1. TEAMS AND COACHES

A. The FFL will consist of twelve teams. Each team will represent an NFL city, either current or from the past, that has appeared in either two Super Bowls or won at least one Super Bowl. Each city may only be represented by one FFL team at a time.

B. Each team will have a team name, selected by the coach and approved by the commissioner. Any team names with racial, sexual, or otherwise offensive innuendo will not be accepted. Any current or past NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB team names that are connected with a specific city (i.e. Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers) will be automatically rejected. Any proposed team city/name pair that would be shared with an active professional sports team, major or minor league, in that city will also be rejected; however, any FFL teams that, as of 2021, already share their team name with an active major or minor league team can keep their name; this prohibition will apply to any future FFL team name changes from 2021 onward. If, in the future, an active major or minor league team changes their name to an FFL team name, the FFL team will have priority, and will not be required to change their team name in response. Likewise, FFL teams can share names with defunct teams from leagues that challenged the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB.

C. Coaches who wish to change their team name and/or city must petition the commissioner; if the change is approved, the team's new identity must remain in place for at least three full seasons. A coach who takes over a vacated team may be allowed to change their team's city and/or name as part of an agreement with the commissioner to enter the league; the three-year minimum would begin upon entry.


D. All coaches must have an email address and a telephone number that can be given to the league so that they can be contacted for trades and other matters. The email address will be listed on the FFL website; however, the phone number will not be on the website for privacy reasons, but will instead be emailed internally to league members only. Each team may register with the league any additional email addresses that the coach may use to make transactions or turn in lineups with in case of emergency non-access to their primary email. Coaches have the option with the additional email addresses to either include or exclude them from the league email chains.

E. First-year coaches are subject to restrictions on trades; new coaches are not allowed to trade their team's inherited draft picks during their first season (but they are allowed to trade for other team's draft picks), and they may be prohibited from trading with certain teams, based on the new coach's personal or professional relationships with other coaches, for that first season as well. Upon beginning their second season, all trade restrictions on the coach will be lifted.

2. ROSTERS AND SALARY CAP

A. Each team will consist of at least 19 and no more than 20 players, not counting players on the Practice Squad or Injured Reserve.

B. Each team must have at least three quarterbacks, four running backs, six wide receivers, two tight ends, two kickers, and two defenses. There is one extra roster spot, the Flex position, which is optional to fill and can be a player of any position.

C. The salary cap for each team will be 80 million dollars. If a team makes a trade or signing that will put them over the cap and/or roster limits for a given position(s), then the transaction must include additional transactions that will put the team back at or below the cap or meet roster requirements, or else the transaction will not be processed.

D. Upon the FFL re-opening for a new season, coaches who are over roster limits at a given position (with the Flex position taken into consideration) based on the activation of the previous season's practice squad players and players who ended said season on Injured Reserve, and excluding players whose contracts expired, must release or trade enough players to meet roster requirements by the deadline established in Rule 6-B.


3. DEPTH CHARTS

A. Prior to the start of the season, each team must turn in a depth chart ranking of their players based on position. If a team does not turn in a depth chart prior to the Sunday before the first game of the season, the commissioner will set one for them by using the player rankings from a fantasy football website of his choosing; if he has to set a depth chart for a team he will announce to the league which site he is using and the player rankings from said site. If a coach submits a partial or incomplete depth chart, the vacant slots will be filled by the commissioner. If a team that fails to submit a depth chart has vacant slots on their roster, the commissioner will first activate players from the practice squad in reverse order of drafting per Rule 8-F; if vacant slots remain after that, he will take temporary control of the team per Rule 4-E to fill the remaining vacancies.

B. Depth charts cannot be submitted without a full active roster. However, if a coach submits a depth chart that includes practice squad rookies, then those players will be presumed activated to the main roster if the coach does not clearly indicate said activation at the time of submission.

C. Once the first depth chart is set, it stays the same throughout the season unless a coach changes it or makes a player transaction.

D. The depth chart does not count as a team's starting lineup. If a team turns in a starting lineup that is different from their depth chart, the depth chart does not change.

E. In order for a team's depth chart changes to be valid they must email the entire league. If a coach appears to be accidentally missed in this email, the commissioner will use his discretion in whether or not to accept it; however, if the commissioner is not included in the email then the changes will be invalid. Depth chart changes may be submitted at any time; any changes received between kickoff of any games played prior to 1:00 PM Sunday and the conclusion of the week's games will take effect the day after all games for the week are concluded (this will usually fall on a Tuesday).

F. If a team has a player in their lineup who is inactive or on a bye, then the top player on their depth chart for that position will automatically be inserted into their lineup unless that player was part of a game played prior to Sunday at 1 PM EST or is on a bye or inactive themselves. In this case, the next player on the depth chart will be inserted and this process will continue until either an active player has been inserted or all options have been exhausted.

G. If a player is acquired by a team, they automatically go to the bottom of the depth chart until the coach moves them. If the coach does not reset their depth chart or is unable to do so due to the fact that a game has been played prior to 1 PM EST on Sunday, then all players on the depth chart below the removed player will automatically move up a spot. The coach must then wait until the following week to make their depth chart changes. Players acquired after this deadline can be inserted into a team's lineup, but are ineligible to be inserted as a result of a coach having inactive or bye week players in their lineup, and all other options having been exhausted. If more than one player of the same position is acquired at the same time then they are placed on the depth chart based on who has the highest fantasy ranking for that week.

4. THE LINEUP

A. Each lineup will consist of exactly one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one defense. Lineups must be filled at all positions, even if the coach has no available players at a given position due to bye weeks or if every player at a given position is inactive for the given week.

B. In order for a team to turn in their lineup they must email it to the entire league. As with the depth chart, if it appears somebody has been accidentally missed the commissioner will use his discretion on whether or not to accept it, and if the commissioner is not included in the email, the lineup will not be accepted. Likewise, lineups sent only to the commissioner will need to be re-sent to the whole league before they can be accepted.

C. All lineups must be fully typed out in the body of the email prior to submission. Emails simply stating that the coach wishes to use the same lineup as the previous week will not be accepted as a valid lineup submission. Coaches do not need to include the player's position or their first name; however, if a coach has multiple players with the same last name on their team, it is strongly suggested that the coach clearly indicate which player(s) is to be included in the lineup by either indicating the player's position and/or including the player's first initial or name.

D. Lineups must be turned in with an email timestamp of no later than five minutes prior to the first NFL game of the week (i.e., if that game starts at 1:05 PM Sunday, the email containing the lineup must be timestamped no later than 1:00 PM). If there is a Thursday game, then only the players who are playing that day must be put into the lineup with a timestamp of no later than five minutes prior to the first Thursday game (if said game begins at 8:25 PM, the deadline would be 8:20 PM). If for a given week, the majority of the NFL games are being played on a Saturday, then the deadline for that week would be five minutes prior to the first Saturday game. If a lineup is not submitted prior to the 1 PM Sunday deadline, then the coach's lineup from the previous week will be used. Lineups cannot be submitted prior to Wednesday of a given week; any lineups for a given week submitted prior to Wednesday will not be accepted and will need to be re-submitted no earlier than Wednesday of that week; however, early submissions may be allowed in case of hardship stemming from unforseen circumstances, in this case the coach should let the commissioner know of such circumstances, and the commissioner will work with the coach to make an accommodation.

E. A team must have a full roster in order to turn in a lineup or have players in the lineup carry over from the previous week. If the team does not have a full roster, then the commissioner may place the team under his control in order to make the necessary adjustments to get the team eligible to play.

F. If a team has players in their previous week's lineup who are playing in a game being played prior to 1 PM on Sunday (including Saturday games) then they are automatically inserted into their lineup for the current week; if a coach wishes to remove any of these "carry over" players from their lineup, they must email the league (by either submitting a full lineup or clearly indicating that player's removal) no later than five minutes prior to kickoff of their game or in the case of Thanksgiving no later than five minutes prior to the kickoff of the first game of that day; otherwise, that player will remain in the team's lineup (this will also be true if that player was not listed in the email in any manner). No lineup changes for the Thanksgiving games can be made after kickoff of the first game. Players who played prior to the Sunday lineup deadline cannot be subbed in via the depth chart or by the coach.

G. If a coach turns in a lineup that has a player inactive or on a bye, then the procedures in Rule 3-E will apply. Prior to the season, the commissioner will provide to the league a list of NFL teams' bye weeks for a given season; this list will be emailed to the league and posted on the league website, either on the main page or through a link that will display the full list. The commissioner will also notify the league of any changes in bye weeks due to various circumstances.

H. If a lineup contains a player who has already played in the Thursday night game, and a coach submits a lineup that leads to too many players being inserted for a given position, the team's depth chart will determine the remainder of the coach's lineup for that position for the week, with the highest ranked player being inserted in the vacant slot. For example, if Player A has already played at running back, and the coach submits a lineup with two running backs other than Player A, then the highest-ranked of those two running backs on the team's depth chart will be inserted into the lineup.

I. The commissioner shall implement a policy regarding the issuance of instances against coaches in cases where the depth chart has to be used to substitute players into a team's lineup due to the players being injured, declared inactive, or on a bye week; this policy will be provided to the league along with cases where an instance will or will not be assessed, along with penalties for excessive infractions.

5. THE DRAFT LOTTERY

A. The Draft Lottery will be held on either a Saturday or Sunday in March or April, and must occur at least one week prior to the NFL Draft.

B. The eight teams that did not make the FFL Playoffs the previous season will be included in the draft lottery. The Draft Lottery winner will not only receive the first pick of Round 1 but also the first pick of Rounds 2 and 3; the draft order will be the same for all three rounds.

C. The lottery chances are as follows:

Previous Season's League Finish
Draft Lottery Chances
Second worst 8 of 36
Third worst 7 of 36
Fourth worst 6 of 36
Fifth worst 5 of 36
Sixth worst 4 of 36
Seventh worst 3 of 36
Eighth worst 2 of 36
Worst 1 of 36

D. For each chance a team has their name will be written on an index card and entered into the drawing. The commissioner will draw one card and that team will be the winner of the lottery and will receive the first pick (unless the team winning the lottery traded the pick to another team). Picks two through seven will go to the remaining non-playoff teams based on worst to best record. The eighth pick will go to the team with the worst record the previous season, unless they win the draft lottery. Picks nine and ten will go to the first-round playoff losers with the team with the lower playoff seed of the two picking ninth. The eleventh pick will go to the Fantasy Bowl loser and the twelfth pick will go to the Fantasy Bowl winner.

E. Attendance at the Draft Lottery is not required; however, if no other coaches attend, the commissioner will attempt to find a coach to be present, either in person or virtually depending on how the commissioner chooses to hold the lottery, but he can opt to conduct it by himself if deemed necessary.

F. Every odd year, a lottery will also be conducted to move one team from each division. The nine teams that did not win their division the previous year will be included in the drawing; however, if the previous season's wild card team won the Fantasy Bowl, that team along with the three division winners will not be eligible to change divisions.

