For years, Grey and I have been thinking about what would be the perfect low-stakes paid league complement to our free Razzball Commenter Leagues (sign up now).

In 2014 and 2015, we co-sponsored 15-team $150 NFBC leagues (50 round slow drafts) and got a positive response from many of you. I cannot say enough good things about NFBC – great service, great people, great site. Unfortunately, we did not get anywhere near the turnout we get for RCL leagues (100 leagues vs 3?!) which puts us in a Field of Dreams-esque position when it comes to lobbying/negotiating a format more attractive to Razzball readers. No offense to people who love that movie but ‘build it and they will come’ does not work very well in the business world.

I mentioned this dilemma to my buddy Dr. Roto when he told me that Scout.com – which has hosted the Fantasy Football World Championships for years – was contemplating Fantasy Baseball paid leagues for 2016. A partnership was born….

Here are the rules for the $88 Scout MLB Razzball Pennant Leagues that are available NOW and will feature Razzball writers + Scout.com Fantasy experts.

Just like RCL

  • 12-team 5×5 mixed league
  • 2C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P
    • Only difference from RCL is the 2nd catcher. Punt x 2!

New Wrinkles

  • $88/team – prizes for winning the league + grand prizes (details here)
  • Weekly roster changes
  • No trades/waivers but you draft a 21 person bench
  • Slow draft (6 hour max per pick, clock off from 12-9 EST)
  • Season ends August 28th

Let me explain why these new wrinkles exist:

  1. $88/team
    1. I cannot explain why it is $88 vs a number divisible by 10 or 25 (Someone at Scout really likes Michael Irvin or Eric Lindros?) but we pushed really hard for a smaller entry fee than $150. If you like the $150 price point, just add $26 and you’ve got two teams!
  2. Weekly Roster Changes
    1. We love the enthusiasm you all bring to the RCL leagues when it comes to optimizing your team with daily roster changes/pickups. It is this enthusiasm that drove us to create Streamonator and Hittertron. But, jeez, if we allowed daily roster changes in paid leagues, you might never see your friends or family again. Or get fired. So weekly it is!
  3. No trades/waivers but 21 person bench
    1. This was a tough call vs a weekly FAAB but Grey and I (more me) really enjoyed this wrinkle from previous years’ NFBC drafts. It can be frustrating when you do tons of draft research but then your roster fills up and sleepers that you loved in the preseason find their way onto your competitors’ teams throughout the season via free agency. Wouldn’t it be awesome to hoard those great picks as if you had your own Triple-A team? That is what the 21 person bench allows you to do. And Streamonator/Hittertron still come in handy because you can rotate in/out your hitters/pitchers based on matchups.
  4. Slow Draft
    1. 44 round drafts are not meant to be done in one sitting. From past experience, my guess is these drafts will take about 2-3 weeks to complete. I personally like it because it means I could do more drafts without reserving a 3 hour chunk out of my schedule.
  5. Ends August 28th
    1. This was the brainchild of Dr. Roto. I think it’s great for two reasons: 1) It lets Fantasy Footballers transition straight to football in September and 2) September MLB can be a little wonky with all the callups. So this allows me to put a little more focus on my other leagues.

Signups are under way at Scout.com. New leagues are opened as soon as one fills up. Note that you will also see a $44 ‘Draft-n-go’ option that we are not co-sponsoring. Similar setup but it just optimizes your weekly lineup so you literally do nothing after drafting. So if you are leaving the country April 1st or are maybe standing trial right now (<cough> Jose Reyes </cough>), this format is perfect for you.

If we get a good turnout this year, I think Scout.com will be incented to put in some additional wrinkles based on reader feedback (i.e., I’ve talked to them about adding Streamonator/Hittertron weekly values for tool subscribers). So sign up!

Oh, and in case you are curious, we will make nominal money at best with this partnership unless this really blows up. Hell, our best chance of making any real money out of this is probably winning the grand prize. The motivation for this is 99% about providing another league alternative to our readers.

If you have any questions, please add them below in the comments section.

  1. southpaw says:
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    Was wondering if you were doing nfbc again…this looks like a great alternative…signed up.

  2. Sick McNasty says:
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    I only use Yahoo for my fantasy stuff so if yall ever teamed up with them for something I would love eeem.

    Canceled my scout sub years ago and only use rivals nowadays. Its better IMO.

    I know. You prob couldn’t care less but just thought id share. This is the routine of most of the peeps I know. Although it seems the younger generation uses ESPN a lot for fantasy related stuff….

