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Introducing First and Fan’s Multi-Sport Fantasy League…The Vortex

Each year around mid-late August, everyone from the sports superfans to casual fans to the weird guy at your office that roots for whoever your boss likes play fantasy football. The level of research leading up to the draft will always vary, but whether you check your team every hour or only once a season, fantasy football leagues will always be fun.

So what happens when you take it to the next level? We created a multi-sport fantasy contest that involves 6 different sports. Rosters are over 50 players, and the league’s overall season lasts more than an entire year. No, we’re not the first to ever do this, but after scouring the internet, we’ve only found a few similar instances. The most notable being the League of Leagues – a 3-sport keeper league by a group of sports media members, including individuals from CBS Sports, NFL.com, Yahoo Sports, Vice Sports, and more.

Our idea was to take the concept of multi-sport leagues a little bit further and customize it as well. All league rules, scoring, and weighting was decided over the course of a 3 month period. To give a basic overview of the league, there are four competing teams (the four founding members of First and Fan) each with 51 players/teams on their roster. Matchups last one week, and are on a sport-by-sport basis.

The Vortex League, as we officially are calling it, draft occurred in August. 51 rounds, 6 different sports, and about 5 hours later, the team rosters were set. While setting up the league, we aimed for the first season to be more of a trial, working out kinks and errors. Looking back, while 51 seems like a huge roster, we are leaning towards needing more players as the number of bench players simply was not enough in the long run. Here’s the first 4 rounds draft results:

The 6 sports we decided to include are NFL, NBA, MLB, college football, college basketball, and golf…. and we had to create some of our own scoring to fit all six in. Plus, the coronavirus global pandemic also forced us to adjust or hit pause on some of those sports entirely. More specifically, the sports include the following seasons:
– 2019 NFL season
– 2019-2020 NBA season
– 2020 MLB season
– 2020 select golf events
– 2019-2020 NCAA football season
– 2019-2020 NCAA basketball season

Even with all the obstacles, we made the best of everything and have enjoyed all of the strategy involved, with the initial draft definitely being the most important point of strategy. Rosters are made up with the following:
– NFL (11 total players – 1 QB, 1 RB, 1 WR, 1 TE, 3 Flex, 1 D/ST, 3 bench)
– NBA (10 total players – PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, Utility, 2 bench
– MLB (17 total players – C, 1B, SS, 3B, 3 OFs, Utility, 5 Ps, 3 Bench)
– NCAAF (3 teams)
– NCAAM (3 teams)
– Golf (6 individuals)

Here are the full guidelines for rules, scoring, weighting, trades, and more. NBA, NFL, and MLB use fairly standard scoring that is seen on popular fantasy sports sites like ESPN or CBS. Golf, NCAAF, and NCAAM, on the other hand, use scoring that we came up with entirely by ourselves using weekly AP poll rankings for college sports (the lowest combined score of your three teams wins the weekly matchup) and the summed individual purses for the six pro golf tournaments for your six golfers (The Players, the Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship, and FedEx Cup Tour Championship). I really recommend taking a look at the linked league guidelines above for a more concrete understanding.

How does one win the Vortex League? We weighted each sport and multiply that weight by each team’s winning percentage in the league. The sum of those weighted values results in the weighted winning percentage, from which we determine first, second, third, and fourth place. Originally, we planned on using a points system where the position in the regular season’s standings determined the number of points you received, with all points added at the end of the season, however in the interest of constant competitiveness and to deter intentionally tanking in one sport to focus on others, we decided on weighted winning percentages. The NFL, NBA, and MLB are all well established fantasy sports, so these sports have a weight of 2/9ths. The Golf,  NCAAF, and NCAAM leagues are our own creations (although fun fact – golf was the first ever fantasy sports), so we weighted them at 1/9th.

Each team drafted with these weights in mind, and in the picture above, you can already see how each team prioritized the MLB, NFL, and NBA. Brendan notably chose Brooks Koepka in the fourth round, 16th overall, breaking the status quo. Through the first 14 rounds, only 3 total golfers, NCAA football, or NCAA basketball teams were selected. Here are the full draft results and each team’s initial roster.

In the upcoming days, we’ll begin posting various articles with overall league analysis, analyses for each individual sport, a draft analysis, plus interviews with each team owner to paint a complete picture of the Vortex League in its inaugural season. Thanks!

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Connor Dolan
Connor is co-founder of First And Fan and head of all website operations. He's a die hard Boston sports fan with a passion for sports, media, and all things David Ortiz.
http://twitter.com/connordolan14