- Free Agency Auction Room Details
- Rookie Draft Details
- League Setup/Scoring Categories
- Detailed Illustration of the Revolutionary Free Agency Auction Room
- Rookie Contact Values
- Roster & Contract Settings
- Advanced Scoring Categories
- RSO Recommended Contract Values for Top NFL Players
Who is Reality Sports Online for?
Reality Sports Online (“RSO”) is designed for the avid fantasy users seeking to emulate professional front office operations and a realistic general manager experience. RSO offers the most sophisticated and realistic fantasy game in existence. However, our revolutionary software and clean interface makes negotiating contracts, signing players, managing your Salary Cap, simple and easy whether you are a dynasty expert or a re-draft player.
What type of game does Reality Sports Online offer?
Reality Sports Online (“RSO”) currently offers a Fantasy Football Front Office Platform (the “Football Platform”). Unlike any other fantasy game, the Football Platform blends the best elements of traditional fantasy games with the excitement of professional front office operations! RSO’s Football Platform is revolutionizing fantasy sports because of its ability to meet the increasing aptitude of fantasy participants. RSO’s Football Platform is most similar to a dynasty league, or franchise game format. However, unlike RSO’s easy to use and manage Football Platform, other dynasty leagues, which aim to emulate real-life and sometimes include player contracts, come with an endless variety of rules and regulations, and are extremely difficult to manage thanks to their limited hosting platforms.
Why is RSO better than traditional Fantasy Football games?
Every element of Reality Sports Online (“RSO”) is based on reality (hence the name Reality Sports Online). RSO offers the first-ever live-online Free Agency Auction Room (patent pending) where single and multi-year contracts are negotiated in real-time online by league participants (see more details below). Additionally, there is a Rookie Draft, with slotted contracts based on draft selection. There is a Salary Cap, with rules that are based on the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. For example, if you have signed a player with guaranteed money in the contract, and you cut that player -- it could affect your Cap. RSO’s Football Platform has tons of other features, like Injured Reserve, trading future draft picks for players, franchise tags, and more.
What is the Free Agency Auction Room?
Our innovative Free Agency Auction Room facilitates as many as 32 fantasy owners to compete against each other to negotiate with and sign athletes to single or multi-year contracts, live-online in real-time. When the owners are negotiating with a given player, that player fields and contemplates contract offers of various lengths and amounts instantaneously, with a proprietary algorithm acting as artificial intelligence (or the player’s agent) on behalf of the player. The algorithm factors in many of the same variables that NFL players and agents use when selecting the most desirable contract offer, which include the total amount of the contract, guaranteed money, per year average and contract length. As fantasy owners submit various offers, our software automatically calculates the next best available minimum offer for each contract length (current settings allow contracts of 1 to 4 years), and displays the offers on the screen across different “Offer” buttons so that an owner can choose to submit a better offer. There is always a contract of each length that a player will accept over his current offer, which is important to understand since the amount of multi-year contracts that an owner can offer is limited (the amount of multi-year contracts available to team owners is an adjustable league setting). When offers stop coming in, the player selects the most recent (and most valuable) offer, and signs with a team. Essentially, we have taken the NFL Free Agency process, which lasts 3-4 months, and condensed it to an engaging 3-4 hour online process.
