Your RSO Guide

Updated: May 25th 2020


Your Ultimate Fantasy Experience:

Prove you have what it takes to create a real Dynasty. Reality Sports Online provides YOU the space to prove and show off your football fortitude. This isn’t just playing normal fantasy football; RSO is the complete GM experience. You will build your team, scout rookies, decide when to use multi-year contracts, nail the draft, and trade like a boss. RSO is your one shot, will you take it?

Managing your salary cap:

The beating heart of every dynasty is roster construction. Will you build around a dependable veteran QB or be the next team to draft a young stud and go all-in while you have him on a rookie deal? Like everything at RSO, the salary cap is authentic. As a GM you will have to work the real NFL salary cap. Find under-valued vets to fill gaps in your roster. As GM you decide who to offer contracts, and whether those are 1 to 4 years long. Offer aging vets a big dollar deal over a single year, or sign the next breakout guy to a 4-year deal on the cheap right before their big year. As an RSO GM you will need to balance winning now while also building for the future. This is much easier said than done. Are you one of the greats?

Sitting in the GM Chair:

Build the team you want. Your guys, your way, on your terms. You sit in the big chair now. Your RSO league follows the NFL schedule. You’ll need to navigate free agency, nail the draft, and manage your team’s run to the championship. Your passion drives you to win, but not just once. In your chair, you must be preparing for long-term success. Which contracts are expiring? Are you drafting to fill those roles, re-signing, or trading for new talent? You’re not just looking at this year or the next. You have ten fingers, and each one needs a championship ring. Do you have what it takes?

How RSO makes your league authentic

Free Agency Auction Room:

Our innovative Free Agency Auction Room facilitates as many as 32 fantasy owners to compete against each other to negotiate with and sign athletes to single or multi-year contracts, live-online in real-time. When the owners are negotiating with a given player, that player fields and contemplates contract offers of various lengths and amounts instantaneously, with a proprietary algorithm acting as artificial intelligence (the player’s agent). The algorithm factors in many of the same variables that NFL players and agents use when selecting the most desirable contract offer, which include the total amount of the contract, guaranteed money, per year average, and contract length. As fantasy owners submit various offers, our software automatically calculates the next best available minimum offer for each contract length and displays the offers on the screen across different “Offer” buttons so that each GM can easily choose to submit a better offer. Essentially, we have taken the NFL Free Agency process, which lasts 3-4 months, and condensed it to a teeth-clenching, adrenaline-filled few hours.

Rookie Draft:

The Rookie Draft is designed to offer GM’s the most realistic front office experience possible. The number of rounds and the length of contracts for the Rookie Draft are configurable league settings. The Commissioner can choose a Rookie Draft from one (1) to five (5) rounds and rookie contract lengths of three (3) or four (4) years. And, just like the NFL first-round picks are eligible for a fifth-year option (that is how serious RSO takes your authenticity). Each draft slot comes with an associated contract, based on real NFL contracts. The first selection earning more than the second, all the way to Mr. irrelevant earning the least.

If you haven’t yet, start your team now find an existing fantasy football dynasty league at reality sports online join a fantasy football dynasty league at reality sports online

Establish your Dynasty. Now.

Good things come to people that wait. Yes, yes. Now, onto the winning.

“RSO’s format can have that kind of feel at first and the learning curve seems a lot steeper than it really is. Once you spend a few minutes learning the rules and trying out the draft room, you realize the process is not only intuitive, but it might be one of the most promising ways to run a league that I have seen yet.” – Matt Waldman

Tip 1: Know. Your. Rules!

RSO has thousands of variables, all designed to let you and your league set up YOUR perfect GM experience. Is your league a superflex, ppr, first-down points, IDP, and how many roster spots will you have? Here is a quick checklist for you:

  1. Review your scoring settings
  2. how many roster spots (active & bench)
  3. Is the practice squad turned on for your league?
  4. what are your league rules of the IR spot?
  5. How many contracts do you get? (league settings allow for 1-9 different contracts of each length)
  6. What are your league trade limits and deadlines?
  7. League calendar. When / what do you need to be prepared for

Tip 2: Prepare for your first free agent auction room

You want those ten championships? You need to get the first one, first. Who will you offer long-term deals vs single year contracts? How will those affect your budget this year, or the next? Jump over to the RSO mock draft area and see what your team could look like. Offering Tom Brady 15 million for 1 year may make sense in 2020, offering him that deal for 4 years could make you look really dumb.

