Reality Sports Online: A Draft Review

Russell Clay


If you’re like me, you’re probably overwhelmed. The gold rush of fantasy football is upon us and everyone is mining for their piece of the pie – this has sparked some incredible innovation. From information/strategy to new formats, there’s an unattainable amount of information to consume.  The fantasy football world has grown so quickly and immensely, the fear and anxiety of falling behind is unavoidable. That considered, I like to keep pushing and trying out new things, as the old adage goes ‘you never know until you try.’ This brings us to my latest endeavor,

When I first jumped on the site, there were a few things I had to get used to. Up to that point, I had exclusively used Sometimes change is uncomfortable and getting used to the new sites, sounds and draft rooms takes a while. Knowing this, I was still excited and antsy to get started. I was lucky enough to grab a spot in the USA Today Expert League. For those of you that follow along in the fantasy community, there were quite a few familiar and skilled names involved, which made this a learn quick or die situation. A few of the participants included Adam Harstad from, Ryan and Cory Bonini from USA Today Fantasy Sports, Matt De Lima from and Bob Harris from

Anyhow, the rules/format were as follows.

  • 12 teams
  • Auction draft
  • 21 Roster spots
  • PPR scoring
  • Four points per pass TD
  • Starting lineup requirements = one QB, two RBs,  two WRs, one  TE, one PK, One D/ST, One Flex (RB,WR,TE)
  • Three round rookie draft before regular auction

All sounds simple, right?  We all have a basic roster building strategy we generally abide by, so I felt pretty comfortable with this.

Here’s the tricky part: Contracts and Salary Cap.  Here are the particulars:

Contracts and Salary Cap

  • One 4 year contract
  • Two 3 year contracts
  • Three 2 year contracts
  • All other roster spots are one year contracts
  • All contracts are weighted based on the year, and usually backloaded to pay more money in later years.
  • Salary Cap is set at $133 million dollars, this will be used for both the startup auction and on waivers throughout the season.
  • All rookies will be given 3 year contracts. These players contracts will be weighted based on where they were selected. These contacts were also backloaded.

This is when I started to get a little nervous.  I have experience with contracts, but not weighted and back loaded ones. but with the theme I mentioned earlier, in order to learn and grow your awareness, you must try new things.  So I jumped in!

The auction started relatively slow, most were putting out feeler bets, no crazy battles happened. Adam Harstad was easily the most aggressive from the start, both bidding people up and targeting his favorite players. I didn’t think there was any way he’d make it out alive initially, but he ended up with what I consider the best starting lineup and is one of the favorites for this season. Having Jamaal Charles, Percy Harvin, Julio Jones, Rob Gronkowski and Marshawn Lynch is going to win you a lot of games, all they have to do is stay healthy.

While Adam came and went early, I decided I was going to wait to see if I could get some deals later in the draft. This is a good idea in theory, only problem being I wasn’t the only one with this idea. Three or four people waited and the battles were furious, resulting in some over the top contracts, and potentially some painful results in the next few years. One of the main guys I was dead set on getting before the draft was Jordy Nelson. Unfortunately, I did not get Jordy Nelson. Matt Papson and I (creator of battled and battled until he finally came out on top. Nelson will make $21,560,000 this year, second highest for receivers.

The highest paid receiver? AJ Green, owned by yours truly, woof. It was getting later in the draft and Green was (what I consider) the last elite player left. By the end, I found myself paying Mr.Green around $26 million per season – ouch. While it will make things tight initially, I felt it was imperative to grab a player of his caliber. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

“Probably my best contract/deal was David Wilson at two years and around 2.5 Million per season. Wilson is really underrated right now, not only in terms of talent, but in his ability to stay healthy. I feel confident Wilson will make a strong comeback this year and be super productive both of the year I signed him for.”

– Me right after the draft happened.

Oops, oh well. Not even to week one and one of my players has already retired.

While I’ve spent the first two paragraphs complaining about my team,  I ended up doing pretty well. As I mentioned, being new to the site and the way things went, it took me a few groups of players to get fully acclimated. In the end,  it actually wasn’t that hard and became a lot of fun. As it goes with auctions, you tend to gravitate towards the players you like. Players like Justin Hunter, Trent Richardson, Russell Wilson, Kendall Wright, Roddy White and Vernon Davis all made it onto my roster. Add that with my three rookies Brandin Cooks, Cody Latimer and Paul Richardson and hopefully I’ve fielded a competitive team not only for now, but a few years down the road.

As I mentioned above, your waiver wire money is what you have left over from the auction, if you decide to play in one of these RSO leagues, distribute your funds wisely. I wish I had done a better job of leaving myself a little leeway, I only have $1.5 million to spend throughout the season($500k min for each player).

It should be a fun year and I’m even more excited to see how the future will work with free agency and contracts. It’s in our nature to be resistant to change, but if you’re looking for an exciting new experience, Reality Sports Online is worth trying out. The auction was extremely engaging, not only when I was involved, but while watching others duke it out. This site adds another positive layer to fantasy football, something we’re always on the hunt for.

Below I’ve listed the twitter handles of everyone in the league, some really solid guys that you may not already be following, but you should be!

  • James Hatfield – @Hattywaiverwire
  • Ryan Bonini – @ryanbonini
  • Corey Bonini – @Cory_Bonini
  • Adam Harstad – @AdamHarstad
  • Matt Deutsch – @deutsch
  • Dave Dorey – @DMDorey
  • Bob Harris – @footballdiehard
  • Tony Holm –  @fantasysharks
  • Matt Papson – @RealitySportsOn