Judge Ed, Fantasy Football Ethicist: Can Fantasy Partnerships Really Be 50/50?

Week 2 Judgments


Hi Judge, I’m a commissioner and instituted a rule where everyone had to pay their entry fees by draft day. Everyone did except one owner.  I’ve sent him a few reminders and he keeps saying he’ll pay, but has yet to do so.  And we’re headed to Week 2. Part of me wants to penalize him and not allow him to play until he pays but doing so would completely destroy the league.  Any suggestions to get him to follow through with his payment?Sandy, Pennsylvania

Here’s the thing Sandy, you can’t say you instituted a pay to draft rule, if not everybody paid to draft. That makes it more of a suggestion, no?

My judgment: You waived the penalty when you let the owner participate in the draft. Not allowing the owner to play is like a restaurant trying to get the food back from the shirtless, shoeless diner they just served. It’s too late at that point.  You should keep pressuring the owner and hope they pay up, but if they don’t?  I don’t really know what to tell you; I’m a judge not a debt collector.


Judge Ed, OK this is going to sound crazy but I wear the football pants in my family. My husband is into sports but more in a participatory way, so yeah, hiking, biking, etc.  I got him to play fantasy with me for the first time this year and I think it was a mistake.  He was insistent that we draft certain players largely because he had heard of them (yep, Tebow included). And he’s not deferring to me enough when it comes to our lineup. How do I ease him in slowly and get him to stop ruining my experience, without damaging our marriage in the process? — Abby, Salem, Ma.

I never understood why anyone thinks an equal fantasy partnership a good idea. Successful pro-teams don’t have two general managers or two managers for good reason. As former baseball exec George W. Bush famously noted, someone needs to be the decider. The same holds true in the world of fantasy.

My judgment: Fantasy partnerships can only succeed when there is a clear number one. Be honest with your husband. Let him know that you’ll leave the camping arrangements for him but he needs to leave the fantasy management to you. Be prepared, If he does cede control you better deliver the wins. As an owner your husband reserves the right to fire the manager’s ass.


My league has a FAAB waiver wire and then a free-for-all free agency. There was controversy because some people last year won waivers by bidding $0, while others (myself included) missed out because they assumed there would be a minimum bid of $1.  The rules aren’t clearly stated so I think $0 would win a waiver auction. But isn’t the whole point of a FAAB to have to give up something to acquire a player. Otherwise, why not make it first-come first-served?  Gina, Michigan

How to spend your allocated budget in a FAAB league is one of the more strategic decisions a fantasy owner makes. Premature spenders often end up disappointed when those with budgetary endurance swoop in and outbid them on late season wonders. While those who hold their bounty for too long risk feeling raw and dissatisfied as the players they missed out on explode onto the fantasy scene.

My judgment: You know what they say about people who assume? It’s not true. Sometimes you only make an ass of yourself. A savvy owner knows to look for every loophole. If you truly want a free agent player and have the $1 left that guarantees his procurement you only have yourself to blame if you ultimately lose out.