Draft Dashers

Fantasy Football Definition of "Draft Dashers"

"Draft dashers" are fantasy league owners who draft a team and then abandon it before the season or very early in the season. There are a number of reasons draft dashers exist. A draft dasher might love a fantasy football draft, but not care so much about the fantasy football regular season. A draft dasher might join 40 leagues and not have time to actually run that many franchises. A draft dasher might join a bunch of leagues and then abandon the teams where injuries and other difficulties ravage their roster. A draft dasher might feel some social pressure to join a league with friends, then decide he or she doesn't have the time in their busy life to actually run a fantasy football team. Whatever the case, draft dashers are a bane to many fantasy football leagues.

Drafting and Dashing

Many fantasy football veterans view drafting and dashing as bad manners in fantasy football. The nature of a fantasy sports competition requires a certain minimum level of participation, or the satisfaction of victory isn't so satisfying. Perhaps worse, if a rival gets an easy win in a season-changing match-up because a draft dasher starts a depleted or incomplete lineup, that feeling goes from lack of satisfaction to annoyance and downright outrage. In short, a draft dasher is a bad fantasy league owner who ruins everyone's fun by lack of participation.

Online Draft Dasher

The draft dasher is most common in online fantasy football leagues. The draft dasher will draft a team and then neglect it all year, perhaps for his local fantasy football league or another online fantasy football team with a better roster. Often, someone who enjoys fantasy football can't wait for the fantasy season to start, so he passes his time by drafting in numerous online fantasy football drafts where he has no intention of ever participating. The Internet fantasy draft becomes another form of mock draft. The draft dasher gets information on draft trends, then abandons the team he drafted.

ESPN Fantasy Drafts and Draft Dashers

This has become so much of a problem with the ESPN leagues that ESPN has placed a limit on the number of leagues one visitor can join. I have a friend who joined 40 ESPN leagues last year, but who can only join 15 ESPN leagues this year, because ESPN Fantasy instituted new rules to reduce the likelihood of draft dashing - which apparently ruined countless ESPN leagues last year. (My friend swears he started lineups and even made trades in his 40 leagues, which tells me my friend doesn't have much of a home life.)

Draft Dasher Etiquette

In one of my leagues, we have instituted draft dasher rules. When a team fails to submit a lineup one week, it is noted, but the player is given a pass. If the owner fails to submit a lineup two weeks, the league commissioner or a small committee of league members (confer and) start that team's best lineup for the rest of the season. If that team needs a free agent addition to submit a full starting lineup due to byes or injuries, the league makes sure they get the player they need through the waiver wire. Ultimately, this rule is aimed at reducing the weeks that one league team gets an easy win because another owner can't start a full lineup. We've found this ruins the integrity of the league, and the morale of certain contenders, if teams make the playoffs due to draft dashers apathy.

Our other draft dasher rule is that an owner whose team has to be "taken over" by the league is not asked back the next year. We want to make sure our fantasy football league is a true competition and not a walkover. That's what a draft dasher is, essentially: a walkover opponent.

I would recommend any leagues out there to come up with their own rules to deal with draft dashers. It will make the game more enjoyable and rewarding for those owners who actually do participate in your league.

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