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Commissioner Collusion - what say you? - Update - I’m playing the sketchy commish in the semi’s and Thomas is out


Collusion or not?   

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14 minutes ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

Sorry, lots of pages in this thread so I didn't read them all. 

So basic rules of fariness dictate that a team should try to win each week, even when it hurts their chances of winning a title? What's the rationale behind that? Why should an owner be forced to hurt their own title chances? 

NFL teams do not always play their best lineup every week. The reason is they think it helps improve their chances of winning a title. If a fantasy team does the exact same thing, how is it violating basic competitive fairness? 

If I'm trying to forfeit my own playoff hopes on purpose to help another team win a title, that's collusion. If we're both making moves to win a title that season, I don't see the collusion. Just my opinion. 

My reply would be, agreeing to tank to help another team win isn't valid currency to offer in a trade.  Even if it furthers your own title odds.

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This seems not like collusion and instead just a condition on a trade.  I'm assuming this was out in the open. Not wanting to face the player he traded is an entirely reasonable thing for a

Yes, clearly collusion. Once you admit purposeful intention to help the other team, it's over.

Surprised this is even a discussion at FBG. The gymnastics required to legitimize sitting Thomas for Mattison (with a healthy Cook) is pretty entertaining, LOL. There were probably dynamics at pl

16 minutes ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

Team A is trying to win a title. Team B is trying to win a title. Both teams think the trade helps them do that in the same season.

I have yet to see a defiition of collusion where the above can be said truthfully.

Nobody is denying that both teams are acting in their best interests.  They obviously are.

"We were both trying to win the title" isn't some get-out-of-jail-free card.

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3 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Team A doesn’t need a win that week

Team B desperately needs a win that week 

Team A agreed to not play a top player as a condition of a deal with team B

They made this arrangement in secret, then lied to the league about it when called out. Then literally admitted to colluding. 

It is, clearly, and without question, collusion. Whether it’s to impact a single game or the season, they collided. The injured party of this was the rest of the league, specifically any other team fighting for the playoff spot Team B is trying to get.

i’ve never seen a more obvious example of it in my decades of paying fantasy sports 

I've also been playing for decades and I've definitely seen collusion. 

In my opinion (and I've been wrong before, but it's how I feel), the goal is not to score the most points, or win the most games. The goal is to win a championship. Anything a team does should be done with the goal of winning a championship that season (unless it's a dynasty rebuild). In MOST cases, winning as many games as you can is the goal purely because that normally helps you win a championship. But on the rare occasions when not playing your best lineup would actually help you win a championship, it should absolutely be allowed.  

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3 minutes ago, davearm said:

Nobody is denying that both teams are acting in their best interests.  They obviously are.

"We were both trying to win the title" isn't some get-out-of-jail-free card.

Well, I guess that's where we differ. If both teams are trying to act in their best interests-- and those interests oppose each other (both can't win a title)-- then it can't really be collusion. 

All we can ask of an owner is that they act in their team's best interests. If they're honestly doing that, it's good gameplay imo. 

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11 minutes ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

I've also been playing for decades and I've definitely seen collusion. 

In my opinion (and I've been wrong before, but it's how I feel), the goal is not to score the most points, or win the most games. The goal is to win a championship. Anything a team does should be done with the goal of winning a championship that season (unless it's a dynasty rebuild). In MOST cases, winning as many games as you can is the goal purely because that normally helps you win a championship. But on the rare occasions when not playing your best lineup would actually help you win a championship, it should absolutely be allowed.  

All I see in your post is that the ends justify the means and cheating is ok.

nothing else matters but winning the championship so we should ignore the blatant collusion of secret conditional side-deals involving roster manipulation/tanking.

it’s stunningly unethical. 

Not the first time this defense has been applied in here. Not the first time I’ve been appalled by it. 

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27 minutes ago, davearm said:

Nobody is denying that both teams are acting in their best interests.  They obviously are.

"We were both trying to win the title" isn't some get-out-of-jail-free card.

Last question from me and I'm on to this week - Do you think the real NFL teams who've clinched a playoff spot and rest starters in Week 17 are tanking or colluding?

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10 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

All I see in your post is that the ends justify the means and cheating is ok.

nothing else matters but winning the championship so we should ignore the blatant collusion of secret conditional side-deals involving roster manipulation/tanking.

it’s stunningly unethical. 

Not the first time this defense has been applied in here. Not the first time I’ve been appalled by it. 

