The NFL barely escaped calamity this week as what was almost three games canceled or suspended came down to three. First, the Titans are currently the holder of the Miami Marlins Plague Ship Award. Cam Newton has COVID-19, as does Chiefs practice squad QB Jordan Ta’amu (who was Cam in practice this week); their week four matchup remained up-in-the-air until numerous tests came back as negative, and they rescheduled for Monday. There was a go-to-sleep-early-and-you-missed-it false-positive scare involving the Saints, which would have kneecapped the Saints-Lions tilt today. Also, there’s the little matter of our entire Executive Branch coming down with COVID-19, presumably, through some sort of mutual coughing-in-mouths circle, given the thoroughness and speed of infection.
Everything is becoming a disaster and in quick order. Why, then, are we not being more lenient with our fantasy football COVID-19 commissioning? All over Twitter, I saw one prevailing point: it’s no different than a Bye, you should have prepared for this. How, exactly? We weren’t even completely certain there would be an NFL season until about halfway through August, and now it’s time to punish our league mates because we weren’t forward-thinking enough while completely making up COVID-19 rules on the fly? Please.
If you are a good commissioner, every rule you make for your league should maximize the usability of your league mates’ roster slots. Period. From there, it’s up to them to decide how they want to take advantage of the opportunities you provided them, but you should provide them with the opportunities to maximize their team’s potential. “Tough, you should have planned better” is not an acceptable answer. Neither is “well you decide if you want to take the risk of if a game gets canceled or not.” And “well, this is no different than a player being questionable” is DEFINITELY not the answer.
So, commissioners, fantasy football fans, and everyone else. Chill out. Let’s maximize roster flexibility, not minimize it. I already wrote about handling coronavirus this offseason. But, we didn’t account for entire games going up in smoke. I have no suggestions for you on that front except this one: listen to your league mates, and come up with a solution. Telling them they “should have done better” to plan for COVID-19 when the NFL’s plan was just “hope it didn’t happen.” It’s here, and it’s clear that our plans and the NFL’s plans aren’t ready for what this has the potential to do this year. Let’s get some solutions sorted out this week, shall we?
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