Who is Reality Sports Online for?

Reality Sports Online (“RSO”) is designed for the avid fantasy users seeking to emulate professional front office operations and a realistic general manager experience. RSO offers the most sophisticated and realistic fantasy game in existence. However, our revolutionary software and clean interface makes negotiating contracts, signing players, managing your Salary Cap, simple and easy whether you are a dynasty expert or a re-draft player.

What type of game does Reality Sports Online offer?

Reality Sports Online (“RSO”) currently offers a Fantasy Football Front Office Platform (the “Football Platform”). Unlike any other fantasy game, the Football Platform blends the best elements of traditional fantasy games with the excitement of professional front office operations! RSO’s Football Platform is revolutionizing fantasy sports because of its ability to meet the increasing aptitude of fantasy participants. RSO’s Football Platform is most similar to a dynasty league, or franchise game format. However, unlike RSO’s easy to use and manage Football Platform, other dynasty leagues, which aim to emulate real-life and sometimes include player contracts, come with an endless variety of rules and regulations, and are extremely difficult to manage thanks to their limited hosting platforms.

Why is RSO better than traditional Fantasy Football games?

Every element of Reality Sports Online (“RSO”) is based on reality (hence the name Reality Sports Online). RSO offers the first-ever live-online Free Agency Auction Room where single and multi-year contracts are negotiated in real-time online by league participants (see more details below). Additionally, there is a Rookie Draft, with slotted contracts based on draft selection. There is a Salary Cap, with rules that are based on the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. For example, if you have signed a player with guaranteed money in the contract, and you cut that player — it could affect your Cap. RSO’s Football Platform has tons of other features, like Injured Reserve, trading future draft picks for players, franchise tags, contract extensions, rookie options and more.

What is the 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 (or the player’s agent) on behalf of the player. 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 (current settings allow contracts of 1 to 4 years), and displays the offers on the screen across different “Offer” buttons so that an owner can choose to submit a better offer. There is always a contract of each length that a player will accept over his current offer, which is important to understand since the amount of multi-year contracts that an owner can offer is limited (the amount of multi-year contracts available to team owners is an adjustable league setting). When offers stop coming in, the player selects the most recent (and most valuable) offer, and signs with a team. Essentially, we have taken the NFL Free Agency process, which lasts 3-4 months, and condensed it to an engaging 3-4 hour online process.

Do you support slow auctions?

We do now support slow auctions so you don’t need to find a block of time (or two) for all your owners at once.  You can read all the details about our slow auction feature here.

Additional Details on the Free Agency Auction Room and Contracts:

The Free Agency Auction Room process is best illustrated by an example. During the auction for a player, if the current offer is 4-years, $8 million (total), $4.88 million guaranteed — the player values a 1-year, $3.5 million (total), $3.5 million guaranteed offer greater than the first offer based on an algorithm, which acts on behalf of the player. The algorithm factors in the total amount, guarantee, per year average, and length of each contract offer similar to the way a player and/or agent would in real life. All contracts, except for 1-year minimum offers (i.e. offers where no competitive market for the player exists, forcing the player to sign for a minimum offer) contain some guaranteed money. In professional sports, almost all non-minimum contracts are unique, but follow a general outline. We have simplified and generalized that outline to apply to fantasy: 100% of the first year of a contract is guaranteed 50% of all futures years are guaranteed. The number of multi-year contracts each team may sign is limited based on settings chosen by the league commissioner. When a participant fills their allotment of a certain contract length, they still have the ability make contract offers of other lengths. RSO’s superior software automatically calculates how much money you have spent in the current year and in future years, and deducts that from the Salary Cap in order to provide you with the remaining Cap Room that your team may use to sign additional players. In the first year of an RSO league, all veteran (non-rookie) players and undrafted rookies are available to be signed in the Free Agency Auction. In subsequent years, all players whose contracts have expired re-enter Free Agency and are eligible to be signed by any team during the Free Agency Auction process.

*See a more detailed illustration of our revolutionary Free Agency Auction Room here.

What is the Reality Sports Online Rookie Draft?

