RAFFLE 2009 Rules

First, the link to the RAFFLE page on mfl.com . Also, I was able to re-add the 5WR formation to the list of legal formations.

00) Table of Contents
'Net Resources
RAFFLE 2009 Timeline
Securing Your Spot for 2009
Keeper Rules (Leagues I-III)
Roster Size/Fielding a Team
Drafting/Filling the Roster
Waiver Wire
Weekly Reports
Unresponsive Ownership, Etc.

01) 'Net Resources
In addition to mfl.com, there's a web site for the football information at the web site I own & manage -- the URL is http://www.jt-sw.com/football. It includes NFL, fantasy football, and RAFFLE information. All the reports will be available for those times you accidentally delete your copy. :-)

If you have requests for information you wish to see at the site, let me know and I'll see what I can do. (With a lot of the league management done by mfl.com, there probably won't be much else to add on my site.)

(The mailing lists are not available after the list server was shutdown. I plan to build my own, but time hasn't permitted it yet. :-| )

02) RAFFLE '08 Timeline

The timeline has pretty well been shot to pieces this year......

Ÿ Items marked with an asterisk are RAFFLE events.
Ÿ Dates after July 1 may change if the NFL changes their dates for the regular season.
Mar. 15 * RAFFLE Trading and Free Agency reopen.
* RAFFLE 2009 rules (what you're reading) should’ve been mailed out, but weren't.
* Draft Order & schedules should’ve been ready, but weren’t
Apr. 15 * RAFFLE 2009 rules should've been mailed out
* The 2009 draft pick lists and schedules should've been posted to the site
Apr. 28 NFL Draft (concludes on Sunday).
Jun. 15 * Franchise Reservations due -- see Section 03.
Aug. 5 NFL Preseason starts (Hall of Fame Game).
Aug. 11 * Keeper designations due -- see Section 04. (Keeper leagues only)
* End of RAFFLE Free agency for the 2009 Off-Season -- See Section 04. (Keeper leagues only)
Aug. 18 * Initial draft lists due -- see Section 06.
* Trading Period ends -- see Section 04.
Aug. 25 * RAFFLE draft (concludes on Sunday).
Aug. 28 * Official start of supplemental picks.
Sep. 2 * Last mailing of rosters.
* Updates of the Transaction (tranx) files at the Site starts.
Sep. 6 NFL Regular season starts (Thursday night).
Nov. 29 * End of RAFFLE regular season (NFL Week 13; concludes with MNF).
Dec. 20 * Fantasy Bowl (NFL Week 16; concludes with MNF).

03) Securing Your Spot for 2009
To retain your franchise, send a note to me (jtroan@jt-sw.com) by June 15 that includes the following information:
  • Your name (as you want it to appear in the mailings).
  • The e-mail address to which the mailings are to be sent.
  • Your team name (approximately 30 characters). Restriction: the nickname cannot already be used.
  • Your time zone (continental U.S.) or how many hours ahead/behind the U.S. east coast (New York, Washington, etc.).
Anything left out defaults to the 2007 info -- but I still need a reservation in some form to know if you'll be back or not.

04) Keeper Rules (Leagues I-III)
By August 8, each team indicates which players will be kept going into 2009. I'll have the full list of kept players posted shortly afterwards. See the chart below for limits on numbers of players at each position.

Position Maximums
Players Kept

Off-season activity is allowed with the following restrictions:
  • Only players with prior NFL experience can be involved. (I know who does.)
  • Free agency ends on August 8.
  • Trading between teams ends on August 8.
  • Draft picks can be traded, but only for the next two drafts -- 2009/10 picks though this year's draft; 2010/11 picks between the draft and through next year's draft; etc. (This means that you can't do a Herschel Walker-type deal and leave RAFFLE immediately afterwards -- sticking it to the new owner.)

05) Roster Size/Fielding a Team
The roster is 18 positions. You will need to carry enough players to start a legal formation each week. You can use a different formation each week, depending on which eligibles (RB, WR, TE) you want to use that week.

If you don’t submit enough players in a given week’s lineup, I’ll work alphabetically through your roster to get a complete lineup. For the eligibles, I'll start with two RBs, then move to the WRs. (If you have only one K or D, it can be left benched during that team's bye.)
  • QB, RB, WR, WR, WR, WR, K, D
  • QB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, D
  • QB, RB, WR, WR, TE, TE, K, D
  • QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, K, D
  • QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, K, D
  • QB, RB, RB, WR, TE, TE, K, D
  • QB, WR, WR, WR, WR, WR, K, D
The team defense/special teams (D) position is one team chosen to fill both on defense and special teams. Points are awarded for turnovers, sacks, and points scored.

See Scoring for the rest of the details.

06) Drafting/Filling the Roster
The draft will be 10 rounds. The 4th, 7th, and 9th rounds are for what would normally be the supplemental picks after the 3rd, 5th, and 6th rounds. I couldn't get mfl.com to recognize supplemental picks, so shortened rounds was the next best way -- which means these "extra" rounds inserted in the draft won't all have a pick for everyone.

The draft order is available in mfl.com. It is based upon how the team faired in 2008, with normal tiebreakers applying. Teams with the same record will rotate with each other -- like the NFL does. Example: four of the teams to make the playoffs lose before reaching the championship game. Three of them are 8-6 (Tms A, B, & D) and one is 9-5 (Tm C). After normal tiebreakers are applied, the teams are ordered A, B, D, and C in the first round; B, D, A, and C in the second; D, A, B, and C in the third; and the fourth round is the same as the first.

The last four teams will play for the first draft pick in the “Tidy Bowl.” The best team (using normal tie breakers) will get the first pick, next-best will get the second, etc. The eight teams playing for the championship get the other eight picks each round.
The number of players kept by each team affects the number of picks. The "baseline" is eight players kept and seven picks in the draft -- keeping fewer players will add more picks after the listed rounds.

Players Kept
Picks Added
- None -
after 6th
after 5th, 6th
after 3rd, 5th, 6th

I don't have time to do all three live drafts on the traditional draft weekend this year and -- based on how badly last year's on-line draft blew up with some bad picks -- this year's draft will be done round-by-round via e-mail directly to me.

I'm planning on doing an e-mail draft starting on Aug 20. There are two choices for getting your picks to me. You can start with option 2, then at any point during the draft you can swtich to option 1 & send me a draft list to finish your teams' draft out with.
  1. Send a full Draft List (as was accepted from owners not able to join the live drafts).
  2. For each "real" round, send an e-mail to me with your ordered list of preferred players for the pick(s) you have in that round. (You can also send to the commish account here to receive an auto-reply that it got here.) The rounds will be done a couple days apart from each other, allowing this as a realistic option.

Option 3 is that I'll make the selection for any pick I don't have instructions for. The best remaining will be selected (regardless of position, but try to watch for bye week problems) and draft no K or D before Round 5.

Here's the schedule for when each round's picks are due. (All times are EDT.) The rounds listed are the "real" round and the round(s) listed in MFL.com. (The fourth round is really the extra pics at the end of the third, etc.)
Round 1  1    Thu  8/20  19:00
Round 2  2    Sat  8/22  18:00 (changed from the original noon)
Round 3  3+4  Tue  8/25  19:00
Round 4  5    Thu  8/27  19:00
Round 5  6    Sat  8/29  19:00
Round 6  7+8  Tue  9/01  19:00
Round 7  9+10 Thu  9/03  19:00

Do note that these are hard deadlines for using option 2. (I will give a _little_ leeway to allow for minor e-mail delays.)

On a given night, I'll try to process every scheduled pick for all three drafts (or as much as I can that night and adjust the schedule). Draft picks will be entered and posted to MFL.com, where the results can be pulled by selecting Reports | League | Draft (then select the league).

07) Waiver Wire
Obtaining an unselected player is perfectly legal (and probably necessary for most of us). Transactions can be performed between 08:00 ET on Tuesdays and noon ET the following Sunday. Note that players cut from a RAFFLE roster cannot be signed that same week.

