By Bill O’Boyle -

Fantasy Football needs a little bit of Luck

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WILKES-BARRE — This past week many Fantasy Football owners were victimized by the lack of credible information emanating from Indianapolis regarding the status of Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck.

Count me among the victims. Not that it would have mattered. In the league I have Luck as my QB, I lost by more than three touchdowns, so having Luck would not have made a difference for me.

But I am certain there are thousands of Fantasy Football teams that were devastated by the loss of Luck.

We had heard all week that Luck was having difficulty throwing because his right shoulder — his throwing shoulder — was sore. It never sounded like Luck would not play; it was more like gamesmanship where NFL coaches conceal information about key players hoping to confuse opposing coaches as they prepare their game plans.

That’s why I didn’t place Luck on the injured reserve prior to our league’s deadline. I figured Luck would be out there and that he would throw a couple of TDs at least.

I was wrong. But I wasn’t alone.

In another league, I played the guy with Luck as his QB. I won by just a few points. Had my opponent replaced Luck with just about any other QB, I would have lost. But we all listened to the same reports. We all felt Luck would play.

But he didn’t play.

It wasn’t announced that Luck would be out until Sunday morning. That left little, if any, time to replace him. So thousands of Fantasy Football teams went to battle without a QB this past week.

But what is the resolve here? Has Fantasy Football grown so much that the NFL needs to institute a firm deadline for declaring players out for a game to protect Fantasy Football franchise owners like me and the guy I played?

Don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. Some Fantasy leagues have special rules to protect franchise owners in these situations.

For instance, one resolve could be to have an automatic substitution — giving the Luck-less teams his replacement. It’s not the best idea, but it would at least give the team a QB.

Some leagues, in their infinite wisdom, scoff at such an idea. In those leagues, you are expected to know information that is not released until well after the deadline for changes to be made in your league. In other words, you are expected to be able to read the minds of the NFL gurus, or at the very least, be able to out-guess them.

Sure, you could place Luck on the IR for the week and play his backup on your roster. But some leagues don’t allow that. You would have to drop Luck and pick up someone new. But you won’t do that because as soon as you drop him, the next guy will scoop him up. And you are stuck with Nick Foles instead of Andrew Luck for the rest of the season.

At some point, Fantasy Football players will have to organize and create a lobby group to put pressure on the NFL to come up with a better way to disperse information on injured players.

Did I just say that? Am I suggesting that Fantasy Football has become a serious player in the world of the NFL?

Just look at the numbers. Millions and millions of dollars are being spent on Fantasy Football. It’s getting serious. Some players are fanatical about their teams and they are rabid about winning.

Fantasy Football, for me, has always been fun. Researching players prior to your league’s draft, selecting your players to fill out your rosters, and submitting your lineup each week as you head into battle — it’s all fun.

May the Luck be with you. And if he isn’t, find a way to still enjoy the game.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

By Bill O’Boyle

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.