Same Site…New Look!

Updated: April 24th 2018

It’s taken us a bit longer than we would have liked, but we are now rolling out an updated site.  Most of the functionality of the site is the same or similar to what it was before, just with a vastly new look.  Along with this new look, you should see more responsive pages when viewing on mobile devices as well as better overall performance on some pages (and it shouldn’t be any worse on the others).  I’ll highlight a few of the bigger changes we’ve made with this update:

League Nav

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the new league navigation.  Gone are those static sub navigation items that were always near the top of the page.  They are no longer ingrained into the content of the page, but rather appear as part of the navigation menu and appear/disappear as you hover over other options.

As we’ve grown, more and more of our users are now belonging to more than one RSO league, so we’ve made it easier on those of you.  The same navigation that you’ve had for the past year on the external pages to enter your league now appears internally as well so you can quickly navigate between leagues when needed.

Owners/Roster/Ledger

Unfortunately with the new navigation, we needed to cut down the number of sub navigation items and so we’ve combined the old Owners, Rosters, and Ledger pages which will all be under the new ‘Owners’ item.  They are still there, but if you’re going to the Roster or Ledger page it’s going to take one more click than it used to.

League Home

If you didn’t notice the navigation first, you’ll sure notice the new league home page.  Admittedly, functionally this is more or less the same page that it was, but we have moved a few things around and it will be your first look at how all the pages will be laid out.  The NFL schedule now appears in a slider at the top of the page.  The transactions have been moved from the larger content area to the side area under the weekly fantasy matchups.  Also a few other small touchups but you can discover those for yourself.  We did remove one section from the home page and that’s the Messages.  We didn’t feel like having the messages on the home page brought enough value especially given that you couldn’t even read the full contents of the message.  We do however have some good news for those of you that do regularly use the messaging feature…

Messaging

This has my vote for most improved experience on the site.  What we had before was rather clunky and honestly I thought was a bit of a pain to use.  Now everything is all on one page and is hopefully a more familiar layout to what you’re used to.  We’ve also added the ability to see who the messages are to since we know that in the past it wasn’t easy (or impossible) to distinguish public vs private messages.  Also now moved to this page is the ability to toggle whether the league chat window appears or not.

Other Improvements

There’s plenty of other smaller improvements that we’ve made, most of which I’ll let you discover on your own but here’s a few quick items:

  • Can now filter by position on the Contracts Overview page (which is also now exclusively under the Player navigation rather than also under Team)
  • The few total point leagues out there should have a better experience on a few pages (Home and History mostly)
  • Other bug fixes and error hadnling so you shouldn’t see that dreaded error/oops page nearly as often

Other FYIs

If you have them, bookmarks to league pages from before this update will no longer work (they’ll take you to the site home rather than your league).  You’ll need to re-bookmark the league page(s).

We’ve tested the new site on all the latest verisons of the major browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge) so those are all supported.  We also tried it on IE 10 and 11 as well and it should be fine on those browsers outside of a couple very minor cosmetic issues.  If you’re using anything before IE 10 then you’re on your own.

Also, it’s a large site and it’s possible that we could have missed something.  If you see something that isn’t behaving as you believe it should or if you see anything that looks off, screenshot it and send it to inquiries@realitysportsonline.com and we’ll take a look at it.

What’s next

Draft season is upon us, so we’ll be busy with the new rookies.  Over the next month or so we’ll also be looking to add SSL to the site, add 1st downs as a scoring option, as well as other smaller items.

Follow me on twitter @RSOKyleEnglish for the latest RSO technical updates or any quick technical questions you may have.

More Analysis by Kyle English

Tech Corner: Early Off-season Additions

Updated: October 26th 2018

Now that I’m full-time here with RSO (more info on that here if you didn’t already see it), it makes sense for you to hear from me more often than you have been.  Changes should be coming faster than they have in the past and you deserve to know what’s been done and what’s coming down the line.  These posts won’t include everything we’ve been working on, but will focus on the items that will affect a large portion of you rather than the dozen bugs we fixed which 99% of you will never know existed.  With that said, here are the items from this update:

