Bills vs. Bengals Postponement: Fantasy Options for Week 17 Matchups

With everyone's primary thoughts with Damar Hamlin, what are the options for fantasy leagues after the postponement of Bills vs. Bengals in Week 17?

The frightening events of the Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will live long in the memory of anyone watching. During and after the event, it has been hard for everyone to get thoughts of Damar Hamlin, his family, and friends out of our heads, as we all wish for him to make a swift and complete recovery.

While the right decisions were made in postponing the game on the night and then again the following day, it has left fantasy football leagues in a tricky position. Week 17 is championship week for many, and while a game about a game is extremely insignificant in the grand scheme, the investment made by managers will mean the focus returns to those leagues at some point.

To learn what fantasy platforms are doing, scroll to the end of the article. For fantasy commissioners’ options when deciding what to do this week, keep reading below.

How Could Fantasy Leagues Handle the Bills vs. Bengals Postponement?

At the time of writing, the game between the Bills and Bengals will not be played in Week 17 but has not been definitively canceled. That leaves the possibility open that the game could be played at some point, potentially as a Week 19 contest, pushing the NFL playoffs back. That leaves commissioners and managers facing uncertainty.

A first option is a wait-and-see approach. The NFL could announce in the next couple of days that they plan to have the game played next week. They may just be delaying the announcement while they work out the logistics of everything. Therefore, there is nothing to be gained by leagues rushing to a snap judgment in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Without clarity on that front ahead of Week 18, leagues could agree to have Bills and Bengals points count from the upcoming week’s games. There is uncertainty about whether players will feel able to suit up. But again, that is something that may have to be decided if it happens. One option would be that fantasy managers can name a Week 18 bench player in advance to take the place of any player from the Bills or Bengals in their lineup that does not suit up this week. That would be a way to mitigate any concerns on that front.

The problem with any other options in terms of achieving a result in Week 17 is that deciding on it would be, in effect, crowning a champion. You could agree to transition to a Best Ball lineup setting for this week, but that could be controversial. That is the tricky balance, especially if money or another prize is involved.

Another option would be for managers to agree to share their fantasy titles. In money leagues, that might involve taking the winnings from first and second, combining them, and splitting them between the two championship teams. Again, that is not something that needs to be decided immediately but could be an option if managers cannot find an agreed-upon resolution elsewhere.

Things are trickier for leagues that have their championship games in Week 18 because a decision needs to be made on who advances. Potentially, the easiest solution is to put any teams where the matchup was impacted by this game into the final. That might mean you end up with a three or four-team championship game, but that is not the be-all and end-all.

We can all agree that fantasy is secondary right now to the health of Hamlin. With so many people coming together to wish Hamlin a speedy and complete recovery, as well as donations flooding into his Go Fund Me page, arguing or falling out over a fantasy league for an event beyond anyone’s control is not what anybody would like to see.

Whatever the issue your league faces, take a breath, hug your loved ones, and then come back together to work out a way that everyone is happy with. It may not be what you envisioned, but we learned what was really important on Monday night. And fantasy football, no matter how much we love it, is likely not atop that list for many people.

What Are Fantasy Platforms Doing for Week 17?


Sleeper announced the following on Twitter: Given these unprecedented circumstances, we will be scoring Week 17 as is. If the NFL resumes the game at a later time, there will be an option in commissioner tools to re-run Week 17 results. This is an option, not the default. Our prayers are with Damar Hamlin and his family.

To clarify, finalizing Week 17 is our default platform stance, but we will be giving each league a choice to include the game should it resume. Platform flexibility is our priority.

For those who want to rerun results later – this will be a single button in commish tools that will appear after the BUF/CIN game is resumed and fully played. It’s a one-tap solution that won’t require additional manual work.

We’ll announce w/ screenshots at that time.

For leagues with outside-the-box solutions that they want to apply, commissioners are able to edit fantasy points and results after week 17 ends to reflect those choices via the Custom Points tool.


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