Rules: League Rules

Below is a list of all the options and details on how they work.

Waiver Rules | Trade Rules | Head-to-Head Matchup Rules



GENERAL RULES

Player/Team Universe: The league manager determines what the league's player pool is comprised of. The options are:

  • AFC Players Only
  • NFC Players Only
  • All NFL Players - Recommended
  • This setting can only be changed before the league's draft begins.

    Roster Locktimes: The league manager decides when team rosters lock during the week.

  • Slots lock individually at scheduled gametime - Recommended. If selected each roster slot locks when the player's game begins.
  • All slots lock at the first game of the week - If selected all roster slots lock at the scheduled kickoff time of the first game each week. So, if there's a Thursday game during the week, ALL rosters for all teams lock for the week at that time.
  • This setting can changed by the league manager at any time during the season.

    Observe Undroppable Player Rules: The 'Undroppable' list is comprised of players who cannot be dropped to waivers at any time during the season. ESPN introduced this feature to prevent collusion (In these cases, owners would be able to drop star players, allowing those first on the waiver wire to pick them up). League managers can choose if they want to allow owners to be capable of dropping all players or be prevented from dropping designated players.

  • Yes - Recommended
  • No
  • This setting can changed by the league manager at any time during the season.

    Make League Viewable to Public: The league manager has the option to make their league viewable to the public. If 'Yes' is selected the league is set as "Public" and owners can send their league URLs out in email (or posted on message board) to have non-members view them. In public leagues some pages (such as the list of team owners and league message boards) are not viewable, but the main League Office, Standings, and Team clubhouse pages are viewable. If 'No' is selected the league is set as "Private" and every page (except League Settings) in your league will not be viewable by anyone other than team owners.

  • Yes - Recommended
  • No
  • This setting can changed by the league manager at any time during the season.



    WAIVER RULES

    Waiver Overview: Waivers are the process by which owners can select from the pool of available players who are not on a team's roster in the league. They may have been undrafted or dropped by owners. Owners can put a claim for that player, but must wait a specified amount of time until the waiver clears. The team that puts a claim on a player - and who has the higher waiver priority number - will receive the player when waivers clear. An option of having waivers turned off is available as well. All available players not on Waivers are considered Free Agents.

    Free agent/Waiver Acquisitions Limit: The league manager has the option of choosing the number of player acquisitions that a team is allowed through free agency or waivers during the season.

  • No Limit - Most ESPN leagues set their league to use this option. If selected, there is no limit to the number of players a team can add or drop.
  • None Allowed - If selected only the league manager can add players to teams.
  • If a specific number is selected (i.e. 5, 10, 15, 20) once that limit is reached the team will not be allowed to add any players to their team.
  • This setting can be changed by the league manager at any time during the season.

    Waiver Period: If Waivers are used, owners must wait until the time that a player spends on waivers elapses before the waiver claim is processed. If the player on Waivers is not selected and the waiver period expires, he automatically becomes a free agent. If a specific day length is selected all available players lock at their team's scheduled kickoff time and the waiver period begins early Tuesday mornings.

  • No Waivers - If selected, players will NEVER be moved to waivers. Rather, all available players are always free agents.
  • 1 Day - Waivers process on Wednesdays (Wed).
  • 2 Days - Waivers process on Thursdays (Thu). Recommended setting.
  • 3 Days - Waivers process on Fridays (Fri).
  • 4 Days - Waivers process on Saturdays (Sat).
  • If a player is dropped during the week (i.e, on Thursday afternoon), the player will be listed on waivers for the set length of total days set in your league rules. For example, suppose your waiver period is set for 1 day. This means the waiver will process at the next waiver processing that is at least a full 24 hours (1 day) later. So, if you drop a player at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, your waiver will run on or about 3:00 am ET Saturday morning - the next scheduled running of waivers that is at least 24 hours past the time the player was dropped.

    This setting can be changed by the league manager at any time during the season. NOTE: Any wavier claims which are pending at the time the Waiver Period rule is changed will be grandfathered and changed for players moved to waivers moving forward.

    Waiver System (In-season): The waiver order during the season determines who has the first chance to claim a player on waivers.

  • Move to last after claim, never reset order -- The team which makes the most recent pickup is automatically moved to the last slot.
  • Resets every Tuesday to inverse order of standings -- The system resets itself after each week is complete (on Tuesday's) and moves the team in last place to the first slot in the waiver order (and likewise, the team in first place will go to the last slot). In the case of a tie, the team that scored the least amount of points to date would get the better (earlier) waiver slot.
  • This setting can be changed by the league manager at any time during the season.



    TRADE RULES

    Trade Overview: Trades are an agreement between two teams to exchange one or more players. Trades can be processed with an uneven number of players as long as they do not violate any roster settings.