G. All teams eligible to switch divisions will have their names written on a card and entered into the drawing. The first team drawn out will go to the division of the previous season's Fantasy Bowl Champion, unless both teams were in the same division, then the drawn team will go to the division of the Fantasy Bowl loser. All other teams from the division that the drawn team was from will be removed from the drawing. The next team drawn will go to the division of the Fantasy Bowl loser unless that team was in the same division as the Fantasy Bowl winner, in which case the drawn team will go to the division of the first-round playoff loser with the better record. If the second team drawn would cause a division to not have any teams change divisions, then the second team will be placed in a division other than the one it would have been placed in normally. The final team drawn out will go to the last remaining division that has not been drawn for and will be a team from a division that has not had a team leave their division yet.

The following is a sample Division Switch lottery. The first table lists the divisional setup from the previous season:

Division A Division B Division C
Team 1 Team 2 Team 3
Team 10 Team 4 Team 5
Team 11 Team 8 Team 6
Team 12 Team 9 Team 7

The winners of Divisions A, B, and C (Teams 1,2, and 3 respectively) remain in their divisions; the wild card team (Team 4) won the Fantasy Bowl and remains in Division B, the Fantasy Bowl loser (Team 3) was in Division C, while the winner of Division A (Team 1) had the best record from the previous season;

The first team is drawn from Division C; that team (Team 5) is placed in Division B; all remaining eligible teams from Division C (Teams 6 and 7) are removed from the drawing;

The second team is drawn from Division B; that team (Team 8) will be placed in Division A because if the drawn team is placed in Division C, a team from Division A cannot switch divisions. All remaining eligible teams from Division B (Team 9) are removed from the drawing;

The third and final team from Division A (Team 10) will be drawn and placed in Division C; the remaining eligible teams from Division A (Teams 11 and 12) remain in that division.

Below is the new division setup based on this example; the teams that switched divisions are in bold italics:

Division A Division B Division C
Team 1 Team 2 Team 3
Team 8 Team 4 Team 6
Team 11 Team 5 Team 7
Team 12 Team 9 Team 10

H. If an NFL season is cancelled, and the FFL does not play any games for a given season, the following year will have a complete draft lottery with all teams being eligible for the first pick. The entirety of the draft order will be determined in reverse, with the twelfth pick being determined first, all the way to the first pick being determined last. Each team's chances will be based on the results from the last played season; the last Fantasy Bowl champion would get twelve chances, the Fantasy Bowl loser would get eleven chances, the Week 15 playoff losers would get either ten or nine chances, with the team with the better record of the two receiving ten chances, while the team with the worst record would get one chance; there would be no penalty for having the worst record. The first team selected would get the twelfth pick, the next team would get the eleventh pick, and this process would continue until there is one team remaining, and that team would get the first pick in the next draft.

6. RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

A. When the FFL re-opens at the start of the new league year, teams may re-sign up to three of their RFA's (Restricted Free Agents) which are players who have zero years left on their contracts. If a team re-signs an RFA, they get them for three years at double their previous salary.

B. RFA's may be re-signed from the day the league re-opens until the Sunday of the weekend following the weekend of the NFL Draft. After the deadline passes, all remaining RFA's still unsigned will become free agents and will be eligible for bidding on FFL Draft Day/Free Agency Day.

C. RFA's cannot be traded unless first re-signed as one of a team's three RFA's. As all trades go to the commissioner for his review, he'll announce the re-signing of an RFA involved in a sign-and-trade when he e-mails the entire league regarding the trade. It is not necessary to e-mail the whole league of an RFA re-signing in this instance; it will only need to be included in the notification of an accepted trade.

7. THE FFL DRAFT/FREE AGENCY DAY

A. The FFL Draft/Free Agency Day will be held every year on the fourth Sunday in July (date is subject to change based on the commissioners' discretion). In the event the NFL does not hold a rookie draft, the FFL will likewise not hold its rookie draft, but the Free Agency portion of the day will still take place.

B. Only league members are permitted to attend the draft; no friends, family members, spouses, pets/animals, etc. are allowed. If a coach is unable to attend the draft, they may give the commissioner private instructions to draft and sign players or attempt to be on speaker phone through the phone of another coach; a coach may also appoint a representative to attend the draft on their behalf, subject to approval by the commissioner. The commissioner will announce in June whether the draft will be held at a physical location or via a video chat application; if the draft is held at a physical location, only coaches whose permanent residence is outside of a 100-mile radius of the draft location are permitted to attend the draft via a video chat application.

C. If coaches come to an agreement on a trade on draft day then it must be written out on an index card and turned into to the commissioner with both coaches agreeing on it; if the draft is held virtually, coaches can text or message the trade to the commissioner. Draft day proceedings will not stop for trade discussions to take place.

D. The FFL Draft will be the first event to take place on Draft/Free Agency Day. Upon arrival each coach will be given an index card to write their draft pick on when it comes time to select. When it comes time for a coach to select, they must write down the players name on the index card and turn it into to the commissioner; if the draft is held virtually, coaches must text their pick to the commissioner. Only players who were selected in the NFL draft that year or who played in college the previous season but are no longer college football eligible can be drafted. Once the card is turned in (or text sent), they cannot change their pick.

E. While there is no set time limit for a coach to make their pick if the group gets restless and there's a consensus that somebody is taking too long, a countdown may begin to force the coach to speed up the process.

F. Draft picks in the first two rounds may not be traded more than one season ahead. Third-round draft picks may not be traded ahead of the season they will be used.

