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REAL TEAM ALLEGIANCE League - Year 6 (2018)


Keeper Deadline Date: Thursday, Aug 23, 2018
Live Draft Date: Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 at 6:00pm EDT / 11:00pm BST (Auction style draft)

Full RTA settings can be viewed here: RTA League Settings

Bold & Boxed text always means new for this season (to aide returning GM’s to quickly find internal rule changes or new rules).

This league is my smallest ever league - just 10 teams and as all my leagues are, will be hosted on NFL.com.

I like each and every league I play in to have a different feel and strategy etc. making them unique and very differnt in how they work. I have plagiarised some rules I have seen mentioned in other peoples custom leagues on other NFL forums over time - they do say that plagiarism is the best form of flattery so if you see any rule you had first being used in this league then all I can say is thank you for the idea.

As the league name suggests my #1 golden rule will be all team names and logo’s within this league will be of real current NFL teams. In theory you will be coach of your beloved team and there can only be one of any team in the league.

Further more it will be a league requirement that you must start 2 players (one Offensive and one Defensive) from your real team every game week - including post season - with the exception of your teams Bye week.

This league is a long term dynasty league so you have the option to select up to 22 keepers from your finishing team the previous season (subject to the internal cap restrictions - see next).


The draft money per team default is 200 and your player rooster is 22 players so to make things simple for all and for me to administer it this is how it works - keepers cost you money from your draft allowance budget as follows:

Any RTA player kept will cost 5 from your draft budget allowance.
All other keepers will cost you 10 from your draft budget allowance.

This is a very simple thing for me to work out annually and leaves all of you to now work out which players on your roster from last year you want to pay that price for or if you should let them go back into the draft and take your chances finding better value there.

Please note you have to carry a minimum of $40m into the live draft room so if you dont have enough to cover paying for all your keepers I will override your keeper settings removing the last player(s) on your keeper list to make sure you have enough to comply with that NFL.com system setting.

In previous seasons I used to increase everyone’s budget to allow for this setting should anyones total keepers meant they didn’t have enough to comply with this setting but from 2018 this will no longer happen.

To allow me to adjust the team draft budgets accordingly I have to make the keeper lock date a few days prior to our draft date so pay attention to the keeper lock date once a draft date has been set for this year.

I am not sure how NFL.com works regarding the time it locks keepers so hence picking a date 2 days before our draft date so I would air on the side of caution if I was you and make sure you are happy with your chosen keepers before the the deadline date.

This league uses an auction style draft (and not the usual snake style draft):

NFL.com Auction Draft (help)

From 2017 the draft was changed to a Custom Linear nomination order… in a reverse of last years final league standings.

Waivers will be done by a blind bid system known on NFL.com as the Waiver Acquisition Budget or WAB for short.

Waiver Acquisition Budget (WAB) - Each team is allotted a seasonal budget. This seasonal budget is the amount of points that each team has at their disposal to bid on available players. The team with the highest bid wins that player and is charged the amount of WAB points that they bid to obtain the player. If you bid on a player, but lose to a higher bid, you do not forfeit the amount of points that you bid. All of the WAB points that you bid will be returned to your seasonal budget. In the event of a tie, the team with higher waiver priority will win the bid. For more information, visit Waiver Acquisition Budget (WAB):

WAB custom rules

PLAYER POACHING (Introduced from year 2 onwards)

As this league is a maximum keeper league I wanted a way where GM’s could still get hold of their favourite players and change the look of teams season to season. I wanted to have something really different to any other league I am in and so came up with this idea - ‘Player Poaching’.

In a new twist for this RTA league every week of the regular season (not play-offs) the winner of each game can select one of their starting players from that game and swap him for a starting player from the team they beat - within the following criteria:

Only starting players on each team can be swapped.

The players swapped must be of the same position so QB for QB or LB for LB (not LB for TE etc.).

RTA players are exempted - so any players in the team of the real team represented are protected. So for instance in my case I am GM of the Detroit Lions so any Detroit Lions players in my starting line up can not be poached even if I lose.

