Name: Dynasty Grinders – A Fantasy Baseball League
Dynasty Grinders is a sixteen-team dynasty fantasy baseball league. The league uses a head-to-head schedule with a scoring format that is related to FanGraph’s OttoNeu experience.
To be successful in Dynasty Grinders, daily participation is necessary during the regular season. For those who have other commitments, an owner partnership (co-ownership) is recommended. During the off-season participation is still required, as there will be events and various calls to action. Communication is key. Slack is a smart phone/tablet/browser chat application that our league will be married to for the majority of day to day communication. If you feel that you cannot communicate in both of these ways frequently, this league is not well suited for you.
Competition and Fairness:
We’re all adults here. Transactions will not be subject to league review as a bar to complete transactions. The expectation is that we’re all committed to the long-term health of the league in some way. Trades that include future assets (draft picks) may require advance financial commitment. Teams that are determined to be abandoned by a league-wide majority vote can be replaced in-season. Those teams will forfeit their fees and winnings.
There will be sixteen teams in one division. Teams play head-to-head in a regular season schedule for twenty weeks. After the regular season there will be a three-week postseason. Followed by an eventful off-season.
The league’s annual schedule will follow this template:
- Oct XX – Trade window opens
- Oct XX – Rule discussion begins
- Oct XX – League fees are due from new owners
- Nov XX – Poll day for rule change votes
- Nov XX – Next regular season schedule release
- Nov XX – Player salary allocations due
- Dec XX – Cost controlled arbitration day
- Jan XX – First roster cut-down
- Feb XX – Second roster cut-down
- Feb XX – Minor league roster expands by 5 players
- Feb XX – Player universe locks
- Feb XX – Minor League Player Draft
- Mar XX – Next regular season schedule release
- Mar XX – Major League Auction Draft
- Apr XX – Regular season begins
- Jul XX – Next season’s fees due
- Aug XX – Trade deadline window closes
- Aug XX – Post-season begins
- Sep XX – Post-season ends
- Sep XX – Free agent and waiver wire closed
- Sep XX – Payouts allocated
Each team will be allowed to roster 30 active players. Players moved to the injury list will not count against the active roster. Teams will be allowed unlimited disabled list spots. Once a player is activated from the disabled list by his real life team, owners will have three days to remove him from the DL before they will be locked from transactions.
Roster eligibility will be determined by FanTrax. Players that are minor leaguers (green flag) may not be kept on the active roster for longer than one week during our league’s season (regular + post). If a minor league player is carried on the active roster for more than one week during our league’s season, that player will be released into free agency to satisfy this rule. (We will consult with team owners before releasing any players.)
Owners may leave players in the designated minor league portion of their roster for as long as they wish. You do not have to promote your players when they are promoted by their MLB team or at any point based on their MLB service time.
Every year the minor league roster will increase by five player slots in perpetuity.
Starting Lineups: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, UTx2, SPx7, RPx3
The regular season schedule will still feature each team playing each other one time, but the remaining five weeks will be created match-ups based on last season’s results.
The first week often features games that start before opening day, occasionally in other countries. Games happening the Sunday before opening day will count in the first week. All other games prior to opening day Monday, will not count.
Regular Season Schedule:
The regular season schedule is 20 weeks long. Each team plays every other team at least once. Each year each team will face another team for a second time, the remaining 5 matchups will be determined by last year’s standings.
Based on the regular season head to head standings (total points scored being the “if necessary” tiebreaker), the top six teams will qualify for the postseason championship bracket, where the top two teams that qualified for the bracket receive a bye.
Playoff rounds are one-week long and have identical rules to the regular season.
Players from all 30 MLB teams are eligible to drafted. All players signed to professional contracts by any of the 30 franchises prior to the universe lock date are eligible to be drafted or signed. In particular if international free agents sign after the lock date, they will not be eligible until the following season.
Hitters gain additional positional eligibility when they record a minimum of 5 games played at that position during the season. To carry eligibility forward to the next season they will have to record a minimum of 10 games played.
Pitchers gain eligibility for the SP role after one start. They gain the RP role after two relief appearances.
All rookies, minor leaguers, or players who miss full seasons will retain eligibility defaulted by the Fantrax system.