I apologize for not adding in "within the rules" when saying the goal was to win a championship. I mistakenly assumed it would be understood. I'll be sure to add in that caveat to avoid confusion in the future. 

It seems like you think if a trade is accepted by both sides, and approved by a commissioner but you don't like it, it's cheating. Okay. That's fine. I'm not buying it. If both teams are trying to win a title and they do that (within the rules) and they both are acting in their own interest (within the rules) then they are doing what they're supposed to do. 

The goal is not to score the most points (unless it's a total points league). The goal is not to win the most games. The goal is to win a championship. In our game, the winner is the last team standing after week 16 (some leagues are different). If you're tryng to do that (within the rules) then you're not cheating. Just my opinion. 

 

Edited by Neil Beaufort Zod
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33 minutes ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

Well, I guess that's where we differ. If both teams are trying to act in their best interests-- and those interests oppose each other (both can't win a title)-- then it can't really be collusion. 

All we can ask of an owner is that they act in their team's best interests. If they're honestly doing that, it's good gameplay imo. 

So if I agree to trade you Mahomes, Kelce, and Kamara for your first week in the playoffs because I have a bye and you do not and then you trade them back to me after that week it is OK because both teams are trying to win the title?

 

In the case for the OP the two teams made a secret agreement for a condition to sit a player that was viewed as the superior option by the team that did not play him.  They then lied about doing it when first questioned..  later they came clean and confirmed they made the secret agreement..  All of this is not in question as it was confirmed by the participants in the trade..

 

Collusion:  Secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others.

 

This is the definition of collusion.  These teams colluded.  It is not in question 

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1 hour ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:


NFL teams do not always play their best lineup every week. The reason is they think it helps improve their chances of winning a title. If a fantasy team does the exact same thing, how is it violating basic competitive fairness? 

 

While I may agree with some of your point, this part is just awful and embarrassing someone would make this analogy.

NFL teams bench players for health reason.

You cant bench a fantasy guy for health reasons cause, well.........seems obvious as to why.

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3 minutes ago, Gally said:

So if I agree to trade you Mahomes, Kelce, and Kamara for your first week in the playoffs because I have a bye and you do not and then you trade them back to me after that week it is OK because both teams are trying to win the title?

How does that benefit you? And how does it benefit the other team to trade them back to you? In the original example, both teams benefit. How do both teams benefit in either trade?

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16 minutes ago, davearm said:

Tanking yes.

Colluding no.  No other team is cooperating.

If a team is up 35-0 at halftime and they bench their starters for the 2nd half, are they tanking?

The word tanking is being grossly misused around here.

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1 minute ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

How does that benefit you? And how does it benefit the other team to trade them back to you? In the original example, both teams benefit. How do both teams benefit in either trade?

Because the trade would have more included, and give a net benefit to the original team who traded away Mahomes, Kelce, and Kamara

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Just now, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

How does that benefit you? And how does it benefit the other team to trade them back to you? In the original example, both teams benefit. How do both teams benefit in either trade?

Really?

The team borrowing Mahomes Kelce and Kamara for a week obviously benefit from having a stronger lineup that week, and a higher probability of winning.

The team lending the players obviously believes it would benefit from having the team he's lending to knock the other (presumably stronger) team out of the playoffs.

Both teams benefit.  No problem right?

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1 minute ago, ghostguy123 said:

While I may agree with some of your point, this part is just awful and embarrassing someone would make this analogy.

NFL teams bench players for health reason.

You cant bench a fantasy guy for health reasons cause, well.........seems obvious as to why.

Yes, of course. I agree. No health reasons in fantasy. 

NFL teams bench perfectly-healthy players. Not hurt at all. They simply don't care about the game, so they let backups get some work and let the starters rest. Kind of loosely-related to "health" but other factors as well. 

The rationale is different than fantasy, but the strategy is the same. Don't play your best players today = better chance of winning a title tomorrow. 

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Just now, davearm said:

Really?

The team borrowing Mahomes Kelce and Kamara for a week obviously benefit from having a stronger lineup that week, and a higher probability of winning.

The team lending the players obviously believes it would benefit from having the team he's lending to knock the other (presumably stronger) team out of the playoffs.

Both teams benefit.  No problem right?

These are two different trades. In the first one, a team gets Mahomes, etc. What does the other team get?

In the other, same thing. I don't see how you can make it equitable. 

If it's all "one trade" then you're talking about renting a player which is very different. That's more than a "condition." I see your point, but I think you used an unrelated example. You'd have to find a way to compensate both sides, and I don't see how you compensate a team on a bye. Plus the other team could just keep Mahomes, etc. and not make the second trade. What team would risk that? 

