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Fantasy Football Donk

What is a 'Donk' in Fantasy Football?

The term 'donkey' (often shortened to 'donk') is a fantasy football term used to refer to an owner that seemingly has no desire to win the league. Donks tend to make inexplicable trades and fail to set their lineups on a weekly basis, leaving other owners to wonder why they paid to join a league in the first place.

Characteristics of a Donk

There are three main ways to identify a donk in a fantasy football league, each of which are outlined below:

  • The owner makes ridiculous trades that hurt the team's chances to succeed going forward, such as trading a star running back for two below-average receivers.
  • There are an excessive amount of unimportant players on the roster (i.e. having three kickers even though kickers tend to contribute a relatively low number of fantasy points and only one kicker can be used each week).
  • The owner fails to set the lineup each week, leaving injured or underachieving players to contribute low point totals to the team's score for the week.

Why Do Donks Exist?

There are two reasons that explain why an owner might make a series of terrible moves throughout the season. First, owners that become disinterested in fantasy football and grow tired of constantly managing their teams often elect to take a careless approach, making irrational moves to stir up chatter throughout the league. Second, owners with little to no fantasy football experience are prone to making questionable decisions, especially if manipulated into thinking they are making logical moves by other more experienced owners that stand to benefit from the mishaps.

Impact on the League

Regardless of whether they are mismanaging their teams accidentally or on purpose, donks can make the league less enjoyable for other members by creating a playing field that is not level. Managers that benefit from poor trades will reap the rewards and rise above the rest, leaving other managers to feel cheated. An owner that fails to set the team's lineup on a weekly basis can also negatively affect the league with regards to league-wide win/loss records.

When the same players are consistently left in the starting lineup, one opponent may benefit from facing a team with several 'bye weeks' (the real-life team of a player has a scheduled week off, meaning the player has no game and will automatically post zero fantasy points) while another opponent faces the team at full strength the following week.

Thus, donks that are being purposely inattentive should be removed from the league, while first-time players that find themselves confused need to be given tips on how to properly manage their teams.