How to play

Last updated on 17 June 2022

Contents

The format
Getting set up
Game winners and prizes
Your roster
Yahoo: Draft and player transactions
Fantrax: Budget and player transactions
Fantasy points
Other rules and conditions
Consent to accept and abide by the Rules and Terms of Use
Support

In 2022, Fantasy Baseball UK will run through a combination of Yahoo Sports and Fantrax. The ethos remains for FBUK to be a relatively uncomplicated version of fantasy baseball. We’ll stick to the same points-based league as usual where your team of Major League Baseball players earn you points based on their offence or pitching performance each day of the MLB season and fantasy teams accumulate points through the season.

The game follows the MLB regular season, running from roughly the start of April and concluding by the start of October, when the game winners will be decided.

FBUK League (standard game)

  • Run through Yahoo Sports, the official fantasy platform of Major League Baseball
  • Uses an initial draft for managers to build their rosters and after that you can add/drop players from/to the free agent pool or trade with another fantasy team
  • Manage your roster and game day line-ups through the season
  • FREE to play

With over 100 managers registered for 2022 they will be split into several divisions. The divisions are based on the region of the UK the manager lives in (as stated on the registration form), although some liberties have been taken with groupings to keep them of similar size and in order to accommodate those managers who requested to be in a division with their ‘FBUK buddy’ and/or with other managers particularly open to trading during the season.

At the end of the season there will be a winner of each division and we’ll also combine the standings to crown an overall champion.

FBUK LTD (limited trade game)

With no bench in this game, you have no substitutes and a maximum number of player transactions (unlike the standard game, which allows unlimited trades and daily bench swaps). With limited flexibility, your roster decisions are even more important, but it is also great for those fantasy players who don’t want to make constant changes to their line-up.

  • Run through Yahoo Sports
  • Uses an initial draft for managers to build their rosters
  • A maximum of 18 free agent acquisitions over the whole six-month season (equivalent to the three per month in the old game)
  • Managers can also make a trade with another fantasy team up to three times during the season
  • FREE to play

Like the standard game, fantasy teams will be grouped into divisions and we’ll combine the standings to crown an overall champion of FBUK LTD.

FBUK Classic (salary cap game)

New for ’22: (Re-)Introducing the salary cap game! A new take on the original FBUK format that uses a salary cap system in which managers build a roster within a set budget limit to spend on player salaries.

  • This updated version is run through the third-party Fantrax platform
  • Each MLB player is assigned a salary value based on a combination of previous and projected performance and, rather than a draft, managers build their roster within a team salary budget cap
  • As the season progresses, player salary values are regularly recalculated up or down based on performance so as you drop and add players through the season you will need to be mindful of your overall team budget cap
  • Entry is £10 a team (all revenue goes towards covering the costs of running the FBUK game)

Again, fantasy teams will be grouped into divisions and we’ll combine the standings to crown the overall FBUK Classic champion.

Team limits

Currently it is limited to one team per manager in each format. As in some formats there are a limited number of spots available per division, this enables as many individuals as possible a chance to take part.

In Yahoo, a manager can invite someone else to co-manage their fantasy team with them. In FBUK, the co-manager must not be someone who is already managing or co-managing a team in FBUK. This is to prevent co-managing allowing an individual to skirt around the free team limit or to be in control of more than one team within a division (which might impact the competitive balance of the division as the manager could effectively acquire and trade players between their own teams).

Any manager found to have used separate accounts, registrations or email addresses, or through co-managing, to get more than the permissible number of free teams will not be eligible to receive any game awards or prizes and may be ejected from the game!

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Getting set up

Registration

If you registered to enter this season’s league you will be sent an email from FBUK with an invitation link to join the division you have been assigned to. Depending which league you have entered, follow the Yahoo Sports / Fantrax instructions to set your team up in the league. If you already have a Yahoo / Fantrax account you should be able to register with that. If not, you will be asked to create a new account.

Team name

You can choose any name for your team, within the character limits set by the platform. FBUK reserves the right to disallow the use of team names which it believes are likely to cause offence to other team managers. Please keep team names clean, respectable and polite!

Manager dashboard

If you are not familiar with Yahoo or Fantrax fantasy sports, take some time to look around your manager dashboard and the various menu items that provide information about the league and the ability to change settings for your team or manager profile.

In Yahoo, the ‘League’ section of the dashboard is where you can see the specific settings for the league that are referred to in the rest of this guide.

Both Yahoo and Fantrax fantasy sports offer free mobile apps to allow you to manage your team on the go (check your device app store).

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Game winners and prizes

Overall Champion:

The team manager who has accumulated the highest number of fantasy points in the combined standings of all divisions at the end of the season.

Division Winners:

The team managers who have accumulated the highest number of fantasy points in each of the divisions at the end of the season.

Prizes

In the event that Fantasy Baseball UK is able to offer prizes to certain categories of winners, we’ll let you know about them on the Prizes page. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee prizes every year.

Where we offer prizes, this is sometimes based on generous sponsorship or donation by a friendly partner organisation. In the rare case that such circumstances change part way through the season, we may need to alter the type or range of prizes offered or, unfortunately, withdraw them completely from the game. We will not be liable to provide any form of compensation for withdrawn prizes.

Prizes will normally be sent out following the end of the season with a system provided for winners to claim their prizes. Unless we specify at the time a deadline by which prizes must be claimed, we reserve the right to remove the availability of unclaimed prizes at the start of the following season.

Tiebreak

In the event of a tie between team managers for a prize-winning position at the end of the season, the winner will be determined by the following, in this order:

  1. Comparing placement of teams in individual stats categories. Respective performances are calculated and a point given to each team for bettering the other. Should one team total more points than the other, that team is declared the winner.
  2. Should the point totals still be equal, the team with the most total runs at season’s end is declared the winner (the object of baseball is to score more runs than the opposition, after all!).
  3. Should the total runs be equal, the team that used the fewest number of players to achieve its points total at season end is declared the winner.
  4. In the extremely unlikely event a tie still exists, one name from the tied managers will be drawn at random by the FBUK admin team to decide who receives the prize.

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Your roster

Roster construction

Each team manager is entitled to select a team roster of up to 21 players plus an Injured List (IL):

Starting Line-Up
  • 9 starting position players
    • Catcher (C)
    • First baseman (1B)
    • Second baseman (2B)
    • Third baseman (3B)
    • Shortstop (SS)
    • 3 x Outfielder (OF)
    • Designated Hitter (DH) (Utility)
  • 5 starting pitchers
  • 2 relief pitchers
Bench
  • 5 bench position players, whether hitters or pitchers (Limited Trade Game: there is no bench)
Injured List (IL)
  • 2 players
    • If a player is listed on the official MLB Injury Report and placed on the IL by their respective MLB team, they can be carried on your roster’s IL and won’t take up space in your line-up or bench. Once the player leaves the real-world IL, they may remain on your fantasy IL but won’t be eligible to contribute fantasy points to your team until you move them back to your roster. Returning them to your roster will require dropping another player if your roster is already full.

Eligible Positions

All position players may be selected in any of the positions they have occupied in the current season subject to Yahoo/Fantrax eligibility criteria (a minimum number of starts or appearances). Plus, any hitter can be put in the DH (Utility) slot.

Team line-ups

Only players in the starting line-up on game day will score fantasy points for your team. You can move players between your starting line-up and your bench up until the scheduled start time of their respective games each day (if it is within one minute of the scheduled game time, the player might already be locked). 

Season position limits

Each line-up position (batters) has a maximum number of games for which it is eligible to score points over the course of the season. The limit is for the position not a particular individual player. If a position reaches its maximum games played (GP) limit before the season ends, it will no longer score points for your team going forward.

If you don’t have a player in a position on a given day, or the player in the position does not play in a MLB game that day, it won’t deduct a game played from the limit.

Your team’s pitching staff is limited to a total number of innings pitched (IP) across all starters and relievers over the season. If it reaches that limit before the season ends, you will no longer score points in the pitching categories going forward.

In a normal full-length regular season, the limits are 162 GP and 1400 IP. All managers are able to see the position limits in terms of games played (offence) and innings pitched in the league settings. Plus, in Yahoo at the bottom of the roster page it indicates how much of each limit has been used so far; in Fantrax that is indicated on the ‘Min/Max’ tab of your Team Roster area.

Note: There is a loophole in the way Yahoo and Fantrax treat the innings pitched (IP) limit. If a fantasy team starts the day under the limit but its active pitchers for that day’s games take it over the limit, points for all of those innings will be counted. However, once the limit has been exceeded, no more pitching points will be counted on future days.

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Yahoo: Draft and player transactions

This section is relevant to the FBUK League (standard game) and FBUK LTD (limited trade game) run through Yahoo Sports.

Draft

Yahoo uses an initial online draft for managers to build their rosters. Managers take turns to pick an MLB player and a player can only appear on one fantasy team’s roster within each league. There is no team salary budget or player salary value.

We’ll let managers know the scheduled date, start time and format of the draft as well as the order in which managers will take their turns. Managers can choose to login to the whole draft and manually select a player in each round or, if you can only attend part of the draft, not at all, or you run out of ideas halfway through, the system will auto-draft for you at your turn so your team will still get a starting roster.

