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I have a FF ethical question.

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Lame, but let it go...

Postby CellarDweller » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:34 am

bacchuspupff wrote:and I announced that I might do it beforehand. Neither the league manager nor the player who's bitching about it now responded when I said what I might do.

Personally - I think its lame to not put up your best team each week. If you can't beat the best, you shouldn't be there. However, if you posted your intentions prior to pulling your QB and nobody said anything then I think everyone passed on their right to complain, and everything should remain. I don't like it, and think its a cheap way to protect yourself in the post season, but the members of your league had an opportunity to tell you no before you pulled McNabb and didn't. So now they gotta deal with it. My leagues post questions like this right all the time and the commish always answers quickly to prevent situations like this. Sounds to me like part of the fault lies with your Commish. Well there's my two cents.
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Postby kevinoc81 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:14 am

I don't like it, I would never do it, I think it is a Candy A**ed way to protect yourself, I would be pissed if someone in my league did it.........but the bottom line is it's not against the rules. We kind of have a gentleman's agreement in my league that we will not do this and we will let our best possible line-ups (do everything in our power to field a whole team) determine the winners, playoff teams, etc.

Like I said, I wouldn't do it and I would be pissed at you if I were in your league, but I think kicking you out is way too extreme. I think for following years though you should all discuss this before the season and either make a gentleman's agreement that nobody will do it or say it is a legitimate strategy and allow everyone to do it. It was never discussed this year and it's not a written rule, so I think you have to let it stand.
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Postby mtryanks12 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:20 pm

All yuo were doing id preparing for the playoffs and being strageic. I don't see anything wrong with that.
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Postby eaglesrule » Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:47 pm

The people who think it is unethical are ignoring the ultimate rule. You aren't playing week to week for its own benefit, you are playing a game where the week to week games are cumulative. As such, each week is a means to an end: WINNING THE LEAGUE.

If there is one thing in fantasy sports that is sancrosanct it is the notion that you can choose what lineups to set, and to a lesser extent, control your team through trades and fa acqusiitons.

the beatuty of the game is that these things are your decisions.

Pro sports teams dont' come out an say it, but you had better believe they tank for various strategic and draft based reasons.

And in fantasy sports, two things don't exist that do in the real world -- hoem field advantage and the ability to directly stop your opponent.

You are under no obligation to start your best team, if in fact that directly harms your team.

Basically everyone is proscribing that it is unethical to do something that is both: your decision, and yours alone (setting your lineup) and harmful to you.

why should you set a lineup that hurts you? which when you boil it down, is what you would be doing.

You can't argue that it isn't competitve (it is extremely competitve), the person is trying to win the league.

You can't argue that it is an illegal lineup (I agree that you shouldn't be able to "blank" a lineup, gotta leave the chance in to win)

You can't argue that he isn't well within his rights to submit any legal lineup he sees fit.

The only argument that I hear that I agree with is that it is a wussy move to do. so Karma plays a role. But karma is hardly compelling as a concrete reason.

Someone is ALWAYS going to miss the playoffs, and more often than not, it will be a sob story of one type or another.

You look out for number one, and submit legal lineups and don't collude. Anything else is strategy.

This is a slippery slope. What's next vetoing dumb draft picks and early season lineups because they are dumb, and thus "violate the integrity of the league?
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Postby freewaydog3 » Thu Dec 16, 2004 2:09 am

personally i feel like if you are going to play against manning week 15 is the best time to do it since he is playing against the ravens. i could of knock the one guy out of our league that has manning week 14. but i made a couple roster mistakes(wiggins over heap, broncos D over pitts D) so guess what i get to play him again this week. but i am hoping that the ravens are going to shut him down. at least slow him down.
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Postby bacchuspupff » Fri Dec 17, 2004 9:02 am

Thanks for all your input... ultimately, after I tried to argue my case, the players started putting it to a vote. After 5 of 10 players voted to disqualify me, I forfieted. The $300 or so that I might have won by staying in the league wasn't worth it to me.

Many of the players argued that this rule HAD been discussed at the beginning of the season. But I doubt any of them really believe that this specific situation was discussed. My understanding was that you could only make moves to help your team, but that anything else was fair game. Certainly, nothing was written down. I thought it was ridiculous, and pretty clearly a move they made simply because I talked smack during the season and they didn't like me very much - the option had been there to simply add the points McNabb would have had back into my score and forget the whole thing.

Live and learn. I won't be playing with these people again, and I doubt they'd want to play with me.