Rookie Option

We’ve added in a rookie option.  You can now exercise the option on 1st round rookie picks for the average of the top 10 salaries at the position, similar to what happens in the NFL.  This occurs immediately in the off-season during the same time that you place your franchise tag.  The key is that this happens the off-season one year before their contract expires.  This means that right now this off-season if you have 3 year rookie contracts that the 2016 rookies like Zeke and Michael Thomas are available for the option.  If you have 4 year rookies then the 2015 rookies of Gurley and Gordon would be available now.  Some other quick hitting items on the option:

  • It’s a league setting that is ‘off’ by default.  Your commish will need to turn on the setting in the ‘Draft’ panel of the league settings.
  • Limited to just 1st round picks
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re team drafted them or not.  All that matters is if they are on their draft rookie contract, whether you traded for them or picked them yourself.  If they were picked up in FAAB there’s no rookie option.
  • There’s no limit to the number of options you can exercise.  If they fit all the requirements above you can give them the option.
  • Unlike in the NFL, we are treating these options just like any other contract on the platform which means that the option is 50% guaranteed.  If your league decides they like to follow how the NFL does it, then the commish can easily remove the contract when the time comes from the commish tools with no cap hit.

Off-season/Tag Extension

This is the other big item that has been added this off-season, though this one we’ve talked about a bit in the past.  You can now extend the player that you used your franchise tag on in the off-season.  The first step is finalizing your tag choice, either through the ‘Finalize Tag’ functionality or just waiting for 3 days before your rookie draft.  Only after you finalize the tag will you be able to see the extension option.  From that point, you have until 3 days before your league auction to extend the tagged player or not.  Here’s a few other things you should know:

  • A teams number of extensions used is reset with our site rollover that just happened in February.  This means that last seasons extensions don’t affect your ability to extend this off-season or during the up-coming season.
  • The flip side of that is that if your league only allows one extension and you use it on your tagged player in the off-season, no in-season extensions for your team in the upcoming season.
  • Players do use their tagged salary as a bit of a starting point.  Don’t tag someone whose not worth the tag thinking that their extension offer will be much lower…you’ll be sorely disappointed.
  • Unlike the in-season extension, these values don’t fluctuate week to week
  • You can trade for a tagged player and then extend them yourself as long as it’s before the auction as mentioned above.  You don’t have to be the team that tags the player to extend them.

Up Next: Updating and re-styling the league pages  ETA: March

More Analysis by Kyle English

RSO 2018 Off-Season Schedule

Updated: January 5th 2018

Welcome to the RSO off-season, where things can get even more interesting and exciting than during the season. Congrats to all of our 2017 league champions! Remember, it is never too early to start strategizing for 2018, and to help you better prepare for the upcoming season, please find some important dates and off-season rules/info below:

February 9th, 2017

February 9th, 2018 is the estimated official start of the 2017-18 RSO off-season. Last season, the NFL announced the 2017 salary cap in late February, and we expect them to do so again this year around the same time. The 2018 NFL salary cap is expected to rise to as much as $178 million. Since we will open the site before the NFL announces the 2018 salary cap, we will leave the cap at the 2017 level until the NFL announces the new salary cap for 2018. However, existing leagues will be able to commence the RSO off-season, meaning teams can make off-season trades and cuts. Additionally, new league creation will be available at this time.

April 26th, 2018 to April 28th, 2018 

These are the dates of the actual NFL Draft. Once the NFL Draft is completed, leagues will be able to conduct their RSO Rookie Drafts and Free Agent Auctions. The NFL Draft is set to end on Saturday, April 28th, 2018, and we expect to have all rookie information updated on the site by Monday, April 30th, 2018.

February 9th, 2018 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2018 RSO Rookie Draft 

Different for every league depending on the date set for your 2018 RSO Rookie Draft, this is the “franchise tag designation period”. During this period, team owners must decide whether to place a franchise tag on a player whose contract expired in 2017 (the tagged salary for each player can be found by clicking the “Tag” button on the Team-Contracts tab). At the end of this period, players on expiring contracts will be removed from your Team Roster (unless you franchise tag a player). Additionally, at the conclusion of this period, team owners must have enough salary cap space to fill their respective rosters through the Rookie Draft and Free Agency in order to avoid having players automatically dropped from their rosters to create cap space. A Salary Cap Health Overview feature located on the Team-Overview tab contains all the information team owners need to ensure they have enough salary cap space. Note: no trades will be allowed during the three-day period between the end of the franchise tag designation period and your 2018 Rookie Draft. Trading will resume after the conclusion of your Rookie Draft.

