Fake Field Goals and Punts
In the Packers/Bears game on Thursday night in Week #2, the Packers scored a TD on a "fake" Field Goal attempt. They basically lined up as if they were going to kick a Field Goal on fourth down. But the holder, Tim Masthay, who happens to be the Packers Punter, tossed a short pass to Tom Crabtree, a backup Tight End, and he ran it 27 yards for a rare touchdown.
The NFL does not have a "fake" touchdown category or classification, so this TD was recorded like any other passing touchdown. If you check the box score of any major sports page, this will be listed just like a typical passing TD, similar to this example from NFL.com in the second quarter of the game:
TD T.Crabtree 27 yd. pass from T.Masthay (M.Crosby kick) (12-80, 6:04)
Based on this description, there's no way to tell that this was a "fake" field goal attempt. If you know that Masthay is the punter, you might guess that it was a fake punt instead. But what if the holder was the 2nd string quarterback, which is how a lot of NFL teams handle holding duties? Then this would appear to be a normal passing TD by the 2nd string quarterback. In other words, you can't rely on the box score description to determine whether or not this was a "special" TD, and therefore we strongly recommend that you don't treat this TD any differently than any other Passing TD, and in particular we strongly recommend that you don't consider it to be a Special Teams TD. More on that later...
Since this happened on Thursday night in Week #2, a lot of fantasy players were able to watch it live, and therefore knew that it was a "unique" play that started as a standard field goal attempt and resulted in a "trick" or "fake" play. Therefore, some leagues are considering whether or not this should be counted as a "Special Teams" touchdown. Alas, this is a rare instance where there isn't any automatic way to score this as a Special Teams TD in the MyFantasyLeague.com system. Why not, you ask? Well, since the NFL just considers this to be like any other Passing TD, and since the box score doesn't give any indication that this was a "fake" play, our stats provider doesn't send this stat to us any differently than a standard Passing TD. Therefore, we don't have a separate rule in our system for these "fake" play touchdowns.
If your league still wants to count this as a Special Teams or Team Defense type of touchdown, then your commissioner would have to use the "For Commissioners > Setup > Adjust Player Scores" screen to enter the fantasy points for the Packers Special Teams or Team Defense position as needed.
However, before you decide to do this, keep in mind a couple of issues. First and foremost, it would be easy to miss a play like this in the future. What if it happens on a Sunday afternoon in a meaningless game and nobody in your league notices that it was a "fake" play? Second, consider what happens on a normal Field Goal when they don't fake it. Do you award any points to the Special Teams or Team Defense in your league for a regular Field Goal? Probably not. So if that same unit of players on the field gets 0 fantasy points for a successful field goal, then why would you consider awarding that unit of players some points for executing an otherwise standard play from scrimmage? Food for thought.
In summary, while there is a lot of discussion going on in the fantasy scene about how or why this fake field goal attempt should be awarded fantasy points to the Special Teams or Team Defense position, we strongly recommend that it should not be considered a Special Teams TD of any type.