During the first three weeks of the season, owners can acquire unselected players on a first-come, first-served after rosters are unlocked. Experience has shown that the good selections are taken during the first month or so. Therefore, it'll be a good idea to stay on top of things (and be active on the waiver wire) during the first several weeks of the season.

After the first three weeks of play, all waiver wire requests received by Wednesday at 18:00 ET will be processed based on the order of teams listed in the previous week's report.

NOTE: This does not mean that you can't pick up free agents after the waiver wire deadline. It simply gives the losing teams the ability to become better by getting the developing players first. After the deadlines, it's first-come, first-served until the lineup deadline.

08) Trades
Trades between teams are OK at anytime during the off season and Weeks 1-10, except between noon ET Sunday to 08:00 ET Tuesday. You can do trades either through the web site or e-mailing me. If you do e-mail me, both owners need to confirm the trade before I have the system do the trade. (I need to hear from both owners to ensure that one team isn't trying to get away with anything. Through all of the years I've been in RAFFLE, no one has ever tried to do so.) After the Week 10 lineup deadline, no trades can be done until after the rosters are unlocked in the spring.

09) Lineups
Lineups for each week will need to be submitted to the web site by noon ET on Sundays. For weeks with earlier games, players involved in the game(s) must have their status changed before the [first] game. The other players on the roster can be benched/started until the normal Sunday's first kickoffs.

If you choose to keep the same lineup, you don't need to submit anything. Likewise, if you wish to change your lineup, you need to make adjustments or the previous week's lineup will rollover.

If a player doesn't play in a particular week, it is the owner's responsibility to field another player for that position for the week. Since several teams will have the same week off, you'll probably have more than one that won't play.

For players that play multiple positions (i.e., Deion Sanders as WR and CB for the Cowboys in past years), see the Scoring notes.

10) Scoring

Basic Scoring:
Position Players --
TD scored6 pts2-pt scored2 pts
TD pass3 pts2-pt pass1 pt
INT thrown-1 pt
FG3 pts
PAT1 pt
Team D --
Shutout4 pts
Safety2 pts
Sack1 pt
Turnover Recovery1 pt
Performance Scoring:
Rushing/Receiving1 pt/10 yds (0-9 is 0 pts, 10-19 is 1, etc.)
2 additional pts for 100 yds
Passing1 pt/20 yds (0-19 is 0 pts, 20-39 is 1, etc.)
2 additional pts for 300 yds
Kickers' FGs40-49 yds gives 1 additional point
50-59 yds gives 2 additional points
60+ yds gives 3 additional points
Def. Sack Yardage1 pt/10 yds (0-9 is 0 pts, 10-19 is 1, etc.)

Games ending in a tie will be scored as such. RAFFLE post-season games ending in a tie will go to the home team (always the higher seed).

  • A player cannot have negative points in a game.
  • If a player is selected for an offensive position but scores during special teams play (punts/kickoffs), ONLY the special teams (D) gets the points. I.e., Deion scored two TDs in a game in 1993 -- one as a WR and one on special teams. The team who had him as a WR would get one TD and the Dallas D would get the other 6 points.

11) Scheduling
There are 8 divisions across the four leagues. League I consists of the Sisko and Kira divisions; League II has the Picard and Riker divisions; League III has the Kirk and Spock divisions; League IV has the Janeway and Chakotay divisions. Check the site for each League's schedule.

The RAFFLE regular season is during weeks 1-13. Weeks 14-16 are devoted to the RAFFLE playoffs.

Playoffs: The top eight teams will be going to the playoffs. They will be seeded 1 to 8 based on record (with the usual tiebreakers applied as needed) -- with the Division Winners seeded 1 and 2. When one of these teams loses, they will play another team that lost at the same level that week. The home teams are always the highest-seeded teams at each level. (If the eighth seed upsets the top seed the first week of the playoffs, that team will still be on the road.) Each round of the playoffs will be re-seeded so that the highest-seeded team will always play the lowest-seeded team at that level -- winners bracket and losers bracket.

