Commentary

Jackson's antics cost many fantasy owners

Updated: September 16, 2008, 5:01 PM ET
By James Quintong | ESPN.com

So what is it with Eagles players' causing major fantasy heartache with bizarre plays at the goal line in Texas Stadium? For the second straight year, many a fantasy contest was decided by one high-profile play in the Eagles-Cowboys showdown.

Last year in Week 15 (during the thick of the fantasy playoffs), Brian Westbrook took an intentional knee just before reaching the goal line to keep the clock running. While it was a shrewd football move that would preserve an Eagles victory, it dashed the hopes of many Westbrook owners hoping for the score.

On Monday night, Westbrook got back that touchdown he should've scored last year, thanks to rookie teammate DeSean Jackson, who celebrated what should've been a 61-yard TD reception prematurely. After a replay review, it was ruled that Jackson let go of the ball at the 1, before he crossed the goal line. Jackson was denied a touchdown catch and Donovan McNabb was denied a touchdown pass. However, the Eagles did get the ball back at the Cowboys' 1 despite Jackson's blunder, and Westbrook scored on the next play.

DeSean Jackson
Nelson Chenault/US PresswireDeSean Jackson is owned in 88 percent of ESPN leagues and 22.9 percent of them started him Monday, and many of those owners have their own story from Monday night's infamous play.
So while that play ultimately didn't affect the final result of the Monday night game, Jackson's actions had major ripple effects in tons of major fantasy contests. Fantasy owners were quick to share their stories of how Jackson's play affected their games this week.

Here's a sampling of some of the responses by fantasy owners once the dust settled from Monday's game and it was apparent that Jackson's play was the difference-maker:

"It happened to me! It happened to me! I lost my fantasy football matchup this week by 6 points. Six! Guess who was my third starting WR? You already know the answer don't you? DeSean Jackson! I would have won with the tiebreak being most points from WRs. Just wanted you to know that IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Jackson's bonehead play at the goal line cost a fantasy owner." -- Kevin, Tampa, Fla.

"I'm sure you've been getting nightmare stories from fantasy owners screwed by DeSean Jackson's idiotic celebration on the 1-yard-line, so here's mine. I was playing my sister-in-law this week in the one money league I'm in this year. Going into Monday night, I was down by 26 points. I had Jackson and Nick Folk going in the Monday night game. After getting 14 points out of Folk and 10 points out of Jackson, I lost by two points. Jackson's 'hey, look at me' moment has resulted in a guaranteed five months of ridicule from my brother-in-law for losing to a girl who only played because our league needed one more team to fill it out." -- Eric, Indianapolis

"I am sure there is someone out there with a bigger sob story ... but here's mine. I lost my game this weekend due entirely to DeSean Jackson. ... [D]ue to my league's crazy scoring system, where the longer the TD, the more the points, the Jackson mind-fart was a 24-point swing in my game. Yep, you guessed it, the dude I played this weekend had Westbrook. So subtract 18 points from my column, add 6 to his, and you come up with a 24-point swing and a 14-point loss. It ain't always sunny in Philly, especially if I ever meet DeScum Jackson." -- Kristian, Los Angeles

"I have the craziest finish to a fantasy football game ever. I'm trailing my opponent, Shawn, by 19 points coming into the Monday Night game. He has DeSean Jackson and Jason Witten, I have Brian Westbrook and Tony Romo. We play in a league where touchdowns carry the most weight, so I'm in trouble. In the second quarter, McNabb throws a bomb to Jackson, who is wide open. Jackson catches the pass and is streaking toward the end zone, but goes into his TD celebration one yard early. The TD is overturned on challenge, the ball is spotted at the Dallas 1, and I have Westbrook, who plunges into the end zone on the next play. That's a 12-point turnaround on an absolute bonehead play by DeSean Jackson. I end up beating Shawn by 11 points ... can you imagine a more painful loss? Just remarkable!" -- Chris, Australia

Brian Westbrook
AP Photo/Tim SharpBrian Westbrook, who had his own bout of fantasy infamy against Dallas last year, was a main beneficiary of Jackson's drop.
"Last year I started playing fantasy football and it seemed that whoever I played was cursed to have a bad game. I went into this fantasy season thinking that there is no way that this could be true, but sure enough, the curse is back. I had started the Chargers D this week thinking that they were going to shut down Denver like they always do (this mindset caused me to sit Brandon Marshall who ended up with 22 fantasy points). The Chargers didn't play a great defensive game but when Jay Cutler threw his "incomplete pass" at the end of the game, it allowed the Broncos to score a touchdown reducing the Chargers D to 2 points. But the bad luck didn't end there. I had started DeSean Jackson at the flex position, he had a decent game, but if you remember he had one bonehead play. If he hadn't pulled a Leon Lett move he would have had 17 fantasy points, he got 11 instead. Thanks to DJ and Ed Hochuli, I lost 77-70." -- Gordon

"I want to thank DeSean Jackson for his unfortunate premature celebration ... It allowed me to win my fantasy game because I was playing against McNabb who didn't get the TD points" -- Fossman44

"Thanks for losing my fantasy league game for me DeSean Jackson, you IDIOT! You took 9 points away from McNabb in my league and I lost by 4 ... FYI: You have to pass the goal line to score! Apparently you didn't learn that in high school! You won't be in this league very long doing that." -- chandler2142

"Count me in among those that lost their matchup on the DeSean Jackson pre-goal line toss. He should be forced to send hand written apologies to the hundreds (if not thousands) of owners he punched in the gut." -- Jon

Fantasy Focus Football

DeSean Jackson's poor judgement was the topic-du-jour on a day that also featured an appearence by 90210's Lori Loughlin:
Fantasy Focus Podcast

"Just lost two leagues tonight because of his bonehead 'fumble.' Do I trade him for value, or keep him on my team? Really don't want to own him anymore, but couldn't stand having him beat me later this season and get another loss from him." -- Michael

And this is just a small sampling of what we've received throughout ESPN after Monday night's game. If you've got your own story of fantasy heartache thanks to DeSean Jackson, feel free to speak up in the conversation section.

James Quintong is an editor for ESPN Fantasy.