Rule Book

Dynasty Fantasy League (DFL)

The Dynasty Fantasy League (DFL) is a private ownership fantasy football organization that was established in 2022. The league is currently defined as a “Salary Cap Dynasty League”, where its franchises have limited funds with which they can assemble a team of NFL players and sign them to paid contracts for up to four seasons.

Table of Contents

(1) League Operations
(2) Draft / Auction
(3) Rosters
(4) Contracts
(5) Franchise Tags
(6) Transactions
(7) Scoring / Lineups
(8) Schedules / Playoffs

(1) League Operations

(1.1) Structure

The DFL consists of 12 franchises broken down into four divisions — East, North, South, and West. Each franchise chooses a country or city outside of the United States and within the geographic location of its division as its home base, along with an appropriate team mascot.

(1.2) Fees / Payouts

The DFL has a $100 annual entry fee. Prize money is awarded as follows:

  1. $500 to the DFL Champion
  2. $50 to each division winner ($200)
  3. $250 to the DFL Runner-Up
  4. $250 to the DFL Points Champion for the Regular Season

(1.3) Salary Cap

The DFL has a $100 salary cap. At no point, either in-season or during the off-season, can a team’s salary exceed that total.

(1.4) League Year

The official DFL calendar year begins June 1. That is when a new contract year commences and when expiring contracts conclude.

(2) Draft / Auction

The DFL will hold an annual two-part player acquisition process. The first part is a rookie-only draft and the second part is an auction for all remaining available players. (The inaugural season will only have an auction)

(2.1) Rookie Draft

The DFL will hold a 4-round rookie-only draft, to be held online in “slow” format. Each team will have up to four hours to make their pick, with the clock stopped overnight.

  1. Draft order is determined by previous season’s results.
  2. Every team will have one pick per round unless they trade picks.
  3. Picks 1-4 go to the non-playoff teams based on worst record first.
  4. Picks 5-12 go to the playoff teams based on playoff results (record will be the tiebreaker for the teams eliminated in the same round).
  5. Same order each round; no serpentine/snake format.
  6. Any rookie not drafted becomes available for the ensuing auction.

(2.2) Auction

Following the rookie draft, the DFL will have a live auction. Any player not under contract is available.

  1. Each team will have up to $100 to spend on players — minus the salaries of players they already have under contract.
  2. Players are nominated for auction one at a time and bid on by interested teams.
  3. The winning bid will be that player’s yearly salary.
  4. The minimum opening bid is $1. Bids can be raised in increments of $.10.
  5. Roster moves can be conducted throughout the Auction (just be advised it’ll slow down the process as financials will have to be updated before proceeding).
  6. The Auction will conclude once all teams have 20 players signed to their Active Roster.

(3) Rosters

(3.1) Roster Composition

The DFL will have a two-part roster: an Active Roster and a Taxi Squad.

(3.1.1) Active Roster

The Active Roster is the part of the roster where game-eligible players reside.

  1. DFL teams must always have exactly 20 players on their Active Roster during the season. (Players on Injured Reserve do not count toward this total)
  2. The sum salary of all players on the Active Roster must not exceed the league’s $100 salary cap. (Players on Injured Reserve do not count toward this total)

(3.1.2) Taxi Squad

The Taxi Squad is a place where rookie players are stored until they are activated to the Active Roster.

  1. When players are drafted in the Rookie Draft, they are immediately placed on the Taxi Squad.
  2. Players on the Taxi Squad do not count toward a team’s Active Roster total, nor does their salary count against the salary cap. They are also not eligible to play in games.
  3. Once a player is activated from the Taxi Squad to the Active Roster, they cannot go back to the Taxi Squad. His salary then counts against the salary cap.
  4. There is a 10-player limit on the Taxi Squad. If a team encroaches that total, they’ll have to activate or cut a player from the Squad.
  5. If a Taxi Squad player is traded, they are eligible to stay on the new team’s Taxi Squad.

(4) Contracts

DFL teams sign players to contracts to play on their teams. A contract can be signed between 1 to 4 years and is $1 minimum.

(4.1) Rookie Contracts

Rookie contracts are given to players selected in the league’s rookie draft.

(4.1.1) Duration

Rookie contracts are non-guaranteed, automatic 4-year deals. Meaning: DFL teams can cut players on their rookie contracts and not be penalized.

(4.1.2) Salary

Rookie contracts are “slotted” on a salary scale. Meaning: the higher the draft pick, the higher the predetermined salary for that player will be. Rookie contracts are “escalating,” meaning they increase in value each year of the deal.

(4.2) Veteran Contracts

Players who are signed in the league’s Auction are eligible for veteran contracts. Contracts are finalized after the Auction and prior to opening night of the NFL season.

(4.2.1) Duration

Veteran contracts are guaranteed deals and they can last between 1 to 4 years.

(4.2.2) Salary

A player’s yearly salary is determined by the winning bid in the Auction.

(4.3) In-Season Free Agent Contracts

Players who are signed during the season receive automatic 1-year deals.

(4.4) Cap Hits

If a player is cut by a team before his contract expires, the team is penalized half that player’s salary for every remaining year of his contract.

Example: If a player is signed to a 4-year, $10 contract and is cut after the first season, a team will be penalized $15 (3 years x $5 penalty).

  1. Cap Hits count against a team’s salary, preventing them from spending that money on other players.
  2. Cap Hits can be taken by a team in one lump sum or spread out over the duration of a contract.
  3. If a Cap Hit is not in a multiple of a tenth of a dollar, the Cap Hit can be divided among remaining years of the contract in tenth of dollars, always in descending value. 

Example: If a player with 2-years left on a $2.5 million deal gets cut, the cap hit is $1.25 per year. But since that is not in a multiple of a tenth, the cap hit could be divided $1.3 in Year 1 and $1.2 in Year 2.

If there is only one year remaining on the contract, the cap hit is rounded up to the nearest tenth of a dollar.

Example: If a player with 1 year left on a $3.1 million deal gets cut, the cap hit is $1.55. However, since that is not in a multiple of a tenth, the cap hit is rounded up to $1.6.

(4.4) Waiver Wire

If a player is cut by a team before his contract expires, he is available on the Waiver Wire to be claimed by other teams.

  1. If a player under contract is claimed off the Waiver Wire, his new team will assume the remainder of his contract and the original team is absolved of any financial responsibilities (i.e. they will not absorb any cap hit).
  2. If a player under contract finishes the season on the Waiver Wire, the team that cut him last receives the Cap Hit and the player’s contract is terminated and he becomes available in the following Auction.

(4.5) Gross Salary Distribution

The gross salary (sum of all salary due a player throughout his contract) can be distributed among a player’s contract years however an owner chooses, under one condition:

  1. A player’s contract must always be front-loaded (or even). No ensuing year can be more costly than the previous year. (This, of course, is not counting rookie contracts, which are predetermined, slotted salaries that are escalating each season)

Example: If a player is signed for $10 in an auction and his owner decides to sign him to a 3-year contract, his gross salary would be $30 million. ($10 x 3 years = $30 million).

Acceptable contract: $10 million in Year 1; $10 million Year 2; $10 million in Year 3.

Acceptable contract: $15 million in Year 1; $10 million in Year 3; $5 million in Year 3.

Unacceptable contract: $5 million in Year 1; $10 million in Year 2; $15 million in Year 3.

(4.6) Contract Restructuring

A player’s contract can be restructured at any point throughout the duration of his contract, provided that it meets the following requirements:

  1. It meets the requirements of the “Gross Salary Distribution”: i.e. the contract is always front-loaded and no ensuing year is more costly than the previous year.
  2. A team has the necessary cash and salary cap space to take on his additional salary for the current year.

Example: A player signs a 4-year, $12 million contract. In the middle of his first season, a team wants to restructure his contract from: $12 / $12 / $12 / $12 to $18 / $14 / $10 / $6. In order to do this, that team must have $6 of extra cash to spend on his current year salary hike. (Originally, it was $12 but they restructured it to pay him $18 in the first season, so they owe him an additional $6). Also, that $6 million hike in salary must not put a team over the $100 salary cap.

(4.7) Restricted Free Agents (RFA) / Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA)

There are two types of free agents each offseason: Restricted Free Agents and Unrestricted Free Agents. Both types of free agents are players whose contracts have expired and are eligible for the upcoming auction.

  1. Any player selected in a rookie draft automatically receives the RFA designation. He’ll remain an RFA if he completes his 4-year rookie contract. All other players are UFAs.
  2. Restricted Free Agents can have their highest offer in the auction matched by the team that owns their rights (i.e. the team on which the RFA finished the prior season).
  3. Unrestricted Free Agents will automatically go to the highest-bidding team with no match rights for the team that previously employed them.

(5) Franchise Tags

In the DFL, we want to provide additional ways for teams to retain players after their contracts have expired. Therefore, the league has three available “Franchise Tags” that teams can use to “protect” their players.

  1. There are three types of franchise tags: Exclusive Franchise Tag (EFT), Non-exclusive Franchise Tag (NFT), and Transition Tag (TT).
  2. A team can use each one of these tags only once per offseason.
  3. The EFT can be placed on the same player no more than two consecutive seasons.
  4. Tag prices are rounded down to the nearest tenth.
  5. The tagging period begins March 1 each year. Tags can be rescinded up until May 31. Tags become official on June 1, the start of the league year.

