Football Rules Dispute Between Jock Pederson and Tommy Femme Fantasy: What Happened and How to Avoid It in Your Leagues

Settling fantasy league disputes can be difficult. One recurring clip on the Fantasy Football Today podcast features the crew trying to orchestrate listener league arguments. But, if there’s one way to not settle your disputes in a Fantasy league competition, it’s how Tommy Pham is handling this week.

If you haven’t heard yet, Pham slapped Jock Pedersen ahead of Friday’s game between the Reds and the Giants, in a dispute stemming from the fantasy football league. From what we’ve been able to piece together over the past few days of in-depth reporting, Pham has finally been sent over the edge by GIF of Pederson—who started his career with the Dodgers—to the league group script, which appears…you know what, I feel silly writing it. I’ll let the reporter who got the merchandise from Pederson say it:

It looks like Pham left the league on the GIF, which would be funny if not for his overreaction later. In fact, you shouldn’t slap people because they sent silly GIFs to the text of your Fantasy league group. This goes without saying, I hope.

But that’s not what worries me. I’m here to talk about the silly part of this: not agreeing to the rules of fantasy football. Apparently, there has been some disagreement about the way the IR points were used, and it has to do with the limitations of how the IR Score works in many leagues.

Pedersen put an injured but not an officially injured reserve player in his IR position, which is what Pham supposedly called for. Then Pedersen called Fam put 49ers Jeff Wilson appeared on his IR when Wilson wasn’t officially at IR. So, then he was a hypocrite, wasn’t he?

Not even close. Well, Wilson wasn’t technically in the 49ers last season, sure, but he was on the list of physically unable to perform after sustaining a knee injury during the break. Wilson, who led the 49ers in the 2020 rush, didn’t play until week 10 last season while on the PUP roster, but he’s started four games for them in the long run and was clearly worth hoarding if you can afford it.

On the other hand, Pedersen was apparently using an IR spot to hide players who had been dealing with week-to-week injuries and were disqualified for the next week – which he suggests is allowed under league rules. Which is fair enough, though I think it’s also fair to say that the usage goes against the spirit of the rule, if not its letter. The issue is an ill-defined rule that does not work the way it should.

The way most fantasy football leagues work is that you can set your IR policy to only allow players who are in an independent IR to be on an IR team, which will not allow players on a PUP list to be eligible, despite that also being a long injury exemption Term for NFL teams. So, to get around it with players like Wilson and Michael Thomas last season, the tournaments I’m in as delegate amended our rules to allow any injured player to be in IR – with the explicit stipulation that it can only be used for PUP players plus IR.

Some providers have this as a default option, and the league in question appears to be run on one of these sites (this is all a good example of why CBSSports.com’s highly customizable delegate product is used.) Your infrared spot can only be used by players who have been away for a long time, Technically Pederson was on the right here.

But this should not be the norm. This seems to go against the spirit of the rule – if a player is on their team’s active roster, you shouldn’t get exempted from the roster in Fantasy. In this case, the IR in your Fantasy League should perform the same function that it does in the real NFL. This should be to give teams extra flexibility when dealing with players who have experienced long-term absences due to injury, not men with short-term problems.

So, let’s anticipate this for 2022 and beyond. If your league allows this kind of loophole, go ahead and close it – either by changing your settings or by stipulating before the season that IR should only be used for players in the actual IR or PUP roster. This way, we can avoid these kinds of embarrassing arguments. At least until the next vulnerability opens.