RSO Expansion Draft Suggestions

Updated: August 30th 2016

When I first found RSO two years ago and pitched it to members of my various leagues, I have to admit it was a hard sell for most.  The unique format of RSO scared off some prospective owners and ultimately I was only left with seven other guys willing to give it a shot.  We knew immediately that the plan was going to be expansion to ten teams but how we would accomplish that took a lot of consideration.  Luckily, a few months of actively using RSO and it’s format helped us hone our pitch and easily find two new members.  I figured that a write up of how my home league handled expansion would be helpful to other RSO users out there planning to do the same.

The Expansion Draft

We had many discussions about how to properly handle the expansion draft.  Existing owners did not want to lose much of what they had built in the first year of their dynasty but new owners did not want to be severely shorthanded.  Ultimately, this is what we agreed upon:

  • Existing owners would protect three players who were under contract for 2016.
  • New owners would have the opportunity to select up to four players each, with a maximum of one player taken per existing owner.
  • Existing owners would then protect two additional players who were under contract for 2016.
  • New owners would then have the opportunity to select up to four additional players each, with a maximum of one player taken per existing owner.

I believe this was a fair balance for both the new and existing owners.  Ultimately, the new owners didn’t simply go for “best available” and instead selected players based on value, cherry picking some of the players with undervalued contracts.  For example, Doug Martin, Allen Robinson, Jeremy Maclin and Keenan Allen were all selected.  Drafting for “value” didn’t carry over to quarterbacks though, new owners tended to spend big there selecting Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers.

Since RSO does not have expansion draft functionality, I ran it manually using a Google Docs spreadsheet.  It was easy to track and allowed the new and existing owners to follow along in real time.

To reflect the expansion draft results on RSO, I simply processed trades from one team to another.  Dropping/adding the players is a possibility but we were requiring the new owners to assume the old contract which would have been messy to do that way.  I did attempt to use RSO’s multi-team trade tool for this purpose but found it easier to just do multiple two team trades.

The Rookie Draft

The rookie draft was a no brainer – even with the benefit of the expansion draft, the new owners had to get first pick at the 2016 rookie crop.

  • New owners were given 1.01 and 1.02 in the rookie draft.
  • The new owners were able to discuss and negotiate who would want first expansion pick versus first rookie draft pick.  Ultimately one new owner wanted each so it worked easily, otherwise we would have done a coin flip.

Did It Work?

So far, so good.  Our free agent auction is scheduled for two weeks from now and that will be the ultimate test.  The new owners obviously have a ton of cap room which could lead to some interesting bidding wars and some overpaid stars early in the auction.  In the end, us existing owners are very happy that we put in the thought and time to expand and are even more excited for 2016 and our new owners are looking forward to learning the new format.

More Analysis by Bob Cowper