Hey, I'm interested in knowing about any odd rules you have in your fantasy football leagues, why they were instituted, and if they seem to work. In the league that I have been in the longest, we have one big rule that I've never seen anywhere else, which I formulated a few years back. A little background - we have three four-team divisions, you play your first three and last three games each season within your division. Divisional record is important for tiebreakers when it comes time to see who makes the playoffs.
Here's the rule: No FA pickups until after week 3. No transaction deadline (trade or FA) until the playoffs.
Why we instituted it: our FA pickups are based on reverse order of standings, and we started to notice that people who lost in week 1 were greatly benefitting from their position in the FA order, often to the detriment of the league as a whole. There was even one owner (who I have tried and tried to get kicked out of the league, he's a real piece of work, but he's the commissioner's brother) who clearly stated that he was not above throwing his week 1 matchup in order to get first FA picks after week 1. We also had one scenario where an owner had a particularly awful draft (drafted Marcel Shipp after he retired, drafted Correll Buckhalter while he was on a season-long holdout, and drafted somebody else equally laughable), lost week 1, was able to replace all of those players with quality FAs, and ended up winning the championship. I think that year was anomalous for the high quality of FA players available early-season, but whatever.
So what this rule prevents is two-fold; it keeps owners with top-quality teams from losing (purposefully or not) week 1 and unfairly improving their already-good team, because, while some might throw one game, nobody is going to throw three divisional matchups, and it keeps owners who draft like crap from avoiding the consequences of a crappy draft after just losing one game. If you start the season 0-3 in our league, you are in serious trouble, and you need that first position in the FA order. Basically, by the time free agency opens up, you've got a pretty good picture of who is good and who is bad in the league and, thus, the FA order reflects a proper picture of who needs the most improvement.
So far, this has worked great. It keeps the league more competitive and increases the importance of the draft, which I think should be the most important factor in the quality of your team. Yes, savvy waiver-wire pickups can make or break a team, but they shouldn't be the most important. You should have to live with your draft, more or less, for at least a little bit.
Now that I think about it, however, it seems we voted this offseason to allow trading from the beginning of the season, which I actually do support. Can't remember if that means we're re-instituting the trade deadline after week 10.
Anyway, thoughts? Weird rules in your leagues?