Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

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M-Dub
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Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby M-Dub » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:05 pm

Tanking has been a popular topic around here of late. I think the detrimental effects of tanking are fairly obvious, but I was just curious if anyone has attempted to objectively define tanking in their league bylaws/constitution?

I was thinking you’d probably have to decide on a 3rd party source, like FantasyPros ECR, ESPN or Yahoo weekly rankings, etc., then establish a threshold. For example, nobody in your starting lineup can be more than XX spots below someone on your bench at the same position.

Just curious if anyone has tried implementing a rule like this and if so, how it worked. I think it would obviously have to be implemented in a self-policing manner. If an owner suspects another owner of tanking, the onus would be on them to show that the benched player meets the threshold of being a “must start.” The last thing you’d want to do is force the commish to go through everyone’s lineup with a fine-toothed comb every week.

Any thoughts on a rule like this?
Darcia Lee Fan Club
12-team PPR dynasty, 17-player roster, 4-player taxi
8 starters: 1 QB, 1-4 RB/WR/TE

QB: Wilson
RB: McCaffrey, Mixon, Lindsay, Guice, J. Hill, Scarbrough, Miller (IR)
WR: Godwin, Golladay, Keenan, Woods, Sammy, Tre’Quan
TE: Ertz, Rudolph
Taxi: Irv Smith, Dexter, Gaskin

Put The Coke On My Dak
Same settings as above except 18-player rosters

QB: Dak, Baker
RB: CMC, DJ, Sanders, Barber, Edwards, Gallman
WR: Julio, ARob, Kirk, Lockett, Campbell, Tate
TE: Kelce, Goedert, Howard, Jonnu
Taxi: Gaskin, Isabella

The Guiceman Cometh
20-player rosters, $420 cap, 60 contract years, same starting requirements

QB: Foles $1/1, Minshew $1/1
RB: Gurley $71/2, Gordon $62/2, Dam. Williams $36/1, Guice $24/4, Henderson $14/3, Hill $4/5, Jon Williams $1/1, Gaskin $1/1
WR: Godwin $50/4, Hilton $43/2, Hollywood $9/3, Hamilton $2/5, Conley $1/1, Pascal $1/1, Gage $1/1
TE: Njoku $28/1, Howard $20/4, Griffin $1/1

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Plank
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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Plank » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:12 pm

no, I wouldn't do anything like that, but what I have in most my leagues is a committee, the commish, alt commish, and a League player that discuss and judge on rules on a case by case basis .. so something like that the committee would vote and all decisions are final, so effectively you would have 3 people agreeing its tanking or some kind of split ..

I would not want to define it, somethings should stay subjective .. like, I dunno.. what is a catch.
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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Jigga94 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:17 pm

Playing CJ Uzomah over Travis Kelce
2QB, 2RB, 3WR, TE, FLEX - PPR - 14 Keepers
QB: Mahomes, Baker, D. Jones, Minshew, Luck
RB: Sony, D. Freeman, Penny, Mostert, Snell, J. Jackson, Hyde, Gaskin
WR: Tyreek, Julio, DJM, Hollywood, Cooks, C. Davis, Preston, Parris, MVS
TE: Andrews, Henry, Fant, Irv
2020: 1.02, 2.02, 3.02, 4.02, 4.08

2QB, 2RB, 2WR, TE, 3FLEX - PPR - 20 Keepers
QB: Dak, Ryan, Foles, Minshew, Cam
RB: CMC, Jacobs, Hunt, Penny, J. Samuels, J. Jackson, Gaskin
WR: DJM, Mike Will, Hollywood, Deebo, Diontae, C. Davis, Lazard, Parris, MVS, AB
TE: Andrews, Henry, Gesicki, Jonnu, Thomas
2020: 1.09, 2.02, 2.05
2021: 1, 1, 2, 3

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Phaded » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:25 pm

To me tanking is a clear and obvious intention to score a lesser amount of points than you meaningfully could.

I commish all three leagues I am in, and tanking is something that I do not tolerate in my leagues.
I haven't really had a problem with it as I lay that expectation and remind everyone at the start of every year.

I also give myself full authority to decide if someone is tanking and have written my bylaws in a way that if you are viewed to be tanking, you will receive one warning. A second time will result in removal from the league.

To objectively define it is difficult, but it is a judgment call you need to make. If it is not a judgment call that you can make as a commissioner or are comfortable making, you should not be a commissioner. Period.

