Entry by Venton Lee of the NJFFL – visit his blog www.fantasyfiends.com

What if it’s too good to be true? “Bad trades and their effects”

If someone wants to hand you a $100 bill,  whether it’s a stranger or someone you know intimately, you would probably question their motive, right? What if there are no strings attached, and you really can just take it and do with it as you please, would you? Some people will take the money in the blink of an eye, and that’s okay. No one is harmed here, and while it is an unusual happenstance, it’s not out of the realm of possibility in life that some people are that kind and generous. However, many other people in society would question such an unsolicited act: “What’s in it for them (the other party)? What’s the catch? Why do I get to be so lucky?”

In fantasy sports, what if someone offers you an extremely lopsided trade in your favor without any external factors (i.e. collusion), should you except? If Randy W. wants to offer you Chris Johnson for Ryan Torain and Greg Jennings, should you take it? Sure the league trade veto system will have a lot to say about it, but let’s say they pass it. Should you “feel bad” about taking what you feel is an unwarranted coup?

Now this is different than ripping someone off, getting the best of a trade is part of the game. I never intend to fleece someone, but if I do, I never feel bad about it. I acquired Justin Verlander for Edinson Volquez last season from Sirheadro in the Super Keeper League, and while I clearly got the best of it, I don’t feel bad because it’s a part of the game. We are all men/adults and Neal has gotten the best of me with Robinson Cano AND Matt Kemp for Ryan Braun. I take my lumps and just move on, and don’t regret what seem to be the best decision at the time and near future.

If you truly care about your league, you would not only worry about how it benefits of your team but the league. Sure you now have CJ2K and that’s wonderful, but if the other owners are ticked off, chances are your league won’t last very long. If Randy’s track record is one of being an astute and crafty owner, it would raise even more eyebrows. Is he planning on fleeing? Has he become disillusioned with the league and fantasy sports in general? Sure, it’s none of your business what he’s thinking as long as you are not “breaking the rules” and you are not. You should be allowed to go about your business as long as the league passes the trade, and I am perfectly fine with that rationale.

On the other hand, I am accustomed to being the commissioner of my leagues and have been since 2002, so I am always gauging the overall welfare of the leagues and how much enjoyment my league mates and I derive from them. Whether I like it or not, I have to know what the league thinks about the trade. If I am deemed the “bad guy” and always screw owners in deals, no one is going to want to play and they may suspect things are not always on the up and up, even when they are. The league veto has only so many checks and balances and there are always ways to circumvent them. It’s simply not fun if things are not seemingly copacetic, and while I wouldn’t be doing anything wrong, I would turn down the trade in this instance, because I don’t feel like I earned it. If I don’t earn it, it’s not fun or fulfilling for me to be in the league.

The bottom line is that while it is not an indictment to accept the trade that seems too good to be true, it’s important to look at other factors. You must have the grace to turn it down or accept it and expect some backlash from the league. If the league passes the trade, but it doesn’t pass your own BS detector, and you ultimately win because of the deal, was it worth it??

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