If a player or players in a team’s lineup does not play due to being injured, declared inactive, or on a bye week, and the coach failed to make the appropriate change(s) prior to the Sunday lineup submission deadline, the commissioner shall assess the coach an instance for his using the depth chart to make lineup substitutions, based on the below criteria.

It is the coach's responsibility to make the necessary substitutions within their lineups between the time it is submitted and the Sunday lineup submission deadline by emailing the entire league of any changes that need to be made due to players being inactive during a given week. They are encouraged to use any and all available resources to ensure that lineups contain only players who are active during a given week; they cannot expect the commissioner to ensure this for them.

Section 3 of the FFL Rule Book covers the depth chart policy, namely the initial creation and submission of one prior to the start of the season, any adjustments that a coach makes, how acquired players are placed on the depth chart, and the timeframe for submitting depth chart changes during a game week.

An instance will be assessed when, provided the coach has an active player able to be subbed in at his position:

An instance will also be assessed when:

An instance will NOT be assessed when:

A coach can be assessed more than one instance in a given week based on the above criteria: If the depth chart is used multiple times to find an active player to be subbed in to a single lineup slot, then only one instance will be assessed. If the depth chart is used for multiple lineup slots, then one instance will be assessed per lineup slot. Likewise, if the coach fails to turn in a lineup, and the prior week’s lineup is thus used, the coach will be liable for any additional instances due to players in the prior week’s lineup being inactive in the current week (these will be assessed even if normally they would not be had the coach submitted their lineup for the current week based on the above criteria).

Assessments may be waived on a case-by-case basis (at the commissioner’s discretion) for substitutions that have to be made after kickoff of the 1:00 Sunday games, namely those where a player is declared inactive after the lineup submission deadline passes, and there was no indication prior to the deadline that said player was not going to play. Likewise, since coaches cannot sign players after the deadline of Week 11, assessments may be waived for cases from Week 12 until the Fantasy Bowl where a player in a lineup is inactive, but a coach is unable to sign a replacement and all other options at a given position are also inactive, except for cases where the coach has players eligible to be placed on Injured Reserve but the coach did nothing to address the matter prior to the Week 11 deadline.

Once a coach reaches four instances, the commissioner will issue a first warning to the coach. If that coach reaches six instances, then the commissioner will issue a final warning. If a coach then is assessed another instance after that, then the commissioner will review that coach’s status in the league, and will determine whether or not that coach will continue in the league; if the coach is removed prior to the conclusion of the season, the commissioner will take over the team for the duration of the season and will set lineups based off a website of his choosing, as noted in Rule 15-G of the FFL Rule Book.

Coaches will automatically receive a final warning upon the first instance of failing to submit a lineup; a second such instance will result in the coach's immediate removal from the league, even if said coach did not reach the four instances necessary for a first warning, or the seven instances necessary for review under normal circumstances.

Penalties may be (as opposed to will be, depending on the situation at hand) assessed against coaches who reach a certain amount of instances against them, or who finish a season with the most instances. These penalties may include loss of draft lottery chances or draft position, salary cap penalties, or other punitive actions that may be construed as "message-sending" efforts to reduce the total number of instances assessed in a given season.

The total number of instances assessed for a given season will not roll over into future seasons, nor will instances assessed during a prior season roll over into the current season; the assessment of instances will be on a season-by-season basis. However, past instances may be taken into account if a coach's status is reviewed due to an excessive number of instances for the current season, or if penalties are under consideration.

This policy should not be construed as discouraging coaches from putting players in their lineups when they are unsure if those players will actually play (especially if they are listed as “questionable” or are considered to be “game-time decisions” as described above). However, this policy does discourage laziness and apathy, especially if a coach has players who are clearly known to be inactive well before the player’s game kicks off but no effort is made to replace those players in lineups when the coach has adequate substitutes available.