How To Regulate Draft Pick Trading

I’m commish of a 2nd year Keeper league looking to start allowing draft pick trading this year. I have my concerns about top owners selling their future to win now and bottom owners having fire sales to stockpile future picks, causing the league to be imbalanced.

I’ve considered adding a salary cap where players and picks for each round hold a certain “salary”. Or just having an early trade deadline for draft picks. So I’m curious, How have you guys regulated draft pick trading in your leagues?

If you have reliable guys who won’t leave the league, then you’ll just have to deal with some lopsided teams instead of trying to manage it. It’s a strategy team owners will have. You can put in a trade deadline (usually a week after NFL trade deadline) and I’ve seen leagues where they have weekly loser fees to have people keep trying to win every week so they don’t have to pay. Either way, you’ll still have someone get rid of everyone except the guys they want as keeper and accumulate a ton of draft picks. At least this way, when a team “tanks”, they are contributing money to the league pot. Also, the teams that give up their picks will realize in a couple years that their teams will be garbage. It usually evens itself out after a few years.

It’s kind of tough in a keeper league. You could also make it more keepers (3-4) so the draft picks aren’t worth as much since there’s less talent in the draft.

I ran into this issue last year. What I did was set a timer on when high draft picks / keepers are allowed to be traded. I made it early on enough in the year where everyone should still be competitive and have a chance at playoffs (i.e. can’t trade any picks in the first 4 rounds after week 7/8).

And the second thing to battle this is to change your payout structure so that more of the $ is awarded throughout the season. I added a H2H weekly winner. So if you win your matchup for the week, you get $10 for example. Then regular season winner gets an amount. If you shift more of the money away from the chip and incentivize people to compete on a week to week basis, it certainly helps.

Other than that, you’ll just have to live with some people stock piling picks to win in the future. Personally, I tend to lean win now cause you never know what’s going to happen 2-3 years down the road in football. It changes too quickly. So just cause someone stockpiles picks in future years, doesn’t actually mean it will amount to anything.

I really like both of these ideas.

I was going to set a trade deadline but did not think about setting an earlier deadline for earlier draft picks, that’s interesting.

As far as the $10 weekly winner prize, my league does something similar, I currently give $20 to the weekly high score, but a weekly h2h winner prize would definitely allow even the lower tier teams to win sometimes so I like that as well.

Thanks for the feedback!

To be clear, my trade deadline is still week 13 like most leagues so they can still do other trades. I just ban people from trading picks in top 6-7 rounds cause you don’t want guys selling high round picks for pennies to try and make a championship run. If they want to sell a mid/late rounder to try and take a shot, i don’t see too many problems with that.

I don’t think you want to regulate draft pick trading or trading in general. You want to encourage it. The more activity in a league the healthier it will be.

My personal opinion is that franchises should have full autonomy to make moves and build the team as they wish.


That’s true for dynasty but keeper is different. Without some regulating, it basically kills the league. I’m speaking from experience. makes it less fun for most involved. Unless you’ve experienced it, you wouldn’t expect it.

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