Stat change prices man $ 1M worth on MNF sport
A stats fix that turned a sack into a one-on-one for loss in the Chicago Bears-Los Angeles Rams game on Monday caused a $ 997,000 fantasy football heartache for a 41-year-old St. Louis insurance agent.
For 30 minutes after the game ended on Monday, Rob Huntze believed he had won the first prize of $ 1 million in a DraftKings competition.
After the Rams' 24:10 victory, everything had worked out perfectly for Huntze. One of Huntze's lineups that included both the Bears and Rams defenses had scored 92.79, most of the 176,470 entries. His computer screen showed a first prize of $ 1 million.
He texted friends and called his parents to share the exciting news and took his dog, Achilles, for a short walk.
When he got back he wanted to refresh his computer screen again, "just to see me upstairs," he said. "And then boom."
A sack credited to the Bears' defense at the end of the fourth quarter was turned into a running game, a 3-yard defeat by Rams quarterback Jared Goff. That 3 yard loss put Huntze in sixth place with 18 other entries, and his prize pool fell from $ 1 million to $ 3,078.94.
"Heartbreaking on many levels," a resigned Huntze told ESPN on Tuesday.
The game in question took place with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. On the third descent, Goff faked a handoff on the right and bootlegged back on the left. Bears linebacker James Vaughters didn't bite the fake and teamed up with the defensive tackle against Akiem Hicks to bring Goff down 3 yards beyond the border.
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Hicks was initially credited with a sack, but the official goalscorer later changed the game to a 3-yard loss on a run from Goff. Ram's wide receivers seemed to be blocking the downfield, an indication of a planned run. Bags will not be credited for scheduled runs.
"It had to be a sack," said Huntze. "There is no other way to look at it."
"Games like this are routinely discussed and updated by the stats crew as a matter of course," Michael Signora, senior vice president of football and international communications for the NFL, told ESPN in an email. "In this case, since the game was set so close to the end of the game, it was reviewed by the statistics crew and then updated before the game summary, commonly known as the game book, was published."
Statistics corrections are not uncommon and regularly affect fantasy competitions. Huntze said he lost $ 5,000 due to a stats correction in a previous fantasy competition, but this time it was much more painful.
After correction, five entries finished first with 91.19 points, splitting the $ 1 million prize. Huntze's contribution, Robocles, 37, would have won first and made him the entire million dollars. Instead, he said that his 43 entries won a total of $ 3,554.
Wild swings in late games happen weekly in fantasy football, but when the daily fantasy community went from $ 1 million to just over $ 3,000, it was buzzing over Huntze's misfortune.
An avid fantasy gamer who qualified three times for the DraftKings World Championship, Huntze believed the competition on Monday would be his "big break." Despite the $ 997,000 disappointment, it plans to be back in action Thursday night.
"I want a little story of salvation," he said.