Public Zombie Mode Rules and Settings
Public Zombie Mode Rules and Settings
(Note: Timing elements of these rules refer to zombie mode leagues that start before Week 1.)
Zombie Mode is a guillotine league but with a key difference. Instead of getting chopped, teams join a zombie horde, collaborating to take down the remaining human teams.
Your goal is to be human by the end of Week 17, either by avoiding the zombie horde all year or by finding a cure if you become a zombie.
When humans are taken down by the zombie horde, their roster goes to the waiver wire, and half of their remaining FAAB gets distributed evenly among the zombies. Later in the year, zombies can find a cure to restore their humanity.
Three Phases of the Zombie Mode
Week 1: We create the initial zombie horde with the four lowest-scoring teams after Week 1. Those teams send their rosters to free agency and lose half their FAAB. Fortunately, your humanity can be restored later in the season!
Human Majority: In any week that starts with more humans than zombies, the top-scoring zombie team can convert the bottom-scoring human team, turning that team into a zombie. It’s possible for the zombie horde to convert multiple humans. See "Conversions" below for details.
Zombie Majority: In any week that starts with the same or more zombies than humans, the zombies can continue to convert humans, but additionally, the highest scoring zombie team finds a cure and has its humanity restored. There are always at least four humans left alive. Multiple high-scoring zombies will find cures if there are less than four humans left after zombies have converted them.
Every week, the highest-scoring zombies can potentially convert the lowest-scoring humans into zombies. And more than one team can be converted in a week (more details in “Gameplay” below).
ENTRY FEES AND PRIZES
At the end of Week 17, all surviving humans split the league’s prize pot evenly (see table below). There will never be less than four human survivors.
(Importantly, note that the prize structure below is for full season leagues that start in the preseason, with 18 teams. Leagues that start during the regular season have fewer teams and a differing prize structure. See each individual contest's details for its prize structure.)
|Entry Fee||Prize Pool||Prize (you're human after Week 17)|
|$30||$450||Prize pool split evenly among remaining humans (4 minimum)|
|$50||$750||Prize pool split evenly among remaining humans (4 minimum)|
|$100||$1,500||Prize pool split evenly among remaining humans (4 minimum)|
*There is a $2.95 administration fee for all league entries
LEAGUE SIZE AND DURATION
All leagues are 18 teams, and gameplay lasts from Week 1 through Week 17 of the NFL regular season.
GAMEPLAY (HOW IT WORKS)
After your league’s draft has concluded, every team will enter Week 1 as a human and submit a starting lineup for Week 1. After Week 1 has concluded (on Monday Night), the four lowest-scoring teams are chopped and become the initial zombie horde. The zombies lose their entire roster to free agency and half of their existing FAAB budget.
So here’s what that means for humans and zombies after Week 1 has concluded (and the four lowest-scoring teams have become zombies).
|Humans (14 teams)||Zombies (4 teams)|
Phases of the Game
At this point, there are two remaining phases in zombie mode, human majority and zombie majority. Starting in Week 2, all leagues will be in human majority because there will be 14 human teams and 4 zombie teams. But at any point when the zombie population is equal to or greater than the human population, then the league is in zombie majority.
The following table depicts what each majority (human and zombie) means for your league.
(more human teams than zombie teams)
(zombie teams greater than or equal to human teams)
In any week that starts with more humans than zombies, the top-scoring zombie team can convert the bottom-scoring human team (if the zombie has the higher score), turning that team into a zombie. It’s possible for the zombies to convert multiple humans.
In any week that starts with the same or more zombies than humans, the zombies can continue to convert humans, but additionally, the highest scoring zombie team finds a cure and has its humanity restored. There are always at least four humans left alive.
In every week that your league is in zombie majority, the highest-scoring zombies can potentially convert the lowest-scoring humans into zombies. The highest-scoring zombie team is compared against the lowest-scoring human. If the zombie outscores the human, that team is converted. When that happens, the human team drops its roster to the waiver wire and half of its current FAAB is distributed evenly to the zombies.
