The fantasy basketball season is now well past the first quarter mark, and by this point, you should have a good idea of your team’s strengths and weaknesses.This is a great time to make a trade, with most player’s values beginning to stabilize and the flash-in-the-pan guys that always pop up at the beginning of the season burning out.
However, there is a new enemy on the horizon: apathy. Depending on the league that you play in, this is typically the time of year when the shiny new toy effect wears off and owners lose interest in their fantasy teams. Inactive teams can mean the death of a fun, competitive league, so it’s imperative that you do what you can to keep interest high, particularly if you are the League Manager.
Obviously one of the factors involved in this phenomenon is whether you are in a pay league or a free league. Owners are more likely to stay involved in a league that they had to pay to play in and where money is on the line for the winner. Free leagues can be just as fun (I’m in several), but it is more susceptible to dead teams because owners have nothing invested in their team. If it is performing poorly, the team is often abandoned, which is frustrating for owners who are still competing.
This time of year, there are just so many things pulling for our attention. Whether it be the holidays, football season heating up, a busy work schedule, or any number of other things. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to forget to check in on a fantasy team.
So what can be done?
For one thing, frequent league emails can help. Don’t spam inboxes by firing off emails multiple times a day, but sending a quick update email a few times a week can keep teams engaged, particularly if there is a little trash talk included. Tell your league-mates about any major happenings in the league, like a team making a push towards the top or a surprising win in a head-to-head league. League emails are also a good place to mention potential trades.
Speaking of which, sending out trade offers can also be a good way to promote involvement. Leagues that actively participate in trades can be a lot of fun, and sometimes all it takes is a little nudge via a deal showing up in their inbox to get the gears turning and re-kindle an owner’s waning interest. They may not wind up making a deal with you, but it could get them thinking about a move, and result in that owner sending out an offer themselves.
Another way to encourage owner involvement is to keep the league’s message board up to date with a new cover image, polls, and an active message board. If owners see something new just about every time they log in they are more likely to check in frequently since they won’t want to miss out on something.
Keeping an active league isn’t an easy thing. There are plenty of other things out there to pull our attention away, and injuries and poor play can sap an owner’s tolerance for their own team. However, consistent, committed owners are the mark of a good league, even if some efforts need to be made to keep everyone involved.