Topic: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

I run a 10 team league which consists of 2 Divisions with 5 teams per Division.  Each team plays their Division foes twice and plays each team from the other Division once.  The top 3 teams in each Division make the playoffs and each Division winner gets a bye.  This is all based on Win/Loss record.  However, this season has given me reason to change this format.  The teams that finished with the 2nd and 4th MOST points overall both missed the playoffs.  Apparently they had some bad luck with their matchups as they may scored the 2nd or 3rd most points only to be edged out by the week's top scoring team on multiple occasions.  Furthermore, the lowest scoring team in the league MADE the playoffs.  Is this truly a representation of the who the best teams are?   

Obviously, I am not making any alterations for this season, but I'd like to get some feedback on how your league rules are set up for determining playoff teams.  Is win/loss record really the best way or should teams be stack ranked based on total points and the playoffs positions and teams determined this way?

Thanks for your thoughts and insight.

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

I've never cared for head-to-head leagues for just that reason. The last time I was in one I had the lowest point total through five weeks and was 5-0.

The league I run is straight points for 17 weeks. We pay the top three spots each week and the top three at the end of the year. One of the things I like about points is you can being having a last-place kind of year and still come through with a good week or two to win a little bit of money.

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

Total points is the most 'fair', but it's also the most boring. When creating a league structure, it's a fine line between fun (rooting against/for a particular player on a monday night game, rooting for that extra 3 yards to get to the 100 yd bonus, rooting for that 50 yd fg that provides a few extra bonus points, rooting for your opponent's lone player on monday night to fumble and get injured to go for -2 pts so you can win your weekly h2h matchup, etc..) and skill (total points, fractional points, no bonuses for long TDs or milestone games, etc..).

h2h matchups provide the most fun on a weekly basis and creates a lot more  balance and intrigue in the league deep into the regular season. Total points quickly gets boring for the bottom half of teams and does little to create last minute rooting interests (which, IMO, are the most fun part of FF).

I like the combination that the WCOFF uses (world championship of FF). They have 12 team leagues and the team with the best record is the #1 seed. The team with the most points (or the 2nd most, if the team with the best record also has most points) gets the #2 seed. Then from the remaining 10 teams, the next team with the best record gets the #3, and from the remaining 9 teams, the team with the most points gets the last seed.

Most of the time, this puts the best teams in the playoffs and avoids leaving a killer team who got really unlucky out of the playoffs.

Another way you could do it is have each team play a h2h matchup each week as well as playing every other team each week. If you win your h2h matchup, you get a win. If you finish in the top half of scorers that week, then you also get a win. So you can go 2-0, 1-1, or 0-2 each week. This smooths out the bad luck for high scoring teams and also keeps the fun parts of h2h in tact.

I apologize in advance.

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

Even though I scored highest points in both of my leagues last year, I still like H2H best.... that WCOFF scoring sounds cool though.

I agree H2H is more fun if you had to choose between the two.

Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

TheSoss wrote:

Total points is the most 'fair', but it's also the most boring.

Truth be told.
Nothing is more fun going into next season than the bitter 7th ranked guy who totaled a million points, and his overt hatred of the inferior team in 6th who beat him by 2 during his heavy bye week.

There's Luke wrestlin' a bear at night!

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

Yeah, head to head makes each week more interesting and keeps up the overall interest of the league. You can have someone who's team is struggling but one good week could help him take down the top team in the league on any given week. People like upsets and the head to head game play gives people a reason for competition each week. There's a reason that the NFL does head to head matchups instead of total points... nobody would care otherwise (not necessarily a great argument but whatever).

It is a fair wind that blew men to the ale.

Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

The WCOFF method sounds interesting but it still does not eliminate the possibility of this scenario: Team with best record has scored 6th least points. Team with 2nd best record has scored 3rd least points.  This sets up that the teams that scored 3rd and 4th most points are out of the playoffs as well as the teams that had the 3rd and 4th best record. IMHO you're just better off picking one way or the other ( pts or HTH ). What might be interesting, though, is if you had a league that was HTH during the season and then pts in the Playoff rounds ... top 4 or 6 teams from HTH advance and starting with week 14, total pts determines the champ.

