Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

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picklerick
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Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby picklerick » Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:02 pm

In a league I commission, a team is setting a full lineup (which is a clear rule) but the lineup is obviously suboptimal (eg RB1s on bench).

We have no clear rules against this. However last year we added a new rule to deter against purposely tanking, with the rationale that tanking is an unfair win to their opponents (the rule was to switch from standings ranking to maximum potential points for, for bottom 4 teams when determining next year draft order).

The team owner is doing this to affect semifinal matchups to his favor. I respect the strategy but could definitely be seen as unfair.

Curious what others think!

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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby smbkrypt24 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:39 pm

This is not okay to do. It could be hard to prove as matchups could also be a reason to start someone over another and projections on players are not universal, but if it is clear and obvious I would warn him and boot him if it continues.
12 Team PPR Dynasty. Start 1 QB, 1 RB, 1 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex (RB/WR/TE), 1 K, 1 D, 20 roster spots.

2013 Startup
Team 1- Back to back champ in ‘19 and ‘20
QB: Herbert, Darnold, Luck
RB: Elliott, Cook, Barkley, Mack, Cohen, Guice
WR: T. Hill, AJB, Di. Johnson, AB, Lazard, G. Davis, Guyton
TE: Andrews, Gronk
Kicker: Crosby
Def: Rams

2021: 3.04
2022: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3

2019 Startup
Team 2- 4th in 2020
QB: Roethlisberger
RB: Swift, Mixon, Hunt, Gaskin, Mack, Edmonds, Guice
WR: T. Hill, JuJu, OBJ, M. Brown, Shepard, Samuel, Guyton, Hamler
TE: Ebron, Trautman
Kicker: Blankenship
Def: WFT

IR: D. Williams

2021: 1.04, 1.09
2022: 1, 2, 3

2021 Startup
Team 3
QB: Wentz, Winston
RB: Elliott, J. Conner, Da. Johnson, Vaughn, Guice
WR: J. Jefferson, Claypool, D. Johnson, Samuel, Campbell, Coutee
TE: Kittle, Cox, Trautman
Kicker: Myers
Def: Chargers

2021: none
2022: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3

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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby Pullo Vision » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:27 pm

You have to allow some flexibility for owners to start/bench, but if guys like Cook/Kamara are getting benched, and/or he stared why he's doing this, that's a problem. Is there a catch all "league integrity" or "other duties not listed" clause, or something like them?
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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby Pac_Eddy » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:41 pm

Saw this same post on Reddit.

Same answer for me: not cool. Teams should play to win, let the chips fall where they may, unless it's deliberately allowed in the rules.
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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby saw061600 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:41 pm

Should always start your best players with some consideration for bad/good matchups. Post some examples of guys on bench that should be starting and who the owner is starting in their place.
10 TM No PPR or waiver 85RST
Herbert JimmyG
Barkley Chubb Taylor DMonty RoJo Bell Sony
Evans ARob Boyd Reagor Aiyuk Dionte MWill
Kelce Andrews Jonnu Hooper
Watt Williams Richardson Taylor Graham
Kendricks DCampbell DJones Baker Kiser Brooks
Adams Simmons Vaccaro Joseph

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Dak Herbert
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RB Taylor Jacobs Gaskin Hines Penny Mack Hill Peterson
WR Ridley Jefferson Golladay JuJu Diggs Reagor Chark Boyd
TE Kittle Kelce AOk
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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby Dibbles » Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:09 pm

Ha, I posted this exact topic in the Advice forum last night, same exact thing going on in my league. We unfortunately don’t have any specific rules prohibiting tanking of this type so I think we must allow it and rewrite the rules next year to prohibit. While not the most ethical, I guess this is fair strategy and not technically against the rules unless clearly stated in your league rules.

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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby abloom » Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:30 pm

picklerick wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:02 pm
In a league I commission, a team is setting a full lineup (which is a clear rule) but the lineup is obviously suboptimal (eg RB1s on bench).

We have no clear rules against this. However last year we added a new rule to deter against purposely tanking, with the rationale that tanking is an unfair win to their opponents (the rule was to switch from standings ranking to maximum potential points for, for bottom 4 teams when determining next year draft order).