    • Gotcha. Rivals is solid. I have Scout for college football as their main guy (Jason Higdon) for Texas Longhorns is the best.

      Yahoo and ESPN are #1/#2 for free leagues but I have never seen/played their pay leagues.

  3. Job3rd says:
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    I’m in. Thanks for the heads up Rudy!

    • @Job3rd: Awesome. Good luck in the race for 2nd place (First is mine!!)

  4. OaktownSteve says:
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    Didn’t know you were buddies with Dr. Roto. I called his show on XM Fantasy a few times last year. WE GOT STEVE IN OAKLAND!

    I’m thinking about getting in on this. Great idea. Great way to put a little juice in the game. Hope a lot of Razzballers jump in.

  5. Branta says:
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    Having never done a pay league before, I think $88 might be a little too steep for my first foray. But I like the idea! Maybe next year.

    • i hear ya. ’til then, you can do a Razzball Commenter League!

  6. Andrew Connolly says:
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    I heard second place wins a dinner with Rudy and Grey, and Grand prize wins a dinner without them.

    Great idea, team Connolly is going to dominate.

    I’ve entered.

    • ha. good luck in your league!

  7. Don Mattingly's Sideburns says:
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    Just signed up. I took home one of the NFBC Razzball leagues last year so I had to give it a go again.

    • nice. you must’ve won the one w/ Grey b/c Sky and I won the other two :)

  8. Frank says:
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    Is there maximum number of games started, like the RCL?

    • nope. you can go 9 SPs all year if you have the stomach for it :)

  9. mrrr says:
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    Bumblers are in. Need some redemption after last year’s NFBC debacle.

  10. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Interesting concept. I did the commentor league once and we all agreed to make it a money league. Maybe $25?

    If you made an auction league with FAAB that’s under $100, count me in!

  11. Pundeck says:
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    All right I am in. Do you have any advice for a league like this? The standard part of the draft I am not too worried about but the bench part and no free agent pick ups is a little daunting

    • This is my first in this specific one but here’s the by position distribution from my winning 15-team/50 player NFBC squad from last year.

      You really can never have enough SP depth. These are guys that threw meaningful IP for me after round 30 (450 players in): Colon, Vogelsong, Lincecum, Bolsinger, and an amazeballs last week start from Nick Tropeano.

      C – 5
      1B – 4
      2B – 3 (inc Lawrie with 2B/3B)
      SS – 4 (inc Franklin with 2B/SS)
      3B – 3 (inc Lawrie)
      OF – 11
      DH – 0
      SP – 17
      RP – 6

  12. Mickey Maloney says:
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    Are residents of DC not eligible? I didn’t see DC listed…

  13. Pat says:
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    Hi Rudy,
    I did the NFBC league with Razzball last year and it was a lot of fun, especially beating Grey “Logan Forsysthe!’ Albright. I’m definitely planning on joining one of these, but do you know when the slow draft will start when you join a league? Is it when the league fills up? Want to know so I can time it as I’m traveling soon. Thanks for setting this up!

    Pat

    • Ha – nice. Yes, when the leagues fill up. Feel right now they are filling one every day or so. How many days are you traveling?

      • Pat says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Rudy, I signed up and am in your league (Team Frost). Should be fun

        • nice – looks like we’re at 10. two more to go!

  14. Paul H. says:
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    I was interested until I read this in the rules: “End of Season: Sunday August 28”

    Are the leagues really ending August 28th. Seems silly to cut out over a full month of baseball?

    • it’s a wrinkle for sure. i noted in the post the two good things about it.

  15. Justin says:
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    Great work as always Rudy. It’s awesome to see razz expanding. I’ve been reading this site since it was just basically grey and his daily write ups. There was no football basketball etc. it was just baseball. So I’m happy for you two that your starting to get recognized and paid more then years ago!! Keep up the good work.

    I do need some advice if you have a minute..

    In a 12 team mixed keeper league, where we keep 7, play one util slot, and one extra infield slot. We use ops and qs as extra h2h cats. I need some outside insight on my 7 keepers.

    Keep in mind I traded my second fourth and fifth rounders away last year so I need to make educated decisions on who to keep so I don’t sell my lineup or rotation short. So please if you could recommend seven out of these players.

    Bryant(obv)
    Pederson(obv)
    Fielder
    Cano
    Rendon
    Tulo
    Longoria
    Carlos Gonzalez
    Calhoun
    Wacha
    Severino

    Thank you in advance!!!! Keep up the awesome work!!!

