Is it Cheating or Strategy?!

Week 12 – This is the week most teams find out if they get in the playoffs or sit home on the fantasy sidelines. This led to a dramatic issue in my keeper league. A league in which I want to punch most people in the face. So I have to win to get in. My opponent has already clinched. My opponent intentionally placed Jacoby Ford in the starting lineup over Desean Jackson.

The league called myself and my opponent a cheater… Great stuff! I run a f’in fantasy football blog and give advice to have of these dipshits and they call me the cheater….Well, in all honesty it was the “assistant commish” that called me a cheater though he “refuses to admit it” in the message boards…..but I digress. Let’s get to the point at hand.

Bottom line is this…. My opponent was choosing to possibly lose this week….Now he hasn’t told me this….He could believe his best chance to win is starting Jacoby Ford. But let’s be honest…it’s impossible to say that starting Ford is a “winning” approach. Why you might ask? Because if I win I get in and because of the seedings I would match up against him in the first round of the playoffs. My opponent most likely believes that he has his best chance to advance in the playoffs by playing me again and setting a legit lineup. Now, this is the question? Is it cheating for him to choose to play Ford over Jackson?

 I think not…I think it is a strategic decision one could call genius. He has the right to play anyone he wants. You can’t argue that  he is tanking by benching a star player for a scrub player. How many times have I advocated a spot start or a gut start? In this case he is using reverse logic and starting a “hot” player over a stud. Even though the logic was to lose he could very well win by starting Ford. This is sometimes the “thinking outside the box” approach you need to have in fantasy play to be successful….especially with the large pot that is up for grabs…. I’m curious about the blogosphere’s thoughts on this topic….please comment below!

—editor’s note: The commish forced my opponent to start Jackson and bench Ford claiming “it was a sweetheart deal to start Ford.” Jackson only scored 11 points this week and we are still waiting on Ford’s fantasy production.


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22 Responses to “Is it Cheating or Strategy?!”

  1. Rich says:

    Your commish must be one of those big goverment types…..he knows better so he’ll meddle and “fix” things. Maybe if it was a lopsided trade….but to tell a player who he has to start? Why bother giving players the option to set their lineup….just have the commish do it all. Big time BS! Another way to look at it…..What does he or one of his cronnies have to gain from a possible loss by you?

  2. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    Rich – you make a great point. The Assistant commish who accused me of cheating BENEFITS if I lose. Basically my loss gives the Assistant commish the best chance to get in….interesting that “he” is the one that called it a sweetheart deal.

    As for the commish he is one of those “honest” types…. if you aren’t honest you are punished.

  3. AC Slater says:

    Hey Jacoby Ford is Legit He will show you all this weekend against the vaunted Sandiego Defense. Side note Sandiego has bad special teams I wonder who returns kicks fot the Raiders?

  4. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    If Ford is so legit I guess you will definately start him against JAX next week? Sorry, I’m not a believer in ANY RAIDER….

  5. Nate says:

    If you win because the Commissioner made your opponent start Ford, will he retroactively allow a lineup change?

  6. […] Sleepers « Is it Cheating or Strategy?! […]

  7. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    Hahaha….Nate that is a great bleeping question. I would doubt it but don’t you worry… I’ll bring that up on the message board today! Thx for the advice!

  8. Hawgman says:

    Sounds to me like someone needs to find a new league. If our commish tried to force me to start one player over another I’d have to explain to him that it is my team and if I want to bench everyone but the kicker, I paid my entry fee and I will start who I choose to start. If he wants to refund all of my money and take over the team, I think I would let him.
    I am really amazed that anyone would put up with that kind of fertilizer.

  9. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    @Hawgman- I’m with ya. I’m done with this league once this year is over. Its is a keeper league and it is year round but it is just too much. I gotta close it out now that I’m almost a 1G deep….and the fact that I made th playoffs makes it a bit more pallitable.

  10. The Commish says:

    @ Hawkman

    No offense, but based on your naive comments, it is pretty obvious you have never taken on the daunting task of being a Commish yourself.

    You wrote, “It is my team and if I want to bench everyone but the kicker, I paid my entry fee and I will start who I choose to start.”

    So are you saying it is OK for a person to start all scrubs in an effort to help a buddy make the playoffs? Is it also OK for a person to trade all of his best players to a buddy to help that guy make the playoffs? Or what about paying another owner (also your buddy) to accept a bad trade so he feels compelled to accept it?

