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Odd Number of Teams in Fantasy Football League

Some of the major online fantasy football draft formats may lead you to think that it is not possible to run a league with an odd number of teams. You will see this when you set up the draft, as they will only give you the option of choosing an even amount of teams. Don't be fooled by this, and don't panic if one of your participants drops out out the last minute. It is very much possible to run your league with an odd number of teams!

Drafting with an Odd Number of Teams

Probably my favorite option is to insert a dummy team into the schedule that would take the place of the bye team each week. You can look at our Fantasy Football League Schedules to give you a better understanding of this format. When starting the league/draft you would choose an even number of teams that is equal to 1 more than the number of participants you actually have. So, if you have 9 players you would choose a 10 player league. Draft as you normally would, but when the dummy team's draft pick comes around fill the team with lower level players that will not get drafted by any other teams. During the season, you will ignore the number of points this team scores, but instead you will calculate the average score of all teams that particular week. This is the score the dummy team will use against their opponent.

All Play League

Another option for an odd number of teams, which can also be used for an even number of teams, is the All Play League. This simply means that each week, you play every other team in the league. If you were running a 9 team league, the team with the highest point total would be 8-0 for the week, and the weekly record for the team with the lowest score would be 0-8. You have the option to do this format all 17 weeks or you can begin a tournament style elimination format in weeks 14 or 15. Using week 15 as an example: After week 14, advance the 8 teams with the best record to the playoffs. During week 15, the top 4 teams would advance to week 16, where the top two teams would advance to the championship during week 17.


Another option is to award 1 team a bye each week. This works well in a 7 team and a 15 team league, as every team would have the same number of games and byes. But, this is not the best option for 5, 9, 11, and 13 team leagues. The reason being, certain teams will be awarded more byes than others, which will cause issues when you are comparing records at the end of the season. One team could end the season at 10-3, while the other ends it at 11-3. This is obviously unfair to the 10-3 team.