Additional Details on the Free Agency Auction Room and Contracts:
The Free Agency Auction Room process is best illustrated by an example. During the auction for a player, if the current offer is 4-years, $8 million (total), $4.88 million guaranteed -- the player values a 1-year, $3.5 million (total), $3.5 million guaranteed offer greater than the first offer based on an algorithm, which acts on behalf of the player. The algorithm factors in the total amount, guarantee, per year average, and length of each contract offer similar to the way a player and/or agent would in real life. All contracts, except for 1-year minimum offers (i.e. offers where no competitive market for the player exists, forcing the player to sign for a minimum offer) contain some guaranteed money. In professional sports, almost all non-minimum contracts are unique, but follow a general outline. We have simplified and generalized that outline to apply to fantasy: 100% of the first year of a contract is guaranteed 50% of all futures years are guaranteed. The number of multi-year contracts each team may sign is limited based on settings chosen by the league commissioner. When a participant fills their allotment of a certain contract length, they still have the ability make contract offers of other lengths. RSO’s superior software automatically calculates how much money you have spent in the current year and in future years, and deducts that from the Salary Cap in order to provide you with the remaining Cap Room that your team may use to sign additional players. In the first year of an RSO league, all veteran (non-rookie) players and undrafted rookies are available to be signed in the Free Agency Auction. In subsequent years, all players whose contracts have expired re-enter Free Agency and are eligible to be signed by any team during the Free Agency Auction process.
*See a more detailed illustration of our revolutionary Free Agency Auction Room here.
What is the Reality Sports Online Rookie Draft?
Consistent with the theme of our Football Platform, the Rookie Draft is designed to offer users the most realistic front office experience possible. The number of rounds and the length of contracts for the Rookie Draft are configurable league settings. The Commissioner can choose a Rookie Draft from one (1) to five (5) rounds and rookie contract lengths of three (3) or four (4) years. Each draft slot of each round comes with an associated contract, based on reality. The first selection of the Rookie Draft signs a more valuable contract than the second selection, the second selection signs a more valuable contract than the third selection, etc. Please note that the contracts are slotted based on draft position within a round. As an example, if you are participating in a 10-team league, the first player drafted in the second round (the 11th player overall) receives a Round 2, First Selection slotting.
*See a complete list of the Rookie Contract Values by clicking here.
What are the other key features of RSO’s Fantasy Football Platform?
1. Multi-year contracts: Multi-year contracts can only be signed through the Free Agency Auction process. After the Free Agency Auction process, owners may only sign players to 1-year (non-guaranteed) contracts, which expire at the end of the current season. Standard league settings allow owners to sign one 4-year contract, two 3-year contracts, three 2-year contracts, and unlimited 1-year contracts in the Free Agency Auction. The total value of a multi-year contract is distributed across the duration of a contract based on the algorithm used in Free Agency. For example, a player signed to a 4-year contract earns a percentage of the total value of the contract each year (22% in year 1, 24% in year 2, 26% in year 3, and 28% in year 4), so that over the life of the contract the player earns the total amount of the contract signed in Free Agency. This results in small salary escalations (between 6% and 10%) in each subsequent year of a multi-year contract.
2. Salary Cap: An integral part of success in a RSO league is Salary Cap management. The Salary Cap for 2014 is $133 million (just like in the NFL), and each subsequent season’s Salary Cap is determined each off-season (as in real life), and based on reports from the NFL, it will likely keep gradually increasing each year. Every roster move you make can potentially affect your Salary Cap. Players earn a pro-rated portion of their yearly salaries on a per game basis (1/16th of 2014 Salary per game). The Salary Cap acceleration rules are based on reality. If you cut a player with guaranteed money remaining on his contract, the way the guarantee affects your Salary Cap depends on when the player was cut as described below:
- In-season: The current year guarantee still counts against the current year’s cap. Any future years’ guarantee amounts count against the subsequent season’s cap. Example: If a player signs a 4-year, $50M contract ($11M-2014, $12M-2015, $13M-2016, $14M-2017) in August 2014, and is cut in the middle of the 2014 season and is not acquired via waivers by another team, the entire $11M (100% first year guaranteed) counts against the 2014 Cap. The remaining guarantee of $ 19.5M (50% of future years: $6M-2015, $6.5M-2016, $7M-2017) accelerates against the 2015 Cap, thus limiting the amount the owner can spend in Free Agency in 2015.