Consistent with the theme of our Football Platform, the Rookie Draft is designed to offer users 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. Each draft slot of each round comes with an associated contract, based on reality. The first selection of the Rookie Draft signs a more valuable contract than the second selection, the second selection signs a more valuable contract than the third selection, etc. Please note that the contracts are slotted based on draft position within a round. As an example, if you are participating in a 10-team league, the first player drafted in the second round (the 11th player overall) receives a Round 2, First Selection slotting.

*See a complete list of the Rookie Contract Values by clicking here.

Can I do a slow Rookie Draft?

RSO now supports slow rookie drafts.  You can set a draft pick timer of up to 24 hours for each pick and come and go from the draft room as you please without worrying about your team auto-drafting (unless you let the timer expire). There is also a league setting to enable draft email notifications which sends an email to the owners when the draft starts, anytime a pick is made which states who was drafted and who is now on the clock, and when the draft completes.

Can I trade during the Rookie Draft?

Yes, you can now trade during the rookie draft.  Because of the timing involved, trading during the draft could act differently than how trading works any other time of the year. Trades involving current draft picks won’t be subject to any league trade controls (league trade votes, commish approval, etc).  Any accepted trade involving current draft picks while a draft is in progress will execute immediately upon acceptance.  Also any accepted trades with current picks which were made before the draft will execute when the draft starts.

Can I do an offline Rookie Draft?

Hopefully there’s less reason for you to need a offline rookie draft now that we have a slow draft option with trading.  However if you’d still like to do it offline, you can conduct an offline Rookie Draft and easily import the results of that draft to our site. First, make sure to hold the offline Rookie Draft before trading locks on our site three (3) days before your scheduled Rookie Draft time on the site. The reason to do this is that when holding your offline draft, any trades that occur can be easily carried out on our site as well, making it even easier for the Commissioner to import the offline draft results when it is time to do so. Once the offline draft concludes, the Commissioner simply has to the following very simple steps to import the results: (i) enter the RSO Rookie Draft room at time convenient for him but before the draft actually kicks off/commences and (ii) use the “Commish Picks” button to select the applicable players based on the offline draft results for himself and the other GMs in the league. The whole process should not take more than 5-15 minutes depending on the number of draft picks, and if there are any changes/modifications that need to be made after the RSO Rookie Draft concludes, the Commissioner can do these using the Commish Tab>>Edit Contracts Tool.

Can I skip the Rookie Draft in year one?

Yes, you absolutely can.  Let the rookie draft run and then use the commish tools to clear the rosters.  The rookies are then automatically put back into the auction player pool so you’re all set to go with a rookie and vet combined auction to kick-off your league.

Can Rookies have an additional year option?

As of 2018, leagues can choose to have a rookie option feature for 1st round draft picks.  Just like in the NFL, in the off-season the year before the rookie contract expires, teams can have the choice to exercise their rookie option.  The value of this option is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position and extends the rookie option for an additional year.  On RSO, the time frame where you can use an option is the same as the franchise tag.  This means you need to choose if you want to use it before three (3) days before your rookie draft or before you finalize your off-season roster moves if you choose to do that instead.  For more info, check out this article talking about this feature.

What are the other key features of RSO’s Fantasy Football Platform?

1. Multi-year contracts: Multi-year contracts can only be signed through the Free Agency Auction process. After the Free Agency Auction process, owners may only sign players to 1-year (non-guaranteed) contracts, which expire at the end of the current season. Standard league settings allow owners to sign one 4-year contract, two 3-year contracts, three 2-year contracts, and unlimited 1-year contracts in the Free Agency Auction. The total value of a multi-year contract is distributed across the duration of a contract based on the algorithm used in Free Agency. For example, a player signed to a 4-year contract earns a percentage of the total value of the contract each year (22% in year 1, 24% in year 2, 26% in year 3, and 28% in year 4), so that over the life of the contract the player earns the total amount of the contract signed in Free Agency. This results in small salary escalations (between 6% and 10%) in each subsequent year of a multi-year contract.