The team owner is doing this to affect semifinal matchups to his favor. I respect the strategy but could definitely be seen as unfair.

Curious what others think!
I'm confused how you say you have no clear rules and then say that you added a rule to deter tanking. What was the specific rule added? If its just to switch to potential points, then thats not going to deter tanking/submitting suboptimal lineups.

what exact RBs are being subbed in and out?

Unless you add rules to address this, you will likely have to deal with it.
Last edited by abloom on Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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12 team, 1 ppr (1.5 te), 1Q,2R,2W,1T,2F,1D,1K

Q: Wentz,Tannehill,Hill
R: CMC,Taylor,Robinson,Fournette
W: Evans,Edelman,Cobb,Davis,Mooney,Lazard
T: Goedert(IR),Henry
D: NE,BAL
K: Bullock

2021 Picks: 1.02,2.05,4.02,5.02,6.02,7.02
---
Dynasty Team #2: 2020 Champion
12 team, 1ppr (1.5 te), 1Q,2R,2W,1T,1SF,1F,1D,1K

Q: Wilson, Murray, Cousins, Trubisky, Smith, Dalton
R: Cook, Dobbins, Swift, Monty, Mattison
W: Nuk, Godwin, Metcalf, K Allen, Sutton
T: Kelce
K: Tucker
D: PIT

2021 picks: 1.05,1.12,4.06,4.12,5.12,6.12,7.07
---
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Q: Mahomes ,Tua, Mullens, Love, Flacco, Hoyer, Rypien, Bethard
R: Michel, Moss, Hyde, Bernard, Richard, Darrel Williams, Damien Williams, C Thompson
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T: Schultz, Doyle, Asiasi, Thomas

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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby The Godwin Complex » Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:44 pm

If you want people in your league that act in good faith beyond the rules, interview them before you start a league. Otherwise, no amount of rules or laws are going to provide enough security, clarity, or validation to address how each person feels another should be acting or competing. Otherwise, unless they are sitting Dalvin Cook for Ke’Shawn Vaughn you need to let it go. Either that or just play fantasy football with robots.

You never know...if this is true and you can’t prove it but the manager loses in the first round because of it then all of this worry or thought will be for nothing.

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12 TEAM SUPERFLEX PPR
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WR: T. Fulgham (PHI), G. Olszewski (NE), W. Snead (BAL), A. Tate (CIN), L. Fitzgerald (AZ),
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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby Hahaclintondix » Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:22 pm

Seems like a long term win-win. He’s following the rules you set up. You can’t do anything right now.

If he wins the league, you can discuss how to tighten the rules so this isn’t a thing. If he loses, then karma kicked his butt and he deserves it.

Either way you can’t do anything now, but can fix it later.

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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby Ice » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:37 am

Make a rule, Public shame the owner, Leave the League.

In the leagues I commished over the years we had a simple best efforts clause. If a player was tanking in any way the owner could face the loss of a 1st round pick or immediate banishment. The Commish would call on 2 owners for a conference and a decision would be rendered.

Simple, draconian, and effective.

Can't really imagine playing in leagues that allow tanking.
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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby sloth8u » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:48 am

Time to have a chat with that owner. They need to realize this only opens a can of worms for future lineups being set. At some point it's going to effect not just their team. Somewhere along the line draft position or even a team getting in or not will be effected. Think you have to put a stop to it, for league integrity now and future years.

I've seen this before a few times and it's always the guy complaining about an incomplete lineup or someone starting someone on bye when it doesn't help them. All we can ask for is for a fair playing field. Start your best lineups.

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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby CGW » Sat Nov 28, 2020 7:15 am

If there's nothing to prohibit it, you really can't do anything about it now. Mid season rule changes are just as borderline as tanking.

Have a discussion of how the league would like to address this in the off-season. If you want to avoid tanking, you will need severe anti tanking rules.

