Make scoring fun, balanced and make everyone aware of it before the league starts
Nobody wants to be in a league where they don’t have a chance due to a stupid scoring system. Make sure owners understand that rushing TDs are worth three points while receiving TDs are worth six or that Forwards goals are worth one point and defensemen goals are worth five. The commissioner should not be the only one with a preparation advantage.
Ensure the league has a Village Idiot
Having someone who will listen to the rules and still draft the injured player, make the dumb trade or draft Brett Favre even though he reti….wait, what? Oh. Well, you get the point. Having someone to take advantage of in fantasy leagues is a tradition as old as hunting for bigfoot on Arbor Day.
Involve the fairer sex
Having a female in the league just makes the league better. It just does.
Allow roster moves and trades
Nothing is more infuriating than a league which limits roster moves just because it can. Let owners who like to make moves and offer trades do so. There is a higher percentage that out of the 40 players they place on waivers, one or two of them will actually be good ones.
Have a live draft, and when someone takes an injured player, make fun of them, but disallow it
The only older tradition than the Village Idiot is Draft Day. Anyone who pays attention on draft day can get a feel for who is in their league when the draft happens, and who their main competition is. The camaraderie created by a live draft, hearing good pick guy say “good pick” or “I like that pick” every time a player goes, watching the commissioner try to keep the draft moving, seeing nervous guy keeping a time check because he knows his wife is going to kill him, seeing fantasy guy think he knows more than everyone else snicker when everyone else picks and of course, seeing the collaborators talk to each other through their cheat sheets to check if players have gone yet, and then get mad at each other when one of them takes a guy, is what makes a live draft the ideal time.
Let owners name each other's teams
This is an idea that I heard about from a friend of mine that one of his league’s does and I think it is brilliant. Allowing Owners to name each other’s team is great, you all can do variations on this idea, using themes or names or putting names into a hat, but it’s a great idea.
Have a commissioner who won't look to please everyone and will make fast decisions
A fantasy commissioner’s role isn’t to make everyone happy, its to make sure the integrity of the league remains intact and the right people get paid in the end based on the rules in the constitution…segue alert!!!
Have an incredibly sound constitution
A sound constitution is critical. A commissioner has to interpret the rules as they think it should be and don’t screw around. There is always someone looking for a favor or thinking they have done wrong, a good commissioner can’t cave to a sleazeball….segue alert!!!
Have the sleaziest owner create your league constitution
Look around the room of owners and find the complainer. Make sure they are involved in every aspect of the rule creation of the league. From points, to roster limits to payouts. If they can figure a way around it, put it into the constitution so they can’t.
Play for a lot of money or have a keeper league
People get bored if there isn’t a pot o’ gold involved or futures involved. Nothing more needs to be said.