2. Salary Cap: An integral part of success in a RSO league is Salary Cap management. The Salary Cap for 2021 is $182,500,000 (just like in the NFL), and each subsequent season’s Salary Cap is determined each off-season (as in real life), and based on reports from the NFL, it will likely keep gradually increasing each year despite declining in 2021 due to the pandemic. Every roster move you make can potentially affect your Salary Cap. Players earn a pro-rated portion of their yearly salaries on a per game basis (1/17th of 2021 Salary per game). The Salary Cap acceleration rules are based on reality. If you cut a player with guaranteed money remaining on his contract, the way the guarantee affects your Salary Cap depends on when the player was cut as described below:

– In-season: The current year salary still counts against the current year’s cap. Any future years’ guarantee amounts count against the subsequent season’s cap. Example: If a player signs a 4-year, $50M contract ($11M-2021, $12M-2022, $13M-2023, $14M-2024) in August 2021, and is cut in the middle of the 2021 season and is not acquired via waivers by another team, the entire $11M (100% first year guaranteed) counts against the 2021 Cap. The remaining guarantee of $ 19.5M (50% of future years: $6M-2022, $6.5M-2023, $7M-2024) accelerates against the 2021 Cap, thus limiting the amount the owner can spend in Free Agency in 2022.

– Off-season: The upcoming year’s guarantee amount counts against the current season’s cap and all remaining years’ guarantee amounts count against the subsequent season’s cap. Example: If a player signs a 4-year, $50M contract ($11M-2021, $12M-2022, $13M-2023, $14M-2024) in August 2021, and is cut during the 2021-22 off-season (after the conclusion of the 2021 season but before Free Agency 2022) the 2022 guarantee amount ($6MM) counts against the 2022 Cap and the remaining guarantee amounts of $13.5M (50% of future years: $6.5M-2023, $7M-2024) accelerates against the 2023 Cap, thus limiting the amount the owner can spend in Free Agency in 2023. Note that once the off-season is over (a date that is customizable for each league but always ends 3 days before a league’s Free Agency Auction), if a player is cut, the salary cap acceleration will again follow the in-season rules detailed above.

3. Waivers: If a player is waived, he is placed on waivers for a designated period (1 day standard). During this time, all of the other league owners 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. The waiver order is determined based on league standings just like in the NFL, with the team having the worst record getting first priority on the waiver list.

4. Free Agents: The process of acquiring Free Agents depends on a variety of factors, and the process is described in more detail below:

– Players Who Clear Waivers: If a player clears waivers he becomes a Free Agent, and the team that released the player is bound by the Salary Cap acceleration rules explained above. The player is a Free Agent for a designated period (1 day standard) and is subject to 1-year blind offers made by any owners (all in-season contracts are NON-guaranteed). The player will sign with the team that offers the most valuable contract. 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.

– 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.

– Pre-Season Free Agency: During the period between the Free Agency Auction and the start of the NFL season, all Free Agent players (i.e. players that were not acquired through either the Rookie Draft or Free Agency Auction) are subject to blind offers from team owners each day (unless the commissioner chooses a longer designated period). After an initial bid is placed on a Free Agent, he will sign with the team who has placed the highest contract offer for him after 24 hours have passed (or however long your FAAB wait period is). Please note that during this period before the NFL season commences, Free Agent players are never first come first serve.

5. Trades: Reality Sports Online facilitates trades for players, and trades for draft picks up to two (2) years in advance. For example, teams will have the ability to 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.

6. Franchise Tag: Each team has the ability to use one franchise tag each off-season on a player from its own team whose contract has expired. The exclusive franchise tag is calculated the same way the exclusive franchise tag is calculated in real life, the greater of (a) the average of the 5 highest paid players at a given position, which is unique to each league, or (b) 120% of the player’s previous year salary. For the player’s third consecutive tag, the calculation changes to the greater of (a) the highest calculated tag value at any position or (b) 144% of the player’s previous year salary.  Players can be franchised in three consecutive seasons, but may not be franchised a fourth consecutive season.

