OK, so I have an idea. Truth of the matter is I get tons of ideas but most of them get buried in a folder on my desktop called “Yeah Right.” The thing about this one is it was supposed to be a joke but a couple of guys think it actually has legs. Not just a couple of guys – a couple of guys in the fantasy industry that are pretty tuned into the landscape.
It came about at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association B-League football draft last month. Representing Mastersball with Lawr Michaels, we had the first pick. The order was drawn about 15 minutes previous to when we were on the clock so we didn’t have a lot of time to talk about who we wanted. We quickly decided we didn’t want Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson or Jimmy Graham, which left a running back. There are four ball-carriers that can be a defensible top choice: Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy. Who we took and why along with the relative merits of each aren’t important; they’ll be plenty of time to talk about that. What is important is what I off-handedly uttered to my co-manager with my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek.
"Geez, I sort of wish we could pick a quarter share of each."
I told the story to a couple of guys at the FSTA conference, not to pitch the idea but rather to demonstrate how close the call is and how all of the four are viable options. They both said forget that, the idea was genius. Well, they may not have said genius but I need practice spelling the word properly and this was a good time to use it. Suffice it to say they both pushed me to seriously consider the notion. One, SiriusXM Fantasy morning host and Fantasy Sport Network’s Nando DiFino threatened to pick up the ball and run with it if I fumbled. See what I did there?
The concept is a draft (most logically football but it could work for baseball) where you could pick partial shares of the player and the scoring would be adjusted to account for the percentage you own. So if quarter shares were allowed, Lawr and I could have actually done what I jokingly suggested and picked up a 25 percent share of Forte, Charles, Peterson and McCoy.
Obviously there's a ton of details that would need to be hammered out, not the least of which is a person goofy enough to organize and administer such a monster. The person would have to be pretty adept with spreadsheets and know enough people to recruit league members.
OK, I’ll do it.
At this point, the only rule that is set-in-stone is you can draft multiple shares of players and those shares are available until 100 percent of the player is chosen. Past that, everything is on the table.How many shares? How are waivers handled? What's the composition of the roster? I have some ideas, some rather obvious, some a bit more creative.
From the feedback I have received thus far, it seems as though fantasy fractions may be too complicated, at least as a launch. The primary suggestion is to basically clone every player and allow each to be drafted twice. So when you're on the clock, you make two picks, each half a player. If available, you can draft both halves. Or if you have the first pick you can take Matt Forte and Calvin Johnson and get half of their production each. There are actually some commissioner services that can be tweaked to accommodate this.
I’ll tell you what. Post a note in the comments or drop me a line and if we have ample feedback, we’ll take the discussion to the comments section below so I can move this one into the “About Damned Time" folder. If we can come up with some rules, I’ll set it up and run the league.
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Affectionately known as Lord Zola, Todd was the 2013 Fantasy Sports Writers Association recipient of the Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year, Web. He's been with Mastersball since its inception in 1997 and presently Todd writes for the ESPN Insider and Baseball HQ. Todd is a frequent guest on SiriusXM and is a regular on HQ Radio. He's a veteran of Tout Wars and LABR as well as a multi-time NFBC champion. Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddZola
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