The last four teams will play each other in a round-robin tournament for the first pick in the next season’s draft.

12) Standings
Standings will be decided by:
  1. Winning percentage (ties count as half-win, half-loss)
  2. Number of wins
  3. Points for (most points)
  4. Head-to-head
  5. Conference record
  6. Points against (most points)
  7. Coin toss (witnessed by as much of the Comp Comm as reasonably possible)

By the time the end of the season rolls around, we probably won't have to drop below the head-to-head line -- but you never know!

13) Weekly Reports
After each week's games are completed, the following information will be posted and maybe mailed. (I'll know more on how the site handles this after Week 1.)
  • Standings through that week
  • Final scores for the week
  • Waiver Wire and Trades for the week
  • The order for waiver wire activity for the next week (starting with the Week 4 report)
  • Next week's games

If you notice a scoring error, etc., in the report, you have until 18:00 ET that following Wednesday to let me know about them -- this will finalize problems before the next week's lineups are set.

14) Awards
There are several awards given in RAFFLE each season -- most of them for regular-season performances only. Balloting to be conducted between Weeks 14 and 16 with results posted in the Week 16 report.
  • Fantasy Bowl (one per league since 1991) -- the winner of the post season playoffs.
  • Brent Trophy (one per league since 1998) -- the best record in the regular season and top seed in the playoffs. The award is named for a friend and fellow RAFFLE owner who passed away during the 1998 season after losing his battle with leukemia. (His team name is also permanently listed in League I, effectively retiring the name from all of RAFFLE.)
  • Most Points (one per league and one overall, starting in 2000) -- the team with the most points scored during the regular season. (This isn't always the team with the best record.)
  • RAFFLE All-Pro team (one "team" overall, starting in 2000) -- a ballot among all owners for the NFL players who had the best year. The team will be based on the "standard" formation.
  • RAFFLE Sleeper and Bust of the Year (one each overall, starting in 2000) -- a ballot among all owners for the Sleeper of the Year and the Bust of the Year.
  • NFL MVP (from a RAFFLE perspective, starting in 2001) -- a ballot among all owners for NFL MVP (for RAFFLE).

15) Unresponsive Ownership, Etc.
If an owner is not heard from by the Commissioner for four consecutive weeks, the Commissioner will send a note to the owner asking whether the owner wishes to maintain ownership of the team. If a NO is returned (or no response within three days), the Commissioner becomes the temporary owner of the team until a new owner is found (via the 'net). If a YES is returned, the owner maintains ownership of the team.

If a second four-week period elapses with no communication from the same owner, the Commissioner automatically takes over temporary ownership until a new owner is found. Also counting is the second week between the draft and Week 1. This could give the ol' heave-ho to an owner after the Week 3 lineups are mailed/posted.

The only exception is when the owner lets the Commissioner know that he/she will be away from the computer for an extended period of time (a couple of weeks or more) and not have access to Internet and/or necessary the RAFFLE materials.

To combat a problem we've had in the past -- If an owner tosses in the towel and throws the remainder of his games, that team -- if the owner is still around for the next draft -- will draft last in all rounds. (I finished dead last in '95, but still kept trying to win until the very end.)

16) Miscellaneous
There is no monetary requirement for this league.

We are a league that believes in being run by the owners. Any owner can submit a proposal to modify the rules. All owners who were active with the RAFFLE offices during 10 of the 16 weeks, including at least one post season week, are eligible to vote on the proposals.

Issues have also come up during the season and all owners have been asked for input before a decision is made. I have had my tentative decision change based on these comments, so I do listen to everything that comes in.

I am always open to changes in the rules, but they will always be voted on during the annual E-meetings as the next year's rules are assembled. (Usually the week leading up to the Superbowl.)

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me E-mail. (I check my mail just about every evening.)

Last Modifed: 08/20/2009
Football Site Owner: John Troan