About the last thing the world needed was another way to inject a little juice into Sunday’s action.
But that didn’t stop Jay Busbee and I from creating Shutdown Corner’s “Team of Teams,”* a small fantasy contest designed to make every NFL game a little more interesting among friends and family.
*Big fist bump to “League of Leagues” for the inspiration.
On Friday’s episode of “Grandstanding,” we introduced the game and held the first draft among its first four participants: Frank Schwab, Shalise Manza Young, Busbee and yours truly. (We told you this is a cozy contest; it’s probably best played among a group of four or eight people).
So what is “Team of Teams?”
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Players draft a team of NFL teams and then score points off what those teams do during the regular season and playoffs. It’s the ultimate contest for people who like to make preseason predictions in the often unpredictable NFL.
So you’re just trying to pick the best teams then? Where’s the fun in that?
Nope. Here’s the twist: Bad teams can be just as valuable in this contest because you gain points for harboring the worst of the worst on your squad. Same goes for the most mediocre of teams because we’ve built in something called “The Jeff Fisher Bonus” for teams that finish exactly 8-8.
What’s the point structure?
Let’s start with the basics for victories. You get 1 point for a regular season win, 8 points for a playoff bye and 4 points for all other playoff berths. You can score big once your teams land in the playoffs. A Super Bowl win is worth 64 points, a conference title 32 points, a conference title appearance 16 points and a wild card weekend win is worth 8 points.
There’s obviously a big impetus to try and pick as many playoff teams as possible, but you’ll want a few losers as well. That’s because we’ll award the top 5 draft picks with points at the end of the season on a 32/16/8/4/2 basis.
So is that it? You basically just pick teams in August and then add everything up in February?
Ha, nope. You’ll want to watch each weekend closely because there are bonus points to be had. The team that wins by the highest margin each week will get 5 points and the team that loses by the biggest deficit will get 5 points. (If there are two ore more games with identical largest margins, the points will be split).
There’s also a bonus structure for streaks: Any team that wins or loses five games in a row will get 5 points plus 2 points for any additional win or loss in that streak.
Finally, we’ve got two wild card bonuses that really have the opportunity to turn things on their heads: The aforementioned 20-point “Jeff Fisher” bonus for any 8-8 team on your roster plus 10 points for any teams that complete a tie game. (Pay attention to this one with the new 10-minute OT this year.)
Why did you do this?
No real reason. We were looking for a fun way to predict the upcoming NFL season on the pod and scribbled up some quick rules. But after thinking about it more, it does seem like a fun, low-commitment way to be involved in all of the weekend’s games, not just the individual stats of a group of players who are probably only going to make you angry. (It’s also a lot easier to scrounge up three or seven friends to do a quick draft over email or chat than get everyone together for a five-hour auction draft.)
Where can we follow your league?
We’ll probably be crowing about it on social media until all of our followers get sick of it and unfollow us. But if you’re interested, check out (or block) the #TeamOfTeams hashtag on Twitter. We’ll be updating the standings every week to see how everyone’s doing.
Listen to the pod for our analysis, but here’s how our draft shook out:
Frank Schwab: New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings
Kevin Kaduk: Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals
Jay Busbee: Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts
Can we start our own league?
We hope you do! Let us know about your own #TeamOfTeams on social! I’ve also set up a spreadsheet to keep track of points and would be happy to share with anyone. Hit me up @KevinKaduk on Twitter or on Facebook at KevinKadukYahoo. Happy team building!
About the Grandstanding podcast: Hosted by Yahoo Sports writers Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk, the Grandstanding podcast is posted three times per week and features talk about the NFL, NBA, MLB and more. To receive Grandstanding on your smartphone, subscribe via your favorite podcast provider