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mikeinseattle

Big Problem for Commish after allowing draft pick trades

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Posted (edited)

Hey there, 

Background:  I am commish of a 12 team PPR keeper league with 2 keepers, $100 buyin, on Yahoo.  I had several owners suggest allowing trading of draft picks and I didn't see what could be a problem with that.  So a league vote was put up and it passed two years ago.  

The problems: 1) "Hail Mary" - Two teams 'on the bubble' of making playoffs last year traded off many of their early round draft picks for the next year in exchange for marquee players to try to make a miracle run...but they didn't make playoffs so now their team this year has several missing early round draft picks.  If those managers don't return this year, I as commish have to sell a $100 seat missing a few early round picks and that is a very hard seat to sell.   2) "Fire sale" - Another less serious problem is teams that go 0-4 or 1-5 etc start trading off their marquee players to stack for the following year so have an incredible draft the next year. 

Some ideas to control the situation:  a) make all owners trading draft picks have to put in an extra $25 per draft pick trade to the pot, to be used to pay part of the buyin for vacant teams.  If it costs you $50 to make two trades involving draft picks, you are less likely to try a miracle run and lose your best draft picks the next year and if you do, it's easier for me as commish to sell a $50 buyin seat to a $100 league even with missing early picks. b) Since it's a keeper league, allow the vacant team new manager to choose their 2 keepers after all other keepers are declared, from all available players (pre-draft, post keeper declaration).  Our waiver wire or FA kept players cost a round 8 pick to keep, so they could grab the best players league wide for the cost of their 7th and 8th rd picks. 

Thoughts on the control measures above?  Others to suggest that you have seen work?  

Your input is greatly appreciated!  I am starting as commish a second league so want to get this hammered out pre-season start.  

Mike

Some additional details:  we instituted a rule that players on the Yahoo Can't Cut List, the top 20-30 players (per Yahoo), can't be involved in trades with draft picks.  This helps some.  We also instituted that all trades with draft picks have to have the same number of draft picks being traded for both teams so that every team has the same number of picks the next year.  Keepers are declared Aug 1 to allow managers to prepare.  Trades are approved or not by the commish and I have rejected a couple lopsided trades but let vast majority go through...I have to watch collusion as there are a couple groups of friends in the league. 

 

 

Edited by mikeinseattle
Added clarification by giving names to the problems.

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I play in a similar type league that's a 12 team PPR with 2 keepers and allows trading the following year's draft picks. Only difference is yours appears to assign draft pick slots to keepers where mine is doesnt have any cost to keeping players. We haven't run into the Hail Mary problem but definitely see a couple teams go into Fire Sale mode every year.

Your idea of additional money to the pot from each owner involved in every draft pick trade probably works fine but I think it gets costly too quick and discourages draft pick trading. And that's fine if that's what you're going for. An alternative is to have owners make a non-refundable $100 deposit for the first draft pick trade they make during the season. That deposit doesn't go into the current year's pot and serves as entry fee payment in advance for the following season. When the following year rolls around you simply don't collect an entry fee from these owners as you already have it. Another idea to discourage Hail Mary and Fire Sale is to have a consolation bracket for the non playoff teams. Winner gets the first pick in next year's draft. The remaining non playoff teams go into a weighted lottery. It prevents tanking and will discourage fringe playoff teams from going into Hail Mary mode.

I'm not a fan of excluding the top 30 players from draft pick trades. I like the idea of every player being available for the right price and being able to upgrade keepers if I'm in Fire Sale mode. Last year I traded Mixon plus draft picks for an injured Barkley. Both teams won as i improved a keeper for this year and the other guy made a run in the playoffs. That trade never happens with excluding the top 30 players from draft pick trades. Another example would be if someone has a premium TE and is out of the playoff picture. I don't like the idea of not being able to deal Kelce or Kittle for draft picks due to the top 30 rule but guys like Andrews or Ertz would be acceptable to move.

I like the idea of Aug 1st to declare keepers. I'd also implement a rule of No Pay, No Draft to ensure everyone pays their entry fee before the draft. Completely agree that all draft pick trades should be like for like so all teams have an equal number of draft picks. Trying to sort out an uneven amount of draft picks is hell. It's easy enough to include your last round pick to even out the number of picks in a draft pick trade.

