I have come to realize that progs are as much about draft order as OLs are about cookies.
So I am wondering why, rather than jump through hoops trying to find a way to prevent tanking, leagues don't just use either of two very simple methods.
After all, some of the solutions are almost as bad as the problem: systems that calculate expected wins versus team salary are complicated to figure out, random systems are unfair unless by random chance they work out fair (they are examples of Rawlsian justice, as in John Rawls, whose ideas I consider unjust, but that is another issue - I left him off my "not on the smartest person in world list" list. But he belongs there too.).
Best to Worst systems are likewise unfair. All of these are attempts to kill a mosquito with an atomic bomb.
Why not just do two obvious things: either go by salary instead of wins, or eliminate all uncertainty in draft order altogether ?
The first may have a flaw I don't see - so enlighten me whoever understands this stuff better or has more experience. Instead of wins v. salary, why not just salary ? Lowest to highest salary on opening day (so what you do after that has no effect on draft order) is the draft order. period. No tanking possible.
Second is what I would call the Calvinist-Korean immigrant system. Korean immigrant networks have a unique social organization-lottery system based on solidarity. Each family kicks in a certain equal amount of money into a common pool each month. Each month one family wins this in a lottery - often it is enough to buy a house or start a business. Each family, including those that have won already keep putting that equal amount in and each month all the families that have not yet won keep drawing in the lottery until every family has one once.
Calvinist because you can accomplish the same thing merely through predestination: just come up a starting date (current season or the start of the league) and a random system for choosing the initial order. First pick in the first round goes to owner A. That owner cannot have first pick again until everyone else has had first pick, in order. It will already be known 16, or 20 or 24 seasons ahead who will have first pick, so nothing you can do during the season, no act of yours, tanking or improving, can change your destiny (hence the reference to Calvin and predestination). Just take turns until everyone has had a chance to go first in the draft. Sometimes a good team will have first pick, sometimes not. But the key thing is to eliminate prospective draft order as a factor altogether from league play. You can trade that pick, but the order will not change, so you would be trading the only number one pick you are going to get for maybe 24 seasons.
These are both approaches that eliminate any incentive to tank without punishing weak teams by making it even harder to get good players.
Make round 2 reverse order each year from that of the first round, so round 1 of the salary only system would go round 1: 1A, 2B, 3C ...24X in a 24 team league, and round 2 would be 1X, 2W, 3 V...24A.
With the Calvinist-Korean system, the order would again in round 1 of year 1 be 1A, 2B ...24X, but the following year it could go serpentine so to speak, so year 2 would be 1X, 2W, 3V...24A, with round 2 again reversing that. Year 3 however could be: 1B, 2C, 3D...23X, 24A, and year 4 round 1 would go: 1W, 2V, 3U...23AX. Year 5 would go 1C, 2 D, 3E...22X, 23A, 24 B...and so on. In each case the order is reversed in round 2. Rounds 3 and beyond could even then be based on W-L or any other formula the league decided on as the competition is really about the first round and at most the second.
These both seem to me to eliminate any incentive. One might decide, I suppose, to drop a lot of players to get the lowest salary to get that first round pick,but a good player will then raise salary, so the advantage would be fleeting at best and in any case real tanking is based on doing poorly compared with how you are supposed to do salary-wise and talent-wise. Losing talent before the season started only to get some other talent is rebuilding, not tanking. It is hard to see how this could become a regular practice as tanking is.
The Calvinist system also has the advantage that it would create an incentive to stay in leagues for a long time, since you know that within 24 seasons you will get the number one pick no matter what and that you will have a number 2 pick every 24, in short that every six years you will get one of the top 4 picks.
What am I missing ? What would be the problem with either of these systems that I don't see ? Or, who is ready to propose one of these ideas in one or more of the prog leagues they are in ?