“It’s not the will to win that matters – everybody has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” – Bear Bryant

Your step-by-guide for first-year success:

  1. Run through one partial mock draft to understand how the process works
  2. Breakdown each roster spot on your roster. How important is your RB2, your fourth WR? Allocate a percentage of your budget to each roster spot. Once you’ve tinkered with those percentages multiply them out by the salary cap to see about how much you are willing to spend on each position.
  3. If your league is conducting a rookie draft prior to your auction draft you will have a few contract values locked in. Make sure you subtract those from your salary cap, and because rookie contracts are usually cheaper than veterans you can readjust your available salaries.
  4. Compare your budgets against RSO suggested contracts for 2020. This is a proxy for ADP. RSO is unique; it’s not an unrealistic dynasty league where players are kept forever, and it’s not a simple redraft league where everyone in your franchise is a one-year rental. There are also thousands of variables including team size, starting line-up alternatives, scoring, etc. Use these suggested contracts as a starting point, a range of expectations relative to the other players on the list.
  5. Run through another mock draft, this time with your handy positional budgets, and see if what you came up with is feasible.
  6. Now you’re ready to tackle your first veteran auction. Feel that excitement? Are the butterflies ravaging your stomach? Good! You are prepared, you know what to do, how to do it, and now all that’s left is to crush it. Remember to be flexible though. You may want player X, and that guy goes way too high and you may have to bail. Player Y may be going for way too cheap, take advantage of the situation. You are the GM: your team, your terms.

* P.S. These are some handy non-football strategy tips for your draft

  1. Do you have beverages handy? If you cannot get to the fridge and back in 15 seconds you may want to pack a cooler for down by your feet.
  2. Bathroom breaks, have you asked the commish about a schedule?
  3. Psychology – Who can you drive up the cost on, who will call your bluff?
  4. Rember the infamous words of DJ Khaled, all you do is win, win, win!

Tip 3: Your first rookie draft

General managers are instrumental in rookie drafts. This is just important for your RSO franchise as it is for any NFL team. GM’s aren’t at games scouting individual players, their job, your job is to assess all the available data in order to come to direction and consensus.

Utilize different tools, scouting reports, and strategy assessments in order to create a successful plan. THE place to start is Bernard Faller’s two-part data-driven strategy break-down specific to RSO leagues. He broke down draft pick values and other considerations vital to set your franchise up for a true Dynasty.

Tip 4: Looking ahead; future team construction

Have you ever been in the position of desperately needing something? Like a car being totaled and going to a car lot knowing you have to purchase a vehicle this weekend. You are at the mercy of that day’s stock: only a few color choices, years, and mileages are available. If so, you probably look back and realize you didn’t get exactly what you wanted, and if you did you paid too much for it.

Don’t let that happen to your team. Come on GM, be better than that. You have a stud WR, and another that is pretty good but aging out of solid production. Don’t wait for that aging vet’s contact to expire before you start shopping. Do you want another top-ten guy? Do you want to go young and draft a replacement? If so, start getting your roster in order now. Maybe you know you’ll have to flip that vet and a second-round pick to move up in the first round and get your new guy. Maybe you spend a little more on a 26-year-old free agent with an upside that only you are seeing right now.

Whatever your decision is you will need to think about what your team will need in a year, two, even three from now. Ensure you’re franchise has the assets in place to secure talent. That is the job of an NFL GM, that is the power RSO places in your hands as GM. The big chair is yours, you answer to nobody. Can you succeed?

Tip 5: Know your rules

Yes, tip 5 is the same as 1. It is THAT important. In a superflex the QB spot is way more important. Full ppr, half, WR only ppr, all of these will dramatically change how you value slot receivers vs downfield threats; or if you can build an RB core of satellite backs getting 30 yards rushing but 8 catches for another 40 each week. Knowing all the ways you can zig when everyone else is zagging is a key component of your GM tenure. As you sit in your big chair and see the league moving towards small quick coverage linebackers, will you load up on huge guards and a fullback to punish them? As the league shifts back will you spread them out and go downfield? Will you stay ahead of everyone to cement your dynasty?

Your waiver wire, and maximizing your practice squad

Waiver Wire:

The details: When a player is waived, he is placed on waivers for a designated period (1-day is standard but check your league settings). During this time, all other GM’s have the opportunity to place a waiver claim on that player and the associated contract. If the player is assigned to a new team via waivers, the acquiring team becomes responsible for the remainder of the player’s contract (including guarantees), and the team that placed the player on waivers receives no additional cap charge beyond games for which the player has already played. When a player is waived each team gets a shot at signing him for the value his existing contract. That order goes in reverse of current-season rankings, just like the NFL. When all GM’s pass on that contract the player is moved into free agency. Every GM who wants offers him a blind bid contract. The player will sign the best-offered contract (minimum is 500k).

Be the Boss: Don’t automatically pick up big names of the waiver. What is their contract status? Why is the GM dropping them? Big names will hit the waivers. Sometimes, that is simply because another GM mismanaged their cap and you have the opportunity to reap the rewards. Other times the player is not living up to expectations and the former GM is just shedding the contract. Use your resources to assess the situation and your football fortitude to expertly decipher the best move.