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It seems like you think if a trade is accepted by both sides, and approved by a commissioner but you don't like it, it's cheating. Okay. That's fine. I'm not buying it. If both teams are trying to win a title and they do that (within the rules) and they both are acting in their own interest (within the rules) then they are doing what they're supposed to do. 
 

you’re misrepresenting the deal here.

1. the commish was one of the teams involved in the collusion. 

2. They colluded. They lied about it then admitted to it. This is known. 

3. Has nothing to do with whether I don’t like the deal. It has to do with a team tanking as a condition of a deal. That’s unethical. 
 

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy
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31 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Last question from me and I'm on to this week - Do you think the real NFL teams who've clinched a playoff spot and rest starters in Week 17 are tanking or colluding?

Not close to the same.  They are hoping to keep players healthy for the real playoffs.  In fake football, there is nothing comparable.  REAL football controls what we do, and we adjust accordingly.  In fake football, leagues are structured so that every week counts, and every owner is expected to field a legal, and competitive team.  

In my leagues we have rules in place to address owners not putting in proper lineups.  There is nothing specific about the sitch like what happened here, because it's never come up.  I'm about 99.9% sure none of my leaguemates would be ok with this, because it affects the competitive balance.  

If you are ok with this scenario, then imo, you need to be ok with full on tanking.....where this might come into play would be the guy who has the division wrapped up, tanking to affect who gets the 2nd spot, based on him liking the matchup better.

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Just now, Hot Sauce Guy said:

 

you’re misrepresenting the deal here.

1. the commish was one of the teams involved in the collusion. 

2. They collided. They lied about it then admitted to it. This is known. 

3. Has nothing to do with whether I don’t like the deal. It has to do with a team tanking as a condition of a deal. That’s unethical. 
 

Okay, then I'll address them.

1. The commissioner is a team owner and should be treated exactly like any other. Unless you think the commissioner is an unethical person, why would we assume they're only accepting it because it's their team? Are we assuming the commissioner is a shady person, because that would change things. 

2. You keep saying they colluded, which is not proof of collusion. I'm concerned about whether it's a fair condition and if the teams actually colluded.  

3. I think we have hit upon the issue. You think a condition is unethical. Is it conditions in general, or just not starting a player that you think is unethical? Because if the team had won anyway, the deal still goes through, right? So it's not "I beat you" as a condition. It's not starting a player you're getting in a trade. Is this correct? 

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13 minutes ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

These are two different trades. In the first one, a team gets Mahomes, etc. What does the other team get?

In the other, same thing. I don't see how you can make it equitable. 

If it's all "one trade" then you're talking about renting a player which is very different. That's more than a "condition." I see your point, but I think you used an unrelated example. You'd have to find a way to compensate both sides, and I don't see how you compensate a team on a bye. Plus the other team could just keep Mahomes, etc. and not make the second trade. What team would risk that? 

"Player renting" meets all of your criteria for a valid trade (or should I say, your only criteria -- that both teams are trying to advance their odds of winning the title).

Edited by davearm
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Just now, Neil Beaufort Zod said:


3. I think we have hit upon the issue. You think a condition is unethical. Is it conditions in general, or just not starting a player that you think is unethical? Because if the team had won anyway, the deal still goes through, right? So it's not "I beat you" as a condition. It's not starting a player you're getting in a trade. Is this correct? 

No. I think conditions happen all the time. 

I think THIS condition is unethical. The condition of benching a top player when they face each other. Because it is. 

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I don't like it. I'd recommend finding a new league or finding a new commissioner.  

First of all--I think if it was a "side condition" of a deal--that it reflects very poorly of the commissioner to not disclose that at the very moment the trade went down to the rest of the league.  If a trade is made--everything involving the trade (the players being moved, if there are future draft picks involved if its a dynasty league, any conditions that are tied to the trade..etc) needs to be announced to the rest of the league immediately.  When I sign up to play in a fantasy league--I do so knowing that I might not like every trade that goes down--but I absolutey do expect other owners to advocate full transparency---and I whole heartedly expect to have a commissioner that advocates full transparency.    That is a reasonable expectation that everybody who signs up for a fantasy league should have. 