G. The following chart states how much players selected in each round will have for their salaries (players drafted in the first and second rounds will have three-year contracts, while players drafted in the third round will have two-year contracts):

Round 1

1. $4 million
2. $3.5 million
3. $3.5 million
4. $3.5 million
5. $3.5 million
6. $3 million
7. $3 million
8. $3 million
9. $2.5 million
10. $2.5 million
11. $2.5 million
12. $2.5 million

Round 2

13. $2 million
14. $2 million
15. $2 million
16. $2 million
17. $2 million
18. $2 million
19. $1.5 million
20. $1.5 million
21. $1.5 million
22. $1.5 million
23. $1.5 million
24. $1.5 million

Round 3

All picks in this round (25-36) will have salaries of $1 million.

H. At the conclusion of the FFL Draft, there will be a 15-minute intermission before the Free Agency portion of the day begins.

I. A list of free agents will be compiled by the commissioner and released to the league. Each coach will have seven days after the list release to submit the names of any additional players (except for draft-eligible rookies) they would like to see bid on. Once the seven-day period ends, only players cut between then and the day before Draft/Free Agency Day will be added to the list.

J. Any player released on FFL Free Agency/Draft Day cannot be re-signed by that coach on that same day. If there's a player that a coach wants to cut and attempt to re-sign at a cheaper price, then he must be cut the day prior to FFL Free Agency/Draft Day or sooner in order to be included in the free agent list. Players signed on FFL Free Agency/Draft Day cannot be released on that same calendar day, but they can be traded on that same calendar day.

K. Free agency bidding will be done by blind auction. The free agents' names will be each written on a separate index card and entered into the drawing. The commissioner will draw the players' names at random and the auction will take place upon the commissioner opening the player up for bidding. If a coach wishes to bid on a player, they will text the commissioner the amount they wish to bid. If a coach is not physically in attendance (or on the video chat application if the draft is held virtually), and is not going to text their bids, they can submit instructions as detailed earlier in this section; if the commissioner is bidding on that coach's behalf, he will note bids for them for every player along with his own.

L. The league minimum salaries for each position are as follows:

Position Minimum Salary
Quarterback (QB) $2 million
Running Back (RB) $2 million
Wide Receiver (WR) $2 million
Tight End (TE) $1 million
Kicker (K) $1 million
Defense (DEF) $0.5 million

Bids for a player must be in either whole or half millions (i.e. $2 million, $2.5 million, etc.) If a coach submits an odd bid (i.e. $2.9 million), then it will be rounded down to the nearest half million (i.e. $2.9 million rounded down to $2.5 million, or $2.4 million down to $2 million). Coaches also have the option to bid $0 million on a player if they wish, but they will not receive the player for a zero bid; they must bid an actual amount in order to have a chance at the player. Once the text is sent, the bid becomes official, and the coach cannot change or back out of their bid; if a second text is sent with a different bid, only the first bid text will be the one that is accepted. Coaches are thus encouraged to check for typos or other mistakes before sending the bid text.

M. If a coach bids more money on a player than they have available under the cap at that given moment, their bid will be dropped down to their entire remaining cap space. For example, if a coach with $4 million in cap space bids $5 million, the bid will be dropped down to $4 million. The coach may also not bid on a player if they would be unable to make room for the player based on them having signed all possible players that day and thus none of them being eligible to be cut.

N. When a player's name is announced for bidding, a coach can cut players/clear cap space in order to free up money they feel may be necessary to bid on that player. Once the bidding on the player begins, they are not able to clear more cap space.

O. Once all bids are turned in for a given player, the commissioner will announce all the bids (except for zero bids) and award the player to the coach who submitted the highest bid. The winning coach will then receive the player for their exact bid (reflecting the amount they are willing to pay), even if they were the sole bidder; for example, if Coach A bids $4 million for a player, while Coach B bids $7 million, Coach B will receive the player for $7 million.

P. If two or more coaches tie for a bid on a player, a dice roll will be used to determine who will receive the player. If a coach involved in the tied bid attempts to back out of the bid or in any way tries to avoid taking part in the dice roll (such as openly stating that the other coach can have the player), the attempts will be disregarded and the coach must still take part; relinquishing the right to a dice roll is not an option. The player in question can still be traded between teams after the player is awarded via the dice roll and after free agency concludes.

Q. If a coach wins the bidding on a player and does not have a roster spot available for them, they must make room for that player immediately before bidding on players can continue. If after given a few minutes a coach still has not cleared room for the player then the commissioner will cut a player for them to make that room.

R. At the end of free agency a supplemental waiver draft will take place; all coaches must be present unless prior arrangements are made. Any players who are still free agents (including non-drafted rookies) can be selected by coaches and signed for one-year deals for the league minimum for their position; these picks cannot be traded as they are not formal draft picks. Coaches can write a player's name on an index card (along with who they'd cut if necessary to make room) and turn it in (or text it if the draft is held virtually) to the commissioner. The preseason waiver order will be followed; the team that is highest on this list (the worst team from the previous season) would have the first selection. Selecting a player in this portion is optional; however, once a coach passes on making a selection (or is not present for this portion), their participation in the waiver draft ends. Once a round is completed, the team highest on the list that made a pick will be given another opportunity to select a player, and the draft will continue until all coaches pass on making a waiver selection. Any player cut during the supplemental waiver draft will immediately go to waivers rather than to free agency, and also cannot be selected in the supplemental draft; the seven-day waiver period will begin that same day.

8. THE PRACTICE SQUAD

A. Any rookies drafted by a team will be placed on their Practice Squad. Players on the practice squad will count against the salary cap but do not count as roster spots and may remain there for their rookie season.

B. When the league re-opens for business the following year any players on the previous season's practice squad automatically get moved up to the team's main roster and will count as a roster spot.

C. A player may be brought up from the practice squad during the season up until the player signing deadline of Week 11. If a player is not activated by that point, they will remain on the practice squad for the rest of the season. If a player is moved up to the main roster (which is necessary for them to play in a game) at that point they will count as a roster spot and if necessary, a coach must make room for them.

D. Players may be moved freely between the practice squad and the main roster up through the final Sunday prior to the start of the regular season. After that once a player is moved up from the practice squad, they may not return to it.

E. Players can be traded off of a team's practice squad without being activated; however, they are not eligible to be on the practice squad of the team that acquires them. Players are only eligible to be on the practice squad of the team that drafted them. If a player is traded or released then re-acquired by the team that drafted them, they are not eligible to go back on the practice squad.

F. If a team does not have a full roster but turns in their lineup for Week 1, the commissioner will activate players from their practice squad to fill out their active roster if they do not fill out the roster themselves. They have until kickoff of the 1 PM EST Sunday game to do this unless they have a player playing in the Thursday night game then they'd have until then. If it is necessary for the commissioner to activate the players for the team and he must choose between two players from the same position he will choose the player who was drafted later in the draft as the one to be activated.

9. IN-SEASON FREE AGENT SIGNINGS

A. Coaches can sign free agents who are not on an FFL team any time after the draft until the deadline set by the commissioner in Week 11. Only actual professional football players, past and present, can be signed to an FFL team. In order to sign a free agent a coach must email the entire league; emails sent to only the commissioner will not be processed, and the commissioner will ask the coach to forward the email to the league as a whole or re-email the league. If another coach signs the same player under the proper procedure before this can occur, that coach, not the coach who sent the email only to the commissioner, will receive the player.

B. Any player signed as a free agent is given a one-year deal with the dollar amount based on what position he plays (the amounts are listed in Section 7-N). If a player is eligible at multiple positions on other fantasy football websites, their FFL eligibility will be based on the player's listed position on NFL.com. All players in the FFL will only be eligible at one position, and can only be inserted into lineups once.

C. If a coach cuts a player during an FFL game that is in their lineup, they will lose all points gained by that player prior to or after the releasing for that week and an "X" will be placed in their points field of the box score.

D. If a coach releases a player who makes more than $4 million dollars, they are obligated to pay 25 percent of the player's salary for the duration of the contract plus one additional season; this will count as part of a team's total salary under the cap.

The following chart lists the penalties for cutting players making over $4 million:

Salary Penalty
$4.5 million $1 million   
$5 million $1.25 million
$5.5 million $1.25 million
$6 million $1.5 million
$6.5 million $1.5 million
$7 million $1.75 million
$7.5 million $1.75 million
$8 million $2 million
$8.5 million $2 million

After $8 million the pattern continues as it does above.

E. If a coach released a player and takes the penalty on that player and then later re-signs the player, the penalty for cutting them previously remains in place. If the coach then cuts the player again then a second penalty can occur.

F. A coach may release a player who makes more than $4 million without penalty if one of the following is true: The player is not on an NFL roster when the first game of the first week of the NFL season kicks off; or if when the 18th week of the prior NFL season is completed the player is not on an NFL roster; or if the player has announced his retirement; or if the player dies. If the player is not on an NFL roster come week one but is signed to one prior to the coach cutting the player then the penalty will take effect. If the player is not on a roster when Week 18 of the prior NFL season is completed but is signed to one prior to the league re-opening for business the following year the coach may still cut the player without penalty within three days of the league re-opening, after that time a penalty will occur.

G. Any players released after the free agency portion but prior to the free agency waiver portion of FFL Draft/Free Agency Day and then re-signed during that season by a coach are re-assigned the contract they are released from and are not granted the one year league minimum deal that a regular free agent would receive unless that is the deal they happened to be released from.

H. A coach may not cut a player the same calendar day they are signed. They may however trade them the same calendar day they are signed. They may also cut a player they traded for the same day they are traded for.

I. A player cannot be signed to an Injured Reserve slot. A player must first be assigned a spot on the team's main roster prior to the team then placing them on Injured Reserve; they cannot be directly signed to the IR slot.

J. In instances prior to the Monday of the first week of the NFL Season if a coach signs a player and then cuts him the very next day the player will automatically become a free agent again and not be subject to the waiver wire process. In instances after the Sunday prior to the first week of the NFL Season if a coach signs a player any time between Tuesday and kickoff of the 1 PM EST Sunday games and cuts them during that same time the player will not be placed on waivers and instead will immediately become a free agent.

10. THE WAIVER WIRE

A. If a player is released by his team, he will be placed on waivers except for instances explained in section 9-J. The player will remain on waivers for seven calendar days, starting with the calendar day the player was released.

B. When a player is put on waivers, he is put on waivers for the amount of years that were remaining on his contract and half of his previous salary. If a player is already making the league minimum or less, then he will be put on waivers for the league minimum of that player's position.

C. While the player is on waivers a coach can place a claim by emailing the commissioner. It is not necessary to email the entire league; however, if a coach attempts to sign a player on waivers, it will be treated as a waiver claim. Once a waiver claim is submitted it cannot be rescinded. The coach who released the player may not put in a claim for that player.

D. In order for a claim to be accepted it must include a name of a player that will be cut if the claim is awarded. Failure to submit a name will make the claim invalid, unless the claimed player would fill an empty slot on the roster (such as the Flex position). The name is submitted in case a coach is awarded the player and then does not cut a player to make room for them by the end of the day; the player whose name that was submitted would then be cut. If a coach who attempted to sign a player on waivers is awarded the claim, then the player the coach attempted to cut would be the one released.

E. Upon a claim being submitted the commissioner will post the name of the team that submitted the claim on the FFL Waiver Wire Page; however, he will not discuss or tip off coaches in any way of waiver claims. If the commissioner wishes to make a waiver claim for his team, he will send the claim to a coach whose team is lower on the waiver list than the commissioner's, or he may also opt to send the claim to the coach who had cut the player since that coach cannot make the claim; in either case, that coach would also be prohibited from discussing the commissioner's waiver claims with other coaches.

F. Once the waiver period has passed the team that is highest on the waiver wire list at that time that put in a claim will receive the player and if necessary has until the end of that day or until kickoff of the first game of that day to make room for that player. If a coach fails to make room for that player then the player listed as the cut player in the original waiver email submission will be cut by the commissioner.

G. Any player received from waivers cannot be cut the same day they were received from waivers. While a player on waivers can be traded the same day they are received off of waivers they must first have a spot cleared for them and be put on the team's roster prior to being traded.

H. If nobody claims a player off of waivers, then he can be signed by any team to a league minimum deal, unless the coach who cut the player re-signs him, in which case the coach must honor the player's previous contract.

I. The waiver order during the offseason is determined by the previous season's standings. During the season the waiver order resets at 12:00 AM on Tuesday with the weekends results factored in. If Monday Night Football has not finished then the waiver order will be reset at the conclusion of that game with those results counting for the entire day of Tuesday. If the end of the waiver period falls on a Tuesday, then the reset order, not the order from the day prior, will determine which team receives a player claimed from waiver.

J. Draft lottery results will not be factored into the preseason waiver order. If a team wins the lottery and they did not have the worst record in the league then while they do pick first in the draft, they do not move to the top of the waiver order list.

K. The first eight teams on the waiver order list are the eight teams that at that time would not qualify for the playoffs and is based on their records. The ninth team on the waiver order list is the team that would be the wild card at that time. The remaining three teams are the teams that are the division leaders and ranked from worst record to best record with the twelfth team being the team with the best record. During the preseason the waiver order is the eight non-playoff teams (worst record to best) followed by the two divisional playoff game losers (worst record to best) followed by the Fantasy Bowl runner up in the eleventh slot, and the Fantasy Bowl winner being in the twelfth waiver slot.

11. TRADES

A. Trades can be made between teams at any time except from the Sunday 1 PM kickoff till the end of the Sunday night game and up until the Week 8 trade deadline for the season. Trades on Draft/Free Agency day cannot be made during the Free Agency portion of the day.

B. In order for a trade to take place both participants must either both state the trade to the commissioner either verbally or through email/text. A participant may request that the commissioner contact the other participant to confirm a trade at which time he is not allowed to discuss the trade with the participant but simply ask if they accept the trade he's been presented. If communication of a trade has happened through email with proof of an offer and acceptance on both parts then that may be forwarded to the league for approval. When the commissioner announces a trade he will also announce any transactions that coaches involved in the trade may make to help facilitate it; said coaches will not need to send a separate e-mail to the league as would normally be the case with player signings and cuts.

C. If an email of acceptance is forwarded to the league by the team that accepted the trade (not the one who initiated it) and the trade offer was sent more than four calendar days prior to the acceptance then the commissioner must confirm with the coach who initiated the trade that they still want to do it due to the time that passed between offer and acceptance. A coach also has the right to send an email to the coach they made the trade offer to rescinding the offer prior to it being accepted.

D. The commissioner may use his discretion in not allowing a trade to go through but will do so with extreme caution realizing the chaos that could ensue based on events of the past.

E. Players and draft picks may be traded; however, only draft picks for the current season and the one after may be traded, excepting third-round picks which can only be traded the same year they are to be used. Draft lottery chances may not be traded, but incentive clauses approved by the commissioner may be part of trades.

F. If a player is traded between the start of Week 1 and the trading deadline of that season then they may not be traded back to the team they were traded from until the following year.

G. Players with zero years left on their contract may not be traded because they are not under contract. They can be traded once re-signed as one of a team's 3 RFA re-signings.

H. If a team makes a trade and they are either put over the salary cap or over roster limits they must clear the cap or roster space that day (however not through an additional trade) or prior to the first NFL game of that day. A player acquired in the trade is eligible to be cut as part of the cap or roster clearing effort. A player to be cut can be included in the trade e-mail; however, the commissioner reserves the right to step in and take necessary actions to ensure a team is at or under the cap and meets the roster requirements.

I. If a trade involving a draft pick that a coach does not have is accidentally passed through, the coach's first available first-round pick will also be given to the affected team as compensation for the acquisition of a non-existent pick. For example, if Team A trades a 2021 second-round pick to Team B, and it is found that Team A does not have that pick, then Team B will receive Team A's 2022 first-round pick if that pick is still held by Team A, otherwise, Team A's first available first-round pick will be given to Team B.

J. As part of a trade, a team can acquire a player eligible for Injured Reserve and automatically place him on IR without first clearing a main roster spot for that player.

K. For traded players to be eligible to play in the same week, the trade must be submitted no later than the day prior to the players' NFL teams' scheduled game(s). In most cases, if the player's NFL team has a game on Sunday or Monday, the trade must be submitted to the commissioner no later than Saturday for the player to be eligible to play that week. If the player is involved in the Thursday game, then the trade must be submitted no later than Wednesday for the player to be eligible to play.

12. INJURED RESERVE

A. Each team is given two injured reserve (IR) spots on their roster. Once a player is placed on IR, he is not eligible to return to the team's roster for the rest of the season.

B. A player can be placed on Injured Reserve if any of the following apply:

1. He has been ruled out for the season and a reputable online source (not a self-created website) states as such;

2. He has missed three full consecutive NFL games due to injury;

3. He has been placed on an NFL team's IR/out for the season list;

4. He has been placed on an NFL team's IR/designated to return list;

5. He has been placed on an NFL team's regular season NFI (non-football injury) list;

6. He has been placed on an NFL team's regular season PUP (physically unable to perform) list.

7. He is not on an NFL team, but is injured and otherwise IR-eligible (the commissioner can approve an IR placement if the player is projected to miss most or all of the season).

If a player has returned from one of these lists and is back playing after missing three full consecutive games, they are no longer eligible to be placed on Injured Reserve if they had not been placed there already.

C. Once a player is placed on Injured Reserve, the team will be awarded the league minimum amount for the position that player plays; this will allow coaches to be able to sign a player in place of the one that is injured. Upon the league re-opening the following season the full amount of the contract will be re-applied against the salary cap.

D. If a coach cuts a player who is on Injured Reserve, then later re-signs that player to their previous deal, the player must return to Injured Reserve, not the active roster. If this will result in more than two players on a team's Injured Reserve, one of the players already on IR will have to be cut to make room for the re-signed player.

13. THE SCORING SYSTEM

The FFL has adopted the following scoring system for all games during the regular season (Weeks 1-14) and the playoffs (Weeks 15-16), as well as the Pro Bowl exhibition game for Week 17:

Touchdowns

Type of Scoring Play 0-9 yards 10-39 yards 40+ yards
QB throws a touchdown 6 points 9 points 12 points
QB rushes for a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
QB catches a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
RB runs for a touchdown 6 points 9 points 12 points
RB catches a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
RB throws a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
WR catches a touchdown 6 points 9 points 12 points
WR rushes for a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
WR throws for a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
TE catches a touchdown 6 points 9 points 12 points
TE rushes for a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
TE throws for a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
K catches a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
K rushes for a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
K throws for a touchdown 12 points 18 points 24 points
DEF returns an interception for a touchdown 6 points 9 points 12 points
DEF returns a fumble for a touchdown 6 points 9 points 12 points
Offensive player recovers fumble for a touchdown,
not scored as rushing or receiving touchdown
6 points 9 points 12 points
Offensive player scores via receiving lateral 6 points 9 points 12 points

Kicking

Type of Scoring Play 0-39 yards 40-49 yards 50+ yards
Kicker kicks a field goal 3 points 5 points 7 points
Kicker kicks an extra point/PAT 1 point

Miscellaneous Plays

Type of Scoring Play Number of Points
Defense records a safety 2 points
Individual offensive player returns a punt or kickoff for a touchdown 6 points
Defense returns a blocked field goal for a touchdown 6 points
Defense returns missed field goal for a touchdown
6 points
Defense returns a blocked punt for a touchdown
6 points

2-Point Conversions:

Type of Scoring Play Number of Points
QB throws a 2-point conversion 3 points
QB rushes for a 2-point conversion 6 points
QB catches a 2-point conversion 6 points
RB runs for a 2-point conversion 3 points
RB catches a 2-point conversion 6 points
RB throws a 2-point conversion 6 points
WR catches a 2-point conversion 3 points
WR rushes for a 2-point conversion 6 points
WR throws for a 2-point conversion 6 points
TE catches a 2-point conversion 3 points
TE rushes for a 2-point conversion 6 points
TE throws for a 2-point conversion 6 points
K catches a 2-point conversion 6 points
K rushes for a 2-point conversion 6 points
K throws for a 2-point conversion 6 points
DEF scores a touchdown for a 2-point conversion 3 points

In addition, for the Pro Bowl only, the following scoring brackets will be added:

Type of Scoring Play Number of Points
QB throws for 75+ yard touchdown
RB runs for 75+ yard touchdown
WR/TE catches 75+ yard touchdown
15 points
QB runs for or catches 75+ yard touchdown
RB throws for or catches 75+ yard touchdown
WR/TE/K throws or runs for 75+ yard touchdown
30 points
K kicks a 60+ yard field goal
8 points
Special teams touchdown (kickoff or punt return)
6 points for DEF
(position renamed DST for Pro Bowl only)
QB throws interception
-1 points
QB/RB/WR/TE fumbles, recovered by defense
(if offense recovers no points will be lost)
-1 points
DEF (DST) has interception or recovers fumble,
not returned for touchdown
2 points

14. THE POSTSEASON: PLAYOFFS, FANTASY BOWL, AND PRO BOWL

A. The three division winners automatically make the playoffs along with one wild card team that has the best record among the non-division winners.

B. In the event that two teams are tied for a playoff spot whether it be for division champion, playoff seeding, or wildcard spot the tiebreakers are as follows:

1. The team with the most actual non tie victories. For example, a team with a 10-4 record would make it over a team with a 9-3-2 record;

2. The team with the most points scored for the season;

3. The team with the better head to head record when the two teams played. If the teams played twice and split the two games then the team with the better record within their division would get the tiebreaker (since they'd have to be in the same division to have played two games);

4. If the teams were not in the same division and we're this far in the tiebreakers because they tied in their one head to head matchup then we go with the winner of the previous time they played, if that game was a tie then we'd go to the previous game they played prior to that and so on and so on.

C. The #1 seed in the playoffs will be the division winner with the best record and they will play the wildcard team even if the wild card team has a better record than one of the other division winners. The other two division winners will play each other in Week 15 with the winning teams advancing to the Fantasy Bowl. If there is a tie in Week 15, the higher seed in the tied matchup will advance to the Fantasy Bowl.

D. The Fantasy Bowl will take place in Week 16 of the season. If there is a tie in the Fantasy Bowl then the two teams will play again the following week in Week 17 and the Pro Bowl exhibition game scheduled for Week 17 will be moved to Week 18. In the event of the Week 17 Fantasy Bowl teams are allowed to submit a different lineup from the one that they submitted for the initial Fantasy Bowl in Week 16.

