Last Week's Question: Does trading
draft picks work in redraft leagues?
My column for
Week 5 invited readers to weigh in on the subject of trading
draft picks in redraft leagues. There's nothing unusual about
trading future draft picks in keeper/dynasty leagues, and tossing
in a mid-round pick often greases the wheels on a trade that would
otherwise be rejected. So I'm not surprised when I hear from readers
who wish that their redraft league could be as comfortable when
it comes to trading draft picks as their dynasty league is.
I don't know whether this applies to King or not, but I've seen
comments like his many times over the years:
Trading picks in a redraft is something that has never happened
in my redraft I play in with local friends. They also want nothing
to do with in-draft trading as well. I tried to explain the benefits,
[but] most just want nothing to do with it.
King's experience is commonplace—perhaps for good reason.
Many commissioners have contacted me in the past to indicate that
once the owners in a redraft league start trading for future draft
picks, they check out for the remainder of the season. Doug is
one such commissioner:
In my league (12-team redraft), we used to be able to trade draft
picks. The best you could get was a third-round pick, and those
would cost teams basically their best player (unless they had
a really bad team and they couldn't get a third). After years
of [allowing such trades], I decided to end the practice. The
reasons were two-fold. First, the team that gives up their best
player is DONE; the rest of their team was already bad (being
they were in a position to give up their best player). So the
rest of the season they had already given up; [such teams] were
essentially a gimme if you were lucky enough to face them after
the trade. The next season [those teams ended up with a drafting
advantage over] everyone else (especially the team that gave them
the third round pick. So [the team that trades away the pick ends
up with an unfair advantage in the present, and the team that
trades for the pick ends up with an unfair advantage in the future].
I just didn't like how it separated the competition in both years
and put teams that drafted a good team without any extra players
at a disadvantage. Just don't like it at all.
I also heard from Bob, whose league almost collapsed under the
strain caused by trading draft picks:
My fantasy league of 15 years nearly came to an end
because of this. And I guarantee it will happen to any league
that tries this [because] there is no incentive for owners of
non-playoff teams to keep players. A 12th round pick for Le'Veon
Bell? Sure, nobody offered anything better. Fire sale, everything
must go! This created a lot of hard feelings and arguments.
So what we had at the end was 4 great teams (this year), 4 average
teams (they refused to deal) and 4 awful teams (sold everything).
And the next year it would flip flop. Basically, everyone in my
league agreed this defeated the purpose of fantasy football, which
was to have fun every year.
Those who have traded draft picks in keeper/dynasty leagues must
be tearing their hair out over Bob's story. Why didn't the other
owners drive up the price on Bell? Why would a third of the league
respond to this frenzy of trading by sitting out?
I can't speak for the owners in Bob's league, but I suspect that
some of them were worried about owners not sticking around to
honor the terms of their agreement. After all, if I want to win
this year's purse, why shouldn't I give away ALL of next year's
draft picks for the best players I can get now? Then I can collect
my winnings and quit the league. I heard from T.S. about one way
to prevent this problem from cropping up:
If you allow the trading of future draft picks in a redraft league,
I think each team's league fees for the following season need
to be paid at the time of the trade. And if they don't return
to the league, the money is non-refundable. That way, it would
be easier to replace the owner who left by telling a new owner
that the team is paid for already.
That's a great suggestion from T.S.—a rule that would probably
be necessary for any redraft league considering the trading of
future draft picks. However, I don't think that rule is sufficient.
There would need to be other guidelines in place to prevent abuse/checking
out. I hoped to hear from some readers whose leagues had made
progress on that front because I think it would be fun to trade
future draft picks in redraft leagues. But if anyone has found
a way to make such transactions workable over the long-term, they
haven't shared their secrets with me.
As usual, my thanks go out to everyone who responded to last week's
question (whether I had space to reprint their remarks or not).
This Week's Question: What is your
favorite non-English source of fantasy information?