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For our dynasty leagues we have every team pay a reserve equal to the franchise fee for every year forward they can trade away picks.  In your case you would have every team pay $100 to keep in reserve.  If that team decides to leave and their team is not fair for the incoming owner (too many early picks traded away to compete) then they lose the reserve.  It goes for the new owners entrance fee for that year (they are essentially playing for free).  This will be especially effective since you only have two keepers.  It won't take a new team long to repair the damage if needed.  If the guy left the team in good condition then he gets his reserve back when he quits and no harm no foul. 

 

I don't like the idea of paying per transaction because that will hinder trading.  I like trading and don't think it should be hindered at all. Therefore, I also don't like the idea of having certain players not available to trade.  Everyone should be available and trade accordingly.

 

This payment of a reserve will solve all your issues regarding finding a new owner if a team leaves after trading away all their picks. 

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While I disagree with some of what you are doing under the additional details, primarily restricting what players can be traded, and while I understand, but don't really care for matching picks (though less so this part given it is only 2 keepers and not a dynasty), the easy/simple solution is to require payment in advance for the next season for any trades involving picks. That way if you are put in a situation where you need to replace an owner who traded away their first 4 picks, you can dangle the fact that the team is free the first year to get a replacement owner on board. Also, having to pay in advance makes owners more carefully consider their actions - though trading of future picks for the current year (or in the offseason for improving keeper options), or trading for future picks at the expense of the current season (or in the offseason by trading away a keepable player), are both valid strategies that can lead to success. Be sure to clearly define how far in advance a team can trade picks. Most of my dynasty/keeper league only allow the current season plus one year to be traded (meaning that right now, I can trade my 2020 picks and my 2021 picks), once the draft is over, I can only trade 2021 picks until after our Superbowl, at which point our next league year begins and 2021 and 2022 picks can be traded. However, I have played in leagues that allowed a longer time frame out to be traded - a lot more complicated to track all of that, but definitely something you want to have clearly defined.

For keeper declaration date, I personally find August 1st to be way too early (assuming you are not drafting the first week of August) - a lot can happen in camp that changes player valuations - injuries, guy wins a job, guy loses a job, surprise retirement, etc. that giving as much time as possible to make this decisions is better. I personally see no need to have more than a day or two prior to the draft to announce keepers - you're only dealing with 24 players being kept, it's not that difficult to adjust a rankings sheet/plan as for the most part you can have a decent idea of who each team is likely to keep anyway.

I'd say the biggest concern is that you feel the need to be actively concerned about collusion - that to me is the biggest red flag regarding the potential longevity of the league. You already feel the need to have reject powers as the commish, if you already feel the need to be concerned about the integrity of the owners it is going to be a matter of when, not if, it blows up.

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24 minutes ago, acarey50 said:

While I disagree with some of what you are doing under the additional details, primarily restricting what players can be traded, and while I understand, but don't really care for matching picks (though less so this part given it is only 2 keepers and not a dynasty), the easy/simple solution is to require payment in advance for the next season for any trades involving picks. That way if you are put in a situation where you need to replace an owner who traded away their first 4 picks, you can dangle the fact that the team is free the first year to get a replacement owner on board. Also, having to pay in advance makes owners more carefully consider their actions - though trading of future picks for the current year (or in the offseason for improving keeper options), or trading for future picks at the expense of the current season (or in the offseason by trading away a keepable player), are both valid strategies that can lead to success. Be sure to clearly define how far in advance a team can trade picks. Most of my dynasty/keeper league only allow the current season plus one year to be traded (meaning that right now, I can trade my 2020 picks and my 2021 picks), once the draft is over, I can only trade 2021 picks until after our Superbowl, at which point our next league year begins and 2021 and 2022 picks can be traded. However, I have played in leagues that allowed a longer time frame out to be traded - a lot more complicated to track all of that, but definitely something you want to have clearly defined.

For keeper declaration date, I personally find August 1st to be way too early (assuming you are not drafting the first week of August) - a lot can happen in camp that changes player valuations - injuries, guy wins a job, guy loses a job, surprise retirement, etc. that giving as much time as possible to make this decisions is better. I personally see no need to have more than a day or two prior to the draft to announce keepers - you're only dealing with 24 players being kept, it's not that difficult to adjust a rankings sheet/plan as for the most part you can have a decent idea of who each team is likely to keep anyway.

