Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

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Greg Ambrosius
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Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:02 pm

This year a record 1,960 teams competed in the NFBC Cutline Championship as we awarded a record $75,000 grand prize. It was another solid year for our hybrid Best Ball Championship and we believe even better seasons lie ahead.

But how do we guarantee that better seasons lie ahead? Let's discuss.

Baseball has never had a true Best Ball format like football does, even though our Cutline Championship is the closest thing to it. That contest is a hybrid form of Best Ball because we still allow Free Agent pickups. In the fantasy football industry, Best Ball is the hottest rage and there are even contests that award $1 million prizes. We have seen incredible growth in our Best Ball products as well and our unique hybrid NFFC Cutline Championship has had a $100,000 grand prize for 5 years now.

So we look at what we have done in football and wonder if we can grow Best Ball even faster in baseball. In 2020 due to Covid, we turned the NFBC Cutline Championship into a straight 10-week Best Ball Championship where the highest scoring teams over the entire season won the top prizes. There was no "cutline" playoff format because there wasn't time for that. It was straight points for 10 weeks with two FAAB periods built into it and the highest scoring teams won all of the prize money. Plain and simple over a full season.

With that in mind, we started talking about the NFBC Cutline Championship format and if anything needed to be done there to continue with its growth. Should we consider changes to the format or is the current format the best one for a Best Ball Championship? Are two FAAB periods too many or too few? Is the total points format the true measure of the best team or is the cutline format where you need to survive the regular season and two preliminary rounds to cut down to just 20 teams the best format?

I think we've agreed internally that as much as you'd love to have a straight Best Ball format in baseball -- where your job is done after the draft with NO Free Agent pickups -- is tough. We do that with our BestBall10s private leagues, but to have an overall championship over the entire 27-week season you almost have to have some Free Agent pickups. Even with two FAAB periods, we know it's a pain in the ass for some people and a turnoff to this format for others, but it would be insane not to allow owners who drafted in December and January the chance to improve their rosters with new pickups at least twice a year. Without that, nobody would draft before March 1st and the number of teams would go waaaaaaay down.

So as much as we'd like to spare you the time during the season, I think that part stays. We could talk about whether two periods is too few or too many and I'm all ears for that, but as much as we wish we could avoid two FAAB periods we just can't.

What about the length of the season? Is it fair for half of the participants to be eliminated by the All-Star break? In the current format, the bottom five teams in each league are eliminated. Would it be better to just go total points for 24 weeks with everyone staying alive with the hope of a solid second half? Is there sentiment for total points all year over the "cutline" playoff format? Anyone up for a longer version of what we ran in 2020 or is that "survivor mentality" in the regular season and playoffs more appealing?

And if we stay with the "survivor format", are there any recommended changes needed there? Do we create a third tier for those who finished 6th through 10th in their leagues for a chance to move up to the Wild Card Tier? Adding another three-week playoff period could at least give a little more relevance to the season for those teams, right? Are the three-week survivor periods too long? Would two weeks work instead? Is there anything else in the playoff format that you'd like to see added, deleted or changed?

I do think we have a good format here, but I'm antsy to see it continue to grow and to continue to grow faster. The Cutline drafts get done in 90 minutes or less and the slow drafts get done in 7 days or less. It's a fun, quick format to learn the player pool and to win cool prizes. And I do think the survivor format works, but I'm also wondering if a straight total points Best Ball format wouldn't work just as well or better, too. It seems like it could.

But let's hear the feedback from you folks and we'll unveil our plans at the end of the month. Thanks for any and all feedback on this game format or anything else we have. We're gearing up for some fun announcements soon, so be ready. Baseball 2021 is right around the corner.
Greg Ambrosius
Founder, National Fantasy Baseball Championship
General Manager, Consumer Fantasy Games at SportsHub Technologies
Twitter - @GregAmbrosius

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KJ Duke
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by KJ Duke » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:18 pm

1) I preferred the no-playoff format this year.
2) If you dump the playoffs the season should continue deeper into the season, for sure.
3) If the season is extended another FAAB or two may be needed.
4) Move the first FAAB to the last day of cutline drafts to accommodate early drafters.
5) To make FAAB far less time-consuming limit the number of pickups to a certain # of drops each period. Maybe 5 max?

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mdecav
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by mdecav » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:06 pm

Why not a DC/Cutline hybrid?

You draft 50 players with no FAAB and the scoring is cutline-style.

...or, separately, you use the DC draft and can leverage the same team/league for a cutline?