    These are all textbook examples of collusion and I am pretty sure if it happened in your league you would be livid. Things aren’t always black and white and when a person has a shady history (like the accused has) it’s up the Commish, (i.e. ME) to evaluate the situation and do what it is necessary to make sure the entire league doesn’t get screwed.

    • Hawgman says:

      You are correct – I have never been a commish. Nor do I want to be.

      My position is that there are rules for a reason. The NFL finally had enough of the helmet-to-helmet crap and made a rule change to reflect this. If you have evidence of collusion, then the commish must take care of it. But if I feel that Brandon Jacobs will have a better day than Peyton Hillis, that’s who I will start. If you have an issue with a couple of folks that are trying to skew the results, simply ask them to not join the league.

      We have a problem in our league with people quitting or skipping out on putting in a starting line-up. It is usually those that are not having a great year and it usually starts right around week 9 or 10. It’s not two folks getting together to screw another out of the playoffs, it’s just plain old apathy. If you have those types on the schedule late in the season, it benefits you greatly.

      To answer your questions –
      > “So are you saying it is OK for a person to start all scrubs in an effort to help a buddy make the playoffs?”
      Not at all. If that is the reason. Again, if I feel that one player will do better than another, that’s who I start. If I start injured players (Frank Gore for example), then you have a case.

      > “Is it also OK for a person to trade all of his best players to a buddy to help that guy make the playoffs?”
      Not at all. We have a system in our league where the rest of the league votes on trades. Some leagues have it as the commish’s decision on weather trades are fair or not.

      > “Or what about paying another owner (also your buddy) to accept a bad trade so he feels compelled to accept it?”
      Our league rules may be a little different than some. We have 6 free FA pick-ups (no waiver wire) and 1 free team-to-team trade. anything after that costs $5 per move. I have offered to pay for a team-to-team trade, but it was done on the league’s message board, not “behind closed doors”.

      If someone has a “shady history” why would you want them in your league? It can’t be that hard to fill out a league with 10 or 12 owners.

      • The Commish says:

        Here are my responses to your last message….

        > “So are you saying it is OK for a person to start all scrubs in an effort to help a buddy make the playoffs?”
        Not at all. If that is the reason. Again, if I feel that one player will do better than another, that’s who I start. If I start injured players (Frank Gore for example), then you have a case.

        ——————

        My response:

        I agree that no one should force you to have to play a popular choice (like Jackson over Ford). I actually did not do that. Flukie likes to omit certain details to make his story more interesting. But more on that later.

        ——————-

        > “Is it also OK for a person to trade all of his best players to a buddy to help that guy make the playoffs?”
        Not at all. We have a system in our league where the rest of the league votes on trades. Some leagues have it as the commish’s decision on weather trades are fair or not.

        ——————–

        My response:

        One thing that you don’t know about the league in question is that it consists of many players (mostly FRIENDS of mine) from another league, a league which was full of shadiness and controversy from the start. Maybe I was full of myself, but I was convinced (and still am) that I could/can handle with it better than the previous Commish. Oh and I have never been in favor of league-wide votes. There are too many biases in play and I have seen it leas to disastrous results with this group. The Commish should make the final say and if people don’t trust the Commish to make the right call they should look for a new league to play in.

        ———————

        > “Or what about paying another owner (also your buddy) to accept a bad trade so he feels compelled to accept it?”
        Our league rules may be a little different than some. We have 6 free FA pick-ups (no waiver wire) and 1 free team-to-team trade. anything after that costs $5 per move. I have offered to pay for a team-to-team trade, but it was done on the league’s message board, not “behind closed doors”.

        ———————-

        My answer:

        This example, like the one above, happened in the other league I was talking about. One of the guys involved in the first example has built himself a reputation for being a shady. Flukie and the other guy, who I will refer to as Mr. Shady are buddies.

        Without boring you with the details, Mr. Shady had already clinched a playoff spot when he decided to play Ford over Jackson. It was believed, with very little to play for, Shady who was playing Flukie that week, was taking it easy on his opponent it an effort to help his pal make the playoffs.

        You are entitled to your opinion but it was my belief it was a bit shady side. Again, I won’t bore you with the details but Mr. Flukie took certain steps on the message boards to lead the league on that he and Mr. Shady were up to good. It riled the league up and forced me to take action. Despite what Flukie tells you, (how we even know?), I didn’t force Mr. Shady to play Jackson but I did warn him that if Ford put up a stinker and it cost certain teams a playoff bid, there could be consequences for his bravado decision.