Game winners must post on the leagues message board (aka wall) before midnight Wednesday (going into Thursday) UK time their swap (so everyone can see it). If it breaks any of the above rules it will not be actioned. Assuming it is bona-fide it will be actioned between midnight Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Should any team fail to start the required number of RTA players on any given week (except the teams real bye week) then they forgo their chance to poach a player that week should they win!

The Player Poaching rule if everyone buys into it and takes advantage of it throws up new strategies on who you start and sit against other teams as the season unfolds. It will also offer a very new dynamic to get to grips with long term as well as allow for greater roster movement throughout the season in this dynasty league.

Lastly if a match is a TIE then no poaching occurs.


A three strikes and out policy is in effect in the RTA. The reason for this is I want a competitive but fun league. The bane of most leagues (as any one who has played for a while knows) is flakey owners that give up when they are not doing well or don’t pay enough attention with regard to setting valid line-ups a few weeks in when the initial interest has wained or they have decided their team sucks.

As the RTA is my smallest ever league (10 teams) I will have no truck with owners who show the league this kind of disrespect.

Strikes are usually only given if you do not win your match up (i.e. loose or tie). In that event then for each player in your starting line up on a BYE, or who was listed as INACTIVE, on INJURED RESERVE or OUT etc. for a game at least one day prior to the actual gameday of said player a strike will be issued. Also a strike will be given for a player who you start that has been CUT as he can not play in a game while he is not with any team and this again is find outable before game day. To check any of your players status’ just click on their name when on your team page and it brings up information about them - if you click the arrows to go back and forth it gives you previous updates and at the top of each update there is a date when that information was published. I use these same updates myself when checking on players that appear not to have played in owners starting line ups and this is how I make a judgement on whether or not a strike is justified. Lastly strikes will also be awarded for each empty spot in your starting line up to - so be careful when picking up free agents off the waiver wire as they don’t automatically slot in to your starting line up even if that was the player you cuts spot.

Also strikes will be awarded for not starting your minimum required Real Team Allegiance players on any weeks other than your real teams Bye week. These Strikes are awarded regardless of whether you win your match or not and is the only way you can pick up strikes when winning your match up (as it’s a fundamental part of this custom league). You will pick up 1 strike per minimum RTA player not started (1 offensive & 1 defensive).

Also I recognise everyone can make a mistake or have PC issues etc., so that is why it takes 3 Strikes to lose your spot for following season and 6+ Strikes to be struck out immediately. Strikes also carry over to the following season but with each season one strike is deducted if you weren’t banned so if you only earned 1 or 2 strikes in a season and came back the next season your strike tally would be back to 1 (if you had 2) or none (if you had 1). So just like points on a driving license if you have not triggered a ban you can get them slowly removed for good behaviour (or in this case not messing up in starting a valid team each week).

Later on in a separate post within this thread will be a list of any Struck Out GM’s if that happens as a reminder to me who is no longer welcome in this RTA league and why they were struck out of the RTA (# of strikes picked up - 6+ to be permanently banned).


Any unspent live draft funds will be converted to WAB points and added to your seasons WAB budget total.


I have also decided to convert any unspent WAB points at the end of each season and add them to a teams Auction draft budget amount the following season. This will only start a fresh at the end of this season (2018). This will allow teams to accumulate a bigger salary cap to increase either their live drafting power or mean they can afford to keep every single player on their roster should they wish to do so.

So from the start of the 2019 season each teams income is a fresh $200m salary cap draft budget + whatever WAB they carried over from the previous season.

SETTINGS HISTORY - In this leagues inaugural season some rules I had the original GM’s vote on and so due to the polls results (below) this league is an IDP and fractional scoring league.

  1. Would you prefer this league to have IDP’s (Individual Defensive Players) or a block team Defence?

Poll result: A Block team DEFENCE - 33% / IDP’s - 67%

  1. Should we use fractional points scoring or rounding up/down to whole number scores?

Poll result: Fractional points - 100% / Rounded up/down - 0%

From 2017 an adjustment to the IDP scoring settings was made to factor in the real life rule the NFL introduced back in 2015 that the defence could score off a turnover on a PAT or two-point conversion by returning it the other way for a touchdown - worth two points. - So I added this scenario into the RTA’s scoring settings also.


