Benchmark is a competitive fantasy football league established in 2012.


1. The expected value of most leagues is losing money.
Most leagues are top-heavy with payouts, with most money going to the top 1 to 3 teams after playoffs. But the expected value of playing in those leagues is losing money. In Benchmark, payouts and penalties are structured so that the expected value of playing in this league is getting your buy-in back. 

2. Winning the playoffs is mostly luck; making the playoffs is mostly skill.
So Benchmark's payout structure rewards making the playoffs.

3. Prioritize competition over parity.
Benchmark prioritizes competition over week-to-week parity, which means: auction drafts over snake drafts, FAAB over waiver priority, deep lineups and benches, and a unique format that includes superflex, tight end premium, and doubleheader schedules.

4. The draft matters.
As an auction draft league, a large amount of time goes into scheduling, preparing for, and executing the draft. We reward good drafting with deep rosters, so if you draft poorly, you will have an uphill battle to get back in contention. The ultimate parity, in this league, is the annual redraft. Benchmark does not believe studs should be available as free agents on the waiver wire throughout the season.

5. Start/sit lineups are a waste of time.
Time and energy are wasted on start/sit decisions that don't benefit from more information and reward luck way more than skill. Instead, Benchmark uses best ball lineups, which automatically use your best possible lineup at the end of the week.

6. The waiver wire process is broken.
Bad leagues use waiver priority instead of FAAB. Mediocre leagues use FAAB, but that results in recursive overbidding that overprices everyone. Benchmark designed a better process.

7. A benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy.
A casual league can be run as a democracy, but a league that prioritizes competition should be a benevolent dictatorship. Democracy is the best form of government when you are minimizing harm and when participants have limited choice. But a fantasy football league is more like a business than a nation state—e.g., you can leave at any time, there are plenty of choices, and the downside of a poorly run league is wasted time and money.