It's a job few fantasy football participants want, but one brave soul in every league puts themselves in the line of fire year in and year out.
Ninety-five percent of the time, the commish does his or her job without being noticed or heard from much during the season. If you're lucky and have a witty one, they have even been known to post league updates on websites, making owners laugh and stay engaged, no matter what each team's record is.
But occassionally the alarm bells sound and the commish has to put out a fire or two at the risk of upsetting one or more owners.
And it's at this time that being the commish really stinks. I'm going to lay out four Commish Controversies that I know about and invite you to e-mail me with bizarre happenings in your leagues, and we'll attempt to post some next week.
1. Out to lunch. After completing a Matt Forte-for-Miles Austin trade at 5 p.m. on a Saturday, I was pumped to put Austin in my lineup. But the rule in this league is that the commish must approve every trade, and he never logged onto the site before the games started Sunday.
End result: The trade never happened. It was a dumb rule that he amended to take care of the problem in future events, but it was too little, too late in my case.
2. A tight spot. Last year, a player in a league I am not in started a tight end in a running back slot because he was out of backs. This guy's opponent didn't notice the apparent error until five minutes remained in the Monday night game. He quickly e-mailed the commish and said, "I guess you can remove the 10 points from the TE my opponent started since he's in the RB slot."
But the commish let the points stand! He ruled that nowhere in the rules did it explicitly state that you must start a RB in the RB slot.
Really? Isn't that what the RB slot is for? RUNNING BACKS?
The rule was changed after that week, but the TE owner won a key game by just a few points.
3. Title-game tie. Two years ago in the Daily Herald league, the championship ended in a tie, and every tiebreaker in the rules also ended up tied. That was a real mess, but the commish ruled the teams would play again in Week 17 to determine the winner.
(This is a good time to make absolutely sure to have an iron-clad tiebreaker system that eventually determines a winner).
4. Communication breakdown. Last week, my commissioner and I got our signals crossed about a dual pickup I was attempting to execute. The short version is that we are using blind-bid pick-up rules this year for the first time, and there was a miscommunication about how I was going to grab the second player last week.
What ensued was a nasty phone conversation ... over a fantasy football pickup. He even said, "I can't believe we're arguing about this."
And neither could I. But while the pickup issue has been resolved, the fallout from what happened really sucks because this is someone I've been friends with for 17 years.
So kudos to all you commishes out there who must make the tough calls and put in the time to make your leagues fun. Hopefully your league mates appreciate the effort you put in and hopefully you haven't had too many of these tough calls to make over the years.
Pulled off a miraculous victory in my unit league when Terrell Owens' 141-yard, 2-TD game on Monday night lifted me to a 64-63 victory and a 7-2 record. Ran up against a buzzsaw in the regular league and fell to 5-4 after a 121-85 loss.
• Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch at Arizona. This is a great time to play Lynch as he faces a defense that has allowed four players to go over 100 yards rushing in a game.
• Texans QB Matt Schaub and WR Jacoby Jones at Jacksonville. Against a Jaguars defense that is wretched against the pass, I'm giving Jones this one last shot to show he's not a total bust. Release him if he doesn't produce Sunday.
• Jaguars QB David Garrard and WR Mike Sims-Walker vs. Houston. The scoreboard operator figures to be real busy in this game.
• Lions RB Jahvid Best at Buffalo. After a sizzling start (5 TDs in his first two NFL games), Best has gone into a deep freeze. Since Week 2, Best hasn't scored and is averaging just 41.7 rushing yards per game. But don't despair he's good for at least 80 yards and a score against the Bills.
• Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco at Indianapolis. When a stud wideout has a rough game and sulks about it during the game, it's a always a good bet the team will look to get him heavily involved the next week.
• Bucs RB LaGarrette Blount vs. Carolina. A trio of cruddy Saints RBs combined to run for 149 yards last week against the Panthers. Throw in the fact that Carolina absolutely can't move the ball and Blount could be in for a 2-3 TD game.
• Rams QB Sam Bradford at San Francisco. Attention Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees owners: It's your QB's week off. Whom do you turn to? Bradford's not a bad option as he figures to throw a couple TD passes against a weak Niners defense.
• Bears RB Matt Forte vs. Minnesota. Apparently, Forte is not Marshall Faulk. Bench him until Week 13 at Detroit.
• Jets QB Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes at Cleveland. All of a sudden, you can't push the Browns around. They're pushing you around. Just ask Tom Brady (224 yards) or Drew Brees (4 INTs). The Jets have been struggling offensively and I wouldn't touch Sanchez or Holmes this week.
• Panthers WR Steve Smith at Tampa Bay. Jimmy Clausen's back at QB for Carolina, rendering Smith a fantasy afterthought.
• Cowboys WRs Miles Austin and Roy Williams at New York Giants. Austin managed just 2 catches for 16 yards last week and those are numbers his owners might have to get used to with Jon Kitna at quarterback.
• Patriots QB Tom Brady and RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis at Pittsburgh. This game has 20-10 Pittsburgh written all over it.
• Redskins WR Santana Moss vs. Philadelphia. In his last three games against the Eagles, Moss has been held to 10 catches, 102 yards and 1 TD. Also, he didn't catch 1 pass when the teams met in Week 4.