Ask The Commish: Can I Ban Owner from Using Deshaun Watson?

By Reginald James
Reginald James

In the past two weeks, I’ve gotten a number of questions about Deshaun Watson. I’m not talking about a Santa’s sleigh-full amount, but there was enough current chatter about him that coming up with this particular installment of Ask The Commish was a no-brainer.


The general issue seems to be that some commissioners have some sort of moral dilemma with having him available to be used on a fantasy roster. Some commissioners or league mamnagers even have him on their roster themselves, but feel “icky” about it. Yup, someone actually said, “icky.” Back in September, I featured my response to a question from a commissioner who had heard that some commissioners weren’t going to make Watson available for their league’s draft. It was something they hadn’t thought about, but they were curious as to what my feelings were on the subject. I would urge you, dear reader, to check out my response to that question before going further. It covers pretty much my overall feelings on commissioners deciding if Deshaun Watson should've been used in fantasy leagues this year. I also discuss the broader ramifications of applying personal or moral parameters on certain players in fantasy leagues. You can read my response here.


Of course, each comment or question I may get is different or unique in its own way, and often the subject matters overlap. I chose the following question because compared to the others, it’s the one that evoked the biggest reaction in me.


I simply have a personal issue with Deshaun Watson playing this season. He should’ve been suspended the entire season. How far out of bounds would it be if I wanted to ban the owner who has him from playing him?


Wow, really? I think you already know the answer. Are you hoping I validate your way of thinking? It won’t happen here. How about really far? Like three galaxies away, far. I don’t know why you think you should be able to do something like that in the first place. How long have you been running this league, because I’m sure this isn’t the first time your seemingly strong penchant to act outside the bounds of decent commissioning has cropped up. It can’t be, not if you can pose that question in the first place.


First of all, it’s too late to do anything about it now. For argument’s sake, if you were going to take some kind of position like that, you should’ve done it before the season started, before the draft. I’m not sure why Watson has flown under your radar until now, and you’re just now turning your attention towards him and thinking about doing something inane like this, but that’s really beside the point. Why should you get to dictate who someone in your league rosters? You shouldn’t get to dictate who they draft, and you shouldn’t get to decide who they can pull off waivers or acquire as a free agent.


Who cares what your personal issue is with Deshaun Watson? Why are you looking to insert those feelings into the environment of your fantasy league? You think you’re the only person who doesn’t like certain players in the NFL? Let’s say, by chance, everyone in your league agreed with you, that no one should be able to use him. The time for that judgment was many weeks ago, with the season starting with everyone on the same page, with the same set of expectations. At the end of the day, that’s really the point. I think you just have to deal with your feelings on this one, and let people be. Leave whoever has him alone.



If I want to get tips for running our fantasy league, which would be better to use? Venmo or something like Patreon?


Wait, what? Patreon? Okay, I’ll get to that in a second, but let’s talk about tipping first. I personally wouldn’t want anyone to do that, to tip me for running my fantasy league. I started this league, and I’m doing it because I want to. If I was running an office league, potentially a league that I didn’t start myself, I still wouldn’t be interested in that. If there are leagues who want to tip their commissioner, cool. That’s their call. It’s just something I don’t believe in either as a commissioner myself, or as a member of another league. Granted, you didn’t ask whether I get tips or not, or whether I believed in it, but you get the benefit of me featuring your letter so I’m going to expand my take on all of this.


I have heard of commissioners getting tips. Apparently, it’s a thing in some leagues. In your case, my question to you would be, is this something that has already been discussed in your league? Or, is this something you’ve just recently thought about? If this is something that has been discussed and the league managers have the expectations that they will be paying you at the end of the season, then that’s one thing. Feel free to tell them your pay option of choice. If your league hasn’t talked about doing this, and you’re now deciding that you’d like to get tipped, then that’s something different all together, and I wouldn’t broach the subject. I would table it for next year. Make sure it’s a topic of discussion in the off-season if you still feel like going that route. Coming out of the blue asking for tips may appear to be a bit self-serving. Only you can decide whether or not appearing that way is important to you. If you decide to take a pass, make sure it’s a topic of discussion in the off-season.


Getting back to what kind of pay option you should use, if you actually go forward with it, I don’t really think it matters. It’s just that you asking about Patreon just struck me funny. I’ve come across a lot of people asking others to sponsor their work or to pay them on Patreon for a number of things, but you’re the first fantasy commissioner I’ve some across to mention it.



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