My leagues have moved to potential points, and we choose to live by whatever else happens since they are all relatively friendly. Sure, occasionally there is a guy who tanks a week for playoff seeding, but we let karma sort that out.
12 Team | SF | PPR | 6pt pass TD
QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FL, SF

QB | Watson, Cousins, Trubisky, Flacco
RB | Taylor, Elliott, Akers Wilkins, Wilson
WR | Adams, Evans, Golladay, Mims, Miller, Mooney, Pascal, Coutee, R Higgins
TE | Andrews, Alie-Cox, Rodgers, Herndon

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QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FL, SF

QB | Murray, Tagovailoa, Minshew
RB | Montgomery, Swift, Dobbins, R. Jones, Singletary, Vaughn
WR | Godwin, AJ Brown, Lamb, D. Johnson, Aiyuk, M. Brown, Slayton, Mooney, Kirk, Reynolds, Fulgham, Peoples-Jones, Perriman
TE | Andrews, Henry, Sample, Schultz

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QB | Watson, Wilson, Darnold, Trubisky, Glennon, Stidham
RB | Hines, Henderson, Wilkins, Penny, Ahmed, Guice
WR | Evans, Ridley, Golladay, Kupp, D. Johnson, Pittman, Fulgham, Mooney, Ward, T. Smith
TE | L. Thomas, Ertz, Herndon, Sternberger

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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby PigeonBoys » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:40 am

Hahaclintondix wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:22 pm
Seems like a long term win-win. He’s following the rules you set up. You can’t do anything right now.

If he wins the league, you can discuss how to tighten the rules so this isn’t a thing. If he loses, then karma kicked his butt and he deserves it.

Either way you can’t do anything now, but can fix it later.
This is my thought too. I ran into this in my league where I noticed a loophole and took advantage, not against the rules so fix it and move forward. As I remember saying at the time you can’t fault me for playing by the rules, if others didn’t notice the loophole at all that’s their fault. Inevitably we made changes the next year to address the issue and moved forward. Long story short, competition in and of itself breeds creativity so when you have an owner that’s walking that fine line I think it’s important to communicate what options can solve the problem but to punish someone for following the rules isn’t a position you want to put yourself in, slippery slope.
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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby DLF3000 » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:52 am

Oh look, "Tanking is Bad, Maybe, Not Sure if It's Happening" post #1000000000000. :P

You can't control or prove every single small, big, potential or obvious case of tanking.

Also, tanking can be viewed as a viable strategy, especially long term, since we're talking dynasty leagues after all.

I say, let them tank their season, let them set those league dues on fire. Now playoff-seeding and similar one-off tanking is often more subtle, next level stuff (kudos, I think?), far more difficult to identify or prove.

But once again, who cares if they do? I've come around (because it's such an exhausting gray area) to where if they want to sit players like, I don't know, Diggs, because maybe they think they're not getting in the playoffs anyway, let 'em.

Tanking doesn't fix your roster or win championships - it's an illusion. Your high draft picks bust almost as often as your low ones. Look at all the dead guys over the years, and especially this year, that were supposedly slam dunks. RB alone is a clown show.

Ask the Sixers, you can tank for YEARS and it still won't guarantee championships. Same here, you still gotta 1) hit on your picks regardless of where you take them, and 2) get quite a bit lucky to make it to and win the dance, no matter how hard you tank.

All that said, if philosophically it still burns your backside because the tanking is widespread, egregious and embarrassing, then put some inevitably-difficult-to-enforce, always-gray-area rules in place. You can ask for integrity, but the truth is, there will always be cases where there's a legit difference of opinion on a given situation: one person's tanking will be another person's tactical decision. Be prepared to be under fire as Commish too, because no one is or should be exempt from possible or obvious tanking criticism.
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Re: Is this legit? Team owner purposely tanking game to influence playoff seeding

Postby Pac_Eddy » Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:46 am

A pretty divisive topic.

It's pretty simple for me: something that isn't addressed in the official rules isn't necessarily legal and/or playing in good faith. If a rulebook, for whatever reason, forgot to include a provision forbidding trading real life cash for a player, it still wouldn't be allowed. Yeah, the rules would have to be updated to include that, but most just know that's not playing in good faith.

I think intentionally losing to adjust your playoff seed isn't close to as bad as the previous example, but I don't think it should be allowed unless the league as agreed to allow it. Maybe everyone's fine with it.

If you find a scenario not addressed by your rules, you should bring it up for discussion BEFORE trying it. Give your commissioner and league some time to sort out what sort of league they want. That way it doesn't get so heated when someone pulls a stunt, games are played, and standings are affected.
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