*Remember, you can now finalize your franchise tag if you desire before the conclusion of the franchise tag designation period by clicking the “finalize franchise tag” button, which will in turn allow you to trade the tagged player if you want before your league’s 2018 Rookie Draft.

**Stay tuned for more details on how extending the contracts of franchise tagged players will work.

February 9th, 2018 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2018 RSO Free Agent Auction

This period is the official duration of the RSO off-season for each league. The length of the off-season is important because of the rules surrounding off-season vs. in-season cuts. This is best explained by example. Assume you have Kirk Cousins under contract for $15mm in 2018 and $18mm in 2019. If you cut Cousins during the 2017-18 off-season (i.e. up and until 3 days before your Free Agent Auction), you will only owe him $7.5mm in 2018 and then $9mm in 2019. If you wait until the off-season concludes before cutting Cousins, you will owe him his full $15mm in 2018 in addition to the $9mm in 2019. Therefore, it is important to assess your roster and make desired cuts before your off-season concludes three days before your league’s 2019 Free Agent Auction.

September 6th, 2018

The first game of the NFL season will be held in the home of the Super Bowl Champion, which has a chance of being the same place the Super Bowl is played if the Vikings win it all…it will be here before you know it!

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Additional Extension Details

Updated: September 23rd 2017

First off, before you read this article you should read my first extension article since this will be building off of that one.

  • October 3rd – That’s the day that extensions will be able to start being offered.  It’s the Tuesday after week 4 concludes.  We were thinking about starting it the week before, but the Bucs/Dolphins postponement made this an easy decision for us.  Also just to clarify, the extensions will run up until the week 13 games.
  • There will be a tiny subset of players who aren’t eligible – The big groups of DSTs, PKs, and tagged players I’ve already touched on.  Players (not including rookies) need to have been on the field for at least a snap sometimes in the last two seasons.  Teddy Bridgewater will probably be the most popular example of someone who falls into this category.  We just don’t have the data to be able to do something like that intelligently.
  • Extension values will be stable during the week – Values could change week-to-week, not day-to-day.  You’ll get a new extension offer every Tuesday morning.
  • You won’t be able to offer extensions to locked players – After their game starts on Thursday, Sunday, or Monday you’ll no longer be able to extend those players until the following Tuesday with a new offer.
  • IR Players are eligible – Pretty straight forward.
  • FAAB Players are eligible…but it’s delayed a week – Because we update the extension values once a week, you’ll have to wait a week before being able to offer an extension to a FAAB player.  This means FAAB players picked up after the week 12 games won’t be able to be extended.
  • Extensions will range in length from 2-4 years – These extensions don’t include the current year.  This means that a 2 years extension in 2017 will take the player through the 2019 season and would be scheduled to become a FA in 2020.
  • You don’t decide the length – The offer will have a length and a value, so you don’t have a say in how long the extension is.  It’s simply a take it or leave it offer.
  • Extensions don’t affect your auction contract allotment for the following season – Had this question posed to us, so thought I’d point it out.

If you’ve got questions, please reach out to Kyle, Matt, or Stephen @realitysportsonline.com.

More Analysis by Kyle English

Contract Extension Details

Updated: September 27th 2018

Without further ado, please find more details about our new contract extension feature that will be rolled out and live for leagues starting this upcoming 2017 NFL season:

