Ethical question from a comishoner

In my 8 man league 4 teams make playoffs which are weeks 15 and 16. It so happens that going into week 14, 4 teams have playoffs locked up, only seeding is left in the air. I am one of the 4 teams that have locked playoffs and looking at the other 3 playoff teams there is one that stands out that I would prefer to play in week 15. By losing this week I can guarantee I play the weaker team in the first round. Is it ethical for me to throw this week to minipulate my playoff seeding? I am also the comishoner of this league, so I want to be sensitive to ethical issues but this just seems like good strategy. Thoughts?

That’s iffy. Being the commish changes things. I am also the commish of a couple leagues and I don’t know if I would. Will this make you feel worse about winning the championship thinking you did something under handed? If it would don’t do it. Kind of like business. Are you a Gordon gecko or a mark Cuban

This is strategy and I really dont see how others can tell you its not.

I would only be concerned with my commissioner if he was doing something to give himself an unfair advantage to win, or losing on purpose to help out a friend (collusion). Another problem would be if the person you are losing to only got into the playoffs because of the free win, which is obviously not the case here.

You are not getting an unfair advantage, nor are you colluding with anybody.

Take the L and go for the Championship


You should just change the rules so you can play the weaker team without having to lose

This similar scenario popped up in my 14-man league, which has some decent stakes and a pretty nice pot for the winner. I’m also the commissioner and as fate would have it I am currently the #5 seed heading into our 6-man playoffs and by losing in week 13 I could potentially (contingent on other games) become the #6 seed and play what I would view as the weaker team in the #3 spot.

I did throw the match by putting in Trubiski (out) and Fournette (suspended) and benching Tyreek Hill for a backup starter who ironically scored about the same amount of points. I ended up losing my game, but the rest of the scenario didn’t play out the way I needed.

However, because I lost my game the owner I played (call him “Mr. C”) actually avoided our toilet bowl loser’s bracket, which is the bottom 4 teams. I’ve had a couple of owners pipe up about this and are unhappy about the situation, namely the ones impacted in the toilet bowl bracket. The owner playing me, “Mr. C”, is possibly an easier opponent for the other owners not to mention the guy who is now in the toilet bowl instead of Mr. C is rather annoyed.

What are your guys thoughts on this? Clearly it’s a strategic move on my part and frankly even if it wasn’t me I could understand any owner managing their team for their own benefit, but I’d like to hear non-biased viewpoints.

Also, another owner suggested a penalty of say 20 bucks for starting a player who is ruled out prior to game time. I think that’s a good idea to penalize someone who want’s to throw a game or isn’t paying attention throughout the year.

Thanks for the help!

If it’s not against the rules do it if you want. I have no problem with anyone throwing a game for any reason. I will play anyone to win every single week, not concerned about seedings. Throwing games can backfire just as much as it works out.


I do like the idea of penalizing financially, and that can go towards winning.

Most will say what you’ve done is wrong . I think it’s important to always start a full roster, some of my leagues have this rule. Since you didnt have any rules against it there is really nothing they can do but complain.

The fantasy gods are watching though, and pulling moves like this will one day haunt you. Next year the player that you forced out of the playoffs may be in your shoes and force you out, you really never know.


I agree w/ @EconoTeam 100%

It’s not a strategy I would employ personally. But I wouldn’t cause a fuss if someone else wanted to play it that way.

It’s just anecdotal, but just this week I was projected to lose by about 15 to a team I considered to be pretty stacked… I outscored my projection by about 20 and they fell short of their projection by about 55 (ooohhh yeeeaaah!) so I won easily.


Nice! I wasn’t going to tank the game, but I have Mark Ingram and Mike Thomas who combined to do jack squat on Thursday. I am #2 in overall points and we have a prize for #1 in overall points, but with those guys doing so poorly my chance of making overall points leader was essentially wiped out.

I definitely had most of the league who didn’t seem bothered, but there were 3 or 4 guys that were pretty peeved about it. I’m going to open the vote for next season instituting a monetary punishment for missing players in a lineup so at least if someone does decide to do this again people can feel like the owner at least had to sacrifice something tangible.

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If it’s not against the rules, I don’t think it’s fair to impose any retroactive penalty like a $20 charge. I’d be in favor of at least voting on that type of rule going forward though if the move really upsets people.

If your league has any illegal lineup rules requiring you to start someone in every roster spot, I’d interpret your moves as violating that though. Playing injured/suspended/inactive players has the same effect as leaving the roster spots open. Neither Trubitsky or Fournette was a game time decision either, so it’s not like you could say you didn’t have time to check the injury reports at the last minute.


On a podcast a few weeks ago, I think it was Mike that mentioned starting a bunch of boom/bust players in a situation like that… then if they all bust you can at least say that you were rolling the dice trying to get big points and it just didn’t work out… not sure if that applies to this situation exactly, but worth considering in the future perhaps


Agreed. We have no rules against starting a full roster as it is assumed everyone wants to avoid the toilet bowl punishments we put in place, which is a hefty monetary punishment and public humiliation after the season.

Unfortunately I have a bunch of studs so it’s pretty obvious when I take them out what I’m doing. Also, I put in Trubisky since my QBs consisted of Newton, Jackson and Trubisky. I knew Newton or Jackson were probably gonna get 20+ and I was really screwed at RB in reality since I have Ingram (played), then Hunt (yeah…), Fournette (suspended) and then I picked up Dixon off the wire and started him in place of Tyreek Hill, but I should have swapped out OBJ in hind sight!