Commish HQ: Someone Dropped Dalvin Cook!

By Reginald James
Reginald James

I get contacted all the time from people in fantasy leagues who sometimes object to, or question the moves another manager in their league may make, like dropping a player of high standing. I also get questions from commissioners who wonder if they should reverse a drop for the same reason. My response is pretty much the same each time: unless it appears the person is cheating in some way, the move stands. It is not your place to play psychologist and figure out why someone did it, in an effort to justify your belief that it should not have been done. Whether you as a fantasy commissioner believe that a certain player(s) should’ve been dropped is irrelevant. What matters is what the fantasy manager was thinking at the time. It’s their call to make.


Yes, the move may flip the balance in the league a bit. The move may benefit someone else. If you think about it, go back and look at your league transactions, this happens all the time.  Perhaps one person didn’t bid enough to acquire the latest, hottest, waiver pickup. If they had bid just one dollar more in FAAB money, that player may have secured a win for themselves in their next game. Sometimes the drop makes sense in the long run, but who cares? That’s not how most fantasy minds work. Mostly, no one is interested in what could happen in the long run (they should be), it’s all about the immediacy of the moment.


It’s not my place to help co-manage someone else’s team. Mistakes will happen. Even the wiliest vets will make them. Often there is a desire to rescue a new fantasy player “from themselves” if it appears that they have made an egregious mistake. I understand that motivation to a certain extent, but I’m a believer in learning from ones mistakes. I will rarely recommend to a fantasy commissioner that they should bail a new fantasy manager out. For me, learning moments have a greater positive affect, than bailing someone out. I can extrapolate this personal viewpoint out to real life, but I’m not. I’m talking specifically about the game of fantasy football. Additionally, there’s a potential pitfall for helping a new person correct a “mistake” when another manager comes to the commissioner and wants their “mistake” corrected too. What’s the basis for turning that manager away, other than, “You should’ve known better, you’re not a new player?” Be careful with that one folks.


What am I going on about? Let’s get to specifics.This week, a manager in my league dropped Dalvin Cook and picked up David Johnson off waivers. My immediate thought as a player was, “What are they doing? Why would they do that?” I also thought there was no chance I’d get Cook because I’ve used up all my FAAB money, and wondered if the team that’s breathing down my neck for first place had enough money to get him.


As commissioner, I had the very same thought that I did as player, “What are they doing? Why would they do that?” But not for one second did I think to reverse the transaction. The team is currently 6-7 in 8th place. They actually have one of the best teams in our league, on paper, in my opinion. Did they think Cook was going to be out for a longer period of time? Did they feel that there was no need to keep a roster spot for him? I have no idea. I didn’t ask them.


The next thought that hit me was, “It finally happened in my league! I’m going to write about this!” So yes, the first part of this article was basically to set up the story that someone dropped Dalvin Cook in my league and I didn’t intervene as commissioner.


I can personally say that I would not have done it, but that’s not an important take. It really doesn’t matter what I believe either as a player or a commissioner. I would assume the manager is regretting the move especially after Cook’s performance against the Steelers. If they had kept him, they might not have started him. Most people didn’t expect Cook to play in that game, but at least they would still be able to use him going forward. Cook’s original manager would probably agree that they made a mistake. Yup, it happens. For the record, they are not new to fantasy football. Maybe they’ll spend a little more time thinking it thorough the next time a similar situation arises in a future season. Then again, maybe they did just that, thought it through, even though to me it doesn't seem like it, and I can't fathom why they did it. The point being, as commissioner, I have nothing to do with any of that, and there's no grounds for me to interfere in any way.


By the way, the person who claimed him off waivers didn’t start him. Would we suggest that a commissioner put Cook back on the starting roster retroactively for the game manager who claimed him but didn’t play him? Of course not. Wouldn’t that be helping him out? After all, he regrets not starting him (I know this to be true). Some people would’ve taken a chance when they heard Cook was going to play, while others would’ve benched him taking a wait-and-see approach to see how healthy he really was first, before putting him back into the lineup. Again, at the end of the day, as commissioner, I have nothing to do with any of that. Not getting involved in this one seems like a no-brainer. It's the same premise: I would no more involve myself in trying to change these course of events than I would with what transpired with Cook's previous manager.


The Dalvin Cook drop in my league gave me an opportunity to share how I would handle a situation that I get a lot of questions about from others. It’s easy to give advice based on what you believe and have experienced. It’s easy to have a position on a scenario that you read about on Twitter, or that someone emails you about. But what happens when you personally have the same experience? Do you stand by what you’ve told others? Do you truly believe the advice you’ve been offering, or suddenly do the rules change? For me, they do not. I stand by what I’ve always told others. My position holds true for myself and for my league of twenty three years: unless the people in your league are cheating and looking to maliciously undermine what you have built as a league, then let them make mistakes, mismanage their roster, miss out on waiver claims, fail to bid enough FAAB money, make great calls, out draft and out maneuver their opponents, execute smart trades, and win or lose based on an amalgamation of all I just mentioned. Let the people play.


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