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Lets Overthink This-Fantasy Championships

David Lorenz, PT, DPT

January 6, 2023

Barring the unforeseen circumstances that developed in the NFL this week, this week’s column is going to be different. First, let’s continue to send our prayers, donations, and positive thoughts towards Damar Hamlin and his GoFundMe and family. Watching that unfold on Monday Night Football was one of the most tense and scary situations I have ever seen. The only other time I remember being that numb and in shock was Ryan Shazier’s injury, which eerily occurred on the same field in Cincinnati. However, what made this situation more tense was hearing that the medical professionals were performing CPR on the field. Seeing an ambulance on an NFL playing surface is an image I would like to never see again. Watching how distraught the players and coaches were in that moment really struck a chord with me. It was a terrible situation that unfolded on national TV for millions to watch.   The fantastic news came yesterday when we were told that Hamlin is “neurologically intact” and responsive. Doctors are encouraged by his progress to this point, and note that Hamlin is making significant progress each and every day. I think I can speak for all of us, at The Fantasy Doctors and the country as a whole, breathed a sigh of relief with this news. While the road to full recovery will undoubtedly be long and have more challenges, the positive news that has unfolded is refreshing to hear.   None of this would be possible without the absolutely incredible job from the first responders and NFL training staff that were present on Monday Night. Again, I speak for all of us, when I extend a sincere form of gratitude to all of the athletic trainers, orthopaedists, primary care physician’s, chiropractors, neuro-trauma consultants, and others that helped to save Damar Hamlin’s life that night. Your outstanding work is immeasurable beyond words, and hopefully your work will shed light among the rest of the country just how important your work is. This includes the incredible team at the University of Cincinnati Hospital as well.   With all of that being said, I am sure that this situation affected more than a few of your fantasy football matchups. This included mine as well, as my opponent was down 17.7 points (half PPR scoring) with Tee Higgins and Dawson Knox to play. I have seen similar scenarios from a handful of people as well. The question becomes “how do we resolve this in the most fair manner, especially since it was the championship week?” This is clearly an unprecedented situation, and there are a number of possible resolutions. I’ll quickly recap some of the options, beginning with what we decided to do in my league.   ● The players who were affected in week 17 (in my case Higgins and Knox) scores in week 18 will be added to the week 17 total of their team. The totals will then be added and a winner determined ● Split the winnings depending on percentage/likelihood of victory prior to the start of Monday Night’s game ○ I.e. if I had a 60% chance of winning and my opponent a 40% chance, I would take 60% of the pot and my opponent receives 40% ● Scrap the week 17 matchup entirely and use week 18 as the championship week ○ We always tried to avoid this last week of the regular season scenario due to teams possibly resting starters ● Flip a coin to determine the winner ● Call the contest as is     As you can see, there’s no perfect resolution in this situation. Take it easy on your commissioner because they likely are doing their best to find a fair solution. Frankly, it should be solely up to the contestants, and whatever they mutually agree upon is the way forward. If this does not occur, then the commissioner can get involved.   Again, let’s be clear that the sole focus of this entire situation is the health of Damar Hamlin. That is without question. At the end of the day, fantasy football is a game that we play from the comfort of our homes, while these athletes are putting their bodies and lives at risk for a game in which we love. Let’s never lose sight of that. Continued prayers to Damar Hamlin, the Bills, Bengals, Tee Higgins, and all of those who helped on Monday Night.


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