Because the draft can't wait.
I'm grateful for the positive reception to launching a Mount Gretna Men's Book Club (where few books are read). Boosted by your enthusiasm, we are planning some great events and activities we can say more about soon.
Because the NFL season starts on September 7 (whether we are ready or not), I have prioritized launching the Club's Fantasy Football League. In this post, I'll provide an overview and offer you the opportunity to weigh in on some important issues.
Who is in?
We need to know by Wednesday, August 9, who will join the League's truly historic inaugural season as a team manager. I'll give you a few opportunities in this post to declare your intentions. (If you expressed interest in the Book Club on the MG Mercantile site and indicated you were interested in Fantasy Football, I have already reached out to you and am assuming you are participating.)
What's the format?
If enough people sign up, we will have multiple leagues under a single MGMBCFFL umbrella.
I prefer 12-team leagues. But we may use 10-team leagues if that helps to accommodate everyone who wants to play. Each team will snake draft 15 players, starting 10 each week (QB | 2 RB | 2 WR | 2 Flex | D | K). While we will use Sleeper to host the League(s), we will use standard ESPN scoring (1-point PPR). (If you aren't sure what this means, no worries; please don't let this stifle your enthusiasm.)
When are we drafting?
This is the most important question on the table.
I am fervently opposed to drafting before the final pre-season game. (This is rooted in the trauma I experienced in mid-August 1997 when I drafted Mark Brunell as my starting QB about 15 minutes before he got seriously injured in meaningless pre-season play.)
That means the draft will occur sometime between August 28 and September 6. And while the hosting site will autopick for any team manager who fails to make a selection within the time allotted, the draft is FAR more enjoyable when team managers are actively participating. (And we can conclude the draft much more quickly that way.)
Please indicate below all the dates that could work for you. (Expand the survey to see all the options.)
We'll announce the draft date(s) no later than August 12. (And if it turns out you can't make it, you can lean on a co-manager. Or outsource the job. I have a funny story I can tell you over a beer at the HAW about the time 10 years ago I hired someone on Craig'sList to handle my draft-day responsibilities.)
BTW, you'll be able to prepare in advance by running mock drafts on Sleeper. So no need to worry if your fantasy football experience is limited.
Answers to other questions
Will there be a Book Club / League get-together associated with the draft and / or the NFL Kickoff on September 7?
Good idea, right? I miss the fantasy football drafts from the old days, when my commissioner would bring us together with our cheat sheets and a case of beer in a cheap hotel conference room. The technology didn't exist to make any other options viable. It fostered conviviality and a sense of community that's hard to replicate online.
So while we definitely will draft online, let's plan to do at least one thing in person. I will invite help and support from anyone so inclined to pull it off.
What is the cost to play?
For the inaugural season, MG Mercantile is informally sponsoring league management and prizes. However, in lieu of league fees, I will encourage (but not require) that you donate $25 or more to the Mount Gretna School of Art.
Additionally, we will take pre-orders for MGMBC and MGMBCFFL shirts and hats on the MG Mercantile website. (More on this soon).
Do you have to live in Mount Gretna to participate?
No. But we will award prizes (throughout the season and after the playoffs) here in Mount Gretna.
Is participation in MGMBFFL's inaugural season limited to men?
Will I be able to figure out what I'm doing if I haven't played before?
Definitely. The technology gives you lots of nudges, including suggestions about who to draft--and then, in season, who to start each week. But the one thing that will permanently ruin your reputation is if you abandon your team mid-season because it turns out it's not very good. That makes the League less fun for everyone else.
A few final questions to weigh in on
I am looking forward to spirited competition this fall!