I usually play in both types of leagues each season and the thing that bugs me about pts leagues ( especially public ones ) is that after 3 or 4 weeks, the teams at the bottom of the standings start to give up because they think they are "out of range" and can never catch up to the first place team.

" Don Shula, .... he can take his'un and beat your'un and then he can take your'un and beat his'un " - actual quote of Bum Phillips in the 1970's

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

The WCOFF idea sounds interesting.  We'll see what drug-fueled seed-ranking Fleaflicker lets me do this year.

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Twitter: @assholestoassho Facebook: daniel.hansen.980 Youtube: How To Spot a Fake Pokemon

Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

H2H definitely!  Plus it adds the element of having to strategize for your playoff weeks (for better or worse!)

It takes balls to sit your star  players in the final weeks!

Total points leagues can be very boring in the playoffs if you have a team with a reasonable lead. I looked at a couple of my leaugues and they were practially over for half the teams by week 10.

smile TM 1 12 team w Flex  QB R-burger RB MJD, Turner, Hillis, Forte, Blount, Westbrook WR C Johnson, S Johnson, Wallace, Colston TE M Lewis, Shiancoe D Browns K Bryant

TM 2 10 team w Flex QB R-Burger, Orton RB Foster, SJax, Bradshaw, P Thomas, F Jax,  Blount, Westbroook  WR  Megatron, Nicks, Manningham, R Moss,  TE V Davis K Bryant DST Steelers

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

xlledx wrote:

The WCOFF idea sounds interesting.  We'll see what drug-fueled seed-ranking Fleaflicker lets me do this year.

Just a thought, but why don't you drop the Fleaflicker guys a note, now, through their website and request that they include that option ( and any others you would like them to add ).  You never know, given that at this point of the year they have plenty of time to work on it before FF season starts, they might surprise you and get it done.  If they don't, then you have a legit reason to get on their case big time.

I've been using Fleaflicker ever since TFFG started using them for their leagues and I've always found them to be responsive and cooperative .... given that I request things at a proper time .... for example, you can't wait until mid-August to ask them to add features and expect them to get it done in time for your season.

" Don Shula, .... he can take his'un and beat your'un and then he can take your'un and beat his'un " - actual quote of Bum Phillips in the 1970's

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

Head-to-head for my leagues. I've tried Total Points, and it is so boring - there's no interaction between the teams. Even if you schedule matches and track a HtH record in a points league, it's all incidental. No fun.

Observation: I find that teams that score in the top 3 but have just a .500 record at the end of the season are typically FILLED with "fantasy poison" players. The kinds of players who can get you 30 points one week and 4 the next. These teams can score 175 points and blow out their opponent, and the next week, get only 50 points. If you build a team like that in a head-to-head matchup league, then you pretty much deserve the consequences. That sort of team is best suited for a points league, while a HtH league generally prizes teams with steady earners and maybe one or two high-risk players that you can use in smart matchups or when you're a big underdog.

If you are concerned about allowing those psycho teams a spot at the postseason table, just increase the number of teams that make the playoffs. 6 teams out of 12 should do it, with 1+2 getting a bye. If they score huge but aren't in the top 6 teams, then something is flat-out wrong with their team composition, no matter how you spin it. Take a hard look at those teams.

Me personally - I schedule 16 HtH games each season (using 3 doubleheader weeks) and allow every team with an 8-8 record or better into the playoffs.  (Maximum of 8 teams). This keeps most teams in the mix until the last couple of weeks, and also keeps the top seeds playing hard because we don't know how many bye weeks will be doled out until the number of teams in the playoffs is set. (5 teams = 1+2+3 get a bye, 6 teams = 1+2 get a bye, etc).