    Trade Limit: This option sets the number of trades a team can perform during the season. League managers can choose to have:

  • No trades - Only the league manager can trade players between teams.
  • No limit - The recommended and most common setting, if this option is selected there is no limit to the number of trades a team can make.
  • If a specific number is selected (i.e. 5, 10, 15, 20) once that limit is reached the team will not be allowed to propose or accept anymore trades.
  • This setting can be changed by the league manager at any time during the season.

    Trade Deadline: This setting determines if the league uses a deadline for trading players between teams. This option is offered to prevent teams from sandbagging their team at the end of the season by trading blue-chip players for average players.

  • No trade deadline - Trades are allowed for the duration of the NFL season (all 17 weeks).
  • Friday's between Weeks 7-16 - If selected, trades will no longer be accepted or proposed after 5pm on the listed Friday.
  • This setting can be changed by the league manager at any time during the season.

    Trade Review Period: This is the length of time allowed where the league decides if a trade is fair. League managers can determine the span of time for the review. If one of the "hour" review periods is selected -- and the trade is not vetoed -- it will process within the hour (not the exact minute) when the period expires.

  • 24 hours
  • 48 hours - Recommended
  • 72 hours
  • No Trade Review - Trades process immediately after the trade is accepted.
  • "48 hours" example: A trade is accepted at 11:05am ET on Friday. If the trade is not vetoed it will process within the hour after the 11:05am ET time on Sunday (48 hours after the time the trade was accepted on Friday).

    This setting can be changed by the league managers at any time during the season. NOTE: Any trades which are pending at the time the Trade Review Period is changed will be grandfathered. The change to the Trade Review Period will only be used for trades moving forward.

    Votes Required to Veto Trade: ESPN introduced this option to allow leagues to decide whether a trade is fair to both parties and to prevent collusion. The power to veto trades can be given to the league owners or only to the league manager. If league owners are given veto power, the number of owner votes will determine whether a trade is vetoed.

  • League manager can only veto trades - If selected, all accepted trades can only be vetoed by the league manager within the time length specified in the "Trade Review Period" setting. All team owners are given the option to submit their comments about the trade (which only the league manager can view). If the trade is vetoed by the league manager, the trade is immediately cancelled. If the trade is upheld by the league manager (or the time length expires without a decision from the league manager), the trade processes according to the league's "Trade Review Period" setting.
  • Specific number of teams - If selected, the number of teams listed must vote to veto the trade in order for it to be cancelled. If the number is not reached by the time the "Trade Review Period" expires, the trade will be upheld. If the number is reached, the trade will be immediately cancelled.
  • This setting can be changed by the league manager at any time during the season. Note: If the setting is changed while a trade is pending, the trade will be grandfathered to use the setting that was in place when the trade was accepted.



    HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCHUP RULES

    Regular Season Tie Breaker: If a match-up ends in a tie, ESPN gives the league manager a set of options to break the tie and award a victory.

  • None, leave as tie: All tied games are recorded as a tie in the standings.
  • Home Team Wins: The home team wins the game if it ends in a tie.
  • Most Points from Bench: The team with the most bench points wins.
  • Most Points from QBs: The team with the most QB points wins.
  • Most Points from RBs: The team with the most RB points wins.
  • Most Points from WRs: The team with the most WR points wins.
  • This setting can be changed by the league manager at any time during the season. NOTE: If this rule is changed after a week in the season is complete, any previous week's ties will NOT take the changed rule into affect.

    Home Field Advantage: The process by which the home team is awarded a given number of points before the game begins. This advantage is displayed in the box score pages.

  • None: There are no points given for home field advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +1 Points: The home team starts the game with a +1 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +2 Points: The home team starts the game with a +2 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +3 Points: The home team starts the game with a +3 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +4 Points: The home team starts the game with a +4 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +5 Points: The home team starts the game with a +5 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +6 Points: The home team starts the game with a +6 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +7 Points: The home team starts the game with a +7 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +8 Points: The home team starts the game with a +8 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +9 Points: The home team starts the game with a +9 advantage.
  • Home Team Receives +10 Points: The home team starts the game with a +10 advantage.
  • Note: ESPN's schedules automatically assign a home and away team each game. Deadline: The league manager can change the Home Field Advantage rule at any time. NOTE: If this rule is changed after a week in the season is complete, all previous weekly results will take the changed rule into affect.

    Playoff Seeding Tiebreaker: The process by which the system breaks any ties at the end of the regular season to determine the seeding in the playoff bracket.

  • Overall points: The system will break the tie based on which teams scored the most total points during the season. If this does not break the tie(s) the system will use the default tiebreaker system.
  • Head-to-Head Record: The system will break the tie based on the head-to-head record between the two tied teams. If there's more than two teams - and they didn't play the same number of h2h games - the system will use the default tiebreaker system.
  • Division Record: The system will break the tie based on which teams had the best intra-division record. If there's more than two teams and/or they do not have the same number of intra-division games the system will use the default tiebreaker system.
  • Overall Points - Against: The system will break the tie based on which team had the most total points scored against them during the season. If this does not break the tie(s) the system will use the default tiebreaker system.
  • Coin flip