        I don’t know if any of this rambling made sense but maybe now you have a better understanding of the other side.

        • Hawgman says:

          You are correct about one thing – I don’t know all the details. I do know something that my wise old GranPa used to tell me. “There’s three sides to every story. His side, the other side, and the truth”. The problem is that unless you are one of the “sides” you can only infer the truth, especially if you do not trust the sides.

          Just for giggles – How much money is tied up in this league? What are the payouts?

  11. […] note: Also I posted something a few days back about cheating or strategy in a PPR league. It’s an interesting debate and I’m looking forward to more feedback from fellow […]

  12. JS says:

    We have a cheating clause in the Dynasty League I am in. If you are already out of the playoffs and bench your best guys for the best chance at the number 1 pick the following year you have to pay $10 into the pot. Same goes for if you are already in the playoffs and are looking for a better match up or trying to get your friend in. I always go with Karma is a $itch and if the guy let you win to play you in the playoffs he may have just screwed himself. That strategy almost never works.

    Flukie – Did you see who is getting the start in AZ this week? Skelton he will not give this position up and will be a beast in a yr or 2.

    Also, if you haven’t looked into him go after Jimmy Graham in NO. He is going to be the next Gates.

    • The Fantasy Flukie says:

      @ JS – I cant believe Skelton is starting…wow no I didn’t notice. I wasn’t paying attention to AZ.

      As for Jimmy Graham I have noticed him and thought about grabbing him. But when are they FINALLY gonna cut Shockey loose? As long as he is there is is going to steal from Graham. I was hot to trot on Hoomanuisomething whatever his name is in STL but he got hurt and is done for the fantasy year.

  13. The Commish says:

    I LOATHE rewarding people with high picks for finishing with a poor record. What incentive do you have to improve your team? None. A team who finishes with a good record should have just as a good chance at a high pick than anyone. What you are really doing is screwing the 3rd and 4th best teams, who usually finish with no prize money. They get no prize money AND a lousy pick?! Shenanigans, I say.

    As for a $10 penalty, do you seriously think that will deter cheating? Maybe $10 for your buddies is a lot of money, but for mine it’s lunch at Burger King. As for Jimmy Graham, Flukie has no need to go after him, since he isn’t returning to my crappy league anyway, right Flukie 🙂

    • Hawgman says:

      We have a lottery type draw a couple of weeks before the draft. The 10th place finisher gets 10 chances at the #1 pick, 9th place gets 9 and so on. Our commish is one of those geeky engineer types and is a wiz with Excel. He wrote a macro that picks the “names out of the hat”.
      It’s not perfect but it is what we came up with and we’re happy with it.

    • JS says:

      @Commish – so angry you are. The way this league is set up no one really gets screwed on their pick. The bottom 4 who miss the playoffs go into a lottery for the first 4 picks. The next 6 are seeded on how they do in the playoffs 5-10. With that said though without knowing the leagues format you can’t say someone gets screwed. As a dynasty league you keep 10 guys so your team for the most part is intact come draft day. The first rnd or two of the draft is full of rookies and up and comers like Dez Bryant or Foster. You can also trade players for draft picks during the year and even make moves during the off season. I am in the playoffs this year so will have a pick from 5-10 but have also made in season moves like trading Manning for a lottery pick and players and now have a top four and another pick in rnd 1 next year. Even if I finish 3rd, I still have a great pick. This league is all about making moves to improve your team for the future as well as the current year. We try and run this league as close to the NFL (seeding, roster cuts, trading picks, etc..) as possible while staying in the world of fantasy. It has been going on for 8yrs now and there are always different teams in the playoffs every year and it has been the same 10 guys every year.

      As for the $10, is it a lot of money (league fee is $250 plus $ for each transaction) so no it is nothing, but it usually will add another $40 or so onto the winner’s pot in the end. It is better then just letting a team do it for nothing and let the same shadiness and flimflammery go on as in your league. It is more a payment of shame then anything else. There is noway to really stop it so you may as well get a wks worth of lunch out of it in the end.

  14. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    @Hawgman – I don’t know the payouts per sae but i know there is about 5G in pot money….so figure 20% to points – 1G and the balance of the 4G breaks up amongst the superbowl teams….

    I like the excel out of a hat thing pretty witty.

    @Commish – you know the deal I’m 99% out of your league….the only thing holding me back is the sick pathetic amount of time i spent getting me guys and walking away after 2 yrs annoys me now that I have some good dollar players

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