It's exciting, unique, and my players all love it. I think. At least they tell me that to my face.

You had me at Helu.  Helu Who?

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

GrainTrust wrote:

I schedule 16 HtH games each season (using 3 doubleheader weeks)

What's a doubleheader week?

There's Luke wrestlin' a bear at night!

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

meathorse wrote:
GrainTrust wrote:

I schedule 16 HtH games each season (using 3 doubleheader weeks)

What's a doubleheader week?

Doubleheader = You play two opponents in the same weekend. You field one team, but compare your score against two different opponents. These weeks are very exciting, as you'll either go 0-2, 1-1, or 2-0 for the weekend.

Last year, I made everyone have the same 3 doubleheader weeks, which seemed right because it makes it more predictable. But there were unintended consequences. Stud players who had bye weeks on those three doubleheader weekends were devalued for it. And, performance on those three particular weekends was almost a perfect indicator of which teams made the playoffs, which just made them too important.

So this year, I've prepared a schedule where every team has different doubleheader weeks. For a 12-team league, there will be 8 or 9 games played most weeks. There won't be any doubleheaders on opening week, or the final week (week 13), or on weeks 9 and 10 when there are the greatest numbers of NFL bye teams. The other weeks are all fair game, and the doubleheaders are sprinkled about so nobody has the same schedule.

Within that context, there are two divisions of 6 teams. Each team plays its division-mates twice (10 games) and everyone in the other division once (6 games).

I hope this makes sense. It's less complicated when you see the schedule. Meathorse I will send you a link to my pool site next year when it's up!

Last edited by 7grain (2010-03-18 11:45:56)

You had me at Helu.  Helu Who?

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

I really like the idea of a double header weeks.  Or how about...hmmm...

Soo....imagining three 4-team divisions...you could have division weeks where:

Team A plays Teams B & C
Team B plays Teams A & D
Team C plays Teams A & D
Team D plays Teams B & C

Yes...that'll do.  That'll do nicely.  You couldnt have doubleheaders during byes, cuz that would fudge up the draft too much.  Weeks 3, 11, and 12.  Him backload the big swing at the end of the season to keep losing owners interested.  Hmm...

Speaking of losing owners, Meathorse I give you alotta credit for your high participation our league last year, even tho you were mathmatically eliminated by October.

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

This interests me.

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

xlledx wrote:

Speaking of losing owners, Meathorse I give you alotta credit for your high participation our league last year, even tho you were mathmatically eliminated by October.

Why thank you, but I was mathematically eliminated on draft day when I failed to realize it was a 4 WR ppr.

There's Luke wrestlin' a bear at night!

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Re: Head to Head vs. Total Points?

xlledx wrote:

I really like the idea of a double header weeks.  Or how about...hmmm...

Soo....imagining three 4-team divisions...you could have division weeks where:

Team A plays Teams B & C
Team B plays Teams A & D
Team C plays Teams A & D
Team D plays Teams B & C

Yes...that'll do.  That'll do nicely.  You couldnt have doubleheaders during byes, cuz that would fudge up the draft too much.  Weeks 3, 11, and 12.  Him backload the big swing at the end of the season to keep losing owners interested.  Hmm...

Speaking of losing owners, Meathorse I give you alotta credit for your high participation our league last year, even tho you were mathmatically eliminated by October.

I opted to make my schedule so that no team plays more than one inter- or intra-divisional game when they have a doubleheader. That is to say, if you have a doubleheader week, then it's always one game in your division and one game out.

Good thinking on backloading the doubleheaders. I spaced them out last year (weeks 3, 7, and 11 I think) to spice it up. But as I said, if everyone has the same doubleheader weeks, then if you have a stud player with a bye week... then you get punished way too much.