Ultimately, I think people get caught up in the fantasy. In real life, I understand wanting to beat the best to be the best. But in FF, the best team changes on a weekly basis depending on matchups. McNabb, Holmes, and Rudi Johnson sounds great going up against Houston, New Orleans, and Kansas City; but put the same line up in against Baltimore, Buffalo, and Miami, and it's a different story. Why should I want to "beat the best" when he's only the best that week because he happens to have all his players playing crappy defenses? You have to use whatever strategy you can to create the most favorable match-ups with the goal to win the whole thing. I still don't see anything wrong, in the absence of a written rule, with intentionally losing a game for the SOLE purpose of helping your team.

Thanks again all.
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Postby Kensat30 » Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:29 pm

There's nothing wrong with what you did, it happens in the NFL as well. Green Bay got an easy win in week 17 last year and made it into the playoffs because Denver sat their stars. Denver shouldn't be forced to play their best guys, they get an advantage by being rested and injury free in the first round of the playoffs. You get an advantage by playing the weaker team.

Minnesota had a chance to make the playoffs that year(Manning owner), but they didn't win enough games (including week 17) to make it. Do you think if Minnesota filed a grievance against Denver for throwing their week 17 game anything would come of it? Minnesota's destiny was in their hands the entire season, it's not Denver's fault that they came up short of the playoffs, and it's not your fault that the Manning owner came up short either.
The Manning owner in your league would have made the playoffs if his team was the best. It shouldn't matter what you or any other team in the league does when it comes to that.

The only way your league has the merit to complain is if there are roster requirements put IN WRITING before the season begins. If the league rules say that you have to start a QB, your team should face whatever penalties are written down in your league rules. Don't agree to any bullshit about unwritten rules when the playoffs come around, especially if you paid to get into the league.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Fri Dec 17, 2004 9:22 pm

Blah...I wasn't going to start again, but I just don't see the validity in the analogy Kensat gave. :-/

Did Denver sit their stars with the sole purpose of keeping Minnesota out of the playoffs? Nope...they did it to rest their players and avoid injuries going into the playoffs. In fantasy football, starting a player does not get them injured. That makes the argument worthless.

Our friend who asked the original question sat a player with the sole purpose of keeping another team out of the playoffs...not to "rest players."

Fantasy teams who sit players intentionally is tanking, pure and simple. You altered the results for your team knowing full well that by doing it another person would lose out. That's it...it should not be called "covering your own butt," "strategy," or whatever else you want to call it - it's still not right! Once again, I understand that since it wasn't in the written rules at the beginning of the year that it "might" be deemed as OK, but in good conscience it just isn't. I wouldn't have kicked our friend out of the league; that was pretty harsh. However, I would have voted to add the points for McNabb and play on. That would have been a good enough punishment for what happened.

I truly feel bad for bacchus in that he can't fairly compete for the title now...I'm not that strict. :-)

It seems like we have one of these questions every week, and it always turns into a huge politick-esque debate - anything goes vs. straight and narrow. You all know I'm for the latter, and that's not going to change. I'm not going to change anyone on the other side either, but I was doing a little bit of searching on ethics for fantasy football yesterday and found a nice column on ethical play. It does not address the subject at hand, but it can easily be lumped into the theory.

http://www.fantasyasylum.com/modules/se ... e&artid=41
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Postby work4beerz » Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:44 am

Here is a thought. Do teams in the NFL ever let another team score in order to get the ball back.
That is tanking it. Shouldn't they play hard every down and not give up points.
They might not win, but they feel that the matchup between their offense and the opposing teams defense is better than their defense and the other teams offense.
But I don't think you can realy use NFL football with Fantasy Football. Fantasy football is a STRATEGY game. A differant type of game. The goal to win the final championship. Who wants to be the first loser? In strategy games you may give up battles to win the war.
I say to the guy who didn't make the playoffs: Tough! You were in a bad position anyway, if you needed another team to win for you to get in. That team owes you nothing. You shouldn't be allowed to skate in by forcing the outcome of a match.
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Postby Dirtbags » Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:44 am

This one comes up every year and there is no one answer that applies to all of us.

'Never tank a game period.'

'Never tank a game if it's your league with friends since it's a shady move and you value your friendships over it.'

'It's OK if you don't really know the other owners because you could care less if you play with them again next year. All you want to do is win at any cost'.

I've never tanked a game and I definately wouldn't do it with a league of friends. I'm not sure what I'd do in the case of the last answer though. I haven't been in that situation yet.

My only problem with this whole debate is how do you define a rule so that you know who should be started. I'm not talking about pulling a McNabb and not starting a QB.

I'm talking about who's to say who your best players are that particular week. Should you be forced to start Manning vs the Ravens just because he's your best QB? Are you tanking it if you don't? I'm not sure how you can put this one into the rules. Are we to put it to a vote as to whom your best players are each week?

I'm not talking about the obvious starts, but once you try to define who you have to start then I think it just opens the door for everyone to question every starting lineup.

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