Greetings, RCLers! Razzball has decided to move the Razzball Commenter Leagues from ESPN to Fantrax this season, and I’m here to show you around the place. I’m Nathan Dokken and I not only write for Fantrax, I have been playing on Fantrax for many years.  It’s definitely a little different than ESPN, but once you know your way around I think you’ll find it to be a great platform for fantasy. So come on in, take off your shoes (and those JNCO jeans…you’re embarrassing yourself), put on your adventure cap, and let’s take the tour!

 

Perhaps the most unique part about Fantrax is that they don’t really have an app. Settle down, millennials! It’ll be okay! Fantrax has set up the web experience to essentially function like an app if you’re using mobile. But first, if you’re on an actual computer, this is what you’ll get.

The prestigious Die Nasty Dynasty Baseball League home page, and the head of Mike Petriello.

If you’re on mobile you’ll get a bit of a different look. The menu for everything is on the side rather than the top.

I blurred my email so none of you sign me up for that damn Razzball newsletter!

The first thing you’ll want to do when you get into your league is set up your team name (your team name is really the most important part of fantasy) and notification preferences. To do that, go to Team > My Alerts & Preferences. You can set up your team name, logo, and all your layout and notification preferences. As far as layout goes under General Preferences, you will really just have to fiddle with it yourself to find which you prefer the best. Personally I leave it the way it’s automatically set up, but there’s plenty of customization to be had here. It’s also very important to check all the necessary boxes under Email Preferences so you can be properly notified of goings on in your league. I check nearly all the boxes so that I’m always aware which players are being added/dropped, whenever someone proposes a trade to me, whenever someone updates their trade block, etc. A lot of the time the first person to make an offer to a team that has just updated their block is the one who walks away with the guy they want. Don’t leave yourself in the dark! Check the boxes!

As long as we’re talking trades, let’s head to the Transactions tab. If you know a player in particular you want to add, the Express Claim/Drop is the transaction equivalent of what Ferris Bueller did at the end of his day off to beat his family home. You can just type in the name of the player you want and add him right away without going to the Players tab and searching that way. Very handy for those first-come-first-serve leagues that don’t use waivers. You can also make your Trades and check out everyone’s Trade Block under the Transactions tab. One really cool thing about trading on Fantrax is that you can do 3+ team trades. I’ve always wanted to do a three-way, but as hard as I’ve tried I’ve never been able to accomplish it…

If you want to get a hold of another league member, head to the Team tab. If you want to send an email to someone else in your league, go to Team > Owner List/Send Emails. You can check the box of the owner you want to contact (or check all to notify the entire league) and write your email right on that page. There is also the Message Board, of course, and the Chat, both of which are on the league’s Home Page. A Chat can be sent privately as well; just click on the little face icon in the top right corner of the Chat window and select the team that you want to talk privately to. It lets you know you’re talking privately when the text shows up red. If it’s black, it’s there for everyone to see. Many embarrassing comments that were meant to be private have shown up to all in my leagues. You don’t want to be talking to Jack about how hot Larry’s wife is thinking it’s a DM but it’s showing up to everyone. Or, you know, private trade talks. People do that too. If it’s a DM, make sure that text is red.

Another absolute MUST is to go to Other > League Rules Summary. If it wasn’t obvious, this is where you check out every setting of your league. It’s one thing if you’ve been in the same dynasty league for a while and nothing will change, but if you’re in a new league you really need to dig around in here and make sure you know your league rules. Check the scoring settings, transaction settings, make sure the rosters are set up properly, etc. One thing to check for sure is the number of DL slots. Things changed a lot in 2017 with the 10-Day DL, and your league should have plenty of DL slots to make up for that. Bonus tip: if you want to have a lot of DL slots but want to avoid owners abusing it by stashing injured players, you can have your commissioner check the “Prevent Claims for Injured Players” box under Commissioner > League Setup > Transactions & Periods > Claims/Drops.

Another option worthy of checking out under the Other tab is League Polls. Any active poll will show up on the League Home page, but if you want to start your own new poll, this is where you’ll do it. Who’s hotter, Jack’s wife or Larry’s? Let the league decide with a poll!

Unless you’re in a Draft & Hold format, you’ll be venturing into the player pool quite a bit over the season. Heading to the Players tab gets you there, and you can sort the pool  many ways once you’re there. You can play around with the options to your liking. One cool option for those who play in keeper/dynasty leagues with farm systems is the ability to sort by Rookie. This brings up only the pool of rookies/prospects, and from there you can sort by stats, ownership, percentage of leagues they were drafted in, and more. It’s a great way to find players that should be owned but have slipped through the cracks.

One final tip I’ll lend you is when you’re drafting, make sure you’re sorting the player pool properly. The default setting sorts by Score, which weighs pitching heavily. Make sure you sort by ADP to begin with, or break things down into Hitter or Pitcher and sort by your desired statistic there.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll leave it up to you to explanatory it to yourself. Fantrax really is a great platform, and I think you’ll enjoy it. If you get a wild hair and want to start a new league, the features you can choose from are pretty insane. Have you always wanted to score Putouts by Outfielders? Then select POOF! Do you want to score Pitches Faced? Select PIT! Do you fear the IRS? Then you better not choose to score Inherited Runners Stranded! There is every scoring option you have ever thought of and more. Word on the street is they’re even trying to reward teams somehow for their SAGNOF%. Elon Musk is hard at work on the calculus on that one.

