I was sitting around a pool in Mexico last week when I got an email that contained what appeared to be awful news.
“Our rules state that if games are postponed outside the game period… then players from those games score zero,” read the email from FanDuel, a site where I and many other people play daily fantasy sports for money.
This was horrible news for myself and any other people who had members of the Eagles or Vikings that week. The Philadelphia/Minnesota game had been postponed a couple days because of a huge snowstorm in Philly and was to be played a couple days later.
It meant that if you had Michael Vick (like a lot of people did), Desean Jackson, LeSean McCoy or any other players on Philly or Minnesota, you were almost guaranteed to lose a lot of money.
The unique situation was a big challenge for FanDuel. According to their rules, FanDuel had to give Philadelphia and Minnesota players a zero score that week in order to be fair to any players who avoided taking Eagles and Vikings because there was a possibility the game would be postponed.
The ruling, as unfair as it may have seemed, was legitimate. It also promised to piss off a lot of FanDuel players.
But FanDuel came up with a resolution, one that pleased everyone – and one that came at the expense of the fantasy sports betting site.
“To make up for the poor experience of users who had Vikings and Eagles players, we are also paying out a bonus equivalent to the wins as if those players had counted,” read an email that FanDuel sent out a couple days later. “So, if you would have won had Tuesday’s game counted, you will receive the same amount of cash.”
In other words, players who didn’t have Eagles or Vikings players benefited because their opponents with Eagles and Vikings players didn’t score points that week, as per the rules. And those who did have Eagles and Vikings players were awarded the money they would have won had those players’ points counted.
It made the difference of a couple hundred dollars to me – games I had lost but would have won if Eagles and Vikings players’ points had counted.
Hats off to FanDuel for dipping into their own pockets to satisfy their customers, even though they had no legal obligation to do so.
FanDuel also announced they would clarify their rules about postponed games.
For NFL contests, players will receive points for any postponed games that are played no later than Wednesday of that week.
For one-day MLB contests, if a postponed game is played on the same day, you will receive the points for those players as normal. If a game is postponed to a later date or called off for any reason, players you selected for that game will receive zero points.
For one-day NBA and NHL contests, you will receive points for any postponed games that are played no later than the next day.
For any NBA, MLB and NHL contests that are scheduled to include games from multiple days, you will receive points for any games played no later than the day after the last game scheduled.
And if game cancellations or postponements mean there is only one game left in a contest, the contest will be cancelled and all entry fees will be refunded.
These new rules are important to keep in mind for anyone who plays daily fantasy sports for money at FanDuel. Next time a game is postponed (a rarity in the NFL, NBA and NHL, but fairly common in MLB because of rain), FanDuel has no obligation to be so nice.