How to Address/Handle Trade Collusion

Preface: As commissioner, I have allowed trades to process immediately, regularly reminding the team managers that this is a gentleman’s league.

Last week, the last-place team traded away Carlos Hyde and Dez Bryant to receive Paul Richardson and Travis Benjamin. This week, they traded away Evan Engram to receive JJ Nelson.

A few weeks ago, the team that received Hyde/Bryant/Engram offered his Buck Allen for my Kareem Hunt. When I called him out on how bad that was, he said, “you’re in last place. Time to give up and give your good players to contenders.”

Last week, when I asked the last-place team why they agreed to trade away Hyde/Dez, they said, “I’ll take whatever.”

These team managers are brothers.

How do I handle this situation? Thank you.

As commish, you need to have the ability to veto trades. You and only you need to have that ability. This is clear collusion. Each of those trades would have been vetoed by me as commish.

I have two responsibilities as commish in regards to trades:

  1. prevent collusion
  2. prevent well informed players from taking advantage of less informed/weaker players (within reason)

There is clearly some gray area, so you have to have a commish you trust and that has good judgement.

To be clear, a crappy trade doesn’t always mean collusion. It’s entirely possible that you have some guy who loves Paul Richardson for some reason. Maybe he went to high school with him or something. I’ve never had anything that severe happen that I have had to veto, but its theoretically possible. If you have two willing parties in the trade that both genuinely believe they are in a better position than they were before (while also remembering rule #2), you have to let the trade go through.

Not sure you can do much about it this year, but next year you need to have veto power. NOTE: In my experience, it is 100x worse to have league members vote on the trades. Everyone only votes in their own best interest, and so many fair and equitable trades don’t go through. The only way is to have a fair commish the governs the league.


I’m a big proponent of avoiding any veto’ing due to lopsided trades. The caveat to that would be when one team is obviously trying to improve another team. Is this a redraft league? Keeper or Dynasty? Those could change perceived value but if this is a redraft then I don’t see how anyone could spin the above trades to benefit both teams, especially if they’re brothers. As commish you have to be careful about vetoing trades you might see as lopsided. I’ve seen too many stories of commish’s vetoing things that shouldn’t be veto’d. The hope here is that all teams and players would respect the game and not try to collude and do things like this. This is where I disagree with swissarmyaccountant. I think owners in an active league should be involved and while maybe not allowed to “vote” on every trade, the league should chime in on this. That prevents you from being the bad guy and opens this up to what the league as a whole perceives as the right way to handle this situation.