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Fantasy Football Orphan Buying Guide

What is an Orphan?

It's simply a team in a multi-year league that has been abandoned by its owner. A sad state of affairs. These teams need new homes, and we help place them in homes to keep the leagues alive.

A multi-year league is a league that remains intact, with the same teams, from year to year. Some examples of multi-year leagues where orphan teams may crop up:

  • Dynasty Leagues
  • Keeper Leagues
  • Salary Cap Leagues
  • Contract Leagues
  • Legacy Leagues

So a team becomes orphaned in these leagues when it is not renewed by the renewal deadline. For DataForce Fantasy Football, that deadline arrives sometime in May, so much of May and early June are spent finding new homes for orphans.

Why Buy Orphans?

It's fun and it's cheap. Rarely is an orphan team sold at full value (meaning, the value of its deposit), so buying orphans rather than joining new leagues saves you money. You avoid paying a deposit for these leagues, you pay only the purchase price. Plus, of course, you must pay the entry fee for the new year.

It's also fun to try to take over a team and make something out of it. Orphan buyers love the challenge of finding hidden gems on teams that performed poorly, and often the "gems" are not sleepers but early draft picks in the upcoming draft.

Occasionally you can also find a team which is stacked with talent, but the owner simply cannot continue with the league.

Buying orphans is practical for another reason: The deposit on the team becomes yours. See below.

Where does the Money Go That I Spend on Orphans?

First, it doesn't go to DataForce! All orphan sales are from one owner to another, with a minor exception listed below. Here are all of the possibilities where the orphan revenue can go:

  • In most cases, the team was abandoned this year. The purchase price goes into the pocket of the prior owner.
  • If this league is being acquired this year from another site, then the teams have no deposits. They also have no one to give the money to. So, when you buy an orphan in such a league, the price you pay automatically becomes the deposit amount. When you see odd deposits amounts on teams, like $17 or $23, you can be sure that they were purchased at the time the league was revived from another site.
  • Sometimes a league will have one or more teams run by shills. This can happen when an owner abandons his team mid-season, or is removed from the league for consistent rules violations, or if an orphan simply couldn't sell. In these cases, the purchase price goes to the person who ran the team as a shill.

What Happens to the Deposit when I Buy an Orphan?

All multi-year leagues require you to pay a deposit when you join a brand new league, with a couple of exceptions: (1) Legacy leagues do not require deposits because it's unnecessary; half of the prize fund each year gets set aside for the overall winner, so these teams have an inherent value already. (2) Grandfathered leagues that are acquired from other sites do not require that its owners pay a deposit. When you see a league for sale which has a deposit of $0 or close, you can be relatively sure that the league has grandfathered owners.

In new leagues, the deposit is always equal to the entry fee of the league. To join a brand new $100 dynasty league, you'll pay $200, including a $100 deposit. These deposits are not refundable until the league is discontinued. At that time, the deposits are paid back to whoever currently owns the teams. So when orphans are bought and sold, the deposits remains with the team to give the team value.

When and Where Can I Buy Orphans?

Buy them here on DataForce Fantasy Football, anytime prior to early June.

DataForce sells orphans in two ways: On this page, for a set price, and also on our Orphan Auction page. Teams can be abandoned at any time prior to the renewal deadline (usually mid-May) so if you're in the market for a new team, it pays to keep an eye on this page.

Immediately following the renewal deadline, DataForce places all orphan teams up for bid in our annual auction. This is a blind bidding auction, and the bids are revealed a week later to determine the winners.

How is the Orphan Price Determined?

Initially, the price can be set by the selling owner. In fact, if you know you're not going to renew a team, it's best to drop it early in the year and set a price on it so that buyers can see it here.

After the renewal deadline passes, all buy-it-now prices are dropped and the teams go on auction. But after the auction ends, teams which did not receive a bid return to this buy-it-now page. This time, we set a price, and we set it relatively low so that it will sell. We set the price based on an evaluation of the players currently on the team, without digging deeply into available draft picks or auction money, so bargains can often be found.

Finally, if it looks like the teams still will not sell, we do an orphan giveaway, in which all remaining teams go on sale for just $1.

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Keeper/Dynasty Orphans Buy-It-Now

The following teams are currently unowned. You may purchase these teams immediately by making payment.

You are purchasing ownership of the team in lieu of paying a deposit. DataForce does not keep any of the money paid for orphan teams. The sale price of the team will go to the prior owner.

To acquire a team you must pay the asking price plus this year's entry fee. Bonus Money may be used to pay for the commissioner portion ($12) of the entry fee.

You can view the teams on the DataForce site or, for those hosted on MyFantasyLeague, you can click on the MFL button to view each league there. We recommend that you examine current-year and future-year draft picks before deciding on a purchase.

If you wish to contact the owner directly to ask questions or to negotiate a buy-it-now price, click Contact Owner under the Links column.


See far left of each listing for league level: Copper Bronze Silver Gold Platinum

Are you sure? This decision cannot be reversed.

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• Cost may include a regulatory fee and/or a hosting fee
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ID Team Name Duration Lineup Draft Pick W-L-T
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There are no teams available for buy-it-now at this time.