Here, actually, is my game layout for 2010:

                       games         games
Wk    # of games    within div    between div
1         6              0             6
2         8              6             2
3         8              6             2
4         8              6             2
5         8              6             2
6         8              6             2
7         8              6             2
8         8              6             2
9         6              0             6 (this week has the most NFL byes)
10        8              6             2
12        8              6             2
13        6              6             0
Total    96

Here are the actual games. Division 1 has teams A-F, Division 2 has teams 1-6. The seeding is based on how they did last year, which keeps me from being accused of playing favorites with keeper/doubleheader combinations (something else to watch out for, xlledx!):

                   Home  Away
Week     Game#     Team  Team
1        1.1        A     1
1        1.2        B     2
1        1.3        C     3
1        1.4        D     4
1        1.5        E     5
1        1.6        F     6
2        2.1        1     2
2        2.2        3     4
2        2.3        4     A
2        2.4        5     B
2        2.5        5     6
2        2.6        A     B
2        2.7        C     D
2        2.8        E     F
3        3.1        1     D
3        3.2        1     3
3        3.3        2     5
3        3.4        4     6
3        3.5        6     C
3        3.6        A     C
3        3.7        B     E
3        3.8        D     F
4        4.1        1     4
4        4.2        2     E
4        4.3        2     6
4        4.4        3     F
4        4.5        3     5
4        4.6        A     D
4        4.7        B     F
4        4.8        C     E
5        5.1        1     5
5        5.2        2     4
5        5.3        3     6
5        5.4        5     A
5        5.5        6     B
5        5.6        A     E
5        5.7        B     D
5        5.8        C     F
6        6.1        1     6
6        6.2        2     D
6        6.3        2     3
6        6.4        4     5
6        6.5        A     F
6        6.6        B     C
6        6.7        C     1
6        6.8        D     E
7        7.1        2     1
7        7.2        3     E
7        7.3        4     3
7        7.4        6     5
7        7.5        B     A
7        7.6        D     C
7        7.7        F     4
7        7.8        F     E
8        8.1        3     1
8        8.2        5     2
8        8.3        6     A
8        8.4        6     4
8        8.5        B     1
8        8.6        C     A
8        8.7        E     B
8        8.8        F     D
9        9.1        1     F
9        9.2        4     C
9        9.3        A     2
9        9.4        B     3
9        9.5        D     5
9        9.6        E     6
10      10.1        1     E
10      10.2        2     F
10      10.3        4     B
10      10.4        5     C
10      10.5        A     3
10      10.6        D     6
11      11.1        3     D
11      11.2        4     1
11      11.3        5     3
11      11.4        6     2
11      11.5        C     2
11      11.6        D     A
11      11.7        E     C
11      11.8        F     B
12      12.1        4     2
12      12.2        5     1
12      12.3        6     3
12      12.4        D     B
12      12.5        E     4
12      12.6        E     A
12      12.7        F     5
12      12.8        F     C
13      13.1        3     2
13      13.2        5     4
13      13.3        6     1
13      13.4        C     B
13      13.5        E     D
13      13.6        F     A

The reason that I have home and away teams listed is that I'm considering introducing home-field advantage next year, where being the home team is worth 3 points. It's not a very big difference (3 points in FF is piddly, compared to 3 points in real football). I think 5 games total were decided last year by three points or less, and only two of them would have flipped. But I think it would be another fun factor, and I think it might be more important in the post season where the higher playoff seeds get the home field advantage. I'm still tinkering with that. But anyway, if you look at the schedule, you'll see that each team plays 1 home and 1 away against their division mates, and 3 home and 3 away against all of the other division teams. You'll also find that if you have a doubleheader, that one game is home and one is away.

I forgot to mention - one reason that i like to squeeze in the doubleheaders is that it's nice to have a 16 game schedule. It feels more like football when you're playing 16 games instead of 12 or 13. When your team goes 12-4 (like I did last year!), you intuitively know that your team is a force to be reckoned with.

If you are curious, I run my league at MyFantasyLeague.com, where I can, among other things, build my own schedule. Lots of flexibility there.

You had me at Helu.  Helu Who?

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