Dynasty Grinders will be using a modified OttoNeu points system. The system is based on wOBA and FIP production which assigns values to events that are likely to turn into run production or run prevention. Read about wOBA here and FIP here. It’s important to understand them.
|Singles (1B)||5.6||Innings Pitched (IP)||7.5|
|Doubles (2B)||8.5||Strikeouts Pitched (K)||2|
|Triples (3B)||11.3||Hits Allowed (H)||-2.5|
|Home Runs (HR)||15||Home Runs Allowed (HR)||-7.5|
|Walks (BB)||3.5||Walks Allowed (BB)||-3|
|Hit by Pitches (HBP)||3.5||Hit Batsmen (HB)||-3|
|At Bats (AB)||-1||Saves (Sv)||0|
|Stolen Bases (SB||2.5||Holds (Hld)||0|
|Caught Stealing (CS)||-3|
Each weekly match-up will be limited to 7 starts to be used among Starting Pitchers. Once the 7 start limit has been reached, any points recorded by SP past this limit will not count.
There are two limitations with the Fantrax system that require addressing. Fantrax does not currently lockout starts from happening if the last start and any extra starts occur in the same day. The extra start(s) (determined by time of the first pitch of that game) will be manually removed.
In the 2018 offseason a rule was created to prevent teams from getting quasi starts in relief. Any appearance that is 10 outs or more will constitute a start whether that player appears in a team’s SP or RP roster slot. If a team is over it’s allotment of 7 starts and such appearance would be the team’s 8th start, it will be erased. This rule will hopefully be a temporary rule until Fantrax or Dynasty Grinders comes up with a more palatable solution.
As before the 2018 offseason, a player in an SP spot who pitches in relief and records under 10 outs, that appearance will be wiped out.
These limits and workarounds are necessary evils, and will be self-policed. Let’s be gentlemen.
- Style: Auction
- Budget: $500
- Minimum players drafted: 30
- Maximum players drafted: 30
- Minimum player bid: $1
- Winning bid becomes player’s salary.
- Player Pool: Determined prior to draft, must be 40-man roster eligible or voted into the active draft pool prior to draft by league.
- Draft order: Random
- Time: Live (via live video chat) It’ll be a long day.
- Trades: Trades are live during draft. Auction budget is an asset that can be traded.
- Dropping Players: Not allowed.
- Quirk(s): Before auction, there will be a minor league straight draft.
The auction draft occurs annually prior to the MLB Regular Season.
Leftover auction funds are lost.
Players with green flag (minor league) designations must be demoted or cut prior to the auction draft. Players with green flags are not allowed on your active roster entering auction.
Minor League Draft:
- Style: Straight
- Rounds: 5
- Player Pool: Players signed to professional contracts to a MLB franchise prior to a date set at draft time. Players must have zero (0) regular season MLB innings pitched and zero (0) regular season MLB plate appearances.
- Time: Offline draft. We will utilize a soft clock to keep things moving; something like eight hours per pick during “daytime hours” and 12 hours per pick during “overnight hours.”
- Draft order: Reverse order of previous year’s standings. The first 4 picks of round 1 will be determined by the “Iosim Bowl”. The 13-16th place teams will have a 2 week playoff in weeks 21-22 to determine these first 4 picks with the winner of the Iosim Bowl getting the first pick of the minor league draft and so on.
- You will draft until you have exhausted all of your draft picks or until your minor leagues are full, whichever comes first. If you have more empty minor league roster spots than draft picks, you will not be given free picks to fill your roster and will have to wait to do so until free agency opens. If you have more draft picks than roster spots, those picks will be effectively lost.
Each offseason, before either the minor league or auction draft, any international free agents entering the player pool will be assigned a point of entry to our league. The default entry point will be via the auction draft. If an international free agent is clearly a prospect or minor leaguer, they may be deemed eligible to enter via the minor league draft. These determinations are to be made by the Commissioner. Borderline cases will be open to discussion.
Cost: All players kept will receive raises of $2.
Cuts: Players cut prior to draft can be cut at no cost.
Minimums: Must have enough room in budget to roster 30 players post-draft.
The allocation system gives a $30 budget to each team in the league. The team can allocate this budget towards players on other teams. Each team must allocate two dollars to every other team. No player can be allocated multiple dollars by the same team. At the end of the allocation period, all players have their salary increased by the amount allocated towards them. Allocations take place after the initial off-season salary increase, so any allocations will be in addition to the $2 increase each player gets at the end of the season.
Cost Controlled Keepers:
All players acquired through the minor league draft are cost controlled eligible. All minor league free agent pickups that make it to the offseason with 0 PA/IP are cost controlled eligible as well. They are free to keep until after their first MLB season where the hit the 60% threshold for points threshold.
1st off-season: $1
2nd -5th offseason will be determined by the percentile of points they landed on in the preceding year. Those increases and percentile are as followed
- 90th percentile: $4 raise
- 93rd percentile: $6 raise
- 95th percentile: $8 raise
- 97th percentile: $10 raise
- 98th percentile: $13 raise
- 99th percentile: $16 raise
6th off-season: Graduate to Major League Keeper eligibility.
