Before I dive into my worthless and inconsequential ideas of how to decide our stupid 2022 fantasy football championship games, I want to give thoughts and prayers to Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin, who is in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest on Monday night. If you want to do something for Hamlin, donate to his foundation, which is up to an astounding $6.5 million and counting since his injury.
The NFL community is incredible when it comes together.
As we know by now, the Bills vs Bengals Sunday Night Football matchup was suspended with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter and the game will not be played this week. Thus, the Week 17 schedule is incomplete and the lack of an outcome has an impact on both real-life football and fantasy football.
It just so happens that this was one of the most fantasy-relevant games of the season and it coincided with 2022 fantasy football championship weekend. With fantasy managers relying on Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Stefon Diggs, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, Devin Singletary, Gabe Davis, and plenty of others, popular hosts such as Yahoo!, Sleeper, and ESPN have made their own decisions, with most defaulting to PPD until the NFL makes a decision on the game.
But, let’s be real. Unless this game had no direct impact on the final outcome of your championship, the commissioner and/or league-mates need to figure out a solution that’s fair to those two teams.
Here are some ideas about what your league could do to crown a 2022 fantasy football champion after this tragic event:
- Use common sense. If a team only needed Josh Allen to score five fantasy points (one of my leagues) and he was halfway there after one drive, then it makes sense to alleviate a major headache and give that team the win — or at least 99% of the first-place pot. If a team needed 15 points from Tyler Bass or Evan McPherson, then things get a little trickier. But, let’s try to use our brains and not overcomplicate things.
- Wait it out. Ultimately, the NFL will have to decide to play this game next week within the next 24 or 48 hours. The game has too many AFC playoff scenarios on the line for it to be overlooked and disregarded. If your championship matchup is tightly contested and the underdog has more than a 20% chance of winning, wait it out. If it’s rescheduled for “Week 19,” then wait for the game to finish and let the scoring play out.
- If it is not rescheduled...
- Call the game as it stands. I don’t love this idea unless there is a clear winner and the current underdog has a small chance of making things interesting. Once again, use common sense in this situation.
- Take the current win probability and divide the money up that way. If Team A has a 65% win probability, give Team A 65% of the pot and Team B 35% of the pot.
- Calculate the remaining players’ average fantasy points scored this year and award those points to those players. It’s not a perfect resolution by any means, but it’s better than the platform’s projection, in my opinion. For instance, Josh Allen averaged 24.34 fantasy points, Joe Burrow averaged 22.34 fantasy points, and Stefon Diggs averaged 15.4 half PPR points. You can use your platform to figure out the 2022 average, or Fantasy Pros has default averages for standard, half, and full PPR scoring.
- If the win probability is hovering around 50%, then make things easy and split the pot 50/50. This could fall under the “use common sense” category, but it still needed to be said.
- Replay the entire matchup in Week 18. I personally think this option is the worst of the bunch, but it’s still a decent enough idea to throw out there. You could also take the remaining player point totals from Week 18 and add that to their Week 17 score. If Team A has Stefon Diggs and he scores 13 against the Patriots this week, then that total replaces his 0 in Week 17.
- Be a saint and donate the entire pot to Damar Hamlin’s foundation, which is linked above.
- If your league doesn’t agree on any of these options, our friend Ian Hartitz suggests a real-life fight! Or, you could always play Madden, Mario Cart, a drinking game, or any other non-fantasy ideas. You can get creative here.
Last but not least, don’t forget to put an asterisk on your fantasy football trophy for this year’s winner if he or she won because of one of these ideas — this year’s winner is basically the fantasy version of the 2020 LA Lakers who won a title in the bubble. Oh, and buy a last-place punishment shirt for the actual last-place loser of your league.
Are you still confused about what to do? Shoot us a DM on Instagram and we can brainstorm together. Good luck! I’m glad I’m not a commissioner this year.