I can see the reasoning behind it, because it might be more of a hastle, trying to figure out who genuinely had a reason for not getting their picks in, vs. who just didn't make the effort.
But the frustration for me is this.
Let's say I always get my picks in early, but my team loses the game.
Person A doesn't put their picks in at all, and the favorite gets chosen for him or her. So person A gets a point.
With this system, wouldn't it just be better for me not to make my picks, and end up getting the point by virtue of the favorite being chosen for me?
I know people have things come up, and the Thursday night games don't help anything for anybody. I certainly wouldn't want anyone with a good reason to miss out on their picks. But it's almost a penalty toward those who put them in on time. I'm speaking as one who has been on both sides, putting things in on time, and also forgetting.
What about this idea?
Instead of a "late penalty", how about an "early reward?" Would it be feasible to give a "reward point" per week, to those who get their picks in before the game time? That way, there would be even more incentive for people to remember it?
Or if not that, then what about "reward" or "penalty" points at the end of the season, dependent on how many "on time" vs. "late" picks?
I'm just thinking in writing; I don't know if that makes things too complicated or no, but I thought I'd make the suggestion.