December 25th, 2010

Hey, Mendenhall Owners: Still in Fantasy Title Game?

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

The NFL and the Elias Sports Bureau decided to slap on their Grinch masks this week and potentially take a gift away from some fantasy owners.

The league announced Thursday a stat change from Week 15 in which Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall lost a yard from his total. That might not seem like a big deal, but the alteration dropped his yardage from 100 to 99.

As fantasy football guru Michael Fabiano pointed out, that still might not impact leagues such as those on his site that use fractional scoring. There probably weren’t too many fantasy teams that lost by 0.1 points last week.

However, if your league eschews decimal scoring, the 1-point difference could be a bit more significant. Also, as Fabiano points out, those leagues that award scoring bonuses to 100-yard rusher have seen more points disappear.

Whatever the case, the announcement basically means that anyone who owns Mendenhall or played against his owner last week should recheck Week 15 results just to make sure nothing changed. On the broader scale, I can’t help but see a bit of laziness from the league.

Putting on a Thursday game each week through roughly the second half of the NFL schedule already throws a wrench into the fantasy week. If the NFL is going to choose to proceed that way, though, then it’s incumbent upon the league to iron out any scoring, stat or player-discipline issues comfortably before the next week’s games begin. This only becomes more important as the end of the NFL season takes most fantasy players into their playoffs — many with significant amounts of money on the line.

Long ago, it wouldn’t have been a surprise for any major league to have no regard for fantasy players, but the NFL obviously realizes our impact with the way it has embraced this pastime/business. Now it needs to keep in mind the interests of those funding the Sunday Ticket and trafficking the league website so heavily.