More than one team can be converted. After the first check, we also check the 2nd-highest scoring zombie team against the 2nd-lowest scoring human team. This process continues until with the 3rd, 4th, etc... until the zombies haven't outscored a human.
Humans and zombies are encouraged to scheme with their own type to achieve their objectives. Humans and zombies have access to their own message boards, accessible only by their own type.
How You Win
It’s simple. All humans who survive Week 17 will evenly split the league’s specified prize pool. No cash for the zombies. Fortunately, zombies can find a cure and restore their humanity (see “Zombie Majority” above)
Rosters will consist of 14 players (8 starters and 6 reserves). Starting lineups must consist of the following:
*NOTE: Players in your starting lineup can be moved from a mandatory positional spot (RB, WR, or TE) to a FLEX spot (and back) after their game(s) have kicked off, but they cannot be moved to your bench in favor of another player (whose games has not started yet).
Below is the scoring format for all leagues. Please note there are no negative points for turnovers.
|Passing Yards||.04 for each (1 for every 25 yards)|
|Passing Touchdowns||4 for each|
|Passing 2-Point Conversions||2 for each|
|Rushing Yards||.1 for each (1 for every 10 yards)|
|Rushing Touchdowns||6 for each|
|Rushing 2-Point Conversions||2 for each|
|Receptions||1 for each|
|Receiving Yards||.1 for each (1 for every 10 yards)|
|Receiving Touchdowns||6 for each|
|Receiving 2-Point Conversions||2 for each|
|Kickoff or Punt Return 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 (except ties during 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.
Blind bidding deadlines are on Thursdays and Fridays at 2 AM CST 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 Friday's waiver wire 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 Thursday's waiver wire period. FCFS transactions are free, so even those with a $0 FAAB budget can still make FCFS transactions.
As an anti-cheating measure, when you add a free agent to your roster during FCFS, that player cannot be dropped in the same week.
Waiver Wire Periods
Preseason Waiver Run: There will be one preseason waiver run on Wednesday, September 7 at 2:00 AM CST, 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 9:00 AM CST on Friday, September 9.
In-Season Waiver Runs: After Week 1 results are finalized, Week 2 begins. There are two weekly waiver periods, running from Week 2 through Week 17 of the NFL regular season. Unlike standard guillotine leagues, rosters do not lock in zombie leagues, meaning free agency acquisitions (blind bidding and FCFS) run for the duration of the season (through Week 17). The weekly waiver deadlines (in the aforementioned period of Week 2 through 17) are every Thursday and Friday by 2:00 AM CST. Players dropped during the Thursday waiver period will be available for bidding in the Friday run, and any players dropped during the Friday run will be available for FCFS acquisitions in the same week. But any players dropped after the Friday waiver period (during FCFS), will not be available until the following week's waiver periods. FCFS acquisitions become available every Friday at 9:00 AM CST.
FREE AGENT ACQUISITION (FOR ZOMBIES)
Zombies acquire free agents the same way as humans (detailed in sections above), BUT PLEASE REMEMBER, when you are converted to a zombie, you lose half (50%) of your existing FAAB balance, which is dispersed evenly among the existing zombies in the horde.
If your FAAB balance is less than or equal to $50, you will still lose half of your balance to the existing zombies, but all newly-converted zombies are ensured a minimum of $50 in FAAB to utilize immediately in blind bidding.
*Please note: the 50% of FAAB that is dispersed among the existing zombies will be rounded down to ensure all teams receive an equal amount.
**Also, please note: The FAAB budget for zombies can exceed $1000.
All Zombie Mode 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.
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. Upon registering for a slow draft, you will have the option of choosing a draft timer of 2 or 6 hours per pick. Please note, the draft timer will be suspended every night from 11:00 PM CST to 7:00 AM CST. (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 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.
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 2022 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 is not permitted in Zombie Mode contests.
Residents of the following states are unable to participate in Public Zombie Mode Contests at this time:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York