Questionable/Terrible Penalty Calls that directly impacted Fantasy through Week 3
After Monday Night’s debacle of a game in which there were an enormous amount of terrible penalties, and of course the ultimate and unforgivable missed call on the hail-mary, it made me wonder how much these replacement officials have affected Fantasy so far this year. It’s kind of a selfish thought to have after seeing the Packers team lose a game in which they literally won, which ultimately will have a huge impact on their season and the playoffs. Nonetheless, Fantasy owners always stress over in-game results and close losses, so here are the calls up to and including Week 3 that were questionable (really ticky-tack) or horrible calls that directly impacted a players Fantasy performance. The impact in question only takes into account the actual play, although a case can be made for all the resulting plays after that, but that’s something that is impossible to quantify.
Jaguars @ Vikings: Head Referee: Robert Dalton
Play: Jared Allen sacks Blaine Gabbert for loss of 7 yards
Penalty: Offside on Allen
Allen got a perfect jump off the ball, and while it wasn’t a horrible call, it certainly could’ve gone both ways. Those of you in IDP leagues got robbed of a sack.
Dolphins @ Texans: Head Referee: Don King
Play: Reggie Bush runs up the middle for -2 yards tackled by Daniel Manning and Brian Cushing
Penalty: Offside on Connor Barwin
Terrible call, Barwin wasn’t even close to being offside, and there was no false start either, he just got a good jump. Owners lost out on half a tackle from Barwin and Manning and Bush owners should’ve been penalized 0.2 points in decimal scoring leagues.
Play: Reggie Bush runs up the middle for -2 yards tackled by J.J. Watt
Penalty: Holding on Miami LG Richie Incognito
Not even close to holding, owners lost out on a solo tackle by J.J Watt (should be 1 point or 1.5 points depending on league scoring) and Reggie Bush owners should’ve lost another 0.2 points.
Colts @ Bears: Head Referee: Wayne Elliot
Play: Michael Bush runs for 21 yards tackled by Jerry Hughes
Penalty: Holding on TE Kellen Davis
Weak call, Davis had his hands on Mathis, but took them off very quickly, was not essential to the play either, as Bush was way to the outside of where the “hold” occurred. Bush owners lost out on 2 points. *Note*, this is the same referee crew that called the Packers vs. Seahawks game this past Monday. This crew had a lot of terrible calls in this game as well, but this was the only one that had any direct fantasy impact.
Eagles @ Browns: Head Referee: Ken Roan
Play: LeSean McCoy runs to the left for 10 yards.
Penalty: Holding on WR Jeremy Maclin
Wasn’t even close to holding, Maclin had his hands on Sheldon Brown for less than half a second and wasn’t even relevant to McCoy’s run. McCoy’s owners missed out on a full point.
Redskins @ Saints: Head Referee: David Scott
Play: Robert Griffin III deep pass to the right incomplete to Aldrick Robinson
Penalty: Defensive Pass Interference on WR Roman Harper (in the end zone)
Worst DPI call I’ve ever seen, Roman Harper made an awesome play on the ball. Not only did it rob the Saints of a possible play that might’ve allowed them to win, it led directly to an Alfred Morris 1 yard TD run (it was 4th down on the Griffin throw). Fantasy Owners were fortunate to gain an extra 6.10 points from Morris.
49ers @ Packers: Head Referee: David White
Nothing fantasy relevant, but amazingly, the officials flagged the wrong team on a block in the back on a return by Randall Cobb. They called a block in the back on “the kicking team” amazingly it should’ve been against Green Bay CB Sam Shields.
Lots of awful calls in this game, none fantasy relevant
Bengals @ Browns: Head Referee: Jerry Hughes
Play: Andy Dalton sacked by Juqoa Parker for a 6 yard loss on 3rd and 2
Penalty: Unnecessary Roughness by Cleveland LB D’Qwell Jackson
The phantom roughness call wasn’t ever found by the CBS crew; Jackson barely touched a player on the play. It gave the Bengals a first down, when it would’ve been 4th down, thus making all these plays extra plays for fantasy owners:
BenJarvus Green-Ellis 5 yard run; tackle by T.J. Ward
Andy Dalton sacked by D’Qwell Jackson; loss of 0
Andy Dalton throws to Armon Binns for 8 yards
BenJarvus Green-Ellis 4 yard run; tackle by Fujita and Jackson
Andy Dalton to Brandon Tate for 5 yards
BenJarvus Green-Ellis 1 yard run
Andy Dalton 2 yard run
Totals: 2 extra rushing yards for Dalton and 13 extra passing yards. Green-Ellis got 10 extra rushing yards, and Jackson got credit for a sack and ½ tackle. Binns 1 rec 8 yards, Tate 1 rec 5 yards. (Drive ended in a punt).
