As the football world hopes for more good news regarding the restoration of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, some fans are wondering how to address a little elephant in the room: what to do with the unfinished fantasy football leagues?
Monday was the last day for many leagues, and with the NFL deciding not to replay Monday’s Bengals-Bills game, a problem arises in how to declare a winner. Some leagues have decided to forego determining champions and donate their pots to Hamlin’s charity via GoFundMe.
“[A] many fantasy football leagues donate their prize money to fundraising. You can find at least a handful using the league name as the donor name,” a GoFundMe spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday.
“I just scrolled down the list of top donors as Damar Hamlin’s GoFundMe passed $7 million and among the many celebrities to donate, I noticed another group starting to pop up… leagues of fantastic football”, tweeted Jon Scott, a beaten Buffalo Bills reporter for Spectrum News 1, on Thursday. “What a brilliant way to handle a unique championship ending – in a selfless way.”
Two-year-old Hamlin’s GoFundMe page surpassed $7.7 million in donations Friday morning. Originally created by Hamlin to organize a toy drive in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania through his charity, The Chasing M’s Foundation, representatives for the player took over the page which had an original purpose of $2,500.
“Because the situation is evolving, we will continue to communicate any fundraising updates. We will also work with GoFundMe to email all donors with more details regarding the use of funds as they arise. as these details become available,” Hamlin’s team wrote on the page on Wednesday. “We are optimistic about Damar’s future involvement in making the incredibly generous contributions.”
For other leagues still trying to declare a winner, author and programmer Nathan Braun has come up with an online pot split calculator.
“The unfortunate events surrounding BUF-CIN on Monday night have left many fantasy football leagues in a bind,” Braun, himself a fantasy league commissioner, wrote on the site. “I was thinking of using the Fantasy Math probability model to calculate a fair way to distribute payouts based on current scores and who is left to play.”
The model takes into account factors such as correlation, variance, and preferred player odds to determine winners and losers based on probability. Released on Wednesday, the calculator may help clear up some of the confusion the fantasy leagues are facing as players struggle to determine the pointless winners of Monday night’s game.
“At this point, it’s pretty much settled. Everything had already played except the Monday night game, so it was just the players from Buffalo and Cincinnati, and there are good players there,” Braun told CNN. “So it wasn’t really decision making, it was more like ‘what were your real chances of winning?’ and then insert that into a calculation of how much you get if you win and how much you get if you lose.
The Calculator received 15,000 visitors to the site on its first day as fantasy league members across the country try to crown a winner after an abrupt and unexpected end to the season.