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Fantasy Football Game Time Decision

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What is a Game-Time Decision in Fantasy Football?

A game-time decision in football occurs when there is uncertainty surrounding a player’s ability to play in an upcoming game. Game-time decisions mean that the whether or not a player will play will be announced shortly before the game. In this situation, an official decision does not come until 90 minutes before the game starts. The player generally has a 50-50 shot of playing, depending on how well they warm up and seem recovered from their injuries.

What Causes a Game-Time Decision?

The game-time decision tag is often caused by injury. Players dealing with minor injuries may not be able to participate in regularly scheduled practices leading up to the game. They often use the warm-up period just before the game to determine whether or not they can play through the ailment, which is where the “game-time decision” designation comes from.

Setting the Lineup

Game-time decisions make setting fantasy football lineups extremely difficult. Since managers are unsure of whether their player is going to play or not, they must choose to either bench or start the player and hope the team officials decide he is good to go. Game-time decisions highlight how much luck goes into fantasy football, because you can draft an amazing, high-scoring player on your starting lineup but have them be declared unable to play just before a game starts.

If a player is benched and ends up playing, managers can lose valuable points that would’ve helped secure a win against the opponent. On the other hand, by starting a player that is labeled a game-time decision, the manager risks the player not performing well due to playing at less than 100% strength or not playing at all.

Late Starts and Night Games

Game-time decisions are further complicated when players are scheduled to play in a Sunday or Monday night game. Most fantasy leagues require managers to set their lineups prior to the start of the Sunday afternoon slate of games beginning at 1 P.M. Given that managers are forced to rely on updates regarding injured players at least 12 hours before game-time, it becomes nearly impossible to be sure whether or not a player listed as being a game-time decision is going to play.

FAQ

When are game-time decisions announced in the NFL?

In the NFL, players must be declared inactive at least 90 minutes before kickoff. That means that as a fantasy owner, you must check the status of your players within an hour and a half before game time. While this usually is possible for Thursday Night Football, Monday Night Football, and the 1 p.m. games on Sunday, most leagues do not allow you to change your lineup for the later games on Sunday.

What is a game-time decision in fantasy football?

In fantasy football, a game-time decision is when a player’s eligibility is determined just before the start of the game. This timing is usually due to injury and a player will often warm up and be declared either fit or unfit to play just before the game begins. This situation can cause havoc on a fantasy team owner’s starting lineup so it is something to keep in mind when strategizing week-to-week. 

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