- Off-season: The upcoming year's guarantee amount counts against the current season's cap and all remaining years' guarantee amounts count against the subsequent season’s cap. Example: If a player signs a 4-year, $50M contract ($11M-2014, $12M-2015, $13M-2016, $14M-2017) in August 2014, and is cut during the 2014-15 off-season (after the conclusion of the 2014 season but before Free Agency 2015) the 2015 guarantee amount ($6MM) counts against the 2015 Cap and the remaining guarantee amounts of $13.5M (50% of future years: $6.5M-2016, $7M-2017) accelerates against the 2016 Cap, thus limiting the amount the owner can spend in Free Agency in 2016. Note that once the off-season is over (a date that is customizable for each league), if a player is cut, the salary cap acceleration will again follow the in-season rules detailed above.
3. Waivers: If a player is waived, he is placed on waivers for a designated period (1 day standard). During this time, all of the other league owners have the opportunity to place a waiver claim on that player and the associated contract. If the player is assigned to a new team via waivers, the acquiring team becomes responsible for the remainder of the player’s contract (including guarantees), and the team that placed the player on waivers receives no additional cap charge beyond games for which the player has already played. The waiver order is determined based on league standings just like in the NFL, with the team having the worst record getting first priority on the waiver list.
4. Free Agents: The process of acquiring Free Agents depends on a variety of factors, and the process is described in more detail below:
- Players Who Clear Waivers: If a player clears waivers he becomes a Free Agent, and the team that released the player is bound by the Salary Cap acceleration rules explained above. The player is a Free Agent for a designated period (1 day standard) and is subject to 1-year blind offers made by any owners (all in-season contracts are NON-guaranteed). The player will sign with the team that offers the most valuable contract. If no offers are made within the designated period, then the player will sign any $500,000 minimum offer made by any team in the subsequent days.
- In-Season Free Agency: Each week during the NFL season, players that are Free Agents are subject to blind offers from team owners for a desingated period (1 day (Tuesday) standard). The player will sign with the team that offers the player the most valuable contract, and if no offers are made within the designated period, then the player will sign any $500,000 minimum offer made by any team in the subsequent days of the week (i.e. these players are first come first serve). Once the NFL games commence, players will lock and cannot be signed again until the following week.
- Pre-Season Free Agency: During the period between the Free Agency Auction and the start of the NFL season, all Free Agent players (i.e. players that were not acquired through either the Rookie Draft or Free Agency Auction) are subject to blind offers from team owners each day (unless the commissioner chooses a longer designated period). After an initial bid is placed on a Free Agent, he will sign with the team who has placed the highest contract offer for him after 24 hours have passed. Please note that during this period before the NFL season commences, Free Agent players are never first come first serve. Additionally, bids are not processed by the site on Sundays or Mondays because these are gamedays once the NFL season commences. Blind offers placed on players on Sunday and Monday will be processed by the site on Tuesday evenings unless the commisisoner chooses a longer designated period.
5. Trades: Reality Sports Online facilitates trades for players, and trades for draft picks. For example, teams will have the ability to trade a current player for a draft pick in a future year’s Rookie Draft. Any teams involved in trades are responsible for the remaining value of the contracts of the players or picks they acquire, and are absolved of responsibility for the remaining value of the contracts of the players or picks they trade.
6. Franchise Tag: Each team has the ability to use one franchise tag each off-season on a player from its own team whose contract has expired. The exclusive franchise tag is calculated the same way the exclusive franchise tag is calculated in real life, the greater of (a) the average of the 5 highest paid players at a given position, which is unique to each league, or (b) 120% of the player's previous year salary. Players can be franchised in two consecutive seasons, but may not be franchised a third consecutive season.
7. Injured Reserve: Commissioners can decide how many injured reserved ("IR") spots are allowed per team. Unlike other fantasy leagues where players can only be put on IR if they are actually injured in real life, RSO teams can place any player on IR whenever they want provided they have not already used their allotted IR spots. However, when a player is placed on IR, he must remain there for the entire season. When a player is placed on IR, the team will only owe him 50% of his remaining contract for the year, thus allowing him to use the extra money to sign other free agents to replace the player placed on IR.
