League Tycoon: Dynasty Salary Cap Fantasy Football
Editor’s note: League Tycoon is an app or desktop based fantasy football platform, specializing in salary cap contract leagues and gambit leagues. They also have a unique “ranked fantasy football” ladder system which allows you to play against other managers at your skill level and move up based on your order of finish.
I love salary cap dynasty leagues. The added challenge of player contract lengths and values makes playing in a cap league much more exciting and so much more fun. The only drawback I’ve ever found with these leagues, however, is that there isn’t a fantasy platform on the market that could properly track salaries and contract lengths without extensive work by the commissioner to manually input the data.
That all changed when I was introduced to League Tycoon last off-season.
At this point, I have to tell you I was quite skeptical when I heard about their platform. I’ve been told in the past about other platforms that could help me run my contract and salary cap leagues and even take them to the next level without giving up any of the customized features that I prefer but they’ve all disappointed so I actually expected the same here. Slowly however, I’ve seen that League Tycoon does exactly what they advertise.
After watching the introductory video on their site, I was impressed and immediately started gathering 11 other salary cap “heads” to put a league together. The goal of the league was to simply try out the features and get a feel for how an automated league would run without a lot of manual work from the commissioner…me. In a word, it’s been smooth.
I’m really enjoying the League Tycoon platform to this point so I thought I’d write a review now that we’re nearly through our first season. I’ll take you step by step through the experience to this point.
I wanted to experience League Tycoon as the creators intended so I didn’t adjust many of the settings and went with most of the suggestions that they laid out for new users. I love that I could choose what the salary cap is set at and how many contracts managers could give out as well as the max amount of years a player’s contract can stretch out along with all the typical settings such as playoff setup, scoring settings, the trade deadline, starting lineup positions and roster size.
The customization options League Tycoon offers are very impressive.
This was a pretty easy step for me because I know a lot of people interested in cap leagues and was able to fill the league quickly. For those that don’t have a list of players however, I like that League Tycoon offers a Discord channel to encourage engagement so I imagine it’d be pretty easy to find some passionate cap managers at or close to the same skill level to get a league going quickly.
Another unique feature I thought was excellent is that League Tycoon charges their fee for the site to each manager in a specific league so instead of having to collect those dues as a commissioner, it’s done directly through the site so I didn’t have to even think about it. Luckily for us though, we didn’t have to pay that fee for year one because we used the code “DLF” when signing up so we got our first year for free. If you decide to join a league over at League Tycoon, you can use the code DLF and get a free trial season just like us.
Another nice feature League Tycoon offers is both a live auction startup and a slow auction startup. We chose the slow auction startup but put it in hyperdrive because the 2023 season was approaching. The settings of the auction were completely customizable. We set how long managers had to nominate a player, how many players could be on the auction block at a time, and how long auctions went on before ending along with so many more customizable features. It was an exciting week-and-a-half packed with action.
I won’t get into too many details about my team but I tried to build a team that could compete in year one and be set up to make noise down the road.
My favorite part about building the roster was actually the time after the startup when I debated which players deserved long-term contracts and which would be better off with a short-term pact. Our league settings allowed for managers to award up to ten multi-year contracts for as many as five years.
Limiting the amount of long-term contracts available to managers will ensure quality players will be in the free agent auction every off-season but still gives managers the ability to lock up their core which was important to us when we set up the league. Again, this is completely customizable which is awesome.
I decided to give long-term contracts to young players I thought would gain value so Jordan Love (4 years), Amon-Ra St. Brown (3 years), Brandon Aiyuk (3 years), Drake London (3 years), and Romeo Doubs (5 years) got my longest contracts which I still feel good about going into the off-season.
I also handed out shorter contracts to Nick Chubb (2 years) and Amari Cooper (2 years) to lock in short-term starters. We’ll see if the four-year pact I awarded Daniel Jones pays off down the road.
Injuries to Chubb and my top two quarterbacks (it’s a superflex league) among others made competing in year one difficult however so I limped to the finish with a .500 record and just missed the post-season.
Waivers were an interesting part of the experience for me. It was suggested by League Tycoon to create a “reserve cap” which wasn’t available during the startup but would be available to each team to use during the season. We left this setting in but because we expanded roster sizes and the amount of contracts managers were allowed to give out in an effort to give the league more of a dynasty feel, waivers were very depleted so they weren’t used often. I feel like the reserve cap was almost pointless because of our setup (although it would be very useful for players new to salary cap or those playing with smaller rosters.) I think we’ll likely remove the reserve cap in year two.
One of the coolest features of League Tycoon is their “Trade Auction” feature where managers have the ability to put a player on what equates to the trade block and set a timer. Other managers send offers and the trading manager updates which offer is the best so everybody has a chance to beat it. When the clock expires, the trade is approved. It really makes the trade deadline competitive and keeps managers from ever saying they would have paid more for a player.
Taking seventh place in the regular season, I didn’t qualify for the six-team playoff that begins this week. Next year I’ll have my vengeance.
I’m pretty excited to get to the off-season. League Tycoon has a set schedule that will get us all right into the action. It will start with the April 1 deadline for tagging franchise players and continues with a draft lottery (like the NBA uses) to determine the rookie draft order, a window to extend contracts, the rookie draft itself, and a free agent auction. The entire off-season is packed with decision-making deadlines and exciting league events. There are also unique settings to consider such as the cap savings offered by placing players on the practice squad and how the rookie wage scale (which is also customizable) will change team-building strategies.
Year One Overview
If I were to give a platform grade to League Tycoon up to this point, it’d have to be a very solid nine stars out of ten. I was able to set up the league and customize it to my liking in a snap. The website is so user-friendly and the app is even more of a breeze. My favorite part about their platform is the league chatroom where managers are notified of draft activity and league messages immediately through the app. Instead of an email, league notifications came to my phone like a text message or DM which made the experience easy and completely free of stress. From setting lineups to sending trade offers or checking scores, the app is the best I’ve come across on the market. Honestly, the only gripe I have to this point is that they don’t currently support having co-managers of a franchise, which probably doesn’t matter to most but I think would be a nice feature to add down the road.
As far as my team goes, I have a lot of work to do on this roster this off-season. Love and Jones make a nice QB2 and QB3 but I probably have to find an anchor at that position. I love the six receivers I have under contract, St. Brown, Aiyuk, Calvin Ridley, London, Doubs, and Cooper but not having a tight end only having Zach Charbonnet and Chubb at RB leaves some holes to fill. I probably made a mistake while awarding contracts by giving Alvin Kamara and David Montgomery just one-year deals. Both have outperformed their salaries and would be great to have around next year. I’ll look into the franchise tag options on those guys during the off-season. The rookie draft will not only create an opportunity to improve my roster but it also sounds like a lot of fun because of the draft lottery. This will be my first time using a system like that to determine draft order so I’m looking forward to that wrinkle.
Despite all the work that needs to be done to my roster as a manager, there’s little to worry about as the commissioner (outside of the very simple settings adjustments I mentioned) because League Tycoon handles everything else. I’m confident we’ll get all twelve managers back for year two and really looking forward to the challenge. I’ll update this review of my League Tycoon experience later in the off-season so I can pass along my feelings about the cool features still to come.
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