Alternative Fantasy Football League Ideas

Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams and his high carries/low TDs would make for a pretty good Bizarro League running back. Jarrett Frazier, Flickr

You’re likely already familiar with traditional fantasy football leagues, as well as 2-QB, keeper, dynasty leagues, auction and IDP formats. If you are, that means you're a Fantasy Football veteran that's ready to take on a new challenge! These alternative leagues are meant to be secondary to your primary leagues.

Try to only invite people that are as adventurous as you are, so you can get the full enjoyment out of these alternative Fantasy leagues. I'm sure if you go onto Twitter, you'll be able to find some Fantasy players ready to try something new -- or try the forums and message boards of your regular league service's site.

Two-QB Leagues

These leagues are meant to offset the importance of the running back position and make the quarterback position be more shallow than you’re used to. This is the only position that affects every other player on an NFL team, and they rack up stats specific to their position. We need to make them more important, but the depth at the position makes it tough to do so. This is a great way to do it – every Fantasy team starts two quarterbacks every week. There are also some sites out there that specifically deal with the 2-QB leagues. 

Draftmaster Leagues

Some services, like, offer free draft-only leagues, where your team is made up of just the players you draft, and you are never able to adjust your roster. These are fun to do in June and July when you’re trying to kill time until your real league’s draft arrives. MFL also offers leagues called MFL 10s, which just happened to win the FSTA Award for best Fantasy draft contest on the web. For $10, you can win $100!

Bizarro Fantasy Football

These are fun to do with six or eight owners, don’t do a full-blown draft, as the deeper you go, the less interesting it is. But really, the draft is the most fun part of these leagues -- well, I guess that's true of all Fantasy leagues!

Have owners choose 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 Defense. The scoring is the opposite of real Fantasy, so you reward bad players. That means you give points for carries, but deduct points for yardage and touchdowns. Low yards per carry RBs are the best. Reward these stats, too:

  • Deductions for touchdowns or 300/100-yard games
  • Dropped passes
  • Fumbles
  • Interceptions
  • Incompletions thrown
  • Low yards per reception
  • Missed kicks
  • For defenses: Points and Yardage allowed is a good thing.

Survivor Leagues

Track down some services that use these leagues, where you can start any player in the NFL, but you can use them in your lineup only once for the season. There used to be a contest called, "Fantasy Tournament of Champions," but I haven't seen that in a couple years.

Hybrid Auction/Draft

Auction drafts are awesome … but so are traditional drafts! Why not do a five-round auction, where teams take turns nominating players until 60 players have been nominated, then do a draft after that? The team with the most money left over after the auction gets to pick first, and so on.

32-team Leagues

Obviously, these are considered the deepest leagues possible, which means the owners with early picks get a much bigger advantage than the lower teams. Consider doing serpentine for the first two rounds, then just having the order of the second round of the draft be the order for every round after. So the teams with the top pick also end up getting the 64th, 96th, 128th and the 160th in the first five rounds, as opposed to the first pick, 64th pick, 65th pick, 128th pick and the 129th pick. The middle teams aren’t affected, but the bottom teams get much better picks in the odd rounds after Round 1.

For Fantasy Baseball, we do two 10-team leagues (AL- and NL-only), but we mash them together in one mixed league. Then, as real baseball starts interleague play, we schedule interleague play among our teams (it's a Head-to-Head league). Then we also have a three-game Fantasy World Series between the best of both leagues!

Also, there's this league, which I think is one of the most interesting Fantasy Football leagues ever created!

One vs. 11

Every week, rather than face just one team, you face all 11 teams. So after Week 1, you could be 11-0 or 0-11 or anything in between. This would really stop all ​of the times teams have a great week, only to end up facing the highest-scoring team that week. The playoffs would remain standard, however.

Every Week Double-Headers

Similar to the above setup, have each team play just two teams each week, which would again, really help those that have big games, but bad schedules.