Almost everyone who plays fantasy football plays it with relatives, significant others, or most common your inner circle of friends. Money is also usually involved in these leagues. One league I am in plays with a close group of friends for money. But what happens when two of these friends have a trade that seems a little too one sided? Money is on the line, but something that was supposed to be for fun has turned into a civil war. At what point do you stop a deal that you think is unfair, but they are your friend and have a right to run their team. These were the questions my league was facing when two teams made a deal that seemed unfair.
The deal that was vetoed was Matt Ryan, Doug Baldwin, and Marques Colston for Ben Tate, Vincent Jackson, and Kirk Cousins. This deal took place three weeks ago, so take that into account. At the time the trade seemed much more lopsided. The trade was vetoed immediately, and one of the teams got so angry they drooped all of their players and said they were done. But since we are all friends, no one wanted to see him leave the league. It is supposed to be an inclusive activity and fun for everybody. Suddenly everyone was unhappy and the fun was gone. A few days later the owner said if the trade goes through he would return to the league. The trade went through by a vote of five to four in a twelve team league with the commissioner and two teams involved not voting. If everyone in the league were not friends the trade would not have gone through.
Should you let two teams who have bad records be able to make a trade that is unfair? Is it the owners choice to make a bad trade or should they be protected from themselves? It is a tough issue but one thing this did was create a slippery slope. After this trade occurred, no other trade could be realistically vetoed because the same thing could happen. One example, Victor Cruz was traded the week after his injury occurred. A player on season ending IR was traded, that isn’t fair. This was collusion, but that’s a sensitive issue now because of the vetoed trade. How can you stop it when the owner could just threaten to quit? Even though it worked out in my league does not mean it will in your league. Here are some tips to avoiding this issue in your league.
Do not allow trades – I do not think this should be your first choice because trades make fantasy football more fun and can improve both teams. But if nothing else works, this can assure you there will not be collusion
Make All Trade Negotiations Public – This might vary by the sight you use but there should be a way to make trade offers public. This can help stop collusion because everyone sees who is being offered and if another team makes an offer that is better they can be called out for it.
Before the season starts, choose an outside mediator – Ideally it would be someone who is anonymous to everyone in the league. It could also be an acquaintance but this does not stop all collusion.
Another option is to set up an online poll or write in to your favorite fantasy website (fantasyrealist) for opinions on league deals.
The lesson to learn is to not let money ruin your fantasy league and try and value friendships higher. You should be able to eliminate collusion though and may the best man win. For more about trades, please check out the “Trade Etiquette” article on the site and see rule four specifically.