We have a commissioner here who thinks that it's okay to participate in a trade that has a very questionable condition attached to it--and to keep that condition a secret until the rest of the league pressures him and the trade partner about it.  A big portion of the a commissioners job is to keep the transparency and the optics of the league fair to all of the owners.  We have a commissioner now that thinks its okay to  participate in "wink and nod" backroom deals knowing that other owners in the league might have an issue with it.   Who knows if he was involved in other wink and nod conditional trades in the past where he agreed to throw games for trade partners if they needed him to lose to make the playoffs?  Basically--what I'm saying is that I'm not against conditional trades as long as they are disclosed at the moment the trade goes down and as long as the other owners in the league have an opportunity to digest and opine if that condition should be allowable in regards to the integrity of the competive balance of the league.  That is not what happened here. 

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1 hour ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

Yes, of course. I agree. No health reasons in fantasy. 

NFL teams bench perfectly-healthy players. Not hurt at all. They simply don't care about the game, so they let backups get some work and let the starters rest. Kind of loosely-related to "health" but other factors as well. 

The rationale is different than fantasy, but the strategy is the same. Don't play your best players today = better chance of winning a title tomorrow. 

Keeping players healthy is not "loosely" related to health.  Its 100% related to health.

And those NFL teams are not "tanking".  Tanking means you are trying to lose.  In that case they simply arent going all out to win.  Huge difference.  Between trying to lose and not trying everything to win.

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17 minutes ago, ratbast said:

“Benching a top player” 

He’s not a top player.

The condition of benching any player = lineup fixing = tanking = bad

The condition here doesn’t care that you personally don’t think MT is a top player. What we know as fact is the team who received MT said he would have started him over Mattison (as would literally anyone) and so all that matters is he benched a player who he believed would outscore the player he started as a condition of the deal.

Again, this is an unethical arrangement that amounts to starting an inferior lineup. The commish didn’t need the win, the team benefitting did. 

But that all said, MT is a top player. He was out, he was hurt; but he’s a top player. 

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11 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

The condition of benching any player = lineup fixing = tanking = bad

The condition here doesn’t care that you personally don’t think MT is a top player. What we know as fact is the team who received MT said he would have started him over Mattison (as would literally anyone) and so all that matters is he benched a player who he believed would outscore the player he started as a condition of the deal.

Again, this is an unethical arrangement that amounts to starting an inferior lineup. The commish didn’t need the win, the team benefitting did. 

But that all said, MT is a top player. He was out, he was hurt; but he’s a top player. 

I think the ethics of the actual condition is debatable as evident here in this thread. What is not debatable is that it was completely unethical that a commissioner thinks it's okay to not disclose ot the rest of the league a condition attached to a trade.   There is no excuse for that.   Trades need to be announced to a league the moment they go down--and that means "everything about the trade"--including every and any condition involved.  Aspects of trades cannot be kept secret from other owners. 

Hypothetical--lets say the owner and the commissioner did have that condition--but the commissioner ended up starting Michael Thomas anyhow.   What then?  By deciding to not document the condition of the trade to the other owners at the moment the trade went down--the parameters of the trade could not be guaranteed to be enforced. This is why what happened was clearly unethical.  Even if it was a condition of the deal--if somebody "broke" that condition--it would have been unenforceable--meaning that in reality--it was never an actual or mertiable condition. 

Edited by jvdesigns2002
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27 minutes ago, ghostguy123 said:

Keeping players healthy is not "loosely" related to health.  Its 100% related to health.

And those NFL teams are not "tanking".  Tanking means you are trying to lose.  In that case they simply arent going all out to win.  Huge difference.  Between trying to lose and not trying everything to win.

I can't think of a single instance of a real football team "trying to lose".  What would that look like exactly?  Intentionally fumbling?  Refusing to tackle the opponent?  Running the ball backwards into your own endzone?

Tanking always takes the form of not going all out to win.

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1 hour ago, ratbast said:

“Benching a top player” 

He’s not a top player.

That is irrelevant.  The owner who benched him admitted he did not want to bench him and would have played him if the secret agreement was not in place.  The actual player name  is irrelevant.

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1 hour ago, ghostguy123 said:

I am actually all for "no rules" with some small exceptions that I cant even think of at the moment.

Wanna tank?  Go for it.  Wanna make a conditional trade?  Go for it.

It's all fair if everyone plays by the same rules

Obviously these two guys weren’t playing by their leagues rules.   The denials confirm it.

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2 hours ago, Neil Beaufort Zod said:

How does that benefit you? And how does it benefit the other team to trade them back to you? In the original example, both teams benefit. How do both teams benefit in either trade?

Maybe the team he is playing is better.  Maybe I am friends with the guy I loaned Mahomes so if he wins I am happier.  Maybe I get to keep a player I needed in the deal when all is said and done which benefits my team.