  • The extension feature is an option, not a mandate: Commissioners will be able to select the number of extensions per team, per year (from zero to nine) during league set up and in the league settings.  The recommended and default value will be one, because we still believe, first and foremost, that it’s important to have as much talent as possible in the Free Agency pool each year.
  • Players will be eligible to sign extensions during the NFL season: From week 5 through week 13, players in the final year of their contract will be eligible for an extension.
  • Offensive and Defensive skill position players will be eligible: These players accumulate statistics that make for better valuations.
  • An algorithm will act on behalf of the player (i.e. agent): On the contract tab you’ll see an “extend” button beside each eligible player, which when clicked, will display the requested length and a contract amount for the given player. Along with the amount, two more buttons will appear, a “sign” and a “cancel” button.
  • Extension terms are specific to your league: Data from your league (scoring settings, roster settings, contracts, etc.) is used to derive the player’s extension value.
  • Values may fluctuate throughout the season: Weekly player performance will impact extension values, so a week after a 12-catch, 140 yard, 2 TD performance, Antonio Brown might be asking for an extra $1MM+ per year. Once you’ve “signed” the player, the extension is locked so weekly performance won’t be a factor.
  • A player will not accept a pay cut: This is intended to be a safeguard against below-market extensions for underperforming and/or injured players (i.e. DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, etc.). This acts as a fail safe for us against severely under performing players.
  • Be prepared for difficult decisions: The requested amount is intended to be realistic, but first and foremost it’s intended to protect the player’s interest. In order to keep competitive balance, you might find a few examples where a player’s value seems inflated. If that happens, move on and check back in a week. If players were to sign a below-market contract, it could negatively impact the league, so we have done everything we can to help protect against that. You won’t often agree with the what the player’s agent believes they’re worth. If that’s the case, simply let them play out the last few weeks of their contract and test the open market!
  • We do not recommend using the feature in the inaugural year of a league: If you’re starting a league and you want to turn on the feature, you do so at your own risk. The system won’t have much data to use when calculating values, so you should be prepared for potentially very funky values.
  • Franchise Tag Players are not eligible during the season: In the NFL, players who have received the franchise tender have until July 15th to negotiate an extension with their teams. To emulate this on Reality Sports Online, Franchise tendered players can negotiate an extension until the end of the off-season (3 days prior to the Free Agency Auction). Since the extension feature will not launch until September of 2017, franchised players will first be eligible for extensions in the 2018 off-season (this would only impact players franchised this time next year).

If you’ve got questions, please reach out to Kyle, Matt, or Stephen @realitysportsonline.com.

More Analysis by Kyle English

Tech Update: Finalize Franchise Tag

Updated: July 23rd 2017

Finalize Tag

We are releasing a new feature today which will allow you to finalize your franchise tag choice prior to the normal time of three days before your league’s rookie draft.  You’ll now see a ‘Finalize Tag’ button on the contracts tab of your team page.  This feature will finalize your franchise tag selection and remove all expiring contracts from your roster.  Selecting this will also enable you to trade your tagged player before your league’s rookie draft.

Now, this feature is permanent in the sense that if you finalize your tag selection there is no going back.  You won’t be able to remove the tag from that player.  You won’t be able to assign it to another player.  There’s no reversing it on our end if you change your mind later, so please be sure you really want to do it.  Finalizing your tag won’t cause players to be auto-dropped if you will be over the cap.  This will still take place three days prior to your league’s rookie draft.  This feature also won’t appear on mobile browsers.

As I stated above this feature will have an impact on trading.  You won’t be able to trade your tagged player until your tag is finalized or after your league’s rookie draft if you choose not to finalize your tag early.  You can, however, trade for a tagged player if your trading partner has finalized his even if you haven’t.  If you do trade for a tagged player, you will still be able to tag an additional player yourself.  Basically every GM gets to tag one player from his existing group of players on expiring contracts if he so chooses, and trading for a tagged player doesn’t count towards that.

Technical Roadmap

Stephen pointed this out in his latest e-mail blast, but I thought it would be good to mention it here as well.  There are a couple other bigger items that we plan to implement this off-season and we figured we would let you know to give you a heads up of what’s coming.  We plan to implement some UI/UX improvements to our site this off-season.  We will also be coming out with a contracts extension feature this off-season.  Since this feature could impact draft/auction strategy, we’ll give you more concrete information on this before the NFL rookie draft so you and your league can plan for the changes.  I can tell you that this feature will be a commish setting so if your league doesn’t want to have the extension feature, you won’t have to use it.

Those are of course just the big items.  We currently have a list of about 120 bugs and enhancements that we are aware of and we’ll get to as many of them as we can before the season starts.  If there’s an enhancement you’d like that you haven’t mentioned to us before, contact us and we’ll give you our thoughts on it.  You guys, the users, are where we get the majority of the ideas that we implement (Matt’s brain can only think of so much).

Questions about anything?  If it’s a short one, you can send it to me on twitter @RSOKyleEnglish or if there are more details to it, please use the Contact Us page.

More Analysis by Kyle English