Rules and Settings
Private Guillotine League Rules and Settings
(Note: Timing elements of this document refer to guillotine leagues that start before Week 1.)
A Guillotine League (GL) typically begins with 18 teams, but private leagues can be anywhere between 8 and 18 teams. Each week, league results are determined by the cumulative points from each team’s starting lineup. After each week, the team that scored the fewest points that week is eliminated from the competition.
When a team is eliminated, its entire roster of players become free agents, eligible to be acquired by the rest of the league.
There are no head-to-head matchups, which means there are also no win/loss records.
So, to recap, one of the original 18 teams will be eliminated after Week 1, which means 17 teams will remain in Week 2. After the lowest scoring team is chopped in Week 2, 16 teams will be left standing in Week 3. This process continues throughout the season. You get the idea. This process remains the same for leagues with fewer than 18 teams.
Lastly, there are two GL formats to choose from: Final Four Playoff (F4) and Last Man Standing (LMS). The only distinction between these formats is the criteria for choosing a champion and payouts.
In the F4 playoff format, after the conclusion of Week 14, the final four remaining teams are no longer eliminated. They will play from Weeks 15-17 and the team with the most cumulative points from Weeks 15-17 is declared the winner.
In the LMS format, the same format used in the regular season continues, with one team eliminated each week until the conclusion of Week 17. The last team remaining after Week 17 is the winner.
LEAGUE SIZE AND DURATION
Private leagues can consist of 8 to 18 teams. Commissioners who create a league with less than 18 teams can choose a start week other than Week 1 if they want.
ENTRY FEES AND PRIZES (NOT AVAILABLE IN PRIVATE LEAGUES)
For private leagues, your league handles prizes and entry fees outside of our service. The price of private leagues is $3 per team (paid by the commissioner upon league creation). If more teams join your league than expected, additional team fees will be applied after your draft is complete. If fewer teams join your league than expected, your account will be refunded.
All GL drafts are serpentine style, meaning the draft order is reversed after each round has ended. All drafts consist of 14 rounds (14 picks per owner). The draft timer depends on which draft format you choose, Live (Online) drafts or Slow (Email) drafts. Further detail provided below.
You will be able to set your pre-draft player rankings from the league's home page at any point before the draft starts. We highly encourage you to set your player rankings, which provides guidance for our systems if you are unable to make your selection. Your pre-draft rankings are also global, meaning you can use them for future drafts.
Starting Draft Times for Private Leagues
Once league’s owners are ready, private league commissioners can start their draft manually at any time.
Draft Order Settings for Private Leagues
Upon league creation and prior to the draft, commissioners will be able to either choose a randomized draft order or set a custom draft order.
Live (Online) Drafts
*Draft Timer: 60 seconds per pick
All live drafts are held in our online draft room that can be accessed on either a mobile or desktop device. You can access the live draft room at any point after registering, and once your league has filled, the draft order will be randomly generated (results will also be sent via email). We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the draft room prior to your draft, and you need to arrive at least several minutes before its scheduled start to ensure that you are not experiencing any technical issues.
When it's time for you to make a selection, you will have 60 seconds to make your pick. There is an available player queue which provides guidance for our systems if it needs to auto-draft for you. The auto-draft control is located underneath the draft clock in the upper-left of the draft room (see below).
If you do not make a pick before the 60-second timer has expired, the system will select the top-ranked player in your queue. Or if your queue is empty, the top-ranked player (with an open roster position) from the remaining available player pool will be selected. In addition, if you fail to make a pick before the draft timer expires, you will automatically be put on auto-draft, which must be manually turned off. Also, if you are late to the draft room for the start of the draft, you will put on auto-draft, which must be manually turned off upon entering the draft room.
It is your sole responsibility to ensure you make it to the start of your scheduled draft. If you think you may be late or miss your draft entirely, remember to utilize the pre-draft player ranking feature (mentioned above) to ensure you have the best chance to obtain your preferred players.
Slow (Email) Drafts
*Draft Timer: 1, 2 or 6 hours per pick (all options available)
Slow drafts are held in our same online draft room as live drafts, but the difference is slow drafts take days to complete, not hours. Please note, the draft timer will be suspended every night from 12:00 AM ET to 8:00 AM ET. (For those on Pacific Time, note that the clock will resume at 5:00 AM PT, so be sure to have your preferred players in the queue.)
Just like live drafts, you can access your draft room at any point after registering for your slow draft. Once your league has filled, the draft order will be randomly generated, and you will be emailed your league's draft order and the scheduled start time (generally 1 hour after league has filled). As you could prior to the start of the draft, you can enter the draft room at any point while your slow draft is in progress, and you will be notified via email every time you are on the clock (settings can be adjusted on site).
Depending on your league's timer, once the draft has started, you will have either 1, 2 or 6 hours (when on the clock) to make each pick, and you will be able to move players in and out of the queue for reference, or for use with the auto-draft feature. The auto-draft control is located underneath the draft clock in the upper-left of the draft room (see below).