 

As long as it benefits both teams its ok.....at least that is what you stated.

 

And if we kept this arrangement secret it now makes it collusion.  Which is exactly the concept of what happened in the OP.  Look at the definition of collusion...the OP clearly meets the definition.

 

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9 minutes ago, Gally said:

That is irrelevant.  The owner who benched him admitted he did not want to bench him and would have played him if the secret agreement was not in place.  The actual player name  is irrelevant.

I keep reading “MT a top player”. 
The infraction is the trade condition or not. I don’t care what he admitted. Benching MT is not tanking. 
 

Either the trade is bad or not. If the trade condition is determined bad it doesn’t matter who he played. If the trade condition is determined legal it is accepted and the condition is accepted. The case is the condition of the trade, not if he tanked because it never comes into play depending on the trade ruling. 

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On 11/18/2020 at 12:42 PM, Judge Smails said:

We had a trade that raised suspicions from the start but allowed it.  Owner A was the commish receiving Michael Thomas.  Checked scores and it turns out he lost by 1 point Monday night.  Benched a healthy Michael Thomas and instead started backup Alexander Mattison in the flex.  What? 8th ranked WR vs 55 ranked RB.  25th overall in flex vs 170 or something.  Thomas scored a lousy 2, but Mattison 0 and owner lost by 1.  After heavy questioning owners admitted side deal was made to not start Thomas that week since they were playing each other.  They think nothing was wrong.  Rest of the league is incensed.  What say you?  Don't do a lot of polls so sorry if not framed correctly.

so what ended up happening from this?  How did both those teams do this week?

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51 minutes ago, ratbast said:

I keep reading “MT a top player”. 
The infraction is the trade condition or not. I don’t care what he admitted. Benching MT is not tanking. 
 

Either the trade is bad or not. If the trade condition is determined bad it doesn’t matter who he played. If the trade condition is determined legal it is accepted and the condition is accepted. The case is the condition of the trade, not if he tanked because it never comes into play depending on the trade ruling. 

This is only half true.  I agree that the condition of the trade is fundamental in what is going on here--but the "disclosure" element is equally as important.  Trades that occur in fantasy leagues require league documentation so that the framework/parameters of the trade can be evaluated as well as enforced by all of the other owners.   Two owners choosing to keep a condition that is tied to a trade they made a secret can absolutely be debated as collusion--because it inhibits  other team owners from having the ability to evaluate if a trade falls within the league guidelines--and it makes it so that the condition cannot be enforced if it is broken. Like I said earlier in this thread--if the commissioner ended up breaking the condition and starting Michael Thomas--then what?   I would argue that any time team owners choose to not disclose conditions that are tied to trades to the rest of the league at the very moment the trade is announced--- they are by nature guilty of collusion because of this dynamic. 

Edited by jvdesigns2002
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28 minutes ago, jvdesigns2002 said:

This is only half true.  I agree that the condition of the trade is fundamental in what is going on here--but the "disclosure" element is equally as important.  Trades that occur in fantasy leagues require league documentation so that the framework/parameters of the trade can be evaluated as well as enforced by all of the other owners.   Two owners choosing to keep a condition that is tied to a trade they made a secret can absolutely be debated as collusion--because it inhibits  other team owners from having the ability to evaluate if a trade falls within the league guidelines--and it makes it so that the condition cannot be enforced if it is broken. Like I said earlier in this thread--if the commissioner ended up breaking the condition and starting Michael Thomas--then what?   I would argue that any time team owners choose to not disclose conditions that are tied to trades to the rest of the league at the very moment the trade is announced are by nature guilty of collusion because of this dynamic. 

If it is a rule to announce the conditions then so be it. But that means the trade is legal. No need to announce an illegal trade. 

Edited by ratbast
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1 minute ago, ratbast said:

If it is a rule to announce the conditions then so be it. But that means the trade is legal. 

So are all conditions legal unless stated illegal?  I could say "i'll trade you MT if you cook me dinner tonight?".  What about "if you start the jets d against me for the next 3 seasons".

If no, why are those banned but "you can't start MT against me this week" is okay?

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1 hour ago, ratbast said:

If it is a rule to announce the conditions then so be it. But that means the trade is legal. 

I would strongly argue otherwise--the vast majority of people would expect that if they are in a fantasy league that the details of trades made are fully disclosed to the league.  Can conditions that are tied to trades  made in the NFL be made without disclosure?  Unless the rules of the league state that it's not necessary to disclose conditions---they absolutely need to be disclosed.  You're looking at it the wrong way. 

