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Hayden Goethe, Published September 01 2013

Goethe: Giving your fantasy football league a jolt

Fargo - Same old friends. Same old league. Same old story.

When it comes to fantasy football, that’s not a bad thing. Stability and rivalries definitely add to the week-to-week enjoyment of participating in the game.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to spice up a league.

Even though your league might be drafting before Labor Day weekend ends – or has already drafted – some of the potential changes that commissioners can make to a league that need to be announced a year out. So it’s important to start thinking about these things now before the season starts.

A few possible ideas to give your league a jolt:

Expansion. How many teams are in your league right now? 10? 12? Those smaller leagues are great, and it’s always fun to have a team full of household names. But if you really want to challenge yourself and your fellow team owners, how about going to a 14- or 16-team league? We went to 16 teams in my league three years ago, and I definitely prefer it to a

12-teamer.

Add keepers. Keepers are a great way to bring continuity to a franchise from year to year. Allow teams in your league to keep a player or two players next season and see how it goes. The challenge is coming up with a system where you can maintain league-wide parity while also giving a benefit to teams that do keep players.

Go to the auction block. There’s something to be said for having the ability to have any player you want, if you’re willing to pay the price. That’s what auction drafts allow. Every player is available for all of the owners to bid against each other for.

Individual defensive players. This is something I’m experimenting with this year in a just-for-fun league. All of us that play fantasy football are used to drafting team defenses. But have you tried adding an individual defensive player or two to everyone’s roster? That opens up a whole new set of players to get to know and root for every Sunday.

Weekly bonuses. For those of you who do play fantasy football with a little money on the line, try adding weekly bonuses. One simple one would be paying a small amount of money from the kitty to the owner each week whose team finishes with the most points. That way, even if someone’s team is out of the playoff chase late in the year, he or she still has something to play for.

Readers can reach

Forum Assistant Sports Editor

Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558