Ask The Commish: How Should I Sanction Outrageous Trade Offers?

By Reginald James
Reginald James

How do feel about helping owners with their rosters? I responded to a tweet saying that I didn’t have a problem helping someone that had forgot to put Mostert in their lineup for the Germany game. They forgot, and couldn’t access their account, so they asked me to do it, and I did. You would’ve thought I said I wanted to eat puppies! What’s wrong with helping people. I swear people take this game way too seriously.


The delineating factor that usually determines how seriously folks take fantasy football in general, and specifically in regards to what you’re describing, is whether there’s money involved. As soon as money walks onto the scene, the stakes get higher. People become more competitive. Some people become nasty, and sometimes you find out that the mild-mannered league mate that seemingly wouldn’t hurt a fly, is a closet game board flipper. When you’re competing for a prize, no, you don’t want others to get help in any way. To lots of people, that’s not what competition is all about.


Trust me, I’ll get to your question in a moment, but I’ve seen heated discussions surrounding situations like yours before. I think it’s important to give new commissioners who might be reading this, some more insight about this topic, which might help them when faced with this issue in the future.


We’ve already said that money is the primary force that will change people’s motivations as to how seriously they feel about their league. Most folks will give their pay leagues a higher priority than the leagues where they’re basically playing for bragging rights. That’s justifiable. Yes, there are those who are just as competitive even if the league championship doesn’t come with a payday. Are those the ones you feel are taking things too seriously? Perhaps I’d might agree with you. Perhaps. However, let me add that some of us feel that people should be responsible for their own teams. Game managers should plan for the games in Europe just like they do for the other games and events (i.e., bye weeks, player trades and injuries) during the season, and that’s that. It’s not like we don’t know about these games. The NFL seems hellbent on adding more and more of these games each year. There really shouldn’t be any excuses when it comes to roster prepping for these games specifically.


So how do I feel about helping owners with their rosters?


It depends on the makeup of your league. As a commissioner, you need to respect the pervading sentiment of the majority of your league. While you and lots of others might say for example, “If you’re in a free league, who cares?” You’d be right about that to a certain extent. However, what if your free league is full of competitive people? Do you think it’s fine to disregard how they want to play, versus the sake of the few or one person? I’m not going to say there’s a wrong answer to the question, but I do think commissioners need to take that into consideration. Ponder that for yourself. In other words, commissioners should acknowledge the make up of their league. How many people in your league feel the way that you do? Were there people upset that you helped the manager that has Mostert? You didn’t indicate that was the case. If no one in your league cared, then you’re good. Every league commissioner has to take an accurate pulse of their league, and navigate through those buoys accordingly, whether or not they personally agree with a particular rule or action. For example, I personally like the idea of winner-takes-all prize money. However, as the commissioner of my own league, I think it’s more important to keep people engaged throughout the season. As a result, we pay out to the top three finishers, plus whoever accumulates the most points during the season, gets a bonus payout. The benefit of the league overrides my personal view on winning money.


Furthermore, I will say, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with helping people. However, as commissioner you have to be neutral in your actions, being careful not to show a bias to any one manager in your league. The quickest way to undermine that is to start helping a league member with their roster management. Then, you’ll potentially create more problems for yourself if you somehow find a reason not to help someone else in the future. If you decide to help one person in one particular way, get ready to help the others who will expect the same response from you - no matter how weak their excuse is. If that’s cool with you, awesome, kudos to your good heart. Yet, I would warn new commissioners (and those thinking about starting a league some time in the future) that if you’re not ready to be an on-call custodian for the whole league, don’t provide any assistance to begin with (even if you think it’s the right thing to do). By the way, I’m glad puppies are safe around you.



How should I sanction a manager who makes outrageous trade offers? It’s become annoying to a lot us, and I want him to stop.


Wait, what? Sanction? Is he asking for your first-born and $50,000 in Bitcoin, in exchange for Cam Akers? If not, sanctioning someone because they make annoying trade offers is actually what I would call outrageous. First of all, has anyone said to them, “Dude, stop making stupid trade offers, it’s annoying”? Maybe they’ll stop. Sure, you the commissioner can suggest that he puts out serious offers, but what does that really mean? Has anyone explained to him what’s so annoying and outrageous about them, so that perhaps he can do better or make his offers more palpable? You didn’t give an example of his alleged outrageousness. What you think is a serious offer, just might be ridiculous to me, outrageous even. There are some people who will put out a “crazy” offer, because the thought is that it might actually get accepted. You never know. If someone sends you a trade offer, if you don’t like it, you reject it. The whole exchange involves clicking a mouse. How much more involved do you have to be to get justifiably annoyed? You don’t need Nute Gunray to mediate. It’s not like any of you have to travel to the Trade Federation in Cato Neimoidia for rounds of negotiations. I suggest telling The Annoyed Club, at the very least, communicate in good faith with their league mate. Explain whatever it is - specifically - that he’s doing to annoy them. Either he’s going to respond favorably to suit their tastes, or he won’t. At the end of the day, regardless of how he responds, the rest of the crew needs to chill out, reject the trades, and keep rolling. It were me, I would store that angst away in a box, and save it for something else.





Send your questions to The Commish: