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A New Reality for Fantasy Football

Sponsored by Reality Sports Online
Written by John Tuvey

It’s one thing to draft Larry Fitzgerald for your fantasy team. It’s quite another to sign him to a four-year, $60.5 million contract with $36.6 mil guaranteed—especially if you can do so without an abacus.

Despite math not being my strongest suit—especially if the numbers get so big I have to remove my shoes and count on my toes—I inked Fitz to just such a deal when I test-drove the new Reality Sports Online (RSO) fantasy football platform.

I also added Adrian Peterson on a three-year, $60.5 million contract that covers me if he’s not all the way back from his knee injury at the start of this season. Plus, I locked down Matt Ryan for the next three years at a reasonable $21.5 mil. And my brain didn’t hurt from the salary cap gymnastics required to roster Fitz, AP, and Ryan along with 13 other players without exceeding my $120.6 million cap.

But let’s back up a step.

Fantasy football is all about you being the GM, acquiring the talent necessary to dominate the other would-be GMs in your league. And each nuance in the evolution of the game is an attempt to bring fantasy closer to reality.

The brain trust behind RSO comes to the table with experience not only in fantasy football but also in the real world of the NFL; that background has helped them construct a realistic general manager’s experience that includes the world’s first Free Agency Auction Room.

You’re already familiar with an auction—in my opinion the fairest method ofdistributing players; if you want a guy you don’t have to hope he’s there at your draft slot, you just open up the wallet and pay for him.

And you’re familiar with dynasty leagues, where you make a commitment to a player for more than just one season and try to build a juggernaut based on your astute prognostication skills.

RSO combines these two elements into its patent-pending Free Agency Auction Room, where fantasy owners can negotiate multi-year contracts in real time. Using an algorithm based on their front-office experience—which takes into account real-world factors like guaranteed money and per-year average—RSO automatically calculates the next-best deal a player would likely acceptfor contract lengths ranging from one to four years.

Sounds complicated, right? That may be the best part: RSO does the math for you.

Say LeSean McCoy is on the block with a four-year offer worth $105 mil, the Free Agency Auction Room provides four options (one of each length) for you to beat that deal: a one-year, $45.5 million deal; a two-year, $73 million contract; a three-year, $91.5 million offer; and a four-year deal that sweetens the pot to $105.5 mil.

Of course, some of that money is guaranteed– so just like the real NFL if you bail on McCoy after a season or two that guaranteed money strikes a blow to your salary cap. And you also have to monitor where your money spent stands against the $120.6 million salary cap—though again, the RSO system does all the heavy mathematical lifting so you can focus on talent evaluation.

Real enough for you? But wait, there’s more.

Waivers are handled like the real NFL as well. If a player is cut, another team could pick up that contract and take the dropping team off the hook for that salary. But if every team passes, then the dropping team takes the cap hit—at which point the player hits the open market and any team can make him an offer.

Lose a player to injured reserve? You get cap relief just like the NFL, with only half that player’s salary counting against your cap so you have money available for a replacement.

Even the rookie draft, with slotted contracts based on real-world numbers, and the game’s $120.6 million salary cap are designed to mimic actual NFL rules for the ultimate real/fantasy experience.

And finally, you can franchise a player after their contract expires—and his franchise tag salary will be the average of the top five salaries at that position in your league.

RSO’s default settings provide a real-life feel while still letting plenty of talent hit the open market each year and, as founder Matt Papson says, “protects people from themselves” when it comes to committing too much future money to this year’s team. But most settings—rookie contracts and draft rounds, allotments for multi-year deals, all scoring, etc—are customizable to allow leagues to tailor the system to fit their own unique needs.

Reality Sports Online isn’t just an auction room, either; you can run your league all season long with all the usual bells and whistles of your usual league manager. And while there may be trepidation about breaking in a new league manager, the big names behind the RSO league manager—Big Game Software, Rotowire, and Stats Inc – combined with its former NFL team designers—provide enough experience to inspire confidence.

But what makes RSO different from other dynasty league options is its ability to simulate a real NFL front-office experience without requiring a 30-page league constitution breaking down minutia in painful detail.

And an auction room where you can drop $60 mil at the click of a button and lock up Larry Fitzgerald for four years… well, that’s pretty sweet as well.

For more information check out “11 things you need to know about Reality Sports Online” or send an email to inquiries@realitysportsonline.com.