Keeping cap room: You will need to keep 2-3 million dollars of cap space handy for exactly these reasons. Don’t be stuck on the sidelines when a valuable player goes for peanuts because you don’t have enough capital to even bid. Injuries happen, and opportunity will arise. Ensure you, as the GM, keep your team nimble and able to react by preparing for the unknown.

Practice Squad:

Adding practice squad players (PS):

  • Players can’t be added to the practice squad prior to or during the auction, it’s exclusively post-auction/in-season.  This, of course, means that there are no multi-year contracts on the practice squad
  • Players can only be added through the same process as normal FAAB adds, except now on the Add/Drop page there’s a radio button to select ‘Active Roster’ or ‘Practice Squad’ for those players that are eligible.
  • To mimic the NFL as closely as we could, a player must have been in the NFL for two full seasons or less (so players going into their third season are eligible, those going into their fourth aren’t).  We also added a ‘Practice Squad’ filter on the Player/FA page so you can see who all is available that is eligible.

Activate Player:

To activate a player on your practice squad, you simply go to your lineup page and select ‘Activate’ from the dropdown menu.  This will pop-up a confirmation screen that tells you the contract terms of activation and you can select to continue or cancel.  You do need to have an open active roster spot for this option to appear.  There is no method for deactivating a player from the active roster to the practice squad.  The only way to add players to the practice squad is listed above.  This also means that rookies that were drafted in your league can’t be put on the practice squad.

Poaching Players:

In the NFL, Practice Squad players can be signed by any team to their active roster so we naturally built something in as well.  You can attempt to poach a practice squad player from someone else’s roster to your active roster from that team’s contracts page (can’t however poach a player that is locked for the week).  Click the ‘poach’ button and then you’ll submit what is basically a FAAB bid to acquire that player.  However, the team that currently owns them does get the right to match your request first.  When you submit that request, it will send an email to the current owner of the player stating that someone is trying to poach the player and the contract terms.  They then have your FAAB Wait period league setting worth of time to activate the player to their own active roster.  If they do that, the poach request fails and if they don’t then the poach request will process.

Off-Season: Practice Squad players will be cleared off your rosters in February when we roll the site over for the new season.  They are not eligible to be tagged or extended in any way.


Being vigilant:

Will you find that undrafted free agent and sneak him onto your practice squad? As GM, will you have the acumen to pick up extra depth at RB, so that when bye week hell combines with a couple of injuries you can plug that TD vulture into your lineup and get those final 6 points, leading to that one extra win your team needed to squeak into the playoffs? Your team, your way, your terms. Welcome to the big leagues.

Race to the Ring: in-season management

You’ve signed veterans, drafted rookies, and filled your practice squad. Preseason is over, kickoff is around the corner. It’s time to watch your team dominate week 1, but then what?

The best GM’s work to improve their teams through trades, foresight, and knowing who to start.

Reality Sports Online facilitates trades for players and trades for draft picks up to two (2) years in advance. For example, teams may trade a current player for a draft pick in a future year’s Rookie Draft. Any teams involved in trades are responsible for the remaining value of the contracts of the players or picks they acquire and are absolved of responsibility for the remaining value of the contracts of the players or picks they trade. So, trade wisely!

In-season free-agency:
Each week during the NFL season, players that are Free Agents are subject to blind offers from team owners for a designated period (1 day (Tuesday) standard). The player will sign with the team that offers the player the most valuable contract, and if no offers are made within the designated period, then the player will sign any $500,000 minimum offer made by any team in the subsequent days of the week (i.e. these players are first come first serve). Once the NFL games commence, players will lock and cannot be signed again until the following week.

Injured Reserve:
Commissioners can decide how many injured reserved (“IR”) spots are allowed per team. Unlike other fantasy leagues where players can only be put on IR if they are actually injured in real life, RSO teams can place any player on IR whenever they want provided they have not already used their allotted IR spots. However, when a player is placed on IR, he must remain there for the entire season. When a player is placed on IR, the team will only owe him 50% of his remaining contract for the year, thus allowing him to use the extra money to sign other free agents to replace the player placed on IR. If leagues want to implement IR-DFR (designated for return), they can do so by allowing the Commissioner of the league to utilize his Commish Tools to remove a player off of IR.

With great power comes great responsibility; only the best GM’s will ever achieve dynasty status. Preparing for what is likely to happen next allows GM’s like you to create trade leverage, turning your third-round rookie pick into a late first by out-flanking GM’s focused only on the now. You took the handcuff, and with a single promotion/injury you act and move up those draft rounds. Foresight will move your franchise into the Hall of Fame. Legend. Dynasty status.


If you haven’t yet, start your team now find an existing fantasy football dynasty league at reality sports online join a fantasy football dynasty league at reality sports online

More Analysis by Chris Collet