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REAL TEAM ALLEGIANCE League - Year 9 (2021)

DISCORD Channel link: Real Team Allegiance League on DISCORD
Alas not many people took the chat rooms option up for my leagues but there still there should anyone want to lead the way - encourage other GM’s to join you in chat - each of my leagues has its own dedicated room to discuss things about that particular league but there is a general chat area for anyone who partakes in any BLM fantasy games I run here: BLM Fantasy Games general chat room on DISCORD

REAL TEAM ALLEGIANCE

Keeper Deadline Date: Wednesday, Aug 25, 2021
Live Draft Date: Friday, Aug 27, 2021 at 3:00pm EDT / 8:00pm 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 was my smallest ever league - just 10 teams - but from 2020 was expanded after a poll in 2019 voted for this. The poll result (see below) went in favour of just having two expansion teams and becoming a 12 team league.

For better or worse (often worse when it comes to the live draft client) all my leagues are 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 different 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.

RULES

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.

Unbelievably in previous seasons I’ve met resistance from players selecting the current and up to date team logo for their respective teams. It’s tiring to have to keep asking owners to do this so as it’s my #1 golden rule I am taking the decision to replace owners that can’t be arsed to meet this small request. So should a team not display the correct and up to date logo after being asked to do so for 3 consecutive weeks then they will be replaced. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

It is 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).

CAP / DRAFT BUDGET

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 don’t 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 earlier seasons I used to increase everyone’s budget to allow for this setting should any ones total keepers mean they didn’t have enough to comply with this NFL.com rule setting but from 2018 onward this no longer happens.)

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

This league uses an auction style draft (and not the usual snake style draft). From 2017 the draft was changed to a Custom Linear nomination order… in a reverse of the previous 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.

PLAYER POACHING (Introduced from year 2 onward)

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.

Further clarification - after a dispute and poll during week 1 of the 2020 season (see below) no longer can a player that registers zero stats in a match be sent back in a poach request. A zero stat player in a starting line up can still be poached but a zero stats player can not be sent back in return. Scoring 0 or a minus score is fine as long as the player took part in a game that week. But 0 with no stats (as in did not set foot on the field/play) whatsoever is now forbidden. Any such poach requests will be denied. For avoidance of doubt a player injured in a game regardless of if he is out for the rest of the season or not can still be sent away in a poach - that is just a bad beat and lucky for the team off loading them who still managed to win.

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.

STRIKES RULE XXX

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 flaky 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 waned or they have decided their team sucks.

As the RTA is now my joint smallest league (12 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. lose 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 game-day of said player a strike will be issued (though RTA players are exempt). 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 out-able before game-day. To check any of your players status’s 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).

New from last season (2020) strikes will also be issued for not being seen to vote in an official poll posted within the league on NFL.com. It’s been the hardest thing for me as a commissioner to get people to engage with me on rules and proposals to do with the league like having a trade deadline, expansion etc., so now it’s mandatory to partake in polls and to be seen to have voted.

I am not sure how you do this on the phone app but to do this via the standard internet using a browser - which can also be done on a smart phone - you scroll down the leagues home page to the message board and to the right of this you will see the latest poll. To the bottom right of this poll box you will see a link that says ‘More Polls >’ click this and it will open the poll with its message board below it. Here (you may need to scroll down) you sometimes will find more information about the poll and is also the place you type “Voted” to show you have voted after you have done so in that particular poll. To the top right of the poll you will see an arrow < and that will let you navigate back to see older polls and where you should check you have voted in each one and posted below each one to say you have Voted as if you have not voted or forgotten to post you have and not everyone has voted then anyone I can’t be sure did vote will pick up a Strike after 28 days of the Poll being posted. I hate having to do this but for seven seasons people have just not been engaging enough to help me shape the league by voting in polls so felt I had to do this so I can weed out and replace non committed GM’s with ones who buy into the ethos behind this dynasty league.

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 and voting in official polls).

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).

SURPLUS DRAFT BUDGET RULE (introduced in 2018)

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

UNSPENT WAB POINTS (introduced in 2018)

Any unspent WAB points at the end of each season will be carried over and added to a teams Auction Draft budget amount the following season. So the first time this change will be felt will be in the 2019 draft. This change 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.