    • Thanks! Looking at your remaining players, I’d just go with ‘best players in 2016’ because I don’t think anyone besides Bryant is really no-brainer keeper worthy. Maybe: Bryant, Cano, Rendon, CarGo, Fielder, Wacha, Severino and you’ve got two pitchers on staff that maybe graduate to true keeper-worthiness. I’m not a huge fan of Pederson but I could see swapping him in for Fielder (DH-only) if you believe in him.

  16. John R Gregg says:
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    This is right on time. Was looking for a league in this format at around this price point. Never played on Scout before. Looks like I’m in Grey’s league. I’m going to feel dirty using his strategies in his presence. ;)

    • @John R Gregg: Great! First time on Scout too – on the maiden voyage together my friend. Good luck against Grey. Don’t take too many of his ‘crushes’ or he’ll get ornery.

  17. Bill says:
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    Is that Jay with the Padre cap on the home page for the $88 leagues???

    • @Bill: Ha! Don’t tell Tehol we’re using Jay as our model.

  18. Warren says:
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    Just signed up and I’m in your league Rudy!

    • Nice! Looks like we’re half full…hopefully get this bad boy started tonight.

  19. The Great Knoche says:
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    Last League I was waiting for. Love the Slow Draft Format, even if the injury bug has bit me bad 2 years in a row! Looks like I got you instead of Grey this year. Should be more challenging!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I’ve only beat Rudy two of the past three years in a 12 team league

      • With daily roster changes….

    • Cram It says:
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      @The Great Knoche: I’m in the same league. Just like NFBC times!

  20. Jeff says:
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    Can you explain what this is for first place?

    Two (2) 2016 Online Championship Entry ($598 value)

    • @Jeff: It is their football contest. Or you can just take $400. I can see if they’d give general game credit which could be used for 2017 MLb?

  21. Cram It says:
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    Not that I would win it, but is there a payout sitewide? I believe NFBC paid out if your team finished in the top whatever across other divisions. Is Scout the same?

  22. Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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    are you adding value to diaz or g.garcia for SS at bats at STL. there’s no way gyorko is starting all the time with his defense at SS.

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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      @Crapshoot Kershaw: same question for asche and goeddel since altherr is out 4-6 months. that’s a big deal for my NL only tomorrow (both things)

      • @Crapshoot Kershaw: I nudged them both up a bit but there are still a number of options for the Phillies in the OF. I think Asche in better shape than Bourjos or Goeddel b/c he’s lefty. Darnell Sweeney is sniffing for playing time too (he’s a switch hitter).

    • @Crapshoot Kershaw: I added playing time for each but I don’t think they’ll have too much value. The $/G under NL-only will give you a sense for their value if they win the job for a month or so.

  23. the swinging says:
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    I was so excited to see this then I read 21 bench players per team and a draft that takes 3 weeks.

    If you had rcls format for money i would be like :)

    100% no trades is the only way to play so I agree there. Gl.

    • @the swinging: Slow drafts are great. It’s the all-in-one shots that exhaust me. And this means no free agency/waivers during the season so it’ll save you the time there. Not saying it’s better than RCL – just that it’s a nice complement and rewards different aspects of the game.

      • the swinging says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Sure I can appreciate that. I just don’t think I would have a ton of edge in a league that drafts 21 bench spots and no free agents. I draft well, but I make my money on the waiver wire. I prefer as short a bench as possible.

        After round 30 or so I wouldn’t be able to hang with the mega geeks (unless I put way more time into preparing for a super deep league than I’d like to). But id put my money up vs literally anybody in an RCL season long format (besides a very select few) and for sure have positive expected value.

  24. Rémi Tremblay says:
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    Hi there!! I have a question for you.

    In a keepeer pool (18 players each team in a Rotisserie format with 14 peoples), I’m in a discussion to trade Scherzer, 2017 4th pick VS Jose Peraza, Nola and a 2016 9th pick.

    Do you think is enough ?

    • @Rémi Tremblay: I don’t think Peraza/Nola keeper value is anywhere near Scherzer’s 2016 value.

      • Rémi Tremblay says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks a lot, you probably make avoid a mistake..;)

  25. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    All signed up, looking forward to trying Scout out, haven’t played on there before.

    • Rémi Tremblay says:
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      @Ralph Lifshitz: You mean that you would make this trade if you get Peraza and Nolan ?

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