The major impact of a minor rule change
Over its two decade existence, Tout Wars has been known to tinker with established rules in order to test different directions for our competitions. We were the first experts league to go 5×5, allow $0 FAAB bids and use the Vickrey Method for free agent acquisition. These were changes with major impact; however, even the minor adjustments can open up interesting new opportunities.
Tout enacted an apparently minor change this season that was intended solely to provide better information for our readers. We moved the weekly transaction deadline from midnight Sunday night to 1:00 pm ET Sunday afternoon.
Seemingly innocuous, right?
The goal was to provide readers with the results of our FAAB bids in advance of when they would be making their own bids. The early deadline would allow us to post all the winning and losing bids to the ToutWars.com website by mid-afternoon. It also allowed Lawr Michaels to discuss the bids on his weekly Tout Wars Hour show on FantasySportsNetwork.com each Sunday.
For me at least, this minor change has had more far-reaching impact.
In the past, I’d submit my FAAB bids Sunday nights and typically have to wait until Monday morning to see which players I was able to acquire (I’m not inclined to sit at my computer at midnight). Then I’d have until first pitch Monday to square up my roster. It was a pretty structured weekly process.
The new deadline has opened up all sorts of new possibilities:
1. Now I place my bids Sunday morning and only have to wait a few hours to see which players I won. It’s almost like the immediate gratification of DFS.
2. I now have a full day and a half to assess my roster, and assess everyone else’s roster as well. Each week’s FAAB fallout creates numerous roster holes and overages that each team needs to resolve by Monday’s games.
3. That extra time has provided more opportunity for teams to square up their roster via trades. Eleven deals were pulled off in Tout-Mixed this past Sunday alone as owners moved their excess parts for players on the DL, even FAAB dollars, just to resolve their rosters. I traded an excess Wilmer Flores for DLed Hunter Renfroe just to get my roster down to the limit. I would not have had the time to research and negotiate that deal under the old deadline.
4. Detractors to this change will point out that the longer timeline allows us to use Sunday’s stats for free when making our cut decisions. It’s true, but I see that as more of a feature than a bug.
We obsess over trying to capture every available stat – a completely futile quest – and the new timeline reminds us how irrelevant the sample of a single day’s games really is. So what if we get to see Sunday’s games before making our roster decisions? If Wilmer Flores had hit three homers on Sunday, would I have kicked myself for dealing him? Would my trade partner feel giddy about his acquisition? It was one game; let’s get real.
But the upside is huge. It has opened up communication among owners, provided more options for active roster management, and given us the most precious resource of all – more time to play.