The Rule 5 draft is designed for mid-winter fun and a little internal EFL rebalancing. Weak teams are supposed to feast on the better players stashed on strong team rosters. Strong teams are supposed to lose 2 players, while weak teams lost none. Talent is supposed to flow down the standings.
So how did it work?
Which teams lost two players? Canberra (9th place last year), Old Detroit (8th place)
Which teams lost no players? Pittsburgh (1st place last year), Cottage (4th place last year, projected to finish 2d this year), Portland (5th place, projected to finish 1st by a wide margin), Kaline (6th), Peshastin (7th), DC (8th).
How many players were taken from teams higher in the 2017 standings? Two — the first two. DC (10th) took from CK (9th); Ck (9th) took from FH (2d).
How many players were taken from teams lower in the standings? Four. OD (8th) took from CK (9th). KD (6th) took from OD (8th); CC (4th) took from OD (8th); FH (2d) took from HD (3d).
I have always thought the way to create upward mobility in a league was to create more opportunities for teams to take actions to improve themselves. The more paths there are to succeed, the greater the social mobility within a group.
Very recently I got an earful from one of our smart owners about how making opportunities for competitive mobility just makes competitive stratification worse. More decisions means more opportunities for the same two* dominant owners to keep taking advantage of everyone else.
I scoffed. But if the downward flow of talent in a Rule 5 draft is doubled by the upward flow…
* My interlocutor kept saying there were “three” dominant owners. But a) it’s been six years and b) I lost two players to teams above me in the standings without getting anything back from any teams above me. If there are three dominant owners now, the third’s last name is probably “Johnson”, based on the available evidence.