Session IV – Fantasy Football and
Ike Doesn’t Mix
Fortunately for me I left the topic for this week open and decided
to see what the wind would blow in. What blew in was Hurricane Ike,
damaging Houston’s Reliant stadium to the point where the
week two contest between the Ravens and the Texans had to be postponed
and the NFL schedule re-written for three teams. This undoubtedly
caused a bit of grief for fantasy owners and commissioners everywhere.
For some leagues this didn’t present much of a problem
as the NFL conveniently reworked the schedule for the Texans,
Ravens, and Bengals. Other than some last-minute lineup changes
and maybe losing some key contributors for an early bye week,
many leagues weren’t impacted. However, judging by the message
board discussions and some questions, not every league had measures
in place to deal with the last-minute postponement.
The most common problem for leagues was the late notice that
the NFL gave before cancelling the game. The announcement wasn’t
made until Saturday evening. Most die-hard fantasy players spend
some part of their Sunday mornings checking for last minute injuries
and any tips for whom to start. These players certainly had plenty
of notice to adjust their lineups or pick up replacement players
if necessary. However, there are still those leagues for the more
casual players that require lineups to be submitted prior to Sunday
and many leagues that don’t allow unrestricted free agency
claims. How could leagues like this deal with the situation caused
by Hurricane Ike?
Let’s start with the assumption that you played in a league
where you couldn’t make transactions to react to the game
change. This was the case in the league I run where weekly player
bids close at 9:00 PM on Friday. We had an owner who wasn’t
carrying a backup tight end to Owen Daniels. In addition our league
also has a significant penalty for starting a bye week player
at a required position. (This was enacted to prevent owners from
benching players on Monday night to avoid a negative score). In
this event I decided that the owner in question would not be given
any special consideration in regards of adding an additional player
to cover for Daniels. We have 17-player rosters so not having
a backup for each position is a risk an owner decides to take.
In my opinion this situation was no different than if Daniels
had been a late game scratch due to injury. It’s unfortunate,
but he chose not to carry a backup by choice when our roster size
easily allows for backups at each position. However, I did waive
the bye week starter penalty. The intent of this penalty is to
prevent owners from benching players on Monday Night, not to punish
players for having a fluke situation rob them of a starter.
So is this the answer for all leagues? I’m not sure. I’ve
played in leagues with very little bench depth, maybe only 5-6
players. In these leagues, rotating players on and off of waivers
is sometimes a necessity to field a lineup. What are some solutions
in this situation? The easiest solution is to allow an emergency
pickup off the waiver wire prior kickoff. This wouldn’t
give the impacted player a huge advantage, because the claim is
still being made prior to kickoff, it’s just bending the
league’s rule to accommodate a freak situation. Another
option is to leave the week 2 result open until the game is actually
played in week 10. I’m not crazy about this option because
no one really wants to wait eight weeks on a win or a loss. And
as we’ve discussed, there is always the option of making
no special consideration as this is a situation that’s very
similar a last minute inactive player and we all have to deal
with that without any sympathy from our competitors.
Well enough talk about the weather, let’s take a question.
Q) I'm the commish in a PPR league that Pre-Draft
talked about switching from redraft to keeper. My issue is that
some people only want one keeper while others want as many as
six. I thought that three was a good number, but am now stuck.
It’s a really young league and I want to make sure everyone
would stay (it's tough to get new people for an existing keeper
A) I think if you are transitioning from a total re-draft league
to a keeper league, the thing to do is start with one or two players
the first year. As you mention, the ability to find new owners
can increase with the number of keepers.
You really need to have smart committed owners to get beyond
3 keepers to a dynasty league. I've been running my league for
10 years now and about 5 years ago we went to a single keeper
player. In addition, we added a secondary keeper who can be kept
from the last 5 rounds of the draft (a development type player).
I can send you the specific rules if you'd like. We also cap keepers
at 3 year contracts so the longest you can keep a particular player
is 3 season.
If it’s a really young league as you describe, I'd start
with one or two, and set some good rules restrictions on what
you have to sacrifice to keep a player (typically early round
draft picks) and how long they can be kept. I'm afraid if you
get up to three or more you'll have some owners with stacked teams
and some with mediocre teams who don't see any way of improving
and may bail on your league.
That’s it for session IV. As always feel free to send
in your questions and I’ll answer them as quickly as
I can. Next week I’ll discuss a scoring error that’s
causing a bit of a problem in my league and how we’ve dealt
with that situation.