2-2 When NY METS team played as a -140 to -160 home Favorite After a conference game During the month of June.SU Record: 6-10-0O/U/P Record: 14-2-0 When TEXAS team Played as road team as a Underdog 1st game of a series During the 2008 season.SU Record: 5-6-0O/U/P Record: 9-2-0 When LOS ANGELES team played as a road team During a night game Vs AL CENTRAL opponent.SU Record: 4-8-0O/U/P Record: 2-9-1 When CLEVELAND team Played as home team as a Favorite Last 5 years Vs NL WEST opponent.SU Record: 10-2-0O/U/P Record: 6-6-0 DETROIT When ANY MLB Team played as a -120 to -140 Home Favorite Playing on Friday After a conference game During a night game Coming off a 1 run win Coming off a Win vs. AL CENTRAL opponent.SU Record: 8-8-0O/U/P Record: 13-2-1 NY METS When ANY MLB Team played as a -140 to -160 Home Favorite Last 2 years After a conference game Vs Non Division Opponent Coming off a Home loss as a Favorite Scored 4 or more runs FOR in their last game Coming off vs. Right handed pitcher.SU Record: 16-3-0O/U/P Record: 7-11-1

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