If planning some auto-drafting, you can pre-rank the importance of MLB players to you, to give you a better chance of drafting some of the players you want. Or just leave it in the hands of Yahoo’s built-in ranking system that will auto-draft the best available player for the given roster position at that turn.

After the draft, undrafted players remaining (free agents) can then be added or swapped onto rosters.

Waivers

Whenever a player is dropped from a roster, they’ll be temporarily frozen for a period of time. The default time period is two days (check the league settings in the manager dashboard). During this time, any manager can make a claim to add the player, but managers are ranked from highest to lowest priority to determine who wins a waiver claim.

Waiver priority

The initial rank is a reverse of the  league’s draft order so the manager in last draft position is ranked first priority for waivers. When a claim is successful, that manager drops to the bottom of the priority list. You can view your waiver rank standings in the dashboard’s ‘League’ section, in the ‘Waiver’ column.

If no one claims the player, the player joins the free agent pool, which means anyone can add them to their team almost immediately, without competition from other managers.

If a manager adds a free agent and then drops them in the same day, the player remains a free agent.

Trades

Players can be traded between fantasy teams through the season up to the season trade deadline date if one has been set. When a trade is agreed between two managers there will be a period of review by other managers in the league to check it is fair. If a third or more of managers vote to veto the trade it will be voided, otherwise the trade will complete successfully at the end of the review period.

Managers should only vote to veto a trade if it is deemed unfair to the integrity of the game. Veto should not be used for tactical reasons to hamper the play of other managers or simply because a trade looks more beneficial to one team than the other. Please refer to the Fair Play Rules section of this guide.

Can’t Cut List

Yahoo Sports tries to keep the competition balanced and fair by maintaining a Can’t Cut List of players that can’t be dropped from a roster under any circumstances. The purpose of this list is to keep managers from dumping their highest performing players that then become available to other managers and changes the competitive balance of the league. The list is updated and can be viewed in the ‘Players’ section of the manager dashboard menu.

Commissioner’s teams

In Yahoo, each ‘division’ has to be set up as a separate league and each must contain a team managed by the league commissioner (FBUK administrator). In practicality, the FBUK administrator is likely to be the same person acting as commissioner across multiple divisions/leagues and they don’t wish to actively manage all of those commissioner teams. There are a few different workarounds that could be employed, and none are perfect, but the current system is that in the majority of divisions the commissioner’s team will be set up as a non-contending placeholder team, like so:

  • The placeholder team will aim to draft low-ranked MLB players or even players that didn’t get included on a major league roster (if possible), the intention being to not deprive the other teams of viable players from the pool that would otherwise sit on a placeholder team or become the target of trade requests
  • Sometimes decent up-and-coming players accidentally make it on to these placeholder rosters. This will be monitored as best we can and those players dropped to the waiver wire as soon as possible.
  • In the unlikely event of a trade request being made to the placeholder team the request will be routinely declined (no offence!) and the player(s) in question dropped from the placeholder team to the waiver wire. This is to avoid the contentious issue of the deliberately non-contending placeholder team getting involved in trades with other teams. Instead, the player(s) of interest go to the waiver wire so they become available to all teams.

In a division where the commissioner’s team is an active and contending team (or at least trying to contend!) the above process does not apply and they may participate in trades.

Transaction deadlines

You can bring new players into your roster by trading a player from another manager, winning a waiver claim or adding a free agent (see descriptions further up the page). Once completed, these transactions will come into effect on your roster on that day.

(Limited Trade Game: for the limits on transactions please see the Format section further up the page)

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Fantrax: Budget and player transactions

This section is relevant to FBUK Classic (salary cap game) run through Fantrax.

Building your roster within the budget

Rather than a draft, managers build their roster within a team salary budget cap, which is the same for each team. We’ll use the budget figure of $12m like the original FBUK game did. At the start of the season, each MLB player is assigned a salary value by Fantrax based on a combination of previous and projected performance as well as a ratio appropriate to the team salary cap figure. Once the league opens, managers will have until the first game day of the season to build their initial rosters by selecting players from the pool of free agents.

Unlike draft leagues, here the same MLB player could be held by multiple different fantasy teams/managers in the league so there is no race to claim sole ownership of a player before another team does.

Injured List (IL)

Where the roster allows for an injured list, the salary of a player currently on your IL will not count towards your team’s budget cap. However, the salary will count when the player is moved back to your roster. See Your roster above for more information about the IL.

Salary revaluations

As the season progresses, player salary values are given a weekly recalculation up or down based on performance.

Revaluation won’t affect a player’s salary if they are already on your roster. Note: in Fantrax, while this means that your rostered players’ salaries will not increase and take you over budget, it also means any reduction in their salaries will not be reflected either (i.e. it won’t free up budget space). This is an important difference to note compared to the original FBUK game.

