You Be the Commish: Auction Tricks

You Be the Commish is your chance to make a ruling on an exciting rules conundrum.

Today’s issue comes from Fantasy Football Today:

You are commissioner in an online auction, $200 budget. Someone nominated David Johnson for $1. Immediately, another owner bids $50, and someone ups it to $51. Just then, it is revealed that this is not David Johnson, electric RB for the Cardinals, but David Johnson, ho-hum Steelers tight end. Obviously, the $51 bidder thought he was bidding on the good DJ. Nobody else bids, and the lousy DJ goes to the $51 bidder, who immediately complains that the bid should not stand.

As commissioner, what is your ruling? Check the comments for our experts’ rulings, and weigh in on what your decision would be.

6 Comments on “You Be the Commish: Auction Tricks”

  1. First of all, I don’t think the owner who made the mistake deserves to lose 25% of their budget as punishment. Giving them a lesser punishment, like a $5 fine, seems fairer, but it still feels arbitrary. Since the purpose of the nomination was to embarrass someone for bidding on them, my ruling would be as follows: First, I reverse what just happened: David Johnson goes back into the pool and the owner gets their $51 back. Second, whoever nominated the fake David Johnson gets to choose a silly, non-financial rule that the $51 bidder must follow for the remainder of the auction. For instance, “the person who bid $51 has to sing all of their subsequent nominations in extreme falsetto.” (note: example punishment would only work if people are on video. But, frankly, you should all be camming in for your online auctions)

  2. The owner who bid $51 on the wrong David Johnson should have been paying attention and deserves to be stuck. Ultimately, in the name of fairness, I would back it out but in situations like that, league rules should dictate a punishment for the owner. For example, the move would be backed out, and the owner would have a terrible kicker put onto their team for 20% of his bid or $10, whichever is higher, as punishment. This will deter buyers remorse, “I didn’t mean to bid, please back out my bid,” in the auctions.

    Ultimately I think the onus is on the owner to not snap bid and realize who he is bidding on. In this case, it would be unfair to have him keep the player given the cost, but what if it was an IDP league and he spent $15 on the “wrong” Brandon Marshall? What then?

    This should be outlined in the league rules. Pay attention to your bids.

  3. You are responsible for your own draft. There is a picture and team that pops up online whenever someone is nominated. If you don’t know that David Johnson plays for Arizona and don’t question when he switched teams, you deserve to be duped.

    Having said that, there should be something in your league rules that would allow for this type of action to be reversed, because everyone should be trying to win on a level playing field. If you aren’t good enough to beat someone without tricking them into spending 25% of their budget, you probably aren’t good enough to win your league.

  4. Our auction we allow each person 1 “mulligan” to correct for accidental bids or things of that nature. We all have dogs, cats, and kids and they’re all at the draft. Stuff happens. You have to call it immediately and you just roll back and redo. It gets used about once a year.

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