How To Prevent Tanking In Dynasty Fantasy Football

How to Prevent Tanking in Dynasty Fantasy Football

Fantasy football is a beloved pastime for many sports fans, but it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. One topic that often stirs controversy in dynasty leagues is tanking. Tanking, deliberately underperforming to secure better draft picks, can disrupt the competitive balance and integrity of the league. In this article, we’ll explore strategies to prevent tanking and maintain a fair and exciting environment for dynasty fantasy football.

What is Tanking and Why is it a Concern?

Tanking refers to the intentional underperformance of a fantasy football team in order to secure better draft picks or assets for future seasons. This practice can upset the balance of the league and undermine the competitiveness of the matches. It often leads to frustration among league members who strive to play fair and enjoy a challenging experience.

The Dilemma of Preventing Tanking

In dynasty leagues, where the focus is on long-term success and rebuilding, the issue of tanking becomes a complex dilemma. On one hand, some argue that tanking is a legitimate strategy for struggling teams to rebuild and compete in the future. On the other hand, it can create an unfair advantage for teams that resort to such tactics.

Effective Strategies to Prevent Tanking

1. Balanced Draft Positioning: The Lottery System

Implementing a lottery system for draft picks among the bottom teams is a popular strategy to prevent tanking. By giving all teams within the bottom tier equal odds of securing the top draft pick, the incentive to deliberately lose is greatly diminished. This approach ensures that even the worst-performing teams have a chance to secure the best talent in the upcoming rookie drafts.

2. Consolation Bracket: Rewarding Competitiveness

Encouraging teams that miss out on the playoffs to compete in a consolation bracket can help combat tanking. The winner of the consolation bracket could be rewarded with the top draft pick, providing an incentive for teams to continue striving for victory even if they don’t make the playoffs. This approach maintains a competitive environment throughout the season.

3. Unanimous Fair Play Punishment

Establishing a unanimous fair play punishment system is another effective strategy. If a team’s actions are deemed to fall below the integrity standards of the league, the draft picks of that team could be docked or worsened. However, this approach requires consensus among league members, ensuring that decisions are fair and just.

4. Public Accountability and Transparency

Promote open discussions among league members about tanking and its consequences. By encouraging transparency and making sure that everyone is on the same page, teams are less likely to resort to tanking due to the social pressure and accountability from their peers.

5. Emphasize Long-Term Strategy

Educate league members about the value of long-term strategic planning. Instead of resorting to tanking, struggling teams can focus on smart roster management, trading for future assets, and making shrewd draft selections. This approach promotes healthy competition and rewards strategic thinking.


Tanking in dynasty fantasy football is a contentious issue that can threaten the fairness and excitement of the league. By implementing strategies such as balanced draft positioning, a consolation bracket, unanimous fair play punishments, public accountability, and emphasizing long-term strategy, league organizers and members can work together to prevent tanking and create a more enjoyable and competitive environment for all participants.

Remember, the ultimate goal of dynasty fantasy football is to foster camaraderie, competition, and strategic thinking among participants, ensuring that every team has a fair chance to succeed and that the thrill of the game is preserved.

“Humans need fantasy to be human.”

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