Tips for improving your fantasy league: Keep the lines of communication open

Yahoo Sports

Fantasy sports are in our DNA at Yahoo, and we know it’s your passion, too. We’re always looking for ways to make our award-winning experience even better and in this case we’re getting help from one of you, our amazing legion of fantasy players, to make leagues even better.

Commissioner’s Corner is a multi-part series meant to provide tips to keep your league engaged all season long and tap even more into the fun that comes with playing fantasy. The author, Justin C. Cliburn, has been the dedicated commissioner of his Yahoo Fantasy Football league the OIL since 2006. While it’s a unique league, each and every one of your leagues is special and brings friends, families and co-workers closer together.

Part 9: Keep the lines of communication open

One of the most common questions in fantasy sports advice forums is how to jump-start stale leagues with very little communication (or trades) between managers. Your league can have a great name and logo, comprehensive bylaws, professional-looking franchises, trophies and prizes to strive for, rivalry weeks, unique ways to determine draft order, exciting draft extravaganzas, and extensive in-season coverage, but none of it matters if your league mates aren’t talking to one another.

Like in any relationship, communication is key to sustainability. It breeds camaraderie, fosters stability, motivates managers, and cultivates a culture of competition. And, the more your league mates communicate with each other, the more likely they are to trade with each other. Building a fun culture is important, and it begins with communication.

One way to get the conversation going year-round is through a league website or blog. My league, The OIL, has been going strong for 12 years, and our blog has been around since 2010. It wasn’t always the best-looking blog around, but it was a conversation starter among the league members. Now, it’s used to make league announcements, give the first look at league prizes, release the draft order, and prank league members. And the blog dovetails nicely with our league Twitter account, where stories get Tweeted and start new conversations. But leagues like the Mortal Kombat League and The Denver Elite do Twitter right with constant public updates and league banter.

[Yahoo Fantasy Football leagues are open: Sign up now for free]

Banter, trash talk, name-calling, whatever you call it, it makes a league feel alive. This is supposed to be fun and interacting with your leaguemates (friends, family, co-workers) should tap into that idea. For those leagues that value their privacy though, private communication is made easy by Yahoo’s in-app chat system and league-wide email service. Of course, if you build a good rapport among league owners, you’ll want to keep that going into the offseason. You can do that through a number of apps and services like GroupMe, Slack, and Discord, and they’re all private. So make a plan for 2018 to be your league’s most active season yet.

Helpful hint: If you don’t have time to create a blog or manage a Twitter handle around your league, we get it, it’s not for everyone. So tap into the Yahoo communication tools (chat, message board, Commissioner’s note) to easily communicate on league matters, give your foes grief or whatever else comes to mind throughout the season.

Up Next: In Part 10 of the series, we dive into keeping track of league history.

More tips for improving your fantasy league:

Starting with the basics
Why bylaws matter
Building franchises
Recognizing the champ
Tapping into rivalries
Fun ways to set draft order
Make your draft memorable
In-season coverage

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