Welcome to the NFL version of the fantasy football circus carousel.
There are many factors, both on and off the playing fields in Week 14, which can impact fantasy players in the midst of their league playoffs this week. Some are player injuries, which could be expected, but some are player suspensions that are being decided in the Halls of Justice.
Owners had better check the availability of the players on their rosters before making last-moment decisions on who to start, who to sit, and who to dump, as there might be little time or margin for error left for many fantasy owners now.
Within the vaunted halls of justice in St. Paul, MN, the epicenter of the civilized world, and currently the NFL, Judge Paul Magnuson handed out a ruling sparing the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings (imagine that?), and fantasy owners that have Kevin and Pat Williams (Vikings), Deuce McAllister, Charles Grant, and Will Smith (Saints) an indefinite reprieve from the four game suspensions handed out to the above named for use of a banned diuretic used to lose weight.
The diuretic, Bumetanide, which was contained in StarCaps, argued the NFL Players Association, was not clearly defined and identified on the label as a banned substance, and therefore, the NFL did not properly inform the involved players of that information under the current NFLPA bargaining agreement.
The National Football League's stance has been since this case was identified and initially ruled upon after the players tested positive for the substance during training camp in July and August. Bumetanide is also is used as a masking agent for the use of illegal steroids, and as such is therefore outlawed under the bargaining agreement.
The NFLPA's argument is that unknown to the players involved, Bumetanide is contained in the dietary supplement StarCaps which is a supplement used as a method to shed unwanted weight, but was not clearly identified on the labels as a listed ingredient.
Attorneys on both sides of the issue acknowledge that weight loss supplements are used by overweight players to control blood pressure and heart issues, but more importantly for the players probably, to gain targeted weight limits contained in their contracts with their NFL franchises.