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Well, this one is gonna be short and sweet.  Well maybe not sweet.  Might actually be dry.  But things can be dry and sweet at the same time, though, right?  Think raisins and dates here.  So let’s whip out the food dehydrator, make some dried mango slices and see how this new rule is going to affect our 2013 fantasy football season…

Short answer: it won’t do much in theory.  There, told you it would be short.  Good night folks!  But to analyze this a bit further, we need to look at the intents of the rule and how it SHOULD be applied, based on the verbiage. From all accounts, this rule affects open field play. So for those of you worried that a running back on the goal line is supposed to run in standing straight as a board are mistaken. Short yardage plays are fair game where everyone is trying to get as close to the ground as possible. The rule is based on some simple physical principles. The defensive player in the open field is trying to react to the running back. They are not charging him if it’s an open field tackle, they’re waiting for said running back to make a move so they can react. So if the running back goes out of their way not only to make contact but does so by leading with the crown of their helmet, THAT’s when they get the penalty.  So a defensive player backing up and on the balls of their feet waiting for the RBs move can no longer get the crown of said running back’s helmet in his helmet or chest as a way for the running back to make a play.  Doesn’t mean the RB can’t run at him.  Doesn’t mean the RB can’t create contact in open field.  It simply means the contact can’t be with the intent of spearing into a defender with your helmet.  Cool?  Ok, cool.

Now of course, I fully relent that if the officiating crew doesn’t apply the rule as it’s stated, we are going to have a problem.  A running back who seeks contact like Marshawn Lynch might get villianized by the officiating crew more often than he should.  I’m not saying there aren’t flaws to the rule or the idea but I can only speak to the intent and the wording of what I’ve seen so far and what there is doesn’t speak to the concept of deflating the fantay value of Running Backs for 2013.  Though one video of Adrian Peterson that is circulating being called a penalty does bother me, I’m not going to fully buy into the worry surrounding the subject at this time.  Alright, we now leave you to get back to your regularly scheduled Fantasy Football Off-Season.

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  1. murph says:
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    Although I do agree there won’t be a huge effect on Fantasy Football, can we really not hesitate a little bit when drafting power runners during drafts? The fact that it is in the open field is what makes me nervous, your 25 yard run is now called back and the team is now in a passing down, seems to me that would be pretty devastating to Fantasy production if flags fly in the manner they are assumed to be. The NFL evaluated games from 2012 and estimated that there would be close to 6 flags thrown per week under the new rule, but we know that’s not the case. When referees are given a new rule to enforce they follow one type of protocol, when in doubt throw the flag. Like I said I agree that this has little effect in terms of Fantasy football but it is concerning in general and I’m not liking where the league is headed. This rule is a direct result of our outcries that the defensive helmet to helmet rule didn’t make sense because Running Backs are allowed to barrel blindly with their head down at defenders so essentially we dug our own graves. I will accept the rule only on the grounds that I enjoy the game of football too much to boycott it.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah, it does come back to how it’s implemented moreso than how it’s stated. That AP catch and turn makes me nervous but on the same token, the overall fantasy side should stay neutral enough over the course of the season in terms of impact.

      I agree it’s a silly rule but I’d venture to say it has more to do with avoiding lawsuits than it does anything else. Just like the tobacco industry knew what it was doing, the NFL has been well aware of recent concussion issues for long enough. They’re now just avoiding lawsuits with their action. Will be interesting how that effects the game down the road. Here’s to hoping the answer is ‘not enough to destroy what we enjoy about it’.

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