All major league players acquired via free agency start with a $5 salary. They are eligible for keeping, will receive the minimum $2 raise, and be eligible for greed votes.
All minor league players acquired via free agency that have not spent any time on the major league level during the season in which they were added are eligible for cost controlled keeping. This rule exists to prevent teams from adding players immediately upon their first MLB promotion and getting with them the value of cost control status.
All players who are cut, but picked up during the waiver period, retain keeper eligibility at their post-auction contract. Examples 1) Player contracts will be what they were kept for (including $0 if a minor leaguer) 2) Whatever they were purchased for in auction 3) $5 if neither 1 or 2. Note: In #3 if a pickup finishes the season with 0 career PA/IP than he will be reset to $0 and keepable as a minor leaguer who can enter the cost control/arbitration system.
There’s only effectively a salary cap during the pre-season auction draft. During the regular season, the only penalty for going over $500 (more or less, depending if auction budget has been traded) budget is knowing that you will not be able to keep everyone going into the next season.
Each team should be responsible for managing and monitoring their own budget.
There are no penalties for cutting players, buyouts or otherwise.
All trades are made within Fantrax between the two owners. Draft-day trades that might require other means of submission must be announced to the whole league during the draft. Draft day auction budget is a tradeable resource. Trading minor league draft picks is allowed. In almost all cases, trades will not be subject to review or veto. But the commissioner does hold the right to oversee things in favor of long-term league ownership stability. The trade window will be closed from the trade deadline (Thursday of Week 17 at 11:59 PM/EST) until the end of the post-season.
All players who are cut during the regular season are subject to the waiver wire for three days. In the interest of fairness, adding players will be done via a free agent auction budget (FAAB) system. Each team will begin the year with $150 worth of FAAB. This is separate from a team’s auction budget. We will use a blind bid system where the highest bid wins. You pay what you bid (not $1 more than the next highest bid). Minimum bid is $0. Winning bid does not become salary (refer back to Free Agent Acquisitions). Tie bids will be broken based on current standings. Bids process daily at 11 AM/EST. FAAB budget is not available for trade. Players will be eligible the day of their pick-up as long as their game has not started.
The offseason begins when the postseason ends. After the final games are finalized, the trade window opens again. Free Agent acquisition through FAAB will close and will not be re-opened until after the Auction.
With any league, there’s always room to evolve and change, and this will be the time to bring up any rule discrepancies. All rules will be open for discussion. Rule changes can be proposed with a clear change, a timeline for the change to occur, and purpose. Proposals will be voted on by all sixteen members, and with ten votes, a league rule will be changed per the proposed timeline.
After voting day, the league regular-season schedule will be released for the following season.
In November each team will submit their salary allocations for the other teams following those rules.
In January, cost controlled arbitration will occur per those rules. Also teams will have a deadline to cut their rosters back to the maximum size (rosters could be inflated due to trades, or carrying injured players from the previous season). The first round of cuts will be to get your roster under roster limits only. You may remain above the $500 budget at this point.
In late February/early March the final roster cuts will be due. At this point, you will need to be at $500 or less regardless of a Team’s Budget for that year. You must have $1 per empty major league roster spot remaining based on your Team’s Budget for that year. In each the major league auction draft and the minor league draft, you’re not allowed to draft beyond the maximum roster limits.
There will be one cut related exemption: if between final cut date and auction date, you have a player that has surgery or is suspended, you will be allowed the option of dropping that player.
Three days prior to the auction draft the player universe will be locked. Then the drafts will occur, and before you know it, the regular season starts for the next year.
With interest in keeping Dynasty Grinders competitive from week 1 through week 24 every year, the payout system is designed to reward continued interest. While we’re all clearly not in the league for the money and solely in it for the pride alone, dangling a carrot never really hurt anyone.
Annual League Fee: Each year there will be a $155 league fee to participate in Dynasty Grinders. $150 will be entered into the prize pool, $5 to pay for FanTrax. To join Dynasty Grinders you will be asked to pay for two-seasons in advance to encourage a strong commitment to the league’s health and long-term success.
League dues are due each year prior to the All-Star Break. If you decide that you are leaving the league at the end of the season you will have to announce it at that time. Transactions from that point forward will be subject to league vote to ensure competitive balance and to protect the long-term health of the league.
