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I can’t complain that the off-season didn’t go as I expected given that no one’s life is what they expected at the moment.

In the swirl of work and trying to hold in with the situation surrounding Covid-19 I didn’t get to what I was planning for the off-season, but I have got two unexpected football bonuses in the last couple of weeks.

Firstly, my long-time partner in crime on this site, and erstwhile podcast producer got the itch again and so with a streamlined editing process, a more relaxed style and a new platform to host – Dan and I are back in the podcast game. I’m very much enjoying it so if you haven’t had a listen then check us out on anchor.fm/wrong-football-nfl or in the words of Dan, wherever you procure your podcasts.

The second is that for some reason, despite my relative lack of experience playing fantasy, when I saw a tweet from Dan it led to this suggestion:

Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 12.48.40

Well, Dan did think about it and it appears we are go for the inaugural season of The Wrong Football NFL Dynasty League.

The reason I wanted to dive into this variation of fantasy football is that I’ve always been frustrated with the way injury luck has held so much sway over a fantasy season. Now, to be fair injury luck is one of the bigger factors that determines the success of an NFL franchise for a particular season, but unlike for your favourite team, in the fantasy world if your season falls apart there’s little reason to stay invested. Unless, you are in a dynasty league where you can always start prepping for the draft and next year.

So with very little actual persuasion on my part, Dan agreed that we would go for it and so should we get a season this will be the inaugural year of, The Wrong Football NFL Dynasty League.

Now in the early days I was asking about things like individual defensive players and other options that were opening up before us as I researched how we would run the league. However, given the speed with which we needed to set this new endeavour up, and our distinctly novice (at least for me) experience in this area of football fandom, we decided to model our league on a standard format with a couple of twists and the necessary additions for dynasty.

This means that our rosters will be sixteen strong with a starting line-up of:

1 QB
2 RB
2 WR
1 TE
1 Flex (QB/RB/WR/TE)
1 DEF/ST
1 K

As you can see from the above, the first tweak is a super-flex that gives the options of starting a second QB, which I believe will likely lead to a second quarterback starter but gives you options should suffer injury problems so your team shouldn’t be doomed.

The other tweak is that we are modelling the league on PPR, but using a tiered scoring system of 0.5 points for running backs, 1 for receivers and 1.5 for tight ends. This should balance up the scoring a bit and make tight ends more relevant than they usually are in fantasy.

Now, because I’m suddenly commissioner of a league and this is my first time ever doing that, yet alone for a dynasty league, I ran this all by Justin from dynastyfreeks.com to get his view. He also runs leagues on my chosen host of fleaflicker.com so that was a relief, as was his general approval of our scoring and use of Taxi squad (I’ll get to this in a minute).

Justin did suggest we up the roster size and starting line-ups, but frankly when he talks about rosters of up to 30 players, I might be interested if we were going with defensive players as well but given the circumstances, Dan and I thought it was best to start relatively standard and build from there. Particularly, as we are already looking at a twenty round initial draft.

Now if you were paying attention you will have notice that I said a twenty round draft when the roster size is sixteen. As this is a dynasty league, once we have the franchises setup you can keep up to all of your 16 player roster, but we are going to have a Taxi squad (basically a practise squad) where eventually we are going to allow the sorting away of up to seven rookie and second year players. However, in this first season we are going to allow up to four rookies to be placed on this squad. To do this we are going to draft four extra rookie players in the draft, and get everyone to assign their rookies and then cut the roster down to the actual limit for the season.

I will keep the rest of the minutia to within the league communications, but I’m sure there will be discussions on the pod or mentions here although it won’t be taking over too much. We already have six owners, but there are six more potential slots open so if you are interested then let Dan or I know and we’ll send you an invite.

It still seems strange that training camp has started, but the only normal feature of my pre-season schedule that is running this year is Hard Knocks. You have to be a little bit sceptical of if we’re going to make it through the season given the NFL’s approach to Covid-19 as opposed to say the NBA, football in Europe or cricket with their variations on bubble environments. It is also brave to jump straight into the regular season without staging any practice games in the new game day environment.

As we follow the news and start Hard Knocks this week we might get a feel for how likely we are to get to the end of the season but frankly, there are more important things taking place. The NFL season might be coming, and the TWF Dynasty league will hopefully follow, but whilst the fan in me would welcome the distraction and some good news, I’m mainly hoping for health and good things for those players who have not already opted out. It feels like the NFL are planning to carry on regardless, but whether that is actually possible or even a good idea is up for debate.

For now, all we can do is watch and wait, but my usual off-season cry of football is coming, has a very different feel to it at the moment.