Many fantasy football champions owe their success to Todd Gurley. Plenty of them expressed their gratitude by making a charitable donation in his honor recently.
In 2016, reporter Michael Gehlken—now covering the Oakland Raiders for the Las Vegas Review-Journal—floated the idea that fantasy winners could donate some of their earnings to causes supported by the NFL players they rostered. He renewed the thought Christmas Eve, days after ESPN's Matthew Berry gave the concept more publicity:
Nobody spread more fantasy cheer than Gurley. Per ESPN.com's Tristan H. Cockcroft, the fantasy squad with the Los Angeles Rams running back in each league made 39.2 percent of ESPN's Week 16 championship matchups. He led most of those backers to victory with a 49.6 point-per-reception output against the Tennessee Titans.
Gurley acknowledged the performance via Twitter:
From Weeks 14 to 16, a period that constitutes the fantasy postseason in most leagues, Gurley tallied 591 yards and eight touchdowns. As a result, Jacob Bogage of the Washington Post reported that Shriners Hospital had received $10,500 in honor of Gurley as of last Thursday morning.
Per Bogage, a representative from the hospital told Gehlken that people in the office thought Gurley had died because of all the contributions made in his name.
The Rams star softened his stance on fantasy after seeing the good it helped accomplish:
Gurley investors whose leagues play through Week 17 will instead bemoan the Rams' decision to rest him and other starters.
Everyone who emerged from the season's final weekend victorious can instead send some gratitude to JuJu Smith-Schuster, Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, Alvin Kamara and Dion Lewis. (Or Rams head coach Sean McVay for those whose opponent had to sit Gurley.)
[Washington Post, Twitter]