Trades impacting league balance

Hey Footclan!

My league is up in arms about a trade in our league and they think I am being an unreasonable commissioner, so I would love to hear an outside opinion on the matter.

I have been commissioner of a 12 team league for the past 5 seasons, and this is our first year in a two keeper format with a one round draft penalty. I offered an owner David Johnson and Darius Guice for shady and Julio, and he countered the trade with D’onta Forman (13th rounder) and Guice (14th rounder) for Julio and Shady - which I accepted. The other team is 0-5 and planning for the future, while my team is 4-1 and is now completely stacked. I made a rule that trades shall only be subject to veto if collusion is suspected, but the other owners vehemently opposed the trade because they felt it disrupted the league balance. My team’s starting lineup would have included DJ, AB, Julio, Michel, Gronk, Ingram, and Fournette, so I can understand why they were upset. I put the trade up to a league vote and it lost 6-0 within minutes, so I reversed the trade. I fear the keeper aspect of the league has been somewhat compromised due to the stark opposition of trading current studs for future assets. Did I make a mistake by subjecting this trade to a league vote? Any additional tips on how I can keep the league fun and competitive is much appreciated.

Thanks Guys!


I’m not a fan of veto’s, but this trade is hard to sell as the other team looking towards the future. One could argue ROS Shady and DJ could have similar value and Jones for Guice? I can understand where people look at this as heavily one sided. Shame on the other owner for accepting it, but these kind of deals are what can ruin a league. We see what Cook has been this year, and Guice essentially will be coming in to the same scenario next year. The keeper part is the kicker, because at this point, Jones could be the better keeper. There’s no benefit really to this team making that trade with you. In case I’m reading this wrong, It’s DJ, Foreman and Guice for Julio and Shady or was it even worse at Foreman and Guice for those 2?

The official trade was Guice and Foreman from my 4-1 team for Julio and Shady from the 0-5 team, which is an objectively lopsided trade especially since the my team became virtually unbeatable after the trade. For this reason, I was okay with subjecting its reversal to a vote. It got me thinking about a couple things though:

  1. If my team was not involved in this trade, as the commissioner, I don’t think I would feel comfortable vetoing it as long as both teams agreed to terms without collusion. I just wanted to maintain peace in the league, so I was okay with biting the bullet.

  2. The 0-5 team had been haggling me for DJ the entire year. After week 5 I offered him DJ and Guice for Julio and Shady and said I would be willing to negotiate if he thought that was too much. He countered with Foreman and Guice, so it is a trade that he wanted. He’s been playing fantasy for 5+ years so he knows what he is doing

  3. Julio and Shady can not or should not be kept. Traded players are subject to a two round draft penalty which means julio is ineligible and shady would have to be kept for a first round pick (barf).

It’s more of philosophical debate at this point. Do trades that appear to be lopsided deserved to be vetoed? We all know football is an unpredictable sport - a couple of injuries can make a trade lopsided in the opposite direction.

But this is a 1 keeper and waive 1st rd pick for a 2nd pick right? There is no purpose of this trade for the other team. That’s where the issue is. Neither player received has Jones upside, and quite frankly have no keeper appeal in the format you indicated. It essentially just looks like a ‘hook me up’ deal. As a commish for a couple of leagues, I wouldn’t have made this deal for the appearance of it. 2 guys that have a greater chance of being non existent for fantasy than being relevant. At the very least, should have shipped something back with ‘keeper’ value as that’s how it’s being sold. People can make what deals they want, but again these are the type of deals that kills a league, and if you’re ok with these types of deal, then don’t be surprised if the league falls apart. Especially considering you’re side is ‘completely stacked’ if the deal went through. Health of the league is always better than prison banging a league mate. And there’s no way Foreman and Guice would ever be on the side for over payment for Julio. C’mon man. :wink:

I think you have the keeper format confused. Guice was drafted in round 14, so he can be kept for a round 13 pick next year. Foreman was drafted in round 13 so he can be kept for a round 12 pick. This means I will still have my first 11 picks. When a player is traded, the new team bust give up two rounds of draft equity, so the new team can keep Guice and Foreman for a 12th and and 11th round pick. Meanwhile, If he trades Julio and Shady to me I cant keep Julio and I would have to give up a 1st round pick for shady since he was drafted in the 3rd. Are you following me?

This is exactly why I quit my keeper league. 1-4 teams trade studs this year for value next year. 4-1 teams trade value next year for studs this year.

His happened in my old keeper league… a guy traded his top 4 draft picks next year for studs this year. He won the league and he money and quit. His replacement had no good picks the following year.

I don’t have any advice, mostly just saying that I hate being in a league with trades like this

Ok… that is more clear for keeper. As is, neither player has value even at those spots for now. Julio and Shady, while maybe not keepers , the players received aren’t keepers either. SO at the end of the day, no reason for the player to unload Shady and Jones other than to cause issues in the league. That’s why as commish you have to look bigger picture versus not.