If you add a player to your roster it will be based on their current salary value at the time. Similarly, if you drop a player then pick them up again later in the season, you pay their current salary value, not what it used to be when they were first on your roster.

As you drop and add players through the season you will need to be mindful of your overall team budget cap. If a transaction would take your team over budget, you will not be able to complete that transaction.

Player transactions

As the same MLB player can be held by multiple different fantasy teams/managers in the league, players are not traded between teams and there is no waiver wire controlling the availability of a player when one team drops them. In the salary cap league, ‘trading’ really refers to when managers drop and add players directly between their team roster and the free agent pool (essentially, all the other available MLB players not already on their roster).

Transaction deadline

All transactions between a team’s roster and the free agent pool are processed once a week on Sunday. Sunday’s transaction deadline is one minute before the first scheduled MLB game that day (not the first game involving a player on your roster). This means that during the week you can schedule to drop or add a player but the change will not take place until the coming Sunday’s transaction deadline. Any changes made after that point will come into affect the following Sunday.

(This is different to moving players between your starting line-up and your bench, which can be done daily – see Your roster above.)

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Fantasy Points

You score fantasy points for every player in your starting line-up by the time each player’s game starts that day.

Note: Pitchers score fantasy points only for pitching stats, not for offense!

Offensive stats

Category Points
Home Run (HR) 5
Hit / Single (1B) 1
Extra Base Hit (EB) 2 for a double (2B)
3 for a triple (3B)
Runs (R) 2
Run Batted In (RBI) 3
Stolen Base (SB) 4
Walk (BB)
(excluding Hit By Pitch, etc)
1
Strikeout (K/SO) -1

Pitching Stats

Category Points
Out 1
equivalent to 3pts per Inning Pitched (IP)
Strike Out (K/SO) 1
(combined with the out = 2pts)
Earned Run Allowed (ER) -2
Hold (HLD) 3
Save (SV) 5
Complete Game (CG) 10
Shutout (SHO) 10
(combined with CG = 20pts)

Player statistics

As Fantasy Baseball UK uses third-party platforms to run its fantasy leagues (namely Yahoo Sports and Fantrax) the leagues will use those platform’s respective MLB statistics sources. Fantasy points are awarded on the basis of those stats, which will be updated by the platforms along with the associated points and standings. If an error in the stats published by the stats source results in the incorrect allocation of points, any adjustments to player points and standings are made entirely at the discretion of Fantasy Baseball UK and Yahoo Sports/Fantrax.

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Other rules and conditions

Fair play rules

Across all its leagues, Fantasy Baseball UK adopts the same ethos as Yahoo Sports in requiring that all managers agree to the following basic rules to keep things fair:

  • Don’t engage in any collusive action with other managers
  • Don’t drop or dump players from your team with malicious intent
  • Don’t take any action where its purpose would hinder fair play in the league
  • Don’t make roster moves that will intentionally hamper the play of other managers

Website access and maintenance

When using the Yahoo Sports and Fantrax fantasy baseball platforms, Fantasy Baseball UK has no control over, and is not liable for, the availability of the website for trades and roster line-up changes. In the event that the service is unavailable at any time, we regret that we may be unable to make changes to team rosters retrospectively or award ‘missed’ fantasy points caused by the unavailability.

Changes to the game format

We may change the exact format of the game from season to season, with the aim of bringing you the best version of the game we are able to provide at the time. This will also depend on the format offered by any third-party fantasy baseball platforms we use. Normally, we’ll try to consult with team managers during the offseason to give them a chance of input.

Declared Interest

People employed by an official sponsor or advertising partner of the game, or in any way connected with the running of the Fantasy Baseball UK game or website, are allowed to participate fully in the game, but must declare their interest to the game organisers.

Participants with a declared interest must decline any prizes for which they become eligible. In the event that prizes are declined on that basis, we may choose to award the prize to the next highest scoring player without a declared interest, in the competition category that the prize related to.

These declared interest rules do not apply to forum moderators who have no other role in the running of the game.

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The full content on this page forms the Rules of the Game, in addition to the general Terms of Use of the website. By using this website and choosing to participate in the game, you consent to accept and abide by the Rules and Terms of Use. In the event that a team manager does not abide by the Rules or comply with the Terms of Use, Fantasy Baseball UK reserves the right to temporarily or permanently exclude that individual from the game or restrict their access to elements of the game (including prize eligibility) and their website account.

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Support

If you need help playing the game, encounter a problem or have a question that we haven’t answered above, there are various things you can do:

  • Consult the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Help pages
  • We may have provided answers to common questions in the Help section
  • A fellow team manager or an FBUK admin might be able to help with your question in the FBUK Forums, which you can access from the Manager Options menu when logged in
  • Send us an email through the Contact Us page

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