(5.1) Exclusive Franchise Tag (EFT)

The EFT is a tag that guarantees a player a 1-year contract. A player who is given this tag will earn a salary of one of the following, whichever is the higher price:

  1. The average of the Top 5 salaries at that player’s position for the upcoming season.
  2. 120% of that player’s previous year’s salary.

Example: If a running back earned $12.8 million in the final year of his contract and the average of the Top 5 running back salaries for the upcoming season was $15 million, that player’s tag price would be $15.3 million. Why? Because $12.8 x 120% is $15.36 (rounded down to the nearest tenth would be $15.3) and that price is the higher of the two numbers.

(5.2) Non-exclusive Franchise Tag (NFT)

The NFT is a tag that allows a team to match the highest offer for his player in the auction. 

  1. He does not receive a guaranteed contract and is available for other teams to bid on in the auction. 
  2. He receives a “starting offer” by his team worth the average of the Top 5 salaries at his position for the upcoming season.
  3. If a team decides NOT to match the highest offer for their NFT player, that team will receive a second-round draft pick (or better) from the team that won the bidding on his NFT player.
  4. NFT players, unlike EFT ones, can be signed to multi-year contracts.

(5.3) Transition Tag (TT)

The TT is a tag that allows a team to match the highest offer for his player in the auction.

  1. He does not receive a guaranteed contract and is available for other teams to bid on in the auction. 
  2. Like the NFT, he receives a “starting offer” from his team. Unlike the NFT, that starting offer is the average of the Top 10 salaries at his position for the upcoming season.
  3. Unlike the NFT, there is no compensation if a team declines to match the highest offer for their TT player.
  4. TT players, like NFT ones, can be signed to multi-year contracts.

(6) Transactions

Franchises may exchange players and modify their rosters in a number of ways.

(6.1) Trades

Teams may make trades at any point during the year — both in-season and during the off-season — with the exception of an in-season trade deadline (Week 12 of the season). Trading resumes following the league’s championship game.

  1. Players under contract, draft picks, and FAAB/Cash are the only eligible assets for trading.
  2. Players who are in the final year of their contract cannot be traded when the trade period resumes in January, because their contracts expire when the new league year begins in June, so they offer nothing to a franchise in that “dead zone”.
  3. Trades cannot be vetoed by league owners.
  4. Trades do need approval by the commissioner’s office to ensure financial responsibilities are met.
  5. Trades are voided if a team exceeds the salary cap, unless an accompanying roster move is made.

(6.2) Waiver Wire / Free-Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB)

DFL teams have a $100 waiver wire acquisition budget per season. The budget is altered to match a team’s available cap space and available spending cash. During the season, teams can make daily private bids on players who are not under contract with a team. Those bids/waivers are processed at midnight.

  1. If an available player already has a contract (i.e. he was cut by another team), that player does not need to be bid on. If multiple teams make a claim for him, he’ll be awarded to the team with the worst record and his new team will assume his contract.
  2. If an available player does not have a contract (i.e. he began the season as a free agent), then teams will make private bids on him and the highest-bidding team will sign him to a new, 1-year contract worth that price.

(7) Scoring / Lineups

(7.1) Scoring

Scoring rules can be viewed in the fantasy league manager.

(7.2) Lineups

Lineup requirements can be viewed in the fantasy league manager.

  1. The DFL doesn’t believe in the existence of kickers, and thus will not be rostering them. And even if they existed, the league doesn’t believe they’d be worth the $1 league minimum salary, anyway. 
  2. Similarly, fielding an entire defense for the price of a single player seems outlandish, thus, the league won’t be rostering team defenses either.

(7.3) Illegal Lineups

The DFL believes in the integrity of the game. We encourage franchises to “rebuild” or “build for the future” if they feel it is in their best interest to do so. However, all teams must at least field a complete and valid lineup each week.

  1. Teams cannot leave empty spots in their starting lineups.
  2. Teams cannot place players marked as “OUT” or on “INJURED RESERVE” in their starting lineups.
  3. If any lineups fail to meet these requirements, the team will first be notified prior to kickoff to correct the lineup. If they fail to do so, a commissioner override will occur.

(8) Schedules / Playoffs

(8.1) Regular Season

The DFL will begin its regular season concurrently with the NFL.

  1. The regular season will last 14 weeks.
  2. Each team will play its division opponents twice, for a total of 4 games. They’ll play the nine non-division opponents once each. Week 1 will kick off with rematches from the previous year’s season results (a Super Bowl rematch, a 3rd Place Game rematch, a Toilet Bowl rematch, etc).

(8.2) Playoffs

Eight teams will make the playoffs each season.

  1. Each division winner will earn a playoff berth and will take the Top 4 seeds.
  2. The next 4 highest-scoring teams (not the best remaining records) will earn Wild Card spots.
  3. Each round will feature a “re-seeding” where the highest remaining seed will face the lowest remaining seed.
  4. The playoffs will run from Week 15 through Week 17, when a champion is crowned.