Fantasy Football Collusion: Flex Rankings Week 14


I always say fantasy football is supposed to be fun. When it ceases to be any fun I will more than likely not do it anymore. Until that day comes I will continue to be a part of the greatest game within a game.

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Some parts are not fun, however. As a commissioner in two leagues I can assure you there is plenty of aspects of fantasy football that are not fun. Settling league arguments is one of them. Especially when the argument involves suspected cheating by another league member. You might not believe that a game that occurs within another game and that is regulated by a major website like Yahoo or ESPN would be subject to a lot of fraudulent play. Think again.

As a commissioner in two leagues I can assure you that there is little you can do prevent cheating from happening. We are a competitive species and many of us will try to win at all costs. The only real effort you can give is talking up integrity like your some high school guidance counselor.

Still, you and your league-mates could be subject to the worst kind of cheating in fantasy football. Collusion. What is collusion? So glad you asked..

Collusion, according to  is to have a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purpose. In fantasy football you can’t get more treacherous than collusion.

I have seen many types of collusion in my 10+ years of playing fantasy. There was a league I was involved in where the commissioner allowed his wife to own a team. The league was suspicious of collusion when they would both pick up free agents within minutes of each other. You see, the commissioner would pick up one of the highly touted free agents of the week. A few minutes later his wife would pick up the player he just dropped. It turned out he was stashing players on her bench. Can you believe him?

Recently, a serious situation involving family and collusion arose for a friend of mine who runs a league I am not involved in. A member of my league, Jose is also in my friends league. Jose has had a history of chicanery in the past in my league, so when I heard the following story I was not surprised.

My friend’s league is a 12 team, half point PPR where the top six teams will make the playoffs. Nothing abnormal about their league set up. Except for maybe the players he has invited to his league. Namely Jose and his father.

Jose has been playing fantasy football with me in a league I am commissioner of for many years now. A few years after our inaugural year there was a rift within the league and at least one league member threatened to quit. Jose said if a spot in the league opened up he wanted us to allow his dad in.

The spot never actually opened up  and I am proud to say we have had the same league members for almost a decade. Jose’s dad never joined the league. A few years ago our mutual friend started his own league, inviting both Jose and myself. I played for one season but decided I already played in too many leagues, so I politely declined the invite for the next season. That left room for Jose’s dad to join that league, essentially taking my spot.

You benched me? What good, logical reason would you have to bench me?

Let’s fast forward to this season. Jose was not doing well. In fact, he wasn’t doing well in any of his leagues. In the 12 team league he had a ranking of 11th or so. His dad was also doing poorly but not as poorly as Jose. He was hanging around seventh in the standings. Jose’s final match up in the regular season just so happened to be against his dad. Jose decided that that was the week not to play DeAndre Hopkins or Demaryius Thomas.

At first glance you might think that he just didn’t like the match up Hopkins was facing that week. He never subbed anyone in leaving both roster spots open. Needless to say his dad won the match up assuring him a playoff spot knocking another player out of post season play. Then came the uproar.

Some league members wanted the commissioner to reverse the roster move, giving Jose’s dad a loss. Someone else just said to kick them both out of the league. Another thought that came out was to forfeit the scores of both teams, giving Jose and his dad a tie. That would in turn prevent his dad form making the playoffs.

Jose apparently has a defense for his actions. He wanted to have fun. Like I mentioned earlier, that is the entire point of playing fantasy football. Since his team was so wretched he wanted to help his dad out. This way, he thought he could still have a little fun cheering for his dad in what was otherwise terrible losing season. After all, all any of us want is to have fun.

So, the league is in a pickle. They all want to have fun. They all realize the best way to keep this fun is play with integrity. No dishonest play, or people may begin to fall out and quit.

They have come to me for help so I am turning it around or passing the buck to you, the reader. Leave a comment below. Give my friend a suggestion on how to handle this situation. Does he kick them out? Does he have a league vote? Does he let the dad keep his playoff position?

You can comment right after the flex rankings. The flex rankings are done with Yahoo standard scoring in mind. Come back to on Thursday afternoon for my Fantasy Ride or Die.
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