I do not allow trading of future draft picks during the season for that reason. I guess my only mistake may have been not making a rule that you can only keep players that you have drafted. That would certainly eliminate these kinds of trades

Issue isn’t who you can keep, issue more of healthy trading in the league where these type deals aren’t tolerated, where all gain is one sided and team out of it gains nothing. It puts a bad taste in all the owners mouths. Health of the league is always 1st priority

The player was making the trade for the exact reason of wanting to keep Guice and Foreman. He is obviously high on both players. Next year they could both be going in the early to mid rounds, so he could be getting good value. But since that isn’t a guarantee, I was fine with reversing the trade.

I agree healthy trades are necessary. In this specific case though, while the trade is in favor of one side the other side is not getting nothing. He is getting what he perceives as two good value keepers.

High on 2 players that have just as good a chance not playing? C’mon… there’s no spin that a trade like that is good for a league. Just trying to help with a bigger picture out look so you can keep the league together. As commish, your moves will always get more scrutinized so have to avoid such lop sided moves that greatly impact a league.

I reversed the trade because I was involved with it, but I do not think I would have otherwise. I prefer to leave it up to an owner to decide how to value a player. Guice was going in the third round in drafts this year before his injury. Yeah his draft stalk will probably decrease a bit going into next year, but he has an entire year to recover from an injury that typically takes 9-12 months to heal. Foreman can easily take over the lead back roll for the second half of the season if he is fully healthy. Given that these players can be kept for 11th/12th round picks, they could conceivably be kept for the next several years if they hit.

I have a very similar format to my league of record for which I am a commissioner. We allow maximum of 3 keepers which can be kept for a 1 round penalty from which they were drafted. However, can only keep players drafted in the 6th round or later so no studs can be kept unless you hit big on a later pick and once a keeper cost is 3rd round or lower, it must be released back into the pool.

One of my biggest concerns coming into the season is that teams would just completely sell out and start pawning off their studs for future draft picks at ridiculously low prices. But I really don’t know what the right protection is against it. At the end of the day, you have to play with people you trust who won’t abuse the system and then make 1 off calls on trade vetos for collusion when it is glaringly obvious. I am not at all a believer in league wide vetos for every trade because all managers will just act in the own interest and a lot of the times, will veto a trade cause they are upset they weren’t a part of it. The current veto rules in my league are set so that you can only veto a trade if you believe it is collusion. And in instance of collusion, both parties get to voice their rationale and the league gets a vote. In order for the trade to get veto’d as collusion, has to be a unanimous vote of managers who are not involved in the trade. And if collusion is determined, not only is the veto passed, commissioner is able to assess draft pick penalties for the following year. I’m hoping this structure holds up in my league.

On the plus side, having this structure has caused an absolute explosion in trade activity. 5 weeks in, we have 16 trades, many of which are blockbusters. The keeper/draft pick element is definitely contributing a lot to it all.

In your particular instance, I can see the trade. The trade you initially offered is more than fair. He then turned it into a garbage trade on his end by adding foreman who is honestly, not even going to be worth rostering by my estimation. You can’t be held responsible for protecting idiots from themselves. The appeal of Guice for a 14th round keeper is pretty juicy and hard to pass up. Shady honestly is just a fringe RB2 at this point and not worth much anyways and if he’s low on JJ (as a number of people are), this trade isn’t totally off basis for me.

I actually have a pretty similar story to this. I too am the commissioner of my two keeper league and the trade I made was as follows:

My 2019 3rd round pick, Kenyan Drake (who is a 14th round keeper) and Darius Guice (14th round keeper)


His 2019 5th round pick, Tom Brady (not eligible for keeper), Aaron Jones (8th round keeper), Josh Gordon (9th round keeper)

So I basically am doing the same thing you are doing. Taking my 4-0 team (at the time of the trade) and improving it (not as much as you are but still a little), while sacrificing future assets. The other owner 0-4 at time of trade, is planning for next year and likes the upside of having two potential starting RB for his last two picks of the draft.

My trade got no push back from my league because my league understands the point of winning now vs. winning later. This dude is basically done this year and has no chance of winning, but next year will be in a good position.

I personally don’t mind that trade one bit. Sure if I was in the league I would be mad but only because it is a trade that makes sense for both parties and makes your team Elite therefore hindering my chances of a championship this year. But crying about it and demanding a reversal is wrong in my opinion. What happens if Foreman comes back next week and is a top 5 RB rest of year (not going to happen but it technically could) or DJ and Shady both break their leg (hoping does not happen). Then does the league vote again to reverse the reverse?

I think your league is just upset they didn’t make the move you did and are crying about it.

Yeah I completely agree with you, which is why I would not have reversed the trade had I not been the primary beneficiary. I think the issue lies in the fact that, since this our first year doing keepers, not everyone has bought into the whole play for the future concept. It will be funny if the scenario unfolds where I win my #footclan title this year, then Guice and Foreman carry me to a back-to-back championship next year.

Haha I totally get it. Being the commissioner sometimes you gotta bite the bullet.

And yeah, fingers crossed that happens. Once I trade Guice away I snagged Foreman and put him in my IR spot so I’d be right there with you if Foreman came back strong.