Commish HQ: The Old Switcheroo?

By Reginald James
Reginald James

Twitter never fails to supply something for me to talk about. On this edition of “Found on Twitter” version of Ask The Commish, we start with the following posts:


Seems kind of convenient that the same day our fantasy football league commissioner drops out of the Top 4 spots that the league settings randomly are changed from 4 playoff teams to 6 playoff teams.


They posted later:


So I was *somewhat* wrong. Who I thought was commissioner isn’t commissioner. The commish is someone who probably doesn’t have much of a shot at the playoffs either way.



I commented that there shouldn’t be any mid-season changes like that. The poster, Dillon, responded that he thought it may have been planned to have six playoff spots in the preseason, but thought the commissioner forgot to do it. I followed up asking Dillon whether the commissioner explained to the league why they made the change from four teams to six after they did it, and did he actually know there was allegedly supposed to be six. He wasn’t sure if there were any discussions beforehand. He said that no one complained because maybe they knew it was supposed to be six, or that they didn’t complain because they preferred six teams in a playoff anyway.


I want to use this league as an example of why commissioners need to make sure they communicate with their leagues in the most transparent way possible. I think in the case of this particular league, it worked out well. It didn’t have to, and that’s the scenario we need to be concerned about.


Maybe the league was originally supposed to have six teams. It’s Week 11, and depending on the league, the first playoff week would likely be either Week 14 or Week 15. People will look ahead, and try to figure out if they are still in contention. Maybe someone did say, “Hey, aren’t we supposed to have six teams?” It’s possible. I only have Dillon’s take to work with.


I am going to take creative license playing “What If?” just to make a point. As evidenced by his first tweet, Dillon was originally suspicious of the move from four teams to six. Which is it, was the league supposed to have a four or six-team playoff? It makes sense that most people wouldn’t complain since managers who knew they weren’t going to make the cut, suddenly got in the playoff, or at least now had a fighting chance. Dillon admitted that along with the others, he wasn’t complaining because the change plops him in as the sixth seed. 


The point is, to me his initial thought was that the commissioner was expanding the playoff field so they could get in themselves. That would qualify as a shady commissioner move. Upon further investigation, Dillon realized that the commissioner actually wasn’t going to benefit from the change, so I’m assuming he felt less critical of the expansion, especially since he benefited from it himself.


Let’s say for arguments sake, that there wasn’t any discussion about expanding from four to six teams. Dillon thinks it may have been discussed, but it’s obvious he wasn’t part of the discussion. Who was? If the decision was made to have six teams, then the whole league should have known that at the beginning of the season. If there wasn’t a discussion to expand, then the expansion should not have happened. If the commissioner had planned to expand, but for some reason forget to communicate that to the league, then they should’ve contacted the league, informed them of such, then proceeded to see if it was okay to make a mid-season change. The only reason this doesn’t seem that bad after the fact to Dillion and presumably to the rest of the league is because the move was inclusive. If the change was not discussed, and then set forth unannounced that the playoff teams would be reduced from six to four, the league reaction may have been quite different.


As people like to say, this isn’t rocket science. It’s not. However, that doesn’t mean that keeping open lines of communication and maintaining transparency in what you do as a fantasy commissioner isn’t important. It is.



Send your questions to The Commish: