As the calendar turns to September, not only are the Los Angeles Dodgers entering the final stretch and closing in on beginning the playoffs, but the NFL season is also getting set to kick off.
As is the case every year, the Dodgers held their team fantasy football draft after Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Clayton Kershaw and Ross Stripling looking to defend their title.
They co-managed the winning team last year and ended former general manager Farhan Zaidi’s reign as champion. Zaidi won it in 2016 and 2017.
Though they have yet to get into any matchups, the season is already off on the wrong foot. Cody Bellinger may be on his way to a National League MVP Award, but he couldn’t escape a silly blunder in the Dodgers’ fantasy football draft.
As Bellinger explained to Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA, he was not aware the Dodgers were doing an online draft this year. So instead of selecting Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndrew Hopkins with his first-round pick, he wound up with Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott:
“So I picked (DeAndre) Hopkins and I put on the jersey, and I had no idea there was an online portion to this draft. So in the online portion it auto-picked Zeke for me. So J.T. took Hopkins’ jersey off my back and now I’m stuck with Zeke. … The past two years that I’ve been involved there was no online portion. It was just straight board and paper, so I assumed it was the same this year. … Buehler did a bad job of letting everyone know there was an online portion.”
While this normally wouldn’t be that big of a deal as those are two of the best players in the NFL, Elliott is currently holding out in hopes of signing a new contract with the Cowboys.
Unless his situation gets sorted out, there is a chance he sits out the 2019-20 season. That would mean a wasted pick for Bellinger and likely a lost opportunity to win the league.
It is usually up to the commissioner of a fantasy league to let the other members know what the draft format is, and in this case, that is Walker Buehler.
Despite Bellinger blaming his teammate, Buehler said he let everyone know and emailed them the invite. So it appears this one is on Bellinger and he will have to suffer the consequences if Elliott isn’t on the field this season.