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The Unwritten Rules of Fantasy Football Leagues

We all know that person. Whether they’ve been playing for decades or this is their first year, you’ve had a fantasy football league with them in it. It’s that person that just annoys the entire league and whose mere existence in the league gets old fast.

Just like with everything else, there are plenty of unwritten rules in fantasy football. It’s been a long offseason for us all, so I’m here to remind you or inform you on these unwritten rules. No matter how bad your team is, follow these five key rules and you will be happily invited back every single year.

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The Unwritten Rules of Fantasy Football Leagues

Know Your League

This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but not everyone gets the memo. Knowing your league is crucial. I’m not talking about knowing those in it; I’m talking about knowing the “vibe” for lack of a better term. Is your fantasy football league competitive, relaxed or somewhere in the middle? Nobody is disliked more than someone who blows off a competitive league or takes their league too seriously. Whether the league is a cash league or not is irrelevant to where it stands. Make sure you get a good feel for what kind of league it is. A great way to make enemies quickly is to not be able to read the room. This can both be someone who doesn’t contribute in a fun, trash talk league or someone who gets a little too personal in a league that’s more laid back.

Pay League Dues

If your league is paid, for the love of all things fantasy pay up on time! Commissioners don’t like to have to hound you over a few bucks and you will gain no brownie points for either not paying attention to the due date and/or putting it off. In many leagues, you’ll be kicked out before the playoffs even happen, and that just puts everyone in a spot they don’t want to be in. League dues are like Lombardi time. If you’re not early, you’re late. Don’t make the head of the league have to worry about his team and you at the same time; it’s just rude.


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Don’t Spam Fantasy Football Trades

Every league has this person. Literally…every…damn…league. It’s perfectly okay to talk trades with other members, but don’t be the person who sends multiple to everyone. If a trade gets declined, don’t adjust a minor piece and resend it. It’s annoying to continually get the notifications, and some people prefer not to conduct trades at all. If you really have an itch that only a trade can scratch, send a message in the league chat or to the owner directly. You will not only be much more likely to get a trade completed, but you will also be much more likely to not be kicked out of your fantasy football league for annoying everyone else.

Add/Drop Indecisiveness

Nobody is perfect. You’re going to make decisions you’ll regret and have to add or drop certain players to make up for it. Don’t add and drop so many people the chat is just you and your poor decisions. It’s in poor taste, and just plain annoying when most of the good free agents are on waivers because a certain someone can’t make up their mind or commit to a decision. Even if your league doesn’t have a limit on acquisitions per year, don’t go crazy. The only thing you’ll do for yourself is likely overthink your decision and look like an idiot who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Draft Attendance

Life happens. Sometimes there is a league vote on a prospective draft date and time that doesn’t work out for you. That’s completely fine, if it can’t be avoided. With that being said, if you can’t free up an hour to two hours for one draft that dictates the entire season, you likely also don’t have the time to actually run a team. If time might get tight, set yourself on autodraft so the other people don’t have to wait. If you don’t show up or turn on autodraft, you’re essentially telling your league-mates that you don’t value their time enough to give the slightest effort to help out.

Don’t be this person. This is usually the same individual who also complains at every turn about their team. If you can’t show up to the fantasy football draft, you don’t get to complain. It’s as simple as that.


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