CC's Desperados
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by CC's Desperados » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:59 pm

KJ Duke wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:18 pm
1) I preferred the no-playoff format this year.
2) If you dump the playoffs the season should continue deeper into the season, for sure.
3) If the season is extended another FAAB or two may be needed.
4) Move the first FAAB to the last day of cutline drafts to accommodate early drafters.
5) To make FAAB far less time-consuming limit the number of pickups to a certain # of drops each period. Maybe 5 max?
I don't believe you can limit the number of pickup as many teams will have injuries plus other players with playing time concern or underperformances.


An outside the box thought could be subdivisions to incentivizes drafting at different times of the year

- November $10,000 winner for the month of drafters (not sure if reaching a high enough number entries is doable this early)
- December - same as above
- January - same as above
- February - same as above
- March - Maybe $25,000 (figuring the most teams drafted)

Then all team could merge together for the total overall prize ($50,000)

CC's Desperados
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by CC's Desperados » Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:04 pm

mdecav wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:06 pm
Why not a DC/Cutline hybrid?

You draft 50 players with no FAAB and the scoring is cutline-style.

...or, separately, you use the DC draft and can leverage the same team/league for a cutline?
I don't believe you need to do this as it is repeated drafting, but allowing everyone drafting a DC team to enter a sub pool with Cutline scoring for say $100 could making for interesting dual event.

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KJ Duke
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by KJ Duke » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:25 pm

mdecav wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:06 pm
Why not a DC/Cutline hybrid?

You draft 50 players with no FAAB and the scoring is cutline-style.

...or, separately, you use the DC draft and can leverage the same team/league for a cutline?
Probably wouldn't work. With DCs you end up with a lot of injured players but at least you're playing 23 against 23 in starting lineup. With optimal scoring your entire bench contributes so heavily-injured teams would be really handicapped.

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mdecav
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by mdecav » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:29 pm

KJ Duke wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:25 pm
mdecav wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:06 pm
Why not a DC/Cutline hybrid?

You draft 50 players with no FAAB and the scoring is cutline-style.

...or, separately, you use the DC draft and can leverage the same team/league for a cutline?
Probably wouldn't work. With DCs you end up with a lot of injured players but at least you're playing 23 against 23 in starting lineup. With optimal scoring your entire bench contributes so heavily-injured teams would be really handicapped.
Heavily-injured teams in any format are handicapped.

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KJ Duke
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by KJ Duke » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:30 pm

CC's Desperados wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:59 pm
KJ Duke wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:18 pm
1) I preferred the no-playoff format this year.
2) If you dump the playoffs the season should continue deeper into the season, for sure.
3) If the season is extended another FAAB or two may be needed.
4) Move the first FAAB to the last day of cutline drafts to accommodate early drafters.
5) To make FAAB far less time-consuming limit the number of pickups to a certain # of drops each period. Maybe 5 max?
I don't believe you can limit the number of pickup as many teams will have injuries plus other players with playing time concern or underperformances.


An outside the box thought could be subdivisions to incentivizes drafting at different times of the year

- November $10,000 winner for the month of drafters (not sure if reaching a high enough number entries is doable this early)
- December - same as above
- January - same as above
- February - same as above
- March - Maybe $25,000 (figuring the most teams drafted)

Then all team could merge together for the total overall prize ($50,000)
With 4 FAAB periods, one every 5 weeks, I think it could work.
Everyone would probably have a few inactives but still a lot of bench contributors.

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KJ Duke
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by KJ Duke » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:30 pm

mdecav wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:29 pm
KJ Duke wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:25 pm
mdecav wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:06 pm
Why not a DC/Cutline hybrid?

You draft 50 players with no FAAB and the scoring is cutline-style.

...or, separately, you use the DC draft and can leverage the same team/league for a cutline?
Probably wouldn't work. With DCs you end up with a lot of injured players but at least you're playing 23 against 23 in starting lineup. With optimal scoring your entire bench contributes so heavily-injured teams would be really handicapped.
Heavily-injured teams in any format are handicapped.
And in this format multiply that by 2x-3x.

red mule
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by red mule » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:31 pm

Don't try to fix something that's not broken.

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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by JohnP » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:24 am

I think the two FAAB periods are fine. It's great that you do them on a different day. I don't like capping the quantity of free agent pickups. What is out of whack is amount of $ going back to league. Entry fee is 150 with 10 teams per league. You pay one spot at 250. That is 17 percent going back to league so this is really a lottery ticket type of overall contest. If it is going to remain that way then I like the idea of the "cutline" format at the end. If you win league, great. But you are really trying to get a few ping pong balls into the playoff part and hope your team gets hot. That's how this is set up. DCs have 67 percent going back to league. The new OC of this year had 50 percent. Cutline is 17 percent. The overall ROI is still on par - it is just weighted heavily to the overall. I would be in favor of moving a little more back to league prizes. 50k carrot for overall does the same as 75k carrot in terms of getting sign ups? Age-old debate I know! Thanks for providing format for input and discussion.

