First impressions of Fox Sports Fantasy Football Commissioner

At some point in ’07 (when the season had already started and it was too late), I noticed that Fox Sports Fantasy Football Commissioner offered pretty much everything that a Yahoo Plus league did – except for free, rather than $125 per league (irked by the fee, we went with Yahoo’s free version last season, which has far fewer features and customization options). I tucked that little nugget of knowledge away until today, when I decided upon further review to go with Fox for the keeper league I commish. Here are a few of my initial impressions:

  • The degree to which you can customize the scoring system is the best I’ve seen so far. It doesn’t offer quite as much depth as FleaFlicker, but I found it easier to use, and all the important stuff is there.
  • One of the worst things about Yahoo’s free league was the default waiver settings and the lack of the ability to change them. Players never became waivers unless you dropped them; otherwise, they remained as free agents all week long. This meant that anyone who wasn’t hunched over their computer all day Sunday would be screwed out of all the good pickups by the time they got home. Fox gives you the ability to control what happens on a weekly basis with free agents/waivers, and even lets you tweak some other options that many sites don’t, like whether the weekly draft order is reset according to team records or left as is.
  • The interface feels eerily similar to Yahoo’s – almost like they set out to take Yahoo Plus down by delivering a nearly identical product for free. The menus along the top are almost in the exact same order, and have the exact same layout. Yahoo does a much better job of keeping their interface clean and non-headache-inducing, though.
  • There’s a built-in polls feature, which is pretty useful and isn’t included even in Yahoo Plus.
  • I like that they offer a “finances” feature which helps you keep track of league fees and who’s paid.

I’ll be reviewing this site (and several of its leading competitors) in more detail throughout the offseason, as well as during the regular season.