Join a Razzball Commenter League today!

 

 

Let me know in the comments if I missed something and I’ll be happy to help, and you can always reach out to me on Twitter @NathanDokken as well.

   
  1. Rob says:
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    If people want the experience of having an app; you can head to Fantrax.com on mobile, and hit the ‘Add to Home Screen” on iOS (and whatever the equivalent is on Android).

    The site has been rebuilt as a progressive web app so it’s already optimized for desktop/mobile; adding the shortcut/icon is the only other piece of the puzzle.

    I’d never heard of Fantrax until a couple years ago, now I swear by it.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Rob: Hot fire, Rob!

    • The Harrow says:
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      @Rob: literally everybody that goes there that prefers logical choices for leagues stays once they’ve gone once. i’m in same boat, hadn’t heard of it till about 4 years ago.

  2. Sauceman says:
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    Hey Nat Dokken! Thanks for the article/tutorial!

    Why don’t you join the $20 March 6, 9pm league…word is Grey is joing or has already. Jump in with two feet my friend!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Sauceman: Thanks for reading! I’ve always wanted to compete against a sauce enthusiast such as yourself, but I’ve already overcommitted myself to a ton of leagues this year so I’d better not.

  3. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Space dokken joke.

  4. Morris Lester says:
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    Some people call you the Space Dokken. Some people all you The Don of Love. I joined my first Fantrax league this season and it has slots for to/too/two active catchers. Since I barely like to have even one catcher in my fantasy lineup, do you think it is a fatal strategic flaw to not use two? By the by, my active catchers are Willson Contreras and Welington Castillo. I’ll be burning like a flame awaiting your reply. Thank you for your help and recommendation.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Morris Lester: While not fielding a second catcher is technically a strategy in a to/too/two catcher league, it’s not something I would recommend. That’s basically in the scenario where both your catchers get hurt and there’s jack on the waiver wire, so not having someone tank your BA is better than having two suckholes at the position. You’ve got two good options though so I would feel good sticking with both of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Willson pushed Sanchez for #1 catcher overall, actually.

  5. Mickey Maloney says:
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    I know it’s a necessary evil, but holy sh*t does this site have a ton of advertising on it. Very distracting and somewhat annoying.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Mickey Maloney: What’s that? You want to know 50 celebrities from the 80’s that are flat broke today? You always wondered how much money the Jersey Shore cast made? You want to see the biggest pimple ever popped?!?! We’ve got you covered. You’re welcome.

      • Rob says:
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        @Dokken: where else can I go to get grey’s rankings…. AND find out how to do away with stubborn belly fat for good?!

    • Yr Never Too Old for Balloons says:
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      @Mickey Maloney: adblocker. i’ve literally never seen one on fantrax before.

  6. Gerk says:
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    Fantrax should set up some of their public leagues ($$) with daily lineup changes. It’s pretty dumb when my streamed 2 ST pitcher gets murdered on Mon then gets sent to back to the minors or my hitter bites the dust early in the week and I’m sitting there holding…something. You drove me back to Yahoo w/your weekly shenanigans! I see RCLs are daily trans so I look forward to joining a couple.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Gerk: Dude I feel your pain. Weekly leagues drive me bananas too. We’ll see what we can do to get some daily lineup public leagues on Fantrax. For now, RCL’s look like your ticket to glory! Then you don’t have to hold your…anything.

      • Gerk says:
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        @Dokken: Totally forgot, no trades on classic drafts? Maybe I can be a trade moderator for you guys, lol.

  7. Horatio says:
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    Fantrax was a 9/10 before the site change to cater to smart phones instead of proper computers. (I know) The new site is much slower and bloated, but it still puts yahoo and espn to shame.

    • Gerk says:
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      @Horatio: The only issues I have w/Yahoo are the 3 OF 2 UTIL instead of 5 OF, MI, CI, UTIL which makes the leagues shallow, and the fact I can’t pick up a player and plug them in the lineup on the same day. Better that way tho than weekly lineup locks.

      • Yr Never Too Old for Balloons says:
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        @Gerk: you can adjust rosters to more OF + MI/CI in yahoo as well. same as you can have daily leagues in fantrax. this neat thing called comish settings.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Horatio: We’re actually working on a pretty major update that should help speed up the site overall. That’s the plan, anyway. Should be taken care of before the bulk of draft season.

  8. zaphrodesiac says:
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    I can’t figure out for the life of me how to change my team name after signing up for one of the pay leagues.

    • zaphrodesiac says:
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      @zaphrodesiac: nm, i figured it out. i is noob

  9. Yr Never Too Old for Balloons says:
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    this
    “Prevent Claims for Injured Players”

    only exists in premium leagues (i.e. pay leagues). some good news the pay leagues only cost $80 a year (last time i checked). so only $5 for 16 teamers. less than $7 for 12’s.

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