From this season (2018 onwards) I decided to change the Draft Order from a Random Linear draft to a Custom Linear draft - based on a reverse of where teams finished last season. So in effect the last placed team will nominate first and the current champion will nominate last each round. I don’t think it makes that big of a difference in an auction draft league compared to a standard draft league but we will see.

Also in 2018 I had some polls about turning this league into a PPR league and the poll went in favour of this and a second poll (as we had drafted for 2018 already) confirmed the majority wanted to make the switch immediately.

So from this season there is now a scoring adjustment for Receiving - Receptions now earn 0.5 points. So half a point per reception.

I may run a poll during the season to consider awarding 0.5 points for a completed pass next year to go along with the PPR switch. This would boost QB’s scoring.

edit: I did run a poll and the result was negative.


WK1 - 1 strike (New England Patriots / Robert Cincotta)
WK2 - 1 strike (New England Patriots / Robert Cincotta)
WK3 - no strikes issued
WK4 - no strikes issued
WK5 - no strikes issued
WK6 - no strikes issued
WK7 - 2 strikes (Pittsburgh Steelers / Andrew Bourke & Arizona Cardinals / Carl Fisher)
WK8 - no strikes issued
WK9 - no strikes issued
WK10 - 1 strike (New England Patriots / Robert Cincotta)
WK11 - no strikes issued
WK12 - no strikes issued
WK13 - 1 strike (Pittsburgh Steelers / Andrew Bourke)
WK14 - no strikes issued
WK15 - 3 strikes (New England Patriots / Robert Cincotta x3)
WK16 - 1 strike (Oakland Raiders / Martin Broadhead)
WK17 -

Link to previous years table: WEEKLY STRIKE COUNT 2017

Super Bowl 4 Recap Missing - NFL.com never produced it…

Saved for any late changes to league scoring settings for 2018 season.

Edit: Okay I did indeed decide to adjust some IDP scoring settings - if you scroll down you can find a screen grab of what they were in previous seasons and what they are now from 2018 onwards. Offensive scoring remains unchanged.

Full settings including scoring can be viewed for this league on NFL.com here: RTA League Settings

Also in NFL week 7 I added in an IR spot as this was voted for in 2017 but the poll for how many spots to have (1 or 2) ended tied. This is what caused me to not have put this in prior to the start of 2018. So for now I have awarded the 1 spot but will be hosting another poll to ask if people want 1 or 2.

Give me a heads up about this

You want on the waiting list for this league Sean (this wasn’t the league I already have you down for - your taking over the Republic of Ireland in my International League)?

It was flagged up to me in another IDP league I run that I have the scoring set to high for Individual Defensive Players and that on any given week they can score from 5 - 30 points so this season made adjustments to make this less of a fluctuation in that league. I was therefore thinking about adjusting them down in the RTA as well - here is what the settings where last year in 2017:

I propose to make the following adjustments from 2018:

As per leagues new rules for 2018 regarding the ‘Auction Draft Budget’ (you need to carry a minimum of $40 into the live draft) I over rode New England’s last 4 keepers to ‘no keeper selected’ to bring them back into budget as their total cost for keepers wanted was $195 and the annual starting budget is $200 per team this season.

This was NE’s keepers originally chosen before my editing (as per internal rules):

Also as per new league rules I managed to screen grab the draft list just prior to disappearing (last teams pick) to see everyones auction budget balance at the end of drafting. These balances as per new internal rules are converted to WAB points and added to your 100 points season allocation and these have now been done. To show how I came up with the varied values for each of you here is the screen grab. Please also not any unused WAB points at the end of the season will be converted to cash and added to your annual auction draft budget of $200 so again frugal use can help you pay for more keepers - to avoid having some put back into the draft like NE suffered this season.

Week 1 Strikes (x1)

New England Patriots (Robert Cincotta) picks up 1 strike this week for not starting an RTA player on Defense.

X Didn’t start an RTA player on Defense.

Week 2 Strikes (x1)

New England Patriots (Robert Cincotta) picks up 1 strike this week for not starting an RTA player on Defense.

X Didn’t start an RTA player on Defense.

