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Meachem pulls a McCardell
Posted Dec. 06 at 09:06 AM
Robert Meachem threw a curveball into a lot of key fantasy football games today. He scored a touchdown against Washington in the most unconventional of ways.
You've probably seen the play. Drew Brees threw a pass that was intercepted by Kareem Moore. During the runback, Meachem stripped the ball away from Moore and ran 44 yards for a touchdown.
The NFL doesn't score this as an offensive or defensive touchdown. It is definitely not a touchdown pass (no points for Brees). Meachem gets 6 NFL points and 44 yards worth of miscellaneous yardage -- but those yards don't count as receiving yards.
In typical fantasy leagues, we would argue that New Orleans "defense" gets the same credit it would get if a linebacker on that team stripped the ball away from Santana Moss and ran 44 yards for a touchdown. When the ball was intercepted, the Saints then started playing defense. There was a change of possession. There is, therefore, a "takeaway" on the play. (There are, in fact, two takeaways on the same play -- one for Washington and one for New Orleans).
Some fantasy leagues have provisions written into their rules addressing this kind of play -- that a "defense" can only score on plays where the other team snapped the ball. But absent that kind of stipulation, we think you score the points for the New Orleans "defense."
For individual scoring, we think check your rulebook to see what's allowed. If your league allows players to get 6 points when they return kicks for touchdowns, it seems reasonable they would also receive points for this touchdown. If those return touchdowns go only to the NFL defense, then no points for Meachem.
Others have scored touchdowns of this type in the past (so you can check for league history for precendents). Keenan McCardell pulled one of these off for Tampa Bay in a Monday night game against Indianapolis in 2003. And Mike Sherrard pulled off a similar play in 1992 against the Cardinals.
Posted by JOHN RUPPE | Dec. 07 at 05:41 AM
Ian I'm in 2 leagues that score Defenses the same way. Both did not award the New Orleans Defense with a touchdown. One league has changed the scoring to include the TD and one hasn't. Although the one that hasn't did give the New Orleans Defense 2 points for the fumble recovery. Which only confuses me more. The one that hasn't has no rule in the bylaws to stipulate defensive scoring is only applicable when the ball is snapped. I'm in the middle of a two week playoff in this particular league. What, if any, action should I take? It's a money league and I have written an e-mail with my concerns. Am I going to be SOL or do you think they're reviewing the scoring on the play?
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Dec. 07 at 07:08 AM
Is this a league run by some kind of company? I am waiting for the day that an attorney files some kind of small-claims lawsuit for a play such as this.
Posted by JOHN RUPPE | Dec. 07 at 09:33 AM
Yes, it is a pay league. Run by who? I don't know. How does the defense get 2 points for forcing the fumble, but 0 points for returning it for the touchdown? I would think it would be all or nothing. Maybe I can set a FFL precedent if I sue and win. lol. Know a good attorney?
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Dec. 07 at 12:55 PM
I agree that it doesn't seem to make any sense to give the Saints defense points for recovering a fumble but not for returning it.
Posted by ADAM HOLTZ | Dec. 08 at 12:32 AM
I nearly lost a pivotal game myself because of the same thing - Meachem's fumble recovery scored 2 pts for my opponent's DST, while another 2 points were scored for Usama Young's recovering the punt that deflected off a WSH player. Didn't know that was a fumble. I still won my game, but barely. I know there have to be others who were not so lucky.
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