I'd say the biggest concern is that you feel the need to be actively concerned about collusion - that to me is the biggest red flag regarding the potential longevity of the league. You already feel the need to have reject powers as the commish, if you already feel the need to be concerned about the integrity of the owners it is going to be a matter of when, not if, it blows up.

Great point here.  As a Commish you should never stop a trade from happening unless you know it is collusion.  And if it is collusion then those owners should be removed from the league.  One of the hardest aspects of being a Commish is getting quality owners in the league.  If you do that many of these other problems go away.  This is easier said than done. 

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1 hour ago, acarey50 said:

Thank you for that feedback!  A few great responses so far.  

 

Most of my dynasty/keeper league only allow the current season plus one year to be traded (meaning that right now, I can trade my 2020 picks and my 2021 picks)

How to track all the trades and draft picks?  I'm finding it a pain already. 

For keeper declaration date, I personally find August 1st to be way too early (assuming you are not drafting the first week of August) - a lot can happen in camp that changes player valuations 

I get that, but our draft is third week of August and I need time as Commish to fill vacant slots.  It's a compromise. 

I'd say the biggest concern is that you feel the need to be actively concerned about collusion 

It's not been a massive problem, but when one team is tanking and manager is friends with another manager doing well, and $1200 is involved in winnings, the temptation is there.  I'm very fair and if I reject a trade I let them know why and give them an alternative that seems fair.  I check CBS trade value charts and send them to those charts to review also, and let them make a case too if they want to make what seems like a lopsided trade. 

 

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5 hours ago, Lionsfan011 said:

Thanks for the reply!  

An alternative is to have owners make a non-refundable $100 deposit for the first draft pick trade they make during the season. That deposit doesn't go into the current year's pot and serves as entry fee payment in advance for the following season.

Terrific idea.  Love it. 

When the following year rolls around you simply don't collect an entry fee from these owners as you already have it. Another idea to discourage Hail Mary and Fire Sale is to have a consolation bracket for the non playoff teams. 

We do actually have the consolation bracket playoff determining top 6 draft slots.  

I'm not a fan of excluding the top 30 players from draft pick trades. I like the idea of every player being available for the right price and being able to upgrade keepers if I'm in Fire Sale mode. Last year I traded Mixon plus draft picks for an injured Barkley. Both teams won as i improved a keeper for this year and the other guy made a run in the playoffs. 

I agree with you.  Being new to draft picks trades as a commish , I'm learning as I go.  Maybe the $100 reserve system without using the Can't Cut List makes more sense.  I think it does. 

I like the idea of Aug 1st to declare keepers. I'd also implement a rule of No Pay, No Draft

Absolutely!  No pay no play!  I wont' let anyone draft that hasn't paid but with keepers am setting pay deadline at keeper declaration Aug 1.   Otherwise if a manager doesn't pay after declaring keepers, and I have to replace them, all the other managers have already set a strategy based on those two keepers...gets messy quick. 

 

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1 hour ago, Gally said:

For our dynasty leagues we have every team pay a reserve equal to the franchise fee for every year forward they can trade away picks.  In your case you would have every team pay $100 to keep in reserve. 

It's a great idea.  Easy to find a new manager with $0 buyin to a $100 league.  I wonder if LeagueSafe allows keeping some extra cash in the pot?  I think it all has to be paid out.  I have to look into that, cause that's where we keep our league money and I have to renew every year. 

 

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Pretty simple. In all my dynasties, if you trade future picks, you have to pay that year’s fees. Of course, you really have no way of knowing if this stopped trades, but it sure does take care of what could become a big issue. 

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Posted (edited)

Dynasty commish here, $130 fees.  Trading a future first requires a $60 deposit.  Swapping future firsts means each players puts in $30.  Trading a second requires a $30 deposit.  Refundable if I can find someone to take your team at full price in the event you leave, but used to discount teams if I can't.

It's really the only way to allow trading future picks IMO.  Sooner or later you'll get hosed with an orphan no one wants.

ETA:  deposits all go into Leaguesafe and get rolled into the next season.  Assuming the players return you can reduce their entry fee by the amount of any deposit they made.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz
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21 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Dynasty commish here, $130 fees.  Trading a future first requires a $60 deposit.  Swapping future firsts means each players puts in $30.  Trading a second requires a $30 deposit.  Refundable if I can find someone to take your team at full price in the event you leave, but used to discount teams if I can't.

It's really the only way to allow trading future picks IMO.  Sooner or later you'll get hosed with an orphan no one wants.

ETA:  deposits all go into Leaguesafe and get rolled into the next season.  Assuming the players return you can reduce their entry fee by the amount of any deposit they made.

Seems complicated.  Why not just have every team pay a reserve of a full franchise fee that stays on account?  If you leave your team in disrepair you lose your reserve.  If you don't you get it back when you leave.

 

You have no trade deterrents of having to pay to trade and everyone is on the same level. 

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6 minutes ago, Gally said:

Seems complicated.  Why not just have every team pay a reserve of a full franchise fee that stays on account?  If you leave your team in disrepair you lose your reserve.  If you don't you get it back when you leave.

You have no trade deterrents of having to pay to trade and everyone is on the same level. 

If you can get 14 people to pay $130 a year in advance go for it.

But, yes.  Bookkeeping becomes pretty important.  I keep a thread in the league chat to make sure everyone's aware and things are transparent.

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4 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

If you can get 14 people to pay $130 a year in advance go for it.

But, yes.  Bookkeeping becomes pretty important.  I keep a thread in the league chat to make sure everyone's aware and things are transparent.

We have a $200 reserve and I have no problem collecting.  It is a one time collection.  Everyone understands why we have it.  It's not that hard and much easier than trying to collect mid season if they make a deal.

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54 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

If you can get 14 people to pay $130 a year in advance go for it.

But, yes.  Bookkeeping becomes pretty important.  I keep a thread in the league chat to make sure everyone's aware and things are transparent.

I try to run it as a democracy so am gonna come up with a proposal and have a league vote.  I don't like the prospect of trying to collect an extra $100 or $200 from every manager to keep as a reserve. 

I think it's easier to have players put up $100 if they want to make a draft pick trade, but I've seen delays in LeagueSafe money showing up after the money has been paid in from the manager side.  Would likely have to allow the trades even if the money hadn't worked all the way through leaguesafe. 

If I can track who's got which draft picks, I can track who's paid in a trade deposit.  😎

 

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1 hour ago, Gally said:

Seems complicated.  Why not just have every team pay a reserve of a full franchise fee that stays on account?  If you leave your team in disrepair you lose your reserve.  If you don't you get it back when you leave.

 

You have no trade deterrents of having to pay to trade and everyone is on the same level. 

Who determines what is considered a team in disrepair?  Not trying to be controversial, as I agree with the sentiment of charging in advance for trading future picks for exactly this scenario, but given just how much variance there is in perceived player value just in looking at trades, doing the same when evaluating a roster plus picks is even more complicated.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, acarey50 said:

Who determines what is considered a team in disrepair? 

I agree with this.  The less commish judgement goes in, the better.  A manager trading draft picks pays the next year buyin in advance, for that team.  Simple.  And no judgement needed.  

Edited by mikeinseattle
clarification

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7 minutes ago, mikeinseattle said:

I try to run it as a democracy so am gonna come up with a proposal and have a league vote.  I don't like the prospect of trying to collect an extra $100 or $200 from every manager to keep as a reserve. 

I think it's easier to have players put up $100 if they want to make a draft pick trade, but I've seen delays in LeagueSafe money showing up after the money has been paid in from the manager side.  Would likely have to allow the trades even if the money hadn't worked all the way through leaguesafe. 

If I can track who's got which draft picks, I can track who's paid in a trade deposit.  😎

 

Most league management sites are able to track the trades of future draft picks - my dynasty leagues use myfantasyleague and it is super easy to track

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2 minutes ago, mikeinseattle said:

I agree with this.  The less commish judgement goes in, the better.  A manager trading draft picks pays the next year buyin in advance, for that team.  Simple.  And no judgement needed.  

Well, even with that, if that owner wants/needs to leave the league, much to Gally's point, if the team is in good standing no reason he should not be able to get the money back - but it is not usually quite that simple in practice.