During this annual renewal period, the commissioner reserves the right to deny renewal to teams based on consistent inactivity, repeated failure to set or maintain lineups/rosters in the competitive spirit of the league, habitual lack of participation in league events, rules violations, collusion, cheating, etc.
Annual League Rewards:
The 20-week regular season will crown a regular season champion. First place will be awarded to the best head-to-head record, and in case of tie, most points scored. Payouts are as follows:
$150 – Head-to-Head Regular Season Champ
$150 – Most Regular Season Points Scored
$850 – Postseason Championship Bracket Winner
$400 – Postseason Championship Bracket Runner-Up
$250 – 3rd Place
$175 – 4th Place
$150 – 5th Place
$150 – 6th Place
$75 – 7th Place
Finally there will be a $50 kitty for the commissioner to disperse funds. These funds will be used for league purposes only, such as championship swag, or other incidental costs.
The commissioner is expected to organize the league calendar, manage various events, handle fee collection and reward dispersal. The commissioner has the final say on rules and discrepancies. That being said, the role of the commissioner is to be a leader to steer the ship, set the owner participation standard, and to ultimately create an environment to be enjoyed for years to come.
The role of the owner is to be a ready and willing participant in the league. Participation is measured by participating in events, playing fantasy during the regular season and providing regular communication throughout the year. You’re making a commitment not only to the commissioner, but to everyone else in this league. Most of all owners are expected to have fun.
These rules and league inspirations come from many sources. First and foremost I need to thank Tom Tango and his book, The Book. The book inspired me originally to look for and create a different fantasy baseball. Also need to thank FanGraphs’ OttoNeu game. They popularized the format and gave it the life it needed to get off the ground, and some of their dynasty elements carry over here. Michael ‘Jay’ Johnson of the FFABL for allowing us to borrow us some inspirations. Michael Green for Dy-Nasty, who inspired many ideas and provided a platform to truly reenergize my passion for fantasy baseball. Andrew Bailey for letting me bounce various ideas and concepts on him to pick apart meticulously. Finally, for my wife and family for loving baseball with me, and letting me have the free time necessary to fulfill my fantasy baseball addiction passion
This section is purely a copy and paste of the settings from FanTrax to keep all possible rules in one place. All rules above supersede any potential conflicts below. Potential conflicts should be addressed unless FanTrax presents limitations that we are overruling.
- League Name: Dynasty Grinders
- Duplicate Player Allowance: Not Used
- Scoring System: Head-to-Head – Points-Based
- Maximum # of teams: 16
- League Creator Username: jordwindy
- Commissioner Team Name: The Foundation
- Your league stats begin accumulating on: Sat Apr 01, 2017
- Your league stats end accumulating on: Sun Oct 01, 2017
- Merge first n periods of season: 2
- Merge last two periods of season: No
- Scoring Period Interval: Weekly
- Scoring Period day to start: Monday
- Use Playoffs: Yes
- Playoffs will begin in this Scoring Period: 25 (Sep 18/17 – Sep 24/17) and last for 2 periods (rounds).
- Playoff matchups entered manually: Yes
- * To view the playoff bracket, go to the Standings screen and click on the Playoffs tab.
- Player Pool: All teams
- Players traded out of league’s player pool continue to accumulate stats: Yes
- Only include players signed to a MLB team in the player pool: No
- Lock Player Pool: No
- Minimum Total Players: 25
- Maximum Total Players: 30
- Minimum Active Players: 0
- Maximum Active Players: 18
- Maximum Reserve Players: Unlimited
- Maximum Injury Reserve Players: Unlimited
- Maximum Minor League Players: 30
- Prevent any transaction that would cause a roster to become illegal: Always
- Allow suspended players to be moved to Injured Reserve: Yes
- Allow players on a bye week to be moved to Injured Reserve: No
- Injured Reserve players count toward roster limitation rules: No
- Only players on the MLB Disabled List may be moved to the Injured Reserve slot: Yes
- Minor League players count toward roster limitation rules: No
- Minor League Eligibility:
|Players have a real-life status of In the minors||Must meet to be eligible|
- Injured Reserve Enforcement type: Lock Transactions
- Number of Lineup Periods until Injured Reserve Enforcement takes effect: 3
|Pos||Min Active||Max Active||Total Max||Min GP||Max GP|
|1st Base (1B)||0||1|
|2nd Base (2B)||0||1|
|3rd Base (3B)||0||1|
|Left Field (LF)||0||1|
|Center Field (CF)||0||1|
|Right Field (RF)||0||1|
|Utility (Any Hitter) (UT)||0||2|
|Starting Pitcher (SP)||0||7||7|
|Relief Pitcher (RP)||0||3|
- If the maximum number of games played has been exceeded for a particular position during any Scoring Period, all players set to that position on the Team Roster screen will no longer accumulate any more stats/points beginning the day after the maximum was met or exceeded, for the remainder of that Scoring Period.