Saints @ Panthers: Head Referee: Gerald Wright
Play: Drew Brees 5 yard pass to Lance Moore
Penalty: Offsides on Greg Hardy
Wasn’t offside, maybe had hand in neutral zone, but was a poor call. PPR leagues lost just one point from Moore since he finished with a total of 30 yards, but decimal scoring leagues that use 5 yards as ½ a point lost 1 1/2
Redskins @ Rams: Head Referee: Wayne Elliot
Play: Robert Griffin III scrambles for 10 yards on 3rd and 17
Penalty: Late hit by Ernie Sims automatic first down
First of all, Griffin was in bounds when Sims hit him, second of all, the flag came incredibly late. The Redskins would’ve been forced to punt, thus making these plays freebies for Fantasy Owners:
Alfred Morris gained 36 yards the rest of the drive; Morris owners got a free 3.5 points
Robert Griffin III 9 rushing yards including a touchdown; RG III owners got a free 7 points
Play: Steven Jackson runs for 1 yard *TOUCHDOWN*!?
Penalty: Unsportsmanlike Conduct on Jackson
Jackson had a rushing touchdown, and it was obvious, when Jackson got toward the endzone none of the refs made a call, they all looked at each other completely confused. No call was ever made until after the penalty was thrown. The penalty also apparently prohibited the Rams from challenging the play. Greg Zeurlein got a free FG, and Jackson owners lost out on 6 points
Patriots @ Ravens: Head Referee: Bruce Hermansen
Play: Joe Flacco to Ray Rice, incomplete on 3rd down
Penalty: Pass Interference on LB Jerod Mayo
This was literally one of the weakest pass interference calls I’ve ever seen; it helped the Ravens go on a scoring drive, and was one of the more crucial bad calls in this game. Here are the stats that fantasy players got for free:
Ray Rice had 15 rushing yards and one catch for 4 yards
Joe Flacco was 5-6 for 59 yards
Anquan Boldin 1 catch, 14 yards
Torrey Smith 1 catch 25 yards and a TD
Bernard Pierce 1 catch 10 yards
Bernard Pierce 8 rush yards
Play: Deion Branch incomplete over the middle
Penalty: Ed Reed blow to the head- Personal Foul
A lot of people are going to disagree with me, but I don’t think this is a fair penalty to Ed Reed. It was a hellacious hit, and as many remember, was the play that Deion Branch jumped right back up. My issue is that the onus should not just be on the defensive player to avoid helmet-to-helmet collisions. Deion Branch lowered his shoulder (and thus his helmet) right before Reed made contact, so in my opinion, Branch contributed just as much to the “blow to the head” as Reed did. The Gostowski FG would’ve been longer, and Ridley would’ve lost 10 rushing yards.
*Note* Believe it or not, the call on LaDarius Webb for illegal contact when he made that interception, was a good call. He held the jersey way too long.
There were plenty of other terrible calls in this game, including the John Harbaugh unsportsmanlike penalty, but none of the others were able to be directly attributed to Fantasy points. Inferences can be made, but nothing could’ve been asserted.
Packers @ Seahawks: Head Referee: Wayne Elliot
Play: Cedric Benson runs 4 yards on 3rd and 5
Penalty: Brandon Browner hands to the face automatic first down
Unbeknownst to Green Bay fans, they actually got a free field goal on this drive on a horrible call on Brandon Browner for hands to the face when he wasn’t even close to the ball-carrier. The drive granted an automatic first down, and the game would’ve been different had the Packers not gotten that free field goal.
Play: Pass Incomplete to Jermichael Finley
Penalty: Pass Interference on Kam Chancellor on 3rd down and 2
Granted a free first down to the Packers which they eventually turned into a Cedric Benson 1 yard TD;
Free points for Fantasy Owners were:
Benson had a free 8 points to fantasy owners and James Jones caught a pass for 13 yards
Play: Golden Tate touchdown catch
Obviously wasn’t a touchdown, Packers D/ST should’ve received points for an INT, Seattle D/ST lost out on points, Russell Wilson and Golden Tate obviously got an extra 4 and 6 points respectively, as well as the yardage for the completion.
Fortunately for Fantasy Owners, the replacement ref debacle is over!