Premier Fantasy Championship
By Jon Loomer
September 17, 2006
We've been awfully quiet on the PFC front lately. What's going on, you ask? Have we forgotten? Have we ditched the idea? Enough of the questions already.
Needless to say, Fantasy Central has been a little wrapped up in an endeavor classified as the UFC -- Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read about it here. Already know what a Commissioner is and want to start your own league? Do it now.
One item that hasn't been checked off of my list is figuring out a way to manage this league. You see, someone internally needs to compete. All private leagues need a commissioner. That's just how it is. It is my baby, but do I really want to put my name on the line like that? Recipe for disaster because if my record falls under .500, you can bet I'll have a gigantic target on my back come cut-down day.
But I'm not completely ruling it out. I've competed against the public before, and I'm not afraid to have my butt handed to me on a global stage. Ok, I'm concerned. Not afraid.
Applications continue to pile in at a steady rate, and we are now approaching 8,000 people wanting in. As it stands, I have reserved 74 applicants as potential finalists. Think about that. Of every 100 applications that I look through, I reserve less than one.
Sound like a chore? Partially is, but I enjoy it as well. I get the typical "I love the NBA" line. Sadly, that doesn't separate you from the others. The latest is, "I live, sleep, and breathe the NBA." Nice. What else?
The point is that you need to have a pretty impressive history to get into this thing. My goal isn't to pit the 30 biggest geeks in the world against one another, but you still need to have something that would make me believe you are fantastically gifted. Playing the NBA Live franchise mode isn't it. (Love the game, just doesn't make you a great fantasy player).
So I plan on mixing up the field a bit. I expect to have around 10 participants from non-US countries. Could be more. At least one female. And before you get all huffy on me, these are very qualified females. Your anger suddenly changes to curiosity.
If you don't have the qualifications, is it really worth applying? Ask me a week ago, I'd tell you "no." It saves us both time. Now, we have a development of near-epic proportions.
The Premier Fantasy Championship Developmental League
This baby won't stop growing. If you aren't selected to be one of the 30 people to participate in the PFC, it's not the end of the world. Just as a struggling pro cut by an NBA team can play in the D-League with long-term aspirations of making it to the big club, you can do the same with the PFC.
There will be 30 PFC Developmental Leagues -- one for each NBA team. Number of teams is to be determined, but it will be a more manageable number -- likely 14. As you know, three members of the PFC will be voted out. They will be replaced by the individual with the most points in the Developmental Leagues.
There's more. These D-League participants aren't only playing for a spot in this year's PFC. They're playing for next year. Let me explain. Everyone who has applied and listed the Lakers as their preferred team to manage will be invited to participate in the Lakers Developmental League. The winner of that league will own the Lakers next season in the PFC.
What about the four guaranteed spots, you ask? The top four players in this year's PFC will be invited back next season. So, those members will get first dibs on which team they want to own in '07-'08 -- priority determined by final standing. The top 26 winners of the Developmental Leagues will have a spot in next year's PFC as well. If this year's top four chose one of the teams owned by the Developmental League teams, you can imagine who gets priority. D-Leaguers will get the scraps.
One problem, you say. By the time all is said and done, I will likely have 500 applications for some teams. True. First come, first served. Still working on the logistics, but I plan on sending out league name and password beforehand, and indicate a time at which the league will open. At that point, good luck. Don't get trampled.
Franchise Player Value
I've been asked several times how we will value the player kept by each team. To recap, the owner of each NBA team will tag a franchise player from which to build around in the draft. The more valuable that player, the more difficult a spot you will have in the draft. If you keep LeBron James, you will be picking last out of 30 teams. This draft does not snake, so that means you'll pick 30th, 60th, etc.
The true fantasy geeks out there said this was all fine and dandy, but in order to plan their selection they need to understand how we'll value each player.
Now you're thinking. Mad respect. Remember the FSPI? The Fantasy Sports Performance Index, our rating system. We recently updated the 2006-07 list based on projections. That, my friends, is the basis of valuation.
It will change as projections change (Gasol injury, for example), but we'll have to come to a point when that list is frozen. We're not quite there yet, but it will come soon.
I will leave you with the Top 30. The full list can be viewed here.