Week 7 Strikes (x2)

Sad to report the following strikes are awarded for NFL Week 7:

Andrew Bourke - Pittsburgh Steelers x1 for:

x1 for starting DL - Joey Bosa - (LAC) who was ruled out before his teams actual game day.

Published: Thu, Oct 18 at 11:08am by Rotowire.com

On track for Week 9 return
Bosa (foot) remains in line to make a return for Week 9’s game in Seattle, Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Bosa is still rehabbing the injury, but it looks like the defensive end will be using the team’s bye in Week 8 to put some real work in on the field. Bosa will remain out this week, but another update on the status of his recovery should come once the team returns to regular practice after the bye.

Carl Fisher - Arizona Cardinals x1 for:

x1 DL2 --empty– - did not start anyone.

Week 10 Strikes (x1)

New England Patriots (Robert Cincotta) picks up 1 strike this week for not starting an RTA player on Offense.

X Didn’t start an RTA player on Offense.

Week 13 Strikes (x1)

Sad to report the following strike is awarded for NFL Week 13:

Andrew Bourke - Pittsburgh Steelers x1 for:

x1 for starting WR - DeSean Jackson - (TB) who was ruled out before his teams actual game day.

Published: Fri, Nov 30 at 12:29pm by Rotowire.com

Won’t play Sunday
Jackson (thumb) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Panthers, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers’ official site reports.

Analysis: Jackson was ineffective while playing with the thumb injury last week, catching three of eight targets for 19 yards in a 27-8 win over the 49ers. He was listed as a limited practice participant Wednesday and Thursday, but multiple Buccaneers beat reporters suggested Jackson was mostly an observer. His Week 13 absence should free up starter-level snaps for Chris Godwin, who owns career marks of 14.1 yards per catch and 9.5 yards per target. Adam Humphries, Mike Evans and Cameron Brate are also candidates to benefit from added volume. Coach Dirk Koetter said he isn’t sure about Jackson’s availability beyond Week 13, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports.

Week 15 Strikes (x3)

Sad to report the following strikes are awarded for NFL Week 15:

New England Patriots (Robert Cincotta) x3 for:

x1 for starting RB - Isaiah Crowell - (NYJ) who was ruled out before his teams actual game day (by being placed on IR):

Published: Fri, Dec 14 at 11:25am by Rotowire.com

Out for season
Crowell (toe) was placed on injured reserve Friday, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports.

Analysis: Crowell was already ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Texans – marking the first absence of his NFL career – but will now miss the final three games of the season. The 25-year-old will finish 2018 with 143 carries for 685 yards (4.8 YPC) and two touchdowns while adding 21 receptions for 152 yards. Elijah McGuire should be first in line for backfield duties with Trenton Cannon also in the mix, though Cannon is questionable with a toe injury for Saturday’s game.

x2 for starting WR - Sammy Watkins - (KC) who was ruled out before his teams actual game day:

Published: Wed, Dec 12 at 3:40pm by Rotowire.com

Won’t play Thursday
Watkins (foot) has been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Chargers.

Analysis: Meanwhile, top wideout Tyreek Hill (heel/wrist) is listed as questionable for the contest. If Hill is unable to go, newcomer Kelvin Benjamin could factor more prominent into the Chiefs’ game plan than anticipated. In any case, Chris Conley should earn plenty of snaps in Week 15, while Demarcus Robinson’s profile within the Chiefs’ offense would also expand if Hill is limited or out against Los Angeles.

x3 W/R --empty– - did not start anyone.

Week 16 Strikes (x1)

Sad to report the following strike is awarded for NFL Week 16:

Martin Broadhead - Oakland Raiders x1 for:

x1 for starting DB - Clayton Geathers - (IND) who was ruled out before his teams actual game day.

Published: Fri, Dec 21 at 1:34pm by Rotowire.com

Won’t play Sunday
Geathers was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Giants due to a knee injury, Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan Indianapolis reports.

Analysis: Geathers was limited to 37 defensive snaps last week against the Cowboys, as he apparently sustained the knee injury during the contest. Mike Mitchell and George Odum should see increased snaps at safety this week, and the Colts also signed J.J. Wilcox on Tuesday to bolster their depth.

Final Standings