E. If the two teams tie once again in Week 17 the Fantasy Bowl winner will be determined by which entire roster (factoring in fantasy points scored by all bench players for the two-week period) scored the most points. If the teams are still tied the team that won their previous meeting prior to the Fantasy Bowl is declared the champion, if that game is a tie we go to their previous meeting before that, if that was a tie we keep going back until we find the last time they played each other and did not tie and the team that won that game is declared the champion.

F. A Pro Bowl exhibition game will be held in Week 17 featuring all-star teams from all three divisions competing head-to-head-to-head against each other. Each division will have players selected by the commissioner based off of input from the three coaches whose teams won each division; players who have been placed on IR during the season can be named to the all-division teams, but will be ineligible to play in the Pro Bowl. A full roster will be selected for each division, and the commissioner will designate injury replacements for any players on the all-division teams on IR or who are inactive for Week 17; these replacements will be drawn from the highest-scoring players at the given position who were not already on Pro Bowl rosters; these replacements can be chosen even if they played prior to the usual regular season lineup deadline. The Pro Bowl will be conducted in a "best ball" format, where the highest-scoring player at each position will be inserted into the division's final lineup; if no player at a given position scores in Week 17, the lineup slots will default to the player(s) named to the all-division team. If the Fantasy Bowl in Week 16 ends in a tie, then the Pro Bowl will be moved to Week 18 in order to allow a champion to be determined in Week 17.

G. At the end of the regular season, the commissioner will announce finalists for Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Least Valuable Player, with five candidates for MVP and LVP and three for ROY and COY. The winners will be announced prior to the Fantasy Bowl, with a coaches' committee designated by the commissioner responsible for discussing and naming the winners in each category. The commissioner will name the all-league team, and he may also name an all-rookie team if circumstances allow.

15. MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

A. The commissioner will investigate any perceived throwing of games or other conduct detrimental to the league; coaches under such investigation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the league.

B. If there is a scoring dispute, or a coach feels a mistake may have occurred on the FFL scoreboard, they have through the Wednesday after that week's game to let the commissioner know of it and the matter will be reviewed; it is the coach's responsibility to check for accuracy of scores in games involving their teams. After Wednesday has passed all game box scores, correct or not, will be final.

C. The NFL.com box scores will be the final say on all scoring plays. For example, if NFL.com rules a player recovered a fumble for a touchdown and gives the player a "rushing touchdown" in their box score then the player will receive points for the rushing touchdown despite the wording of it being a recovered fumble due to the touchdown in the rushing column for the player.

D. If the FFL reduces the number of teams in the league, players from the contracted teams will be placed in a separate draft pool for selection by the remaining teams. If the contraction occurs prior to Draft/Free Agency Day, then the dispersal draft will take place on the same day, after the rookie draft but before the Free Agency portion; if the contraction occurs after Draft/Free Agency Day, then separate arrangements will be made to disperse the players from contracted teams. The preseason waiver order will apply to the dispersal draft, and teams selecting a player from a contracted team will assume that player's contract, and may be required to release a player on their current roster if necessary. Only players with at least one year remaining on their contracts would be eligible to be selected in the dispersal draft.

E. If the NFL is affected by a labor stoppage (strike or lockout) or other circumstances, then the FFL will not play games until the majority of NFL players return to the field. Replacement players will not be used by the FFL or assigned to teams to take the place of striking or locked-out players. If the labor stoppage is ongoing come FFL Draft/Free Agency Day, the commissioner will still have it take place, but after proceedings conclude, there will be a freeze on all player transactions until the end of the stoppage. A minimum number of FFL games will need to be played in order to hold the playoffs; this figure will be determined by the commissioner based on games already played and other applicable factors. If an NFL season is cancelled, one year will be removed from each player's FFL contracts as if that season had been played; contracts will not be extended or deferred.

F. In the event the NFL shortens a season due to various circumstances, the FFL would adjust its schedule accordingly; the Pro Bowl would be the last week of the revised NFL season, the Fantasy Bowl would be the second-to-last week, the playoffs would be the third-to last week, and the regular season would end the fourth-to-last week. The FFL would cancel games at the beginning of its schedule to accommodate the reduced NFL season; for example, if the NFL reduced their schedule to 14 games, Weeks 1-3 of the FFL season would be cancelled, and the games originally scheduled for Week 4 would mark the start of the FFL season, with the playoffs in Week 12, the Fantasy Bowl in Week 13, and the Pro Bowl in Week 14.

G. If a coach is removed or otherwise abandons their team prior to the conclusion of the season, the commissioner will take over operating the team for the duration of the season and will set the team's lineups based off of rankings from a fantasy football website of his choosing. If the commissioner operates a team that is not his own, he is prohibited from signing or cutting players, or trading with other teams on behalf of the team he is operating, nor is he allowed to "raid" players from the controlled team to be placed on his or any other team. A new coach would be installed at the start of the next season; the commissioner will likely not install a replacement during the season. If a coach decides to leave the league during the season, they may finish out the season, but if the departing coach opts not to finish the season at the announcement of their departure, the commissioner would take over the team for the duration of the season as described herein.

H. Revised copies of this rule book may be issued at any time based on circumstances that may come up that are not in here and that need to be dealt with. Likewise, the commissioner may act in response to unforseen circumstances to direct the application of this rule book to best serve the league (such as using temporary, one-season-only policies in reponse to the coronavirus pandemic during the 2020 season). In any instance of controversy or misunderstanding regarding the rules the use of common sense, questions, and discussion are encouraged, and the commissioner will issue a final verdict in the best interests of the league.

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