We receive a fair amount of email asking for advice on how to configure leagues for playoff fantasy gaming. The answer that we reply with is 'It depends.' It depends upon the number of managers that are going to participate, the expertise level of the managers, the extent to which you want to reward managers for selecting players on teams that advance in the playoffs, and the degree to which you expect managers to engage in league management activities (daily or weekly basis).
There are three primary models that fall out depending upon those factors.
Pick 'N Root
This is the traditional playoff player pool where each manager selects 15, or 20 players and roots for those players to advance and perform throughout the playoffs. This game model is suited for a large number of players such as an office pool. In these pools, free agency is usually turned off and the expected expertise range is level is low to high. In most cases these leagues are also configured to allow players to be drafted an unlimited number of times.
To configure your league on FantasyPostseason.com for a Pick'N Root model, set MAX MANAGERS to the number of expected managers, set LEAGUE FORMAT to 'Total Points', set ALLOW FREE AGENTS to 'No', set ALLOW TRADES to 'No', set your roster positions, and set the # OF TIMES A PLAYER CAN BE DRAFTED to 'Unlimited'.
Draft 'N Trade
This model most closely mimics regular season leagues. These leagues are configured with benches, free agency, and trades and typically use normal sized fantasy rosters (7-10 players per team). Given that the playoff player pool shrinks as the postseason proceeds, often commissioners allow players to be drafted and owned 2 or 3 times to allow for more engagement in the later rounds of the playoffs when only a few teams are left. The expert level of these leagues is high and managers are expected to engage their team daily or several times a week. These leagues usually contain less than 12 managers and can be played in either a Total Points or Head-to-Head format.
To configure your league on FantasyPostseason.com for a Draft 'N Trade model set MAX MANAGERS to the number of expected managers, set ALLOW FREE AGENTS to 'Yes', set ALLOW TRADES to 'Yes', set your roster positions with bench slots, and set the # OF TIMES A PLAYER CAN BE DRAFTED to '2' or '3'.
Tournament Style Player Pick'em
The most common complaint about playoff fantasy is that there's too much emphasis placed on picking players on teams that advance in the playoffs. This new approach to playoff fantasy addresses that. It allows players to be drafted an 'Unlimited' number of times, but limits the # of times that a player can actually start for a manager. The manager has to choose their lineup based upon matchups. This is an expert level game that requires a high degree of league management interaction. This game type can be played in either a Total Points or Head-to-Head format.
To configure your league on FantasyPostseason.com for a Tournament Style Player Pick'em, set MAX MANAGERS to the number of expected managers, set LIMIT PLAYER STARTS to 'Yes', set the # of STARTS ALLOWED, set ALLOW TRADES to 'No', set your roster positions with bench slots, and set the # OF TIMES A PLAYER CAN BE DRAFTED to 'Unlimited'.