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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Philippe27 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:13 am

I've never played the cutline format because of the 2 FAAB periods. I know it's only two but it's still something to worry about.

I've said for awhile that the NFBC needs a true best ball format whether it's a 50 round points league where your 23 best guys count every week or a 40 round roto league where all your players count every week, I think you have to come up with something. Everyone loves to draft but most of us have a max of FAAB and DC leagues that we're willing to do because of time constraints,

This idea might not be popular on this forum because we have mostly diehards here but I'm sure it would be a hit with the masses just like it is in football.

DOUGHBOYS
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:00 am

Philippe27 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:13 am

a 40 round roto league where all your players count every week
Thanks for the shout out.
And congrats on another good year. You are a damned good player.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

Philippe27
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Philippe27 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:36 am

DOUGHBOYS wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:00 am
Philippe27 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:13 am

a 40 round roto league where all your players count every week
Thanks for the shout out.
And congrats on another good year. You are a damned good player.

Thanks, appreciate it.

I didn't remember who had the idea but I knew I read it somewhere on the boards last year and loved it.

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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Frozen Tundra » Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:04 pm

I agree with John P. on the payouts. In addition to his ideas, I suggested last year that you provide a payout ($150) to the second place team in each league. I renew that suggestion.

As for FAAB, two is probably the right number. For those of us who don't like that aspect of our game, two is already pushing it. You certainly need one to accommodate spring injuries and having another in June seems like a good "compromise."

If you keep the current structure, adding a survivor element to the bottom 5 seems like a good idea.
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions"
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Greg Ambrosius
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:29 pm

Just a quick note: Yes, the NFBC Cutline Championship IS A LOTTERY format. There's no other contest like this where you can turn $150 into $75,000. If we start paying 50% to league prizes it will be like many other national contests we have. So I understand the sentiments here, but yes this is a lottery ticket with little in-season work and the chance to compete in a survivor format where you can be one of 20 people at the "final table."

As for the 40 players Best Ball where everyone scores, I understand the lure of that contest, but comparing it to football isn't exact. We don't have ANY contest in football that scores every single player. Again, I'm not knocking that concept, but it's not something we run in any other sport. And it would seem to be a contest where people wouldn't draft very early because by doing so you could have multiple zeroes in your lineup by the time the season starts. That seems like a March-drafting contest at a time when we have a lot of important contests in March.

Thanks for the feedback and keep them coming. I'm not trying to take the wind out of any sails, but those two points merited a response.
Greg Ambrosius
Founder, National Fantasy Baseball Championship
General Manager, Consumer Fantasy Games at SportsHub Technologies
Twitter - @GregAmbrosius

DOUGHBOYS
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:36 am

Greg Ambrosius wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:29 pm
As for the 40 players Best Ball where everyone scores, I understand the lure of that contest, but comparing it to football isn't exact. We don't have ANY contest in football that scores every single player. Again, I'm not knocking that concept, but it's not something we run in any other sport. And it would seem to be a contest where people wouldn't draft very early because by doing so you could have multiple zeroes in your lineup by the time the season starts. That seems like a March-drafting contest at a time when we have a lot of important contests in March.

Thanks for the feedback and keep them coming. I'm not trying to take the wind out of any sails, but those two points merited a response.

Who knows, if 'All Play' takes off in baseball, football probably would be next.
Almost diabolical in football. It would change drafting philosophy and QB's would shoot up the Boards in ADP. :D

1. Why can't it start with baseball?

I do not agree with your no early drafts assessment. There are already early drafts in DC's with drafters taking zeroes from players getting hurt.
They weigh whether it is more advantageous to get possible bargains in early season drafting to possible injury later in the season.
It would be the same for 'All Play'.
There is no FAAB to help DC drafters.
Same for 'All Play'.
In fact, in one way zeroes would be less likely since literally 40 players are starting, not just 23.
And in another way, more likely, since all 40 players are 'in the lineup'. Part of the charm of the game.
A cross between a 'survivor' game and a DC.
If zeroes do present a problem, five extra rounds can be added from the get-go or later.

