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The Dreaded Trade Veto

dreamFFCafedreamFFCafe Posts: 31Member, Moderator mod

The best commissioner is usually the one who you barely notice is there, rarely becoming involved unless there is a serious reason to. Too often people get hung up with micro-managing every single thing that takes place in the league.

Managers veto vs. Commissioner veto

There are two generally used approaches for approving trades – one is where all the managers get to vote on trades and the other is where the commissioner has sole authority.

There are several weaknesses in letting managers vote on trades. One of the problems is that the process is usually anonymous. Many managers are much more likely to veto a trade if they can do it anonymously and don’t have to give an explanation for their actions. Often the veto is used for all the wrong reasons (and sometimes it isn’t used when it should be because some managers can’t be bothered to cast a vote, or in the case of abandoned teams in the league making it hard to get a majority vote). Managers veto because they think the trade is lop-sided, or because it’s not a trade they would make, or because they feel it will make one of the teams involved become better than theirs. If your league is going to give the managers the veto power, they should be made to publicly express the reasons the trade should not go through. It’s often a good rule that the commissioner has the power to reverse any vetoes he feels are unjust, preferably with an explanation for why he feels it should be reversed.

You need to be aware of the rules in the league before joining to ensure all exigencies are satisfactorily covered – if not, ask questions.

General Discussion

• The primary reason for vetoing a trade is when there is clear evidence of collusion – as long as both owners are honestly trying to improve their teams, than trades should be allowed to go through unfettered

• One question that seems to come up on a yearly basis is on the subject of “loaning” players. Basically this occurs when a manager needs a tight end for example due to a bye week and another manager who has an extra tight end agrees to trade one of them to him with the provision that the player is traded back him in the following week – make no mistake, this is COLLUSION – the managers are entering into an agreement that only benefits one team. There is no doubt that this should be vetoed.

• Too often managers get hung up on whether the trade is fair or lop-sided. First off, in most leagues there is no rule regarding stupidity and it’s not your job to decide how others should play the game – let others play the game as they see fit. Fairness is in the eye of the beholder and what the various managers in a league feel about a player can vary greatly (for example, over the first four weeks of this 2012 season fantasy players’ opinions on running back Chris Johnson couldn’t be more disparate with some thinking he is all washed up and others who feel he’s set to break out any time now). It’s not your job to decide what is fair.

• To continue with the issue of lop-sided trades, often what may appear unbalanced does make sense when one digs deeper and examines the trade. For example take the case of a manager trading a solid WR for a TE who doesn’t put up nearly the same numbers on a weekly basis. Under a microscope you’ll probably find that the manager trading the WR is loaded at that position and is leaving points on the bench every week when in fact that player would start on most other teams in the league – so if it improves his team at the TE position then it makes sense, even if the TE doesn’t produce as many points – and no doubt the manager trading the TE is getting an upgrade at WR so both teams are in fact benefiting from the transaction.

• As mentioned previously, there’s no rule against stupidity. That said however, one thing that I find extremely offensive is when an experienced manager tries to rob blind someone who is new at fantasy football. When this occurs, there are a couple courses of action that you can take. One is to simply veto the trade and give the experienced manager a stern rebuke that such actions will under no condition be allowed in the league. A somewhat less intrusive reaction is to discuss the trade with both parties involved, in particular advising the rookie owner on how to determine the value of a player (such as posting the trade here at the Café for feedback). I think we need to help rookie managers learn the tricks of the trade without getting fleeced to make fantasy sports fun for them, making them more likely to stick around and become a regular fantasy player – that can only be good for the game.

• In keeper and dynasty leagues the concept of fairness goes out the window as compared to redraft leagues. Some managers will be trying to strengthen their team right now while others will be more concerned with the future and are interested in young players with upside and draft choices. One rule I’m pretty adamant on in dynasty leagues is that draft picks can only be traded one year into the future – for example, right now in the 2012 season, only 2013 draft picks can be traded, not 2014 or beyond. The reason for that is fairly simple – I’ve seen too many examples where a manager has traded away draft picks for the subsequent two years and when his efforts fail to build a competitive team fail he simply walks away and abandons the team. It’s tough enough to find a replacement owner for a team that has squandered its draft picks for the following season, it’s almost impossible to find one for a team that has traded away its picks for the next two or more years. But, that’s my personal opinion and many fantasy leagues are successful in spite of allowing trading of draft picks more than one year in the future.

• While some disagree, I am opposed to trades that threaten the competitive balance of the league. I’m not talking of simple one-sided trades here, I’m referring to things like a vengeful owner trying to get back at the league for some perceived wrong by making a ridiculous trade by letting stud players go for fire sale prices – this fails to pass the litmus test of both owners trying to improve their team. It basically fits the definition of dumping which should never be tolerated.

• Obviously if the commissioner is going be the sole person deciding on whether trades go through, it’s nice to have some knowledge of the commissioner and how he likes to run things. There needs to be rules in place for disputes and how to resolve them – and if the commissioner is involved in a trade, obviously someone else in the league needs to rule on the trade and that should also be provided for in the rules. You don’t want situations to arise that can tear the league apart.

• If a question arises as to why a particular trade should be allowed to go through, it can often be dealt with by simply and courteously asking the managers involved to explain their motivation in making the trade. We don’t see things through the same eyes and usually they have a valid reason for the trade that may not be obvious to all, and in fact may not make sense to all.

• Normally if two managers decide the trade they are making is fair then that should be good enough for the rest of the league if there is no evidence of collusion.

• Too often commissioners and managers want to try and tell everyone how to run their team – they need to butt out and let people manage their teams as they see fit and to the best of their abilities. In the end, it’s still just a game, so let’s keep it fun for everyone – and when it’s no longer fun, walk away.

To put it succinctly, a trade needs only to meet two criteria – that no collusion is involved, and that both teams are trying to improve their team.

Comments

  • Cowboys4LifeCowboys4Life Posts: 11Member

    We had an issue last year where one team got what appeared to be a huge advantage. I don't veto trades unless there is obvious collusion. The member on the losing end has been in the league 16 years as long as I have so I know it wasn't collusion.

    Several other teams argued to veto the trade and put up a vote. The player on the winning end threatened to drop out of the league. The veto ended up losing the vote and ironically towards the end of the year the trade ended up being not very far off.

    Trades should never be vetoed unless there is collusion.

  • dreamFFCafedreamFFCafe Posts: 31Member, Moderator mod

    That is the main thing, you never know how a trade will ultimately end up. What seems like a landslide today could turn the other way in a week or two, or by the end of the season. Different people/owners have different values/projections on players.

  • murphysxmmurphysxm Posts: 125Member, Moderator mod

    I have never vetoed or voted to veto a trade in my career. Who am I to say the trade isn't fair. They hit accept for their own reasons. If I think it is lopsided, shame on me for not offering to that owner 1st.

  • NightshadeNightshade Posts: 2Member

    Strange, but all trades are valid in my league...no veto. A couple owners tried to get over on the league with it in its infancy in the late 90's. I said " Go ahead, but if there is something fishy going on, you won't be back next year." It has never happened since...with anyone. There has never been a need for a Veto in my league.

  • rjwhiterjwhite Posts: 35Member, Expert Writers

    I think Commissioner Veto is the clear way to go in all leagues.

    I dropped out of a baseball league this season because I had two trades with separate owners vetoed by other managers. In this situation, I was hanging out near the bottom of the standings, and I only had one viable keeper in a keep-three league. I engineered a trade with one of the top three teams in the league, giving him five very good players for one great keeper. It was vetoed by the league because I "gave up too much", according to them.

    Ironically, the owner that petitioned others to veto via an email was in second place, and I had been in discussions with him to try to get the No. 1 keeper in the game for a similar package of players, or potentially his second-best keeper option if that didn't work. We talked about the parameters of a trade, he negotiated a bit, then he said he'd get back to me the next day. When he didn't, I took the other trade offer that night, and he sent out the email asking everyone else to veto. The trade ended up getting canned.

    I then worked out another trade to pick up a better keeper for a slightly worse package from another owner (same framework). That got vetoed too. At this point, I was being prevented from trying to improve my team and felt I couldn't play with that group of owners any more. I told that to the commish and suggested he lock my team or find a new owner or whatever he wanted to do, since I wouldn't be checking in anymore. He found a new owner, doublechecked that I was certain I wanted out and then removed me from the league.

    The commish of the league was great -- he sent out a well-reasoned response to the initial request for a veto saying why he wouldn't veto. If you have a good, trustworthy and objective commissioner like I had in that league, make sure you give him sole veto power to avoid scenarios like the one above.

  • andy117andy117 Posts: 77Member

    In a league with commissioner veto how do you handle trades involving the commissioner?

  • stomperrobstomperrob Posts: 6Member
    edited August 9

    @andy117 said: In a league with commissioner veto how do you handle trades involving the commissioner?<

    In all my dynasty leagues there's a co-commish that the other members trust to fairly handle such situations

  • devil_docdevil_doc Posts: 145Member, Community Writers

    @andy117 said: In a league with commissioner veto how do you handle trades involving the commissioner?

    Same here, I assigned a co-commish for all my leagues.

  • flotsamnjetsamflotsamnjetsam Posts: 24Member, Moderator mod

    I've been commishing & co-commishing various leagues for many years, and I've never vetoed a trade. Same thing with all the other leagues I've played/play in. All my leagues have owners that would never collude, so even if the trade looks lopsided on paper, the commish and/or co-commishes always pass all trades. It's any easy concept, but unfortunately, some leagues don't have honest owners and/or commishes. PS: Any league that allows each owner to vote on trades is just asking for trouble.

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