Will High Fines Affect Fantasy Football?

Dan BentonCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2008

After teammate Hines Ward was fined $15,000 over the course of two games for "unnecessary roughness," Troy Polamalu came out with some serious accusations about the league.

He has said that the NFL isn't concerned about the safety of the players, but that it's doing what is good for the league; meaning that it brings in money. He has also said that the fines on Ward, neither of which were penalized on the field, will change the face of the game. It will make the game something like flag football, or as Polamalu says, "a pansy game."

He's not far off ... if the trend continues, of course.

Ward isn't the only player to be fined for things not flagged on the field; there were three other Steelers in the Baltimore game that received fines for penalties, and last week Rams Offensive Lineman Ritchie Incognito was fined $35,000 for his alleged actions on the field.

Some of Incognito's actions probably should have been fined, such as the chop block and facemask, but verbal abuse of refs totaling $25,000? That seems a bit steep, even if he really did berate the refs throughout the game. And let's get back to the Steelers for a minute. After the Jacksonville game, four Steelers were fined: James Harrison for criticizing a ref ($20,000), Ryan Clark for a late hit ($7,500), Nate Washington for taunting ($7,500) and Hines Ward for unnecessary roughness ($10,000). That brings the Steelers total fines for one game to $45,000, which is absurd  It wouldn't even be discussed if all of the fines were penalized on the field, but they weren't.  But let's move on to why this is important:

As a fantasy GM, what do these fines mean for you?

For one, players are less likely to play as hard as they have been because it's costing them money. Not all NFL players make millions of dollars a year, so even Ward's $5,000 fine accrued against the Jags is steep.

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