Treacherous Trades

October 8, 2012

Fantasy, Fantasy Football, Features

Fantasy trades are a beast in and of themselves.  Some people will spend days negotiating a trade where they spend hours talking on the phone and hundreds of texts trying to work out the final details on a deal.  Ideally, all trades would be fair and timely, but sometimes things just don’t go that way.  In order to help you design a better league and to avoid getting screwed over here’s a few examples of fantasy trade disasters.

Exhibit 1

Team A: “About your Amendola/Jennings issue, why don’t I trade you Aaron Rodgers for Greg Jennings and see if it works out for me.”
Team B: “I don’t think that’s exactly fair.  Jennings has #1 receiver potential, while Rodgers has sucked so far this season.  Definitely not worth your #1 pick overall.  So, I’m thinking you give me Rodgers and another receiver for Jennings.”

Exhibit 1 is what I would like to call “Attempted Trade Battery.”  Clearly, the original trade sent by Team A was meant as a joke.  Team B, being the imbecile he/she is, attempted to take a fake trade they assumed to be real and was already in their favor, and squeeze every last ounce out of it.   Every league has this type of owner.  They’re generally the asshole that nobody cares about, and is generally not even wanted in the league, but he’s a warm body that fills that empty team nicely.

Did anybody else lose out huge when Danny Amendola got hurt vs. the Cardinals? A couple of my teams have both Amendola and Greg Jennings. Ouch. Photo from Jeffrey Beall

Exhibit 2

On occasion, shitty trades like Exhibit 1 get accepted because the team manager is on drugs, tired, drunk, stupid, or is something else entirely (but mostly just stupid).  When such trades do happen, the results fall into Exhibit 2, also known as “Trade Battery Justification Syndrome” and/or “Collusion.”  Such a trade occurred only a year ago in the Peyton Who? fantasy football league.

Team A: Receives Aaron Rodgers
Team B: Receives Matt Ryan, Steve Breaston, Andre Johnson

Team A made the trade of a lifetime in week 7 of 2011 receiving the #1 player in all of fantasy while only losing very little in the way of Matt Ryan, who was hard to use as a starting quarterback last season, Steve Breaston, and an injured to the point of surgery Andre Johnson.  Team B was 2-4 at the time and actually held the highest single week points total record for the season and looked pretty good for its record before dumping its top player.  You may be asking why this matters.  It’s simple.  Team B got trade battered and has actually spent this past year trying as hard as he can to justify it.  Team B’s manager has even convinced himself that he was “taking a chance” that didn’t work out.  He’s delusional at this point.  In the end, nobody is truly complaining, except our commissioner who speculates there may have been collusion or that Team B is just an idiot (neither entirely ruled out).  We were just happy another solid team was taken out of contention by submitting to trade battery.

Sweet trade, Doug. What were you thinking, Mitch? Eric can’t save you from yourself. Photo from Mike Morbeck

Exhibit 3

My personal opinion is that all trades should go through, unless there is considerable evidence that there is collusion going on.  An example of such a trade that should get vetoed is the apparent team dumping at the end of a season.  This is exactly why trade batteries actually get passed.  Commissioners cannot save everyone from their own stupidity, drunkenness, or whatever ails them, and shouldn’t.  Still, there are some leagues where trades are left to be confirmed or denied by all of the team managers.  Although originally intended to keep the league fair while avoiding assigning any one person too much power, the mass ability to veto can be twisted.  “MAR: Manipulated Ambiguous Rules” is when these simple innocent standards of practice get abused by the anarchists of fantasy football.  One such case occurred to me, personally in Lions Year??? this season.

Tampa Tebows receive Philip Rivers and DeAngelo Williams.
Santa Cruz Flamingos receive Matt Forte & Sam Bradford.

This trade was proposed and accepted the Sunday before the regular season even started, which means we were going off draft day value for a 2 quarterback league.  I (Santa Cruz Flamingos) owned Drew Brees, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Rivers and was sorely lacking at running back.  This trade gave me a top-tier RB while using my QB depth to my advantage (I had and still have a man-crush on Ryan Fitzpatrick as a fantasy player).  Meanwhile, the Tebows gained what they were missing at QB (Bradford was a starter for them) while trading away a player they deemed worth the risk of losing.

Then, all hell broke loose.  You see, Lions Year??? was a league where all teams have the opportunity to veto trades if they deemed them unfair.  Unfortunately for myself and the Tebows, any trade where two teams improved was going to be vetoed because it was deemed “unfair to the rest of us.”  In other words, they were worried about two teams gaining strength.   First, I hate that justification because it defeats the whole purpose of vetoes existing.  Second, their justification left no reason for trades even existing in this league, as none would get passed because it would strengthen both teams. Of course, the only way the mass veto rule works, is if every team in the league votes, which in this case, didn’t occur.

Several owners, including both myself and the Tebows, became outraged leading to a verbal brawl on the message boards and some team name changes (I changed my team to the David Sterns, while the Tebows changed to the Vegas Vetoes).   Reasoning behind decisions got torn apart on both sides.  Eventually, the league managers changed the rules to league manager vetoing only, because they realized a trade they had been working for 2 weeks to get done would also be vetoed, thus wasting a ton of their own time.  Ok.  I admit it, the real reason is they realized what is fair, and took heavy consideration in what would maintain people’s attention to the league.

Only a couple of people got the David Stern joke from the team name change. Photo from Cody Mulcahy.

The moral of all of these stories is to try to provide the best possible atmosphere to keep people active, which means allowing trades to go through with minimal interference.  They also suggest covering all of your bases, especially knowing your players, your league rules, and if the people in your league are a bunch of dip-shits when it comes to fantasy football.

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About nichbeesley

Nicholas Beesley is a Michigan State University student majoring in television and film, a producer for MSU&U, and a lifelong wrestling fan. Also, he will gladly argue over facts, but will spend hours trying to form a simple opinion on any topic that’s not wrestling or fantasy football related.

View all posts by nichbeesley


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