This week I was contacted by an entrepreneur from Mexico who produces
fantasy content for Spanish-speaking audiences. I may have the
opportunity to learn more about his business model and the fantasy
market in Latin America (and the rest of the Spanish speaking
world) in the coming weeks, but his note got me thinking about
how fantasy football must be booming in all sorts of non-English
So I'm hoping that some of my readers can send
me links or recommendations for non-English sources of fantasy
football information—especially the ones that stand out
because of their production value or the accuracy of their analysis
or some other identifiable component that the English-only crowd
can appreciate without requiring a direct translation of the material.
Please let me know what your favorite non-English source of fantasy
football information is by posting a comment below or emailing
This one is simple. You should always steer clear of divisional
rivalries, especially when the division concerned is the AFC East—and
even more especially when the three teams tied for the lead in
that division are the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots, the
release-everyone-but-LeSean-McCoy Bills, and the go-for-next-year's-top-draft-pick-by-building-a-juggernaut-of-suck
Jets. How can the Jets be tied for the lead in this division?
And more importantly, how can the Patriots have the same record
as the Jets? These questions should nag you in much the same way
that Tom Brady's shoulder injury should nag him throughout an
away game in which his opponents will have nothing to lose and
everything to prove. Don't count out Gang Green in Week 6.
#3: Atlanta over Miami (2-3, BUF, TB, CLE,
The Falcons come off their bye week with the hope that Julio
Jones is healthy and that the Dolphins are as anemic as they
have looked for a quarter of a season. In the preseason, a lot
of folks expected Jay
Ajayi, & DeVante
Parker to be competitive with the likes of Matt
Freeman, and Jones. Things haven't worked out that way in
Miami. After a surprise bye in Week 1, Cutler threw for just 230
yards in Week 2. Little did anyone suspect at the time that would
be Cutler's best performance at this point in the season. He followed
it up with 220 yards in Week 3, 164 in Week 4, and just 92 in
Week 5. To say that the Miami offense isn't firing on all cylinders
is an understatement; it is misplacing more and more cylinders
each week. In fairness, the Dolphin defenders came on strong against
the Titans in Week 4, but the Titans haven't moved the ball on
the ground or through the air nearly as effectively as Atlanta,
so there is little reason to expect the Dolphin D to rescue Smokin'
Jay two weeks in a row.
#2: Houston over Cleveland (2-3, NE, SEA, PIT, ATL, PHI)
If you live in Houston, you're probably pretty excited about Deshaun Watkins right now. But as someone who doesn't live in Houston,
i have no idea what to make of Watkins (beyond the fact that rookie
QBs aren't supposed to score so many points). Since Watkins remains
a mystery to me, this game is really about how bad the Browns
are. And how bad is that? The Browns are so bad that they can't
decide whether DeShone Kizer or Kevin Hogan gives them a better
chance of winning . . . because they are incapable of thinking
about winning—even as a hypothetical construct. Does Hue
Jackson intend to start Hogan so that he can bring Kizer in to
save the day? Or does he intend to name Kizer the starter at the
last moment so that Hogan can save the day? Don't be silly; Jackson
is a professional football coach; he knows better than to expect
anyone on his roster to save the day.
#1: Denver over NY Giants (4-1 ATL, OAK,
NE, SEA, PIT)
First off, I have to apologize to the loyal readers of this column.
This year has been extremely tough on the survival pools, and
my personal pick last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers, laid an egg
at home and knocked me out of my pool (along with many of you,
I fear). That said, some of you may have chosen my second choice
last week, the Eagles, and survived to fight another day. If so,
this is the week that the Mile High faithful have nothing to worry
about in their visiting opponents, my very own favorite NY football
Giants. The Giants are a team that is about to implode. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple were both benched in last weeks’
game for poor secondary coverage. Maybe the Giants don't think
they need anyone to break up passes anymore because there's no
one left to catch passes when the defense scrimmages against the
offense (thanks to leg and ankle injuries for Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard). This team has lost three games
in the final drive in the fourth quarter, and now there is public
discord inside the locker room. Look for the Broncos to establish
a lead early and then for Eli Manning to attempt to mount a comeback
by throwing strictly to Evan Engram. It won't work out well for
the men in blue.
Mike Davis has been writing about
fantasy football since 1999--and playing video games even longer
than that. His latest novel (concerning a gamer who gets trapped
inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms) can
be found here.