Some people call it the 80/20 rule, but I like to call it the Pareto Principle (mostly because I think it makes me sound smarter). Either way, it suggests that about 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of their causes. The rule can apply to areas like business (the top 20 percent of your clients produce 80 percent of your revenue) or competition (the top 20 percent of talent wins 80 percent of the contests).
It also applies to fantasy football.
I'm not saying that the top 20 percent of your roster produces 80 percent of your points. I didn't research that, actually. Maybe I should have. I'm also not saying that the top 20 percent of owners in your league win the title 80 percent of the time, but that doesn't sound too far off the mark. It also sounds kind of depressing, so let's not focus on it.
What I am saying is that 20 percent of your leagues causes 80 percent of your fantasy-related headaches. And in those leagues, I'll bet that 20 percent of the owners are responsible for 80 percent of those headaches. That's the stuff I find valuable in July. There's only so much meaningful preparation you can do at this point in the year, but you can absolutely take steps to enhance your fantasy experience. And the 80/20 rule can help.
Sorry, I mean the Pareto Principle can help. I'm pushing up my glasses and wagging my finger while I'm saying it, too.
Anyway, there's no limit to how many leagues you can join, but there's a finite amount of time you have to spend on fantasy football. Don't waste any of it on leagues you don't really enjoy any more. Maybe it's a league of old buddies who have grown up and have lost contact with each other. Maybe it's a league where there's more bickering in one week than a whole year in your other leagues. Or maybe it's a league with a tyrant for a commissioner and a bunch of owners who are too lazy to get rid of them.
Whatever the reason, eliminating that league will make your season more fun. Even if it's a league you dominate, you're still better off without it. The money or trophy or bragging rights simply isn't worth souring your Sundays, even a little bit.
But wait, you say. You can't get rid of that league. These are friends you've had for several years. You have great memories of winning, losing and trading with them. It might be the league where you first learned to play fantasy football. You can't just walk away from it.
Of course you can. In fact, that's why you should walk away from it. Why tarnish those great memories by hanging on to a league that doesn't work any more? Why cheapen the experience with a sad shell of what it used to be?
If you're really set on keeping the league, apply the principle within the league. Cut out the bad owners that ruin it for everyone else. Yes, even if you know them pretty well. If they're just less active, let them know their participation has waned and give them an out. Maybe they'll shape up and ask to stay, or maybe they'll be relieved to let it go. Either way, you'll be better off than ignoring the problem.
And if they're causing real headaches and being negative to everyone, don't give them a chance to stay. Just let them know they're not going to be in the league this year. You'll be surprised how different things will be without them.
I also understand that a league might be the only way old friends still keep in touch. That's great. It's also not the kind of league that applies to this discussion, because you still enjoy it. If it doesn't hurt your fantasy experience, please carry on.
This is the perfect time to analyze your situation and cut those leagues (or owners) who are a drain on your fun out of your fantasy experience. In July, everyone has time to find new leagues or owners, and adjust to the changes. But you have to be honest with yourself. Don't let nostalgia get in the way. If something is wrong, now is the time to admit it and make a change. If you'd do it with an aging back who isn't worth a spot on your roster anymore, you can do it for an owner or a league that isn't performing the way they did.
You can also reference the Pareto Principle while you do it, and make yourself look extra smart. But that's up to you. Whatever you do, do it now and get rid of 80 percent of your problems well before the season starts.
Do you have a league that isn't working or an owner who needs to go? What do you plan to do about it? Share your thoughts below.