That Trade's Not Fair!?!?
First off let me start by saying I don't have the answer to the never ending 'Is this a fair trade?' dilemma. I'd even go so far as to say I have yet to see a league that has the answer. If you're league has solved this problem please pass along the solution. It would save us commissioners a lot and I mean a lot of headaches. I can't remember how many times I've heard the phrase 'If this trade goes through I quit'. Well crybaby thanks for your money and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. Nothing irritates me more than the league crybaby.
So how do we keep the league crybaby quiet? The first and probably easiest way is to find a group of managers who are involved. If every manager is actively involved you tend to have fewer problems. When you have a manager or two that come to draft night and pick a kicker in the fifth round you're destined to have trade issues some time during the season. These managers don't know and most times don't care if they're making a fair trade. They paid their money and want to play how they want to play. The problem is it's not just about their money. Every decision you make affects every other team in the league. You may not think so but when it comes right down to it there's always a team that would have made the playoffs or won the division had this poor trade not been made. If this poor trade caused another owner a spot in the playoffs or that division title (in some leagues this means automatic money) then you're not only playing with your money you're playing with his money too. And that's just not fair.
So how do we determine if a trade is fair? As I said before there's no hard fast rule we can use to determine if a trade is fair. So lets look at why make trades. The answer is pretty simple. To improve our starting line up. Why else would we trade our stud WR and a backup RB for two mediocre RBs? We may lose 2 or 3 points a week at receiver but you'll gain 5 or 6 at running back. Notice how I didn't throw players names into the equation. Many times we get caught up in who's being traded instead of why they're being traded. It doesn't matter who is being traded for whom. What matter is does this trade improve all teams involved? If the answer is yes then it's a fair trade. Usually this sucks because it means the best team in the league traded some bench player to the worst team in the league to improve his starting line up. So long as this trade improves both teams the commissioner has to let the trade go through.
This now begs the question how do we determine if the trade improves both teams? Again there's no clear-cut answer. I wish there was because believe me it would make my job as commissioner a lot easier. Just because at first glance a trade doesn't appear fair doesn't mean it's not a fair trade. Take a step back and dig a little deeper. Consider strength of schedule, some players tendencies to perform better late in the season, and the all mighty injury. When you take these three things into consideration you'll have the answer right? Not really. There's always some unknown that you won't account for which determines if the trade is fair. No matter how you much you analyze a trade you'll never come up with the right answer.
So what is the right answer? How do we know when to veto and when to shut up? Unless the trade is a back up kicker for the leagues top running back it's best to let the trade go through. When money is involved it's impossible to be impartial. I don't care if you're playing for $5 or $500. At some point the thought of winning your league comes into play and clouds your judgment. As a last resort you can always bring your problem to the impartial jury in the Fantasy Football Toolbox forums. We'll be happy to hear both sides and off up our opinion to help resolve your issue.
Next season when it's time to start up your league conveniently leave the crybaby off the list. Your job will be a lot easier and the league will be more exciting.