7. 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, they can do so by allowing the Commissioner of the league to utilize his Commish Tools to remove a player off of IR. Players placed on IR before the league auction still count towards the team’s roster count for the auction.

8. Fully customizable Rosters, Scoring & Contract Settings: Reality Sports Online offers fully customizable settings for teams (up to 32), rosters (up to 53 players), injured reserve, positions, contracts, rookie draft, trade deadline, scoring, playoffs, and more.

*See the various Roster & Contract Settings by clicking here.

*Read about the new Practice Squad feature by clicking here.

*See the Advanced Scoring Categories by clicking here.

*See a list of our Recommended Contract Values for the NFL’s top players by clicking here.

Can I change the size of my league?

During the off-season, you can expand or contract the size of your league with the commish tools.  With a contraction, any players/contracts on the deleted teams go back into the player pool.  With an expansion, you can choose how you want to handle that.  RSO doesn’t have any expansion draft built in, so if you choose to do that you’ll have to handle that on your own and then use the Commish -> Edit contracts tool to move the players around as a result.  You could also choose to simply give the expansion teams the top picks in the rookie draft.  Given those teams have an abundance of cap space compared to the returning teams, it usually works out well for those teams in the auction.

How is a player’s position determined?

First and foremost, we at RSO don’t determine individual player positions.  We rely on our data provider to give us the positional information for each player which we then use.  The only thing we control about a player’s position is when we allow that position to change.  We understand that having consistency throughout the season is important so we only allow position changes to occur in the off-season between February and mid-August except in egregious situations.

Can I sign a player to a contract extension?

Yes, GMs can sign players on expiring contracts to a contract extension if the Commissioner of the league allows extensions as a league setting (RSO default recommendation is allowing one (1) extension per team). We recommend that leagues in their inaugural years wait to allow extensions until their second year. For all the details on how our extension tool will work and when extensions can be offered, please check out this in depth article post on the tool with even more details here.  For info on the tag/off-season extension, check out this article.

What happens if one of my players retires?

When a player retires in the NFL, the NFL treats it the same way regardless of the reason. On the RSO Platform, there is no “Reserve/Retired” designation. It’s a bit tricky, because the player pool feed doesn’t delineate between a “Free Agent” — aka somebody who is just out of the league and refuses to actually retire (e.g. Terrell Owens) — and a player who is actually officially retired (e.g. Brett Favre). Individual leagues can choose to handle retired players how they wish — the contract can continue to be an obligation, or the Commissioner can remove the player’s contract using the Edit Contract tool if that is how the league treats retirement. We would strongly recommend making sure the player is “Retired” (i.e. filed his NFL retirement papers) before you allow an Owner to get out of his contract obligations. So, in the case of a player retiring due to a career ending injury or due to old age, we would allow the team to get out of this obligation for future years, which you would accomplish by dropping the player using the Edit Contracts Commish Tool. Then, that team would have freed up all that cap space to replace that player during the Free Agency Auction or through blind bidding during the season. However, if the player doesn’t officially retire and is simply out of the league, we would recommend not allowing that team to be relieved of the player’s contractual obligations.

Can I import my current dynasty or keeper league to RSO?

Yes. Reality Sports Online allows Commissioners to import existing contracts or assign contracts to players. The Commissioner enters the contract length, and total amount, then the system automatically assigns the yearly salaries and guaranteed money. Typically, we recommend against using existing contracts, because all player contracts signed in the Free Agency Auction Room are based on a “Free Market” of competitive bidding, scored by an algorithm. However, the feature is available for leagues that wish to keep a portion of their existing roster.

What if I want to play but I don’t have a group?

Reality Sports Online facilitates Public Leagues. You can be sure to find a group of people who are looking to fill a spot in their league, or you can create your own league and wait for others to join. You can apply to join a league, and write a brief description of your fantasy credentials. Conversely, if you have a league of 7 or 9 and need another player, you can post an available spot in your league and allow other users to apply for that spot.

How much does it cost to use Reality Sports Online?

You can create your team for just $12.99 for the 2021 season! (Commissioners also have the option to pay for the entire league, which is also $12.99 per team).