Edited by jvdesigns2002
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1 minute ago, styleride85 said:

So are all conditions legal unless stated illegal?  I could say "i'll trade you MT if you cook me dinner tonight?".  What about "if you start the jets d against me for the next 3 seasons".

If no, why are those banned but "you can't start MT against me this week" is okay?

The trade needs to be legal to announce anything if that’s what is called for. 

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5 minutes ago, jvdesigns2002 said:

I would strongly argue otherwise--the vast majority of people would expect that if they are in a fantasy league that the details of trades made are fully disclosed to the league.  Can conditions that are tied to trades  made in he NFL leagues be made without disclosure? 

No one has ever announced conditions on an illegal trade. 
I don’t have a problem with announcing conditions. If the trade* is not legal there’s no need to announce the conditions.
 

if the trade is legal then pursue that if you want. 

“edit” if the condition is not legal

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1 minute ago, styleride85 said:

I'm confused by your stance.  

Don’t waste time on anything past “can you add that condition to the trade” determine that. Then look at what’s next and punish accordingly. If that style of trade is illegal, stop there. If it’s legal, then address lack of announcement. 

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22 minutes ago, ratbast said:

No one has ever announced conditions on an illegal trade. 
I don’t have a problem with announcing conditions. If the trade* is not legal there’s no need to announce the conditions.
 

if the trade is legal then pursue that if you want. 

“edit” if the condition is not legal

I'm not sure I follow you. The point that I'm trying to make is this "FOR ANY CONDITION OF A TRADE TO BE LEGAL--IT NEEDS TO BE DISCLSOED TO THE REST OF THE LEAGUE THE MOMENT THE TRADE GOES DOWN".   (I'm not using caps to indicate yelling--I'm just using caps to differentiate what the point is relative to the rest of my paragraph).    I'm not saying that the condition of the trade here is illegal by itself--that's debatable. However--the moment when both the commissioner and the trading partner decided to not disclose that condition to the rest of the league---it by default became illegal because of the failure to disclose it.  The condition by itself on the surface may have been legal--but not being transparent about it made it illegal imo. 

Edited by jvdesigns2002
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7 minutes ago, jvdesigns2002 said:

I'm not sure I follow you. The point that I'm trying to make is this "FOR ANY CONDITION OF A TRADE TO BE LEGAL--IT NEEDS TO BE DISCLSOED TO THE REST OF THE LEAGUE THE MOMENT THE TRADE GOES DOWN".   (I'm not using caps to indicate yelling--I'm just using caps to differentiate what the point is relative to the rest of my paragraph).    I'm not saying that the condition of the trade here is illegal by itself--that's debatable. However--the moment when both the commissioner and the trading partner decided to not disclose that condition to the rest of the league---it by default became illegal because of the failure to disclose it.  The condition by itself on the surface may have been legal--but not being transparent about it made it illegal imo. 

If that’s a rule then it’s a rule. If it’s not, as I expect, then we just need to determine the trade condition legally. 
 

i suspect that the biggest issue here is that the trade was approved by the commish. An assistant commish should approve commish trades. Then the announcement happens if that is the rule

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3 hours ago, davearm said:

I can't think of a single instance of a real football team "trying to lose".  What would that look like exactly?  Intentionally fumbling?  Refusing to tackle the opponent?  Running the ball backwards into your own endzone?

Tanking always takes the form of not going all out to win.

Organizations have tanked.  Players on the field and coaches dont tank.  There is much more at stake for them than just a win or loss.  

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5 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

Last question from me and I'm on to this week - Do you think the real NFL teams who've clinched a playoff spot and rest starters in Week 17 are tanking or colluding?

Completely different scenario. No secret deal was made for them to not start players

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9 minutes ago, ghostguy123 said:

Is it tanking?

No--tanking is an action that a team makes were every other team in the league can understand why they are doing it--to protect a players health if they are already guaranteed a playoff spot, an improvement in draft position..etc.   Tanking is not two owners making a trade and not disclosing contingencies and conditional aspects that are tied into that trade.   At that point it becomes collusion.   I've said it before--what happens if the commish decided to break the condition and start Michael Thomas? Is the trade partner going to expect the other owners in the league to force Thomas to be benched because of a trade condition that was secretly kept from them?  Tanking is tanking when it's completely out in the open and transparent.  Tanking is not tanking when it's agreed upon by two teams that are facing each other and not disclosed to the rest of the league. 

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