- Games needed from previous season for a player to qualify at a hitting position : 10
- Games needed from current season for a player to qualify at a hitting position: 5
- Starts needed from previous season for a player to qualify as a starter : 5
- Starts needed from current season for a player to qualify as a starter : 1
- Relief appearances needed from previous season for a player to qualify as a reliever : 10
- Relief appearances needed from current season for a player to qualify as a reliever: 2
- Use Fantrax’s default position(s) in addition to any position(s) a player qualifies for based on above criteria: No
- Note: If a player does not qualify for any positions based on the above selections, he will qualify at the position(s) played most in the previous MLB season. If he did not play at all last season, then the default position(s) will be used.
Other Roster Preferences
- Allow players to play at an ineligible position without making the roster illegal: No
|Scoring Group||Scoring Category||Position||Points|
At Bats (AB)
Caught Stealing (CS)
Hit By Pitches (HBP)
Home Runs (HR)
Stolen Bases (SB)
Earned Runs Allowed (ER)
Hit Batsmen (HB)
Hit Batsmen (HB)
Hits Allowed (H)
Hits Allowed (H)
Home Runs Allowed (HR)
Home Runs Allowed (HR)
Innings Pitched (IP)
Innings Pitched (IP)
Strikeouts Pitched (K)
Strikeouts Pitched (K)
Walks Allowed (BB)
Walks Allowed (BB)
Team Minimum and Maximum Requirements per Scoring Period
- If a maximum has been met or exceeded: All hitters or pitchers, depending on the scoring category exceeded, will stop accumulating stats for the rest of the scoring period. If the max has not been met or exceeded at the beginning of a day, stats will accumulate throughout that entire day, even if the max is exceeded.<span style=”color:#ff0000″> Note that ALL pitchers includes both SP and RP. For example, if a max is exceeded for Relief Appearances, stats will be lost for the season for Relief Pitchers (RP) as well as Starting Pitchers (SP).</span>
- If a minimum has not been met by end of scoring period: Do nothing.
Other Scoring Preferences
- Score Flex positions by the players’ actual positions: No
- Count 0-0 scores as wins, losses or ties: Yes
- Stat Correction Handling: No Official Scoring changes will affect your league beyond the default stat freeze time. Official corrections will be applied to your league if they come in within 7 days (168 hours) after the end of that game. Any Official Scoring changes which come in after this time will not be reflected in your league’s stats/scores/standings.
- Lineup Change System: Owners enter lineup changes
- Lineup changes are executed: Daily
- Lineup Changes are locked 0:05 (hours:minutes) Set amount of time before each player’s scheduled game start time of the day
- Trade System: Owners propose their own trades
- Trading Period: All Year
- Maximum Trades per Team: Unlimited
- Trade Deadline Date: Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:59 PM CDT
- Trade Voting System: None
- Claim/Drop Privileges: Commissioner performs all claims & drops
- Max # of claims per season: Unlimited
- Max # of claims per week: Unlimited
- Use Waiver Wire process: No
- Allow claims/drops before the draft: Yes
- Can’t drop list: Not Used
- Pending claims/drops are viewable by: One’s own team
- Free Agent Claim System: Bidding
- Free Agent bids are processed on: Sun ,Mon ,Tue ,Wed ,Thu ,Fri ,Sat at 11:00 am EST
- Bid tie-breaker: Lowest ranked team in the standings wins the bid
- Player claim budget: $$150
- Bid increment: $1.00
- Minimum bid: $0.00
- Winning bid becomes new salary: No
- Add dropped player salary to free agent budget: No
- Show highest pending bids: No
- Show team with highest pending bid: No
- Pending claims/drops are viewable by: One’s own team
Salary cap: $500.00
- The following will count towards the team salary: Reserves Injured Reserves Minor Leaguers
- When a team exceeds the salary cap: Do nothing
- Default Free Agent Salary: $5.00
- Minimum Player Salary $1.00
- When a player is released to the Free Agent Pool, his salary: Remains the same
- Draft Type: Live Online Auction
- Draft order type: Random – Fixed (Non-Snake/Serpentine)
- Draft order: Irrelevant
- Undrafted players go to the: Free Agent pool
|Standings Tie Breakers|
|1. Most fantasy points for entire season|
|2. Head-to-head record vs. all teams tied with|
|Matchup Tie Breakers|