Wednesday, August 21, 2013

UCFAC - Updated League Rules

This debacle of trading draft picks has challenged me to question everything about my life. 200+ emails and no progress is simply astounding. We are like the 112th Congress of fantasy leagues. Yesterday, I broke. I agreed to something because I was simply sick of hearing about it. This is going to cost me my hug from Pat, but what can you do?

I have spent more time than one might think ruminating on this issue. While I do not want to avoid any opportunities to make the league more interesting, I also do not want to make it unfair to anyone else. The reality is that if we were able to do an offline draft when we were all together, which was my plan, then we could do a lot more. But we are going to have people who are not around, people in Tennessee, Maine, and a far off place known as New Jersey. Some may be, by lack of other options, autodrafting. Making this fair to them is not as easy as it may seem. And that does not even include what I consider to be a fundamentally flawed trading concept that has been proposed.

Let's look at a simple scenario.

Team A trades Team B a first round keeper for a first round pick. Team A is stacked with late keepers, like my team (Newton, Green and Spiller all in 10th or later, plus Aaron Rodgers). Now Team B has a keeper in the first round, and no pick. I have no issue here. But Team A has two first round picks and drops a 16th, plus the three late round keepers. If they now can only keep two players, then that is fine. But the request is that they get to still keep three keepers. Now they have traded a player they were likely not going to keep, and received a substantial bump in value that they would not have otherwise had. This is where I have a problem. The benefit for Team A is much larger than Team B, and exponentially larger than any other teams in the league. This unduly penalizes people who do not have the time, or are simply unable to work out a trade before the draft. It also penalizes teams without depth beyond their three keepers.

The strength of a roster one year should not enable that person to get extra picks (i.e., extra strength) by sacrificing players who are not even of value to that team, to the detriment of the rest of the league. With that model, the strong teams (teams with 4+ viable keepers) would keep getting stronger while the rest of the league sells their picks to get better keepers, futilely trying to catch up. The consensus was that there is no value to trading a pick if you have to give up a keeper, and I do not think it is fair the other way.

For next season, there is a setting in Yahoo that I activated that will allow one to trade next years draft picks during the season. I like this because your whole roster is available and on the market, and you are making decisions about players independent of keepers. The system will track the picks for us, and you will still get your three keepers. This is obviously very similar to the situation we are in now, except that you are trading players when they have value to you. If you were to trade now (pre-draft), you have nothing to lose. This is not an environment that is conducive to fair play.

So, to clarify, we will NOT be trading picks prior to the draft. At all. We can trade players. If you have two great keeper QBS, or two great keepers in the same round, feel free to trade them. This makes sense. But we will not be trading picks. Sorry if you wasted time lining things up.

Speaking of which, I would like to trade Aaron Rodgers for a top 3 RB not named Ray Rice...

In addition, I am changing the makeup of the league somewhat. Up until now, I tried, often unsuccessfully, to vote on issues that affect the league as a whole. This is no longer the case. From here out, I will make the decisions. If I change something you do not like, speak to me and we can discuss. If I still do not do what you want, then you can move to replace me and if you get consensus from the league then you are all set to start running the show. I will turn over the keys to the Yahoo commish tools. I will of course look for buy-in from everyone from time to time, but I am not going to ask for any more votes. In the end this is supposed to be fun, and recently it has been anything but.

So without further ado, here are the league rules, amended based on the original rules to reflect this change in style. Amendments are in red. Of particular importance this season is #12 - related to trading players during the season that we have had since day 1.


1. Each owner has the option of keeping up to three players, but must keep at least two players. 

2. Only two players at a given position may be kept by an owner. 

3. Only one of the three kept players can come from rounds 1,2 or 3 of the previous year.

4. The owner sacrifices the draft pick of the kept player in the following years draft

5. If the kept player is taken from free agency then the owner sacrifices their 10th round pick. 

6. If two kept players are taken from free agency, then the owner sacrifices the 10th and 11th round picks and so on. 

7. If a kept player comes from free agency and the 10th round pick is also kept, then the 11th round pick is sacrificed, and so on. 

8. If a kept player comes from waivers, then the owner sacrifices the pick in the round in which the player was drafted. For clarity on waiver rules, see the prior post from the beginning of last season. 

9. A player may be kept by a single owner for a maximum of three seasons (the original drafted season, and two "kept" seasons).

10. Up to the three year limit under a single owner, the owner sacrifices the pick corresponding to the players original drafted round.

11. If a player is traded before the three year limit, the original pick sacrifice is traded with him.

12. If a player is traded at the end of the three year limit, then the new owner sacrifices the pick corresponding to the players preseason ranking for a standard PPR scoring format according to Yahoo! Sports. 

13. No trades for draft picks are allowed during preseason. Draft picks may be traded during the season.

14. Keeper selections are due 1 days prior to next years draft. 

15. After the initial four day evaluation window, these rules can only be changed with a majority vote of the league (6+ votes)

16. Trade decisions will be made by the commissioner. If anyone would like to dispute a trade decision they may get a majority consensus from the league and overrule.

17. Any rule-related decisions will be made by the commissioner. Votes will no be solicited. If anyone does not agree with a rule, they can nominate themselves or someone else to take over as commissioner and can be replace the commissioner with a majority consensus from the league. 

18. League dues must be to me before the draft. Paypal works. 

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