If you do not make a pick before your timer has expired, the system will select the top-ranked player in your queue. Or if your queue is empty, the top-ranked player (with an open starting roster position) from the remaining available player pool will be selected. In addition, if you fail to make a pick before your draft timer expires, you will automatically be put on auto-draft, which must be manually turned off.
DRAFTS AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (TNF)
*The following refers to in-season drafts
TNF players who are drafted after their game has concluded can still be used in your starting lineup, and their points accumulated (in Thursday’s game) would be put towards your team’s weekly total.
Rosters will consist of 14 players (8 starters and 6 reserves). Starting lineups must consist of the following:
Below is the scoring format for all leagues. Please note there are no negative points for turnovers.
|.04 for each (1 for every 25 yards)
|4 for each
|Passing 2-Point Conversions
|2 for each
|.1 for each (1 for every 10 yards)
|6 for each
|Rushing 2-Point Conversions
|2 for each
|1 for each
|.1 for each (1 for every 10 yards)
|6 for each
|Receiving 2-Point Conversions
|2 for each
|Kickoff or Punt Return Touchdowns
|6 for each
|Fumble Recovery Touchdowns
|6 for each
Guillotine Leagues do not allow for the NFL's stat corrections (that occur on Thursdays) for the previous week’s games. All weekly stats are considered final at the conclusion of the last game of the current week, typically after Monday Night Football.
In the event of a scoring tie at any point in the season (including Week 1), the follow tie-breaking criteria will be used:
1. The team with fewest year-to-date points is eliminated (excludes Week 1).
2. If Step 1 does not break the tie, the team with the starting player who scored the fewest points is eliminated. In the event of a continuing tie, this methodology continues by comparing the second-lowest-scoring player, the third-lowest-scoring player, and so forth until ties are resolved.
3. In the mind-bogglingly unlikely possibility that a tie still exists, we apply the above system to backup players, starting with a comparison of the lowest-scoring backup.
FREE AGENT ACQUISITION
All free agents are initially acquired via blind bidding using your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). All owners begin the season with a $1,000 FAAB, and in order to acquire a player on waivers, a minimum bid of $1 must be placed. Remember, this is blind bidding, so the other owners in your league cannot see what you have bid on a player until after waivers have processed.
The weekly blind bidding deadline is on Wednesday at 3:00 PM ET during the regular season, as detailed in the next section.
A player is awarded to the owner with the highest bid, and in the event of a tie for the highest bid, the player will be awarded to the owner with the lowest overall season-to-date point total.
When that tiebreaker is executed, the winning owner is moved to the end of the tiebreaker priority list for any other tiebreakers that may occur in that week. This ensures that other teams can win tiebreakers, not just the lowest-scoring team.
Following each Wednesday's blind bidding period (detailed further below), all remaining available free agents can be added on a first-come-first-serve (FCFS) basis up until a player's respective kick-off time for that week. Once an available player's game kicks off, he is put on waivers until the next week's blind bidding period (on Wednesday). FCFS transactions are free, so even those with a $0 FAAB budget can still make FCFS transactions.
As an anti-cheating measure, players dropped during FCFS cannot be acquired until the following week's free agency periods.
Blind Bidding Periods
Preseason Blind Bidding: There will be one preseason blind bidding period on Wednesday, September 6 at 3:00 PM ET, which is the day before the NFL season opener. After the bids have been processed, all remaining players on the waiver wire will be available on a first-come-first-serve (FCFS) basis starting at 7:00 PM ET on Wednesday, September 6.
In-Season Blind Bidding Periods: After Week 1 results are finalized, Week 2 begins. There is one weekly blind bidding period, running from Week 2 through Week 17 of the NFL regular season. The weekly blind bidding deadline is every Wednesday at 3:00 PM ET. Players dropped during the Wednesday blind bidding period will be available for FCFS acquisitions in the same week. FCFS acquisitions become available every Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET.
*Please note: commissioners of private league can opt-in to a second blind bidding period with a deadline of 3:00 PM ET on Thursdays with FCFS acquisitions becoming available at 7:00 PM ET on the same day (Thursday).
**Also, please note: players on teams that are chopped after the conclusion of Week 14 (going into Week 15) will not be available in free agency (blind bidding or FCFS).
PLAYERS ACQUIRED AFTER GAMES ARE PLAYED
In very rare situations, a player may be added to a different NFL roster after his weekly game has already been played. In that situation, the player's production from the game IS used. An example of this is when Zach Ertz was traded to the Cardinals (in 2021) after he had played for the Eagles on Thursday night.
For the 2023 season, the NFL has threatened to institute a forfeit for teams that aren't healthy enough to play. If the NFL institutes a forfeit for any reason, no points will be awarded to players involved in that game. Hopefully, you will know about the forfeiture with enough time to make adjustments to your roster. Unfortunately, there may be scenarios, such as a last-minute forfeiture of a Monday night game, where you may not be able to make any roster changes. Even in that scenario, no points will be awarded to players involved in that game. You cannot elevate bench players who have already played to your starting roster.
There are no designated roster spots for injured or suspended players.
Trading players may be allowed in private leagues, depending on the settings used by the commissioner. Trades can be executed up until the conclusion of Week 9.
Participants in private leagues are eligible to play in all 50 states and Canada.