//From the DFW Vault (originally published