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3 minutes ago, acarey50 said:

Who determines what is considered a team in disrepair?  Not trying to be controversial, as I agree with the sentiment of charging in advance for trading future picks for exactly this scenario, but given just how much variance there is in perceived player value just in looking at trades, doing the same when evaluating a roster plus picks is even more complicated.

First it takes an owner to leave the league.  If they never leave it doesn’t matter the condition of the team.  

 

We have never had to institute the clause however it would go to league vote based on Commish recommendation.  Some of the factors would be trying to get a replacement team and if they would be willing to take the team or not in its current condition.  If it takes a sweetener like lowering the franchise fee the reserve would be used to cover that difference.

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4 minutes ago, mikeinseattle said:

I agree with this.  The less commish judgement goes in, the better.  A manager trading draft picks pays the next year buyin in advance, for that team.  Simple.  And no judgement needed.  

So if a guy leaves for whatever reason after he made a trade he loses the reserve no matter what?  Seems like that could lead to problems.

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1 minute ago, Gally said:

So if a guy leaves for whatever reason after he made a trade he loses the reserve no matter what?  Seems like that could lead to problems.

If a manager is trading a future pick, doesn't that imply they are committing to being there when those picks are chosen?  I think it does.  You don't think so?

Life can get in the way of things but the few people that have left the league just got too busy.  If there were a lifechanging event causing someone to exit...e.g. sickness or death in the family, then I'd suggest as commish the money be returned as an exception (without advertising an exception is possible).  Thoughts?

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2 minutes ago, mikeinseattle said:

If a manager is trading a future pick, doesn't that imply they are committing to being there when those picks are chosen?  I think it does.  You don't think so?

Life can get in the way of things but the few people that have left the league just got too busy.  If there were a lifechanging event causing someone to exit...e.g. sickness or death in the family, then I'd suggest as commish the money be returned as an exception (without advertising an exception is possible).  Thoughts?

Its fine.  I just know that life happens and people leave for lots of different reasons.  So like you said a guy decides to leave after making a trade and wants his money back because he doesn't think he should lose it then there could be issues.  

 

It is also a pain to collect mid season.  We have to pay $5 for each free agent signed.  That is harder to collect than the $200 franchise fee each year.  I would just much rather have it done once for everyone (pay the reserve) and be done with it forever (until someone quits)

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16 hours ago, Gally said:

Its fine.  I just know that life happens and people leave for lots of different reasons.  So like you said a guy decides to leave after making a trade and wants his money back because he doesn't think he should lose it then there could be issues.  

 

It is also a pain to collect mid season.  We have to pay $5 for each free agent signed.  That is harder to collect than the $200 franchise fee each year.  I would just much rather have it done once for everyone (pay the reserve) and be done with it forever (until someone quits)

I used to be in a league that charged not only per transaction, but w also charged for losses - this was back in college, so not huge amounts, but losses cost $2.00 plus 10 cents per point that you lost by. At that time, waivers were blind bids but charged in real dollars. If you wanted someone, you ponied up.

And yes, collecting this was a major issue (I was not a commish, this was the first time I had ever played) every year.

A few years later I did become commish, and since people wanted to keep these things in place, the first thing I did was say that everyone needed to put in a deposit against losses/transactions, and if they used it all up, they had to replenish before they could do anything else. Much easier pain to give refunds after the season than try to collect.

Also, it's not a very good system - if a team loses games early on, they are even less inclined to leverage the waivers or make trades (yes, there was a charge for trades) since it was costing them money, so the disparity widened. And at the time there was no cap on spend, so with college kids with no jobs and some alum with jobs involved, there was a very different amount of "value".

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The league I'm in has used the method of paying for the current year plus a 1/2 deposit for the following year.  So we have a $100 buy-in, with a $50 deposit for the next year.  It's not too bad considering we did this from the very start, so every year after, you are paying $100.  If you left the league, you forfeited the $50 and the new owner got a team for half price.  

We've only had 1 owner dip out in our 15-year history due to life's demands and he understood the rules.  Had no problems finding a new owner to take the team for half price.  Team wasn't great, but wasn't in shambles either.  

I guess it really comes down to having good owners in your league.  We don't take it too seriously and like the opportunity to stay connected as buddies.  But a half deposit for the following year has really worked out well for us.

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