Tanking should not be confused with thinking outside of the box, or playing match-ups. If there is some justification or rationale behind it, then leave it be. It's not very different than the theory of not allowing a veto in a league.

"Tanking" is blatant - lineup choices are a completely different thing.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby M-Dub » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:42 pm

Phaded wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:25 pm
To me tanking is a clear and obvious intention to score a lesser amount of points than you meaningfully could.

I commish all three leagues I am in, and tanking is something that I do not tolerate in my leagues.
I haven't really had a problem with it as I lay that expectation and remind everyone at the start of every year.

I also give myself full authority to decide if someone is tanking and have written my bylaws in a way that if you are viewed to be tanking, you will receive one warning. A second time will result in removal from the league.

To objectively define it is difficult, but it is a judgment call you need to make. If it is not a judgment call that you can make as a commissioner or are comfortable making, you should not be a commissioner. Period.

Tanking should not be confused with thinking outside of the box, or playing match-ups. If there is some justification or rationale behind it, then leave it be. It's not very different than the theory of not allowing a veto in a league.

"Tanking" is blatant - lineup choices are a completely different thing.
It’s not so much a fear of making judgement calls. It’s more about reducing the need to make judgement calls in the first place. I’m of the opinion that the more problems you can identify and address before they occur, the better. Also, an objective definition would actually allow the commish to adjust the offending lineup either before or after the fact.

Interesting you brought up vetoes, since it seems like the biggest issue most folks have with vetoes is their inherent subjectivity. I think the same complaint could be levied at any decisions made by a commish in the absence of any clearly defined anti-tanking parameters. If the commish’s team is directly affected by the tanking, that just makes it even murkier.
Darcia Lee Fan Club
12-team PPR dynasty, 17-player roster, 4-player taxi
8 starters: 1 QB, 1-4 RB/WR/TE

QB: Wilson
RB: McCaffrey, Mixon, Lindsay, Guice, J. Hill, Scarbrough, Miller (IR)
WR: Godwin, Golladay, Keenan, Woods, Sammy, Tre’Quan
TE: Ertz, Rudolph
Taxi: Irv Smith, Dexter, Gaskin

Put The Coke On My Dak
Same settings as above except 18-player rosters

QB: Dak, Baker
RB: CMC, DJ, Sanders, Barber, Edwards, Gallman
WR: Julio, ARob, Kirk, Lockett, Campbell, Tate
TE: Kelce, Goedert, Howard, Jonnu
Taxi: Gaskin, Isabella

The Guiceman Cometh
20-player rosters, $420 cap, 60 contract years, same starting requirements

QB: Foles $1/1, Minshew $1/1
RB: Gurley $71/2, Gordon $62/2, Dam. Williams $36/1, Guice $24/4, Henderson $14/3, Hill $4/5, Jon Williams $1/1, Gaskin $1/1
WR: Godwin $50/4, Hilton $43/2, Hollywood $9/3, Hamilton $2/5, Conley $1/1, Pascal $1/1, Gage $1/1
TE: Njoku $28/1, Howard $20/4, Griffin $1/1

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Orenthal Shames » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:42 pm

I personally don't bother. I'm pretty hands off as a commish. Our league dues are fairly high and the managers have all been around for years now. As long as you're paid up, do as you like.
16 team league
1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex (RB/WR/TE)
26 man rosters - full point ppr
2015, 17, 18, 19 Champion

QB: Winston, Brissett
RB: Kamara, Gurley, Sanders
WR: Julio, OBJ, Keenan, Fuller
TE: Kelce, Kittle

2020: 1.05, 2.10

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Phaded » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:48 pm

M-Dub wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:42 pm
It’s not so much a fear of making judgement calls. It’s more about reducing the need to make judgement calls in the first place. I’m of the opinion that the more problems you can identify and address before they occur, the better. Also, an objective definition would actually allow the commish to adjust the offending lineup either before or after the fact.

Interesting you brought up vetoes, since it seems like the biggest issue most folks have with vetoes is their inherent subjectivity. I think the same complaint could be levied at any decisions made by a commish in the absence of any clearly defined anti-tanking parameters. If the commish’s team is directly affected by the tanking, that just makes it even murkier.
For what it's worth - I have stated in my league bylaws that as commissioner I reserve the right to replace an injured player (pre-game determination) or bye week player, and will select the player with the highest ESPN points projection. That in itself is something I rarely need to utilize itself. If someone starts an active player, I do not touch their lineup. I will not adjust lineups after players have been locked in or played, for obvious reasons. I have also stated that if someone feels a trade is collusive, or that an owner is purposefully tanking to bring it to my attention and it will be reviewed.