Here is last years final season table where you can see how much WAB each team had left:

SETTINGS HISTORY - In this leagues inaugural season some rules I had the original GM’s vote on and so due to the poll 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% (9/10 voted)

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

Poll result: Fractional points - 100% / Rounded up/down - 0% (8/10 voted)

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.

DRAFT ORDER

From the 2018 season onward, 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 the previous 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.

From the 2018 season onward, this league became a PPR scoring league with Receptions earning 0.5 points. (So half a point per reception).

Poll result: Stay as Standard - 40% / Switch to PPR - 60% (10/10 voted)

I ran a second poll during the 2019 season to consider awarding 0.5 points for a completed pass to go along with the PPR switch to boost QB’s scoring but the result of the poll was negative (majority not in favour - so have shelved the idea - at least for the time being).

Poll result: 0.5 points a completion YES - 22% / NO - 78% (9/10 voted)

Further Polls that have shaped the RTA rules and regulations

RTA Players in starting line ups can no longer earn you strikes. You may leave them in even on their Bye week and win, lose or tie they will not earn you a strike. This means you can leave RTA’s in that are a doubt without fear of picking up a strike if you don’t win. This will also allow you to tactically take a risk of playing less players especially on your RTA players bye week rather than having to cut players you don’t want to, just to field a full team to avoid the possibility of picking up strikes.


Analysis: From 2021, 6 teams will now make post season, 3 from each conference - #1 seed will get a Bye to the Conference Championship game - #2 v #3 seed in each conference will play each other off for the right to meet the #1 see in the Conference Championship game. This will make the Post Season now cover 3 weeks as opposed to the current 2 weeks.


Analysis: Okay the poll was clearly in favour of no trade deadline which makes sense as this is a dynasty league so trades can be made all season long.


RTA 2021 Final Draft banks

’Reserved for screen grab of final draft banks at conclusion of live draft.'

Each teams remaining $'s will be converted to WAB points and added to your 100 WAB points each team gets per new season.

Alas I got booted from the draft on the app but this info was provided by another player thankfully:

WEEKLY STRIKE COUNT 2021

WK1 - 1 strike (New England Patriots / Brad Mallett)
WK2 - 1 strike (New England Patriots / Brad Mallett)
WK3 -
WK4 -
WK5 -
WK6 -
WK7 -
WK8 -
WK9 -
WK10 -
WK11 -
WK12 -
WK13 -
WK14 -
WK15 -
WK16 -
WK17 -
WK18 -

Link to previous years table: WEEKLY STRIKE COUNT 2020

Additional Strikes (for not voting in polls):

Last seasons final standings (2020)

League Champions

Draft Budgets for each team after last years unused WAB points have been added (keeper costs will come out of these budgets prior to live draft):

Keeper Deadline Reached

Team Keepers & Costs to come off their respective draft budgets (Keepers $10 / RTA’s 50% discount):

RTA Records & History


Struck Out List

A new website called Doodle was suggested to me by GM of the Seahawks (Christian) who set up a poll for 2 hour windows for draft date and times. The result of which had a clear winner that suited 11 of the 12 GM’s so this will be our draft date and time for this season.

HOUSE KEEPING - 2021 Poll Results

Polls Run in 2021 that will apply going forwards (either immediatly or from the 2022 season onwards).


Okay - first Poll of season has had all 12 teams vote and the majority would prefer the RTA to have the Championship Game in Week 17 (the penultimate week of the NFL regular season) so this will be implemented right away.


Our second poll of the season has had all 12 GM’s vote and the majority (83%) were in favour of an extra bench spot so from NFL Week 4 of the 2021 season the RTA will now have 8 Bench slots (up from 7). I will add the extra BN slot in Monday night after MNF has started to make sure all players are on Waivers and that way everyone has a crack at the players and it is not faster finger first.


Week 1 Strikes (x1)

Brad Mallett - New England Patriots x1 for:

x1 --RTA DEF– - Didn’t start an RTA player on Defence.

Week 2 Strikes (x1)

Brad Mallett - New England Patriots x1 for:

x1 --RTA DEF– - Didn’t start an RTA player on Defence.