8. Fully customizable Rosters, Scoring & Contract Settings: Reality Sports Online offers fully customizable settings for teams (up to 32), rosters (up to 53 players), injured reserve, positions, contracts, rookie draft, trade deadline, scoring, playoffs, and more.
*See the various Roster & Contract Settings by clicking here.
*See the Advanced Scoring Categories by clicking here.
*See a list of our Recommended Contract Values for the NFL's top players by clicking here.
Can I sign a player to a contract extension?
No. There are three key reasons for this:
1. It is absolutely essential to have as much talent available as possible during the Free Agency Auction. Having talented players in the eligible pool is what makes the auctions fun and exciting. If all of the best players were signing extensions before Free Agency, there would be a shortage of talented players in Free Agency, jeopardizing the spirit of the Free Agency Auction.
2. Contracts signed in the Free Agency Auction are determined by a competitive market between members of a league. Allowing a player to sign an extension would strip your individual ability to value a player. Fantasy sports are about real people, and we don’t want a CPU to determine the proper value for a contract extension that has to be used in all leagues, which undoubtedly will leave someone in your league unhappy with the value.
3. RSO strives to maintain a level of realism. For every player an owner wants to lock up via a contract extension (instead of having to pay full value in the Free Agency Auction) there would be another player unhappy with his current contract asking for a new one (instead of having to risk injury waiting until Free Agency). If we allowed extensions for players whose owners wanted to pay below-market, we’d also have to allow players being paid below-market to ask owners for new contracts or stage holdouts, leaving many fantasy owners who made smart deals in the Free Agency Auction in an unpleasant situation.
Can I import my current dynasty or keeper league to RSO?
Yes. Reality Sports Online allows Commissioners to import existing contracts or assign contracts to players. The Commissioner enters the contract length, and total amount, then the system automatically assigns the yearly salaries and guaranteed money. Typically, we recommend against using existing contracts, because all player contracts signed in the Free Agency Auction Room are based on a “Free Market” of competitive bidding, scored by an algorithm. However, the feature is available for leagues that wish to keep a portion of their existing roster.
What if I want to play but I don’t have a group?
Reality Sports Online facilitates Public Leagues. You can be sure to find a group of people who are looking to fill a spot in their league, or you can create your own league and wait for others to join. You can apply to join a league, and write a brief description of your fantasy credentials. Conversely, if you have a league of 7 or 9 and need another player, you can post an available spot in your league and allow other users to apply for that spot.
How much does it cost to use Reality Sports Online?
You can create your team for just $9.99 for the 2014 season! (Commissioners also have the option to pay for the entire league, which is also $9.99 per team).
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Awards and Accolades
Accolades from Fantasy Industry Leaders, Journalists, and RSO Users
Craig Giammona, Writer, Fortune Online: “Did two guys from Philly just create the best fantasy football platform?”
Paul Charchian, President, FSTA & Owner, LeagueSafe.com: “There aren’t too many unique drafting experiences left in fantasy football, but RSO has devised one.”
Ken Moody, Dynasty League Football: “RSO has struck the perfect balance between realism and simplicity.”
Nicholas Minnix, KFFL: “Reality Sports Online's revolutionary dynasty format is pretty exciting stuff. It presents a much more stimulating challenge than the average fantasy football league. Frankly, that kind began to bore me years ago.”
Matt Waldman, The Rookie Scouting Portfolio: “Reality Sports Online’s style of game and draft application is taking fantasy football in a direction I want to go.”
Mark Pesavento, VP of Content at USAT Sports Media Group: “The format of the league is, by far, the best thing going in fantasy sports.”
Andy Foster, RSO User: “The product you have put together is absolutely positively the format that I have dreamed of playing for years.”
Zach Evans, RSO User: “I have been playing fantasy football for eight years now, but this was the most exciting draft I’ve been in.”
Shane Kalepp, RSO User: “I just wanted to mention how awesome and innovative the platform is. I’m extremely excited to bring my fantasy football experience to the next level.”