Honestly, I think the bigger problem in this overall picture is not so much the act of tanking itself but the culture of the league if tanking is such a prevalent issue. I personally have not had much exposure to it in my ten years of playing and see a lot more complaints around these parts about it than I ever have in my leagues. Some will swear by their artificial patches, but the more you rely on that, the more complacent and lazier owners become.

And yeah, I brought up vetoes because it comes to the exact same principal really. Jigga mentioned benching Kelce for Uzomah. I'm sure that would be met with as much disdain as trading Kelce for Uzomah.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Pac_Eddy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:51 pm

Phaded wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:25 pm
I also give myself full authority to decide if someone is tanking and have written my bylaws in a way that if you are viewed to be tanking, you will receive one warning. A second time will result in removal from the league.

To objectively define it is difficult, but it is a judgment call you need to make. If it is not a judgment call that you can make as a commissioner or are comfortable making, you should not be a commissioner. Period.
What if you change someone's lineup under this tanking authority and you end up being wrong? And cost the guy a win?

There's a lot that can go wrong with such subjectivity.
Not all that counts can be counted. Not all that can be counted counts.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Cameron Giles » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:54 pm

The only way it can be obvious is if you're benching Julio Jones for Zay Jones, or something.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Phaded » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:55 pm

Read above, I said I will only adjust lineups personally if there is an injured or bye week player in.
If you are found tanking after the fact in my leagues, you receive one warning (no more), and then you're kicked if you do it again.

I'm not talking as much about lineup adjustments as much as penalty to the owner for tanking, which is more what the focus should be on. If you just let an owner keep doing it and adjusting the lineup, you are continually compounding the problem and not resolving it. Again, if someone is tanking purposefully - there are bigger problems than the results that week.

I'm interested in blatant tanking which is extremely easy to detect. Period.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Lumps » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:09 pm

Subscribing to this.

We have been discussing this in one of my leagues. I had an issue with a team that had unfortunate luck at the beginning of the year, losing 3 straight but having a great team. After that point the IDPs were suspect, including a LB that would wind up inactive or not play. It's hard to make a determination of apathy and tanking. In this case there was no waiver activity or an effort to make the team better and they wound up being replaced.

Another team was replaced for not submitting lineups - injured/bye week players. I suppose what Phaded said would solve this issue.

I'm hoping there will be some productive discussion here, because like the OP, our commissioner is looking for something we can set up so there is less ambiguity.
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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby bjd5211 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:27 pm

Orenthal Shames wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:42 pm
I personally don't bother. I'm pretty hands off as a commish. Our league dues are fairly high and the managers have all been around for years now. As long as you're paid up, do as you like.
This is basically how I feel about tanking/trade veto discussions, owners are paying to own these teams and should be allowed to run them as they see fit without interference from other members of the league. The trade veto debate is the one that really bothers me more than tanking, because people trying to interfere with trades that don’t involve them is a lot more common than tanking that rises to the level of needing the commish to step in.

Tanking to the level that it hurts the league or trades that truly rise to the level of collusion are pretty rare, and while there is no way to truly define either they are both things that you just know it when you see it.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby slaughterrt » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:37 pm

Subscribing to this one too.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby pvillebiker » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:54 pm

Committee (or even commish) determinations of tanking are like trade vetoes. If you're waist-deep figuring out how to police them, your league is already in jeopardy.

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Re: Has anyone tried to objectively define tanking?

Postby Ice » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:12 pm

Tanking really isn’t that difficult to spot. It is a bit more difficult in IDP.

I ran a very complex IDP league for years. If an owner started bye week players or obvious tanking decisions we would change line ups with a note and warning.

Ultimately we changed the rules for non playoff teams whereby potential points determined draft picks.

Once the rules were established and discussed we haven’t had issues for the last decade.

We did set up a hand picked tribunal for Team removal but never had to implement.

I like hands on Commish that rules leagues with an iron fist.

In my leagues if you are a tanker or even justify it in anyway you wouldn’t last in any leagues I play in for money.

Commished leagues for close to 20 years and never have really had issue. These days I am Uber selective.

I only play in one free league and it’s here and while a few teams drafted and acquired picks hoping to be good in 2-4,years that is strategy based and not what I would consider tanking in a startup league.

Bottom line, tanking is a willful act and if you think it’s going to be perceived as tanking it probably is.


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