2. Why do you believe early drafting would be a problem?

The advantage to 'All Play' is that if fearing injury, a drafter can load his roster with pitchers or hitters to back up that spot.
For instance, if drafting Giancarlo Stanton, the drafter can load up his roster with other power sources and it doesn't even have to be from the OF (Although Stanton is U only this coming year) position. He could draft four power hitting 1B knowing he won't have to 'bench' one of them.
Or even draft two other 'Utility' players like Nellie Cruz and JD Martinez.
And if drafting James Paxton, that drafter can load up pitching for the eventual certainty that Paxton will go down to injury.
As long as the drafter has a legal lineup of 23 players, the next 17 players can be pitching or hitting designed to enhance that 'Starting 23'.
No drafter wants to start a judy like Billy Hamilton in their starting 23.
However, getting his stolen bases from the 40th spot in a draft would be sneaky.
More thought has to go in to players taken later in 'All Play' drafts.
A possible year-long zero for a prospect in AA or a possible stats-beating Jordan Zimmermann-type pitcher in the later rounds represent a challenge.
More reckoning has to be given to each player drafted, especially late in a draft, since every stat counts. No 'bench' to save us.
And what about the front of 'All Play' drafts?
A drafter could start with nine pitchers, hoping for health and good numbers, then draft 31 hitters.
In this way, the drafter could care less about 'bad pitchers' screwing up his peripherals.
Of course, if there are injuries, he could succumb to the innings minimum which are the same as DC's.
A lot of different strategies in drafting for 'All Play', for sure.
There is no FAAB to worry about. No lineups to worry about.
A time free game once the season begins.

Sorry in advance. You wanted input on Cutlines.
But I believe you were dismissive of 'All Play' for the wrong reasons.
The questions don't need to be answered.
Back to Cutlines and thanks for the listen........
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Texas Connection » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:01 pm

I do a lot of early drafts in cutlines. I know that my teams in December will not score as many points as my teams in March as a general rule because of all of the injuries and lineup changes that will happen over time. I am okay with that as I am competing with people with the same knowledge at the time. The scores reset in the playoffs and at that time after 2 faabs I believe the player pools are similar throughout all the leagues. Some have argued that draft champions leagues draft early and continue to grow. I would argue that these are completely different. Someone mentioned it earlier, but everybody does the cutline for the overall prize chance. The league prize amounts to 16.67% of entry fees. This is the inverse of the prize for draft champions where the lions share of the prize pool is paid in the league. I don't even think about winning the overall in those. I'm sure some do. I would not do early cuts if it was cumulative, and I believe most early drafters would not. I think it would be very tough on Greg and the boys to sell the early drafts. My vote would be to leave things the way they were pre-covid.

croakerkane
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by croakerkane » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:29 pm

Pre-COVID rules FOR SURE.

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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Bjs2025 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:04 pm

In terms of the separate conversation happening here about different satellite best ball leagues, I personally would be highly interested in NFBC 15 team 40ish player roster best ball leagues. Double ups, classic format, etc...like the BB10s have.

To me, that would begin to equate or surpass the best ball options offered by Fantrax.

As far as cutline, most people seem to prefer it the way it is.

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Greg Ambrosius
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Re: Looking For Feedback On 2021 Cutline Championship

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:54 pm

Thanks again for all of the great feedback. My interest was in knowing if folks liked the Cutline playoff format more than a 24-week straight Best Ball scoring format and for baseball I think the answer was pretty clear. The playoff "cutline" format is needed in baseball and so it will return in 2021. This contest will remain the same for 2021 with one slight change that will keep everyone playing beyond the All-Star Game. Stay tuned.

In fact, we've finalized budgets for 2021 and are ready to announce our slate of contests shortly. We are bullish on 2021 and believe people are ready for a full season and live events again. We are planning accordingly and already have signed hotel agreements with the Bellagio Las Vegas, Stewart Hotel in New York City and Sheraton Northbrook in Chicago. We will launch the NFBC site shortly after the World Series and begin drafts at that time. Let's goooooooo!!!!

I'll start posting our prizes, entry fees and rules this week so that you have time to plan accordingly. All of the national contests have either the same prize structure as we had planned for a full-season 2020 campaign or higher and we aren't raising the prices on any of the entry fees. No Events Fees again. No co-manager fees again, but compliance fees will start right away. That is helping us offset some of the state-by-state licensing fees that now tops well over six-figures per year. Oh, and any purchase by December 31st will count as entry fees for the calendar 2020 year, which is always good for those who may have won more money than they spent in 2020.

Look for some contest announcements shortly and be ready for our 18th NFBC season starting in about two weeks. Thanks all.
Greg Ambrosius
Founder, National Fantasy Baseball Championship
General Manager, Consumer Fantasy Games at SportsHub Technologies
Twitter - @GregAmbrosius

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