In-game substitutions: How does it work?

Welcome to YouRulz!  You are the manager of a 60 minute football game.  During the course of a game, if you want to make a substitution, you can bench an active player and replace him with another player of the same position who is either playing at the same time, or will be playing in a future game.  The first thing people normally think about when it comes to substitutions is replacing an injured player, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  Like a coach, your reasons for substituting are your business.  You could have a QB stinking up the joint, or there could be circumstances in other games that look more attractive, such as a QB or WR who is playing from behind.  You have to consider the strategic elements of this – a well-timed substitution could easily be the difference between a win and a loss.  For each starting slot on your roster, you have an entire 60 minute timeline of a football game to fill up any way you see fit.  


Let’s say I’m starting Tom Brady in my 1-QB league, but on my bench I have Aaron Rodgers, who is playing at the same time.  Brady started his game 20 minutes later, so he’s half of a quarter ahead.  You’re keeping your eye on both games, and in the middle of the first quarter of the Packers game, you decide you want to put Rodgers in, as they are already down 2 TD’s and he’s about to start a long drive.  Two clicks later, Brady has been sent to the bench and Rodgers will begin accumulating statistics AT THIS POINT in your 60 minute timeline (about one quarter in).  Keep in mind, Rodgers still has 1.5 quarters to play until halftime, but you’ve already burned up the first quarter playing Brady – you will only be able to compile stats for Rodgers in the timeline after Brady has been benched.    

All the stats are broken down plainly on your fantasy timeline for each player.  The amount of active, earned points is clearly shown, as well as the amount of POSSIBLE points to show you what would have been earned the player been in the game the entire time.  Remember, it’s always possible that a substitution can blow up in your face.  Imagine swapping out a receiver who catches a 90 yard touchdown on the following play!  

Can you make a substitution for someone who is playing in an unplayed future game?  Absolutely!  However, you have to keep a few things in mind.  Example:  

I started Tom Brady, but the Bucs are up 35-0 at halftime, and I know that the second half is going to be nothing but the team handing the ball off and running out the clock.  Looking at my bench, I realize I have Aaron Rodgers starting on Monday Night Football.  What a great opportunity to score some more points!  However, always remember that you are managing a 60 minute timeline.  When you sit down Brady for Rodgers at halftime, you will only get credit for Aaron Rodgers’ SECOND half in the future game – the first half stats are already spoken for.  Substituting for future players will only give you credit for those blocks of minutes that you have available on your timeline.  This strategy also carries risk; what if Rodgers blows his knee out in the first half?  You will have slotted a zero for the second half.

Automatic Player Injury Replacement

YouRulz has another option called Automatic Player Injury Replacement.  This works in a similar manner except it’s done automatically by the computer instead of a team owner, and it’s for injury only.  You’ll set your bench players in priority, and if during the course of a game our data sources list a player as “will not return” due to injury, the computer will automatically swap the next player in on your priority list.  This option can be chosen in addition to in-game substitutions or even instead of in-game substitutions.  It’s all about what’s best for your particular league.  

Are in-game substitutions right for my league?

Some league commissioners may see some potential problems with this concept when it comes to their own leagues.  They may not like the idea of an owner in their league potentially sitting in front of 8 television screens, substituting players back and forth dozens of times depending on game flows, or having two players on opposite teams in the same game and being able to substitute back and forth depending on which offense has the ball.  

However, always remember something:  this feature is customizable to each and every league.  First off, you can set a cool-down timer, which is the amount of time before you can make another substitution.  The minimum amount is 1 minute, but it can be set for up to 4 hours.  In addition (or instead of) a countdown timer, you may set a limit to the total number of substitutions allowed as well.  Some more conservative leagues may like the idea of only allowing 1 substitution, perhaps to give people a safety net if there’s an injury.  You can set it to 1 all the way to unlimited.  The substitution feature can also be turned all the way off, reverting to traditional set-it-and-forget-it play.  It’s completely customizable to every league, which is what YouRulz is all about.

YouRulz:  The evolution of fantasy sports.