The Public Stocks: A Place to Shame Cheaters

I don’t like cheating. I don’t like cheating on board game night, I don’t like cheating on soccer night, and I despise cheating in fantasy football.

Fortunately, I run virtually every league I’m in and I’ve written ridiculously thorough league rules, and, for the most part, this has prevented any shenanigans from taking place. This year, however, I helped a friend with his team in a fairly high buy-in ($200), 10-team, friends and family league, which, despite its high buy-in, was fairly low-key.

It was here that I encountered the most blatant cheater I’ve ever encountered

My buddy is a shift worker, so I did a lot of the work for him, sometimes even placing waiver claims when he knew he wouldn’t have a chance to- though only with his consent. On either Monday or Tuesday he placed a claim for Rodgers and, on Wednesday, I followed up on it. Despite having the highest priority amongst the remaining 4-teams, he didn’t get Rodgers. I figured one of the lower teams had poached him until I saw he was on one of the playoff teams (I confirmed with the waiver report that my friend’s claim was unsuccessful), which was odd because, again, my friend’s team had the higher priority.

I looked at the league history (on ESPN where every move is tracked) and noticed that, on Tuesday, the Commissioner had modified the waiver order. I went back and checked who had claimed Rodgers and, surprise, it was the Commissioner.

I brought this to my friend’s attention and he brought it up to the commissioner who 1) denied he did anything, 2) said he accidently want to that page, 3) that he hadn’t changed anything- it just made a notification because he had been there, and 4) called my friend a cry-baby over losing Rodgers. I did a little home work and found that it’s virtually impossible to get that page by accident AND, unless you make a change, no notification is generated. Smelling a rat, I filtered the league history down to just commissioner actions and saw this:

To put this in proper context, the commissioner: 1) Altered the waiver order on 4 occasions and gave himself top-priority (as confirmed by waiver reports), 2) Altered the schedule to play the lowest projected team that week (both after major injuries) on 2 occasions, and 3) Altered the scoring multiple times in ways that appeared calculated to benefit his team at the expense of his opponent.

I collected all evidence and submitted it to my friend to present to the league. The commissioner- despite clear evidence of wrongdoing throughout the season- still denies he cheated. The league has basically taken a “well, he always cheats, so whatever” approach. Given that my friend can’t get justice, I wanted to share this with the Foot Clan so that I can vent my extreme frustration.

Rant concluded. For those of you that have outrageous cheating stories, please share them. This is the first time I’ve encountered this brazen of action and I’m curious what else is out there.

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Wowsers and I thought King’s Landing was bad.

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Wow …that is awful…

I’d def never play in that league again.

Don’t have any horror stories at the moment…got a good group of guys early on and 8 years later still going strong.

Crazy story and nice job on your part to compile all that info and give it to your buddy to present it to the league

That’s absurd. I would lose it if it was just a free ‘for fun’ league. For $200 buy in!??!? He’s God damn stealing money!!

The only thing that I’ve ever had to deal with was a couple of guys starting an empty lineup towards year end to tank for better picks in a keeper league. Myself and a couple others called this out and criticized the act. It took WAY more arguing than it should have; because the commish was one of the perpetrators and claimed it was strategy. Which…yeah, sure…it’s strategy - but it’s garbage. A rule was implemented the following year stating that everybody had to field a full lineup unless there was a justifiable reason (i.e. I’m up 3 point going into Monday night and don’t want to risk my QB throwing 5 INTs and losing points).

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that’s not just eff that league territory that’s a legit fist to the face territory when you’re talking about messing with that much money.

FWIW: I’ve seen a good off-set of that where you use “potential points for” as a means shutting that down. Essentially, you either have to a) play your best, justifiable lineup or b) have the highest potential score held against you for rookie draft purposes.

We had an issue of that in my dynasty league because we didn’t do a great job outlining how much tanking was allowed. Ironically, the tankers complained when I out tanked them using only active players/starters (where applicable).

Unfortunately, given the sudo-illegal nature of gambling (or wagering) on fantasy sports, there’s not really a legal remedy that I’m aware of. Somewhat similar to complaining to the authorities that the other guys you robbed a bank with didn’t give you your share.

I would demand my money back. No chance that I would have money taken away from me by someone cheating the system. I would do it in person as well, make a very big statement. That’s 200 bucks that if I lose fairly would still piss me off, but to someone that is cheating I would loose my mind. No way would I ever play in that league again either. It’s crazy to me that the rest of the league is a bunch of snowflakes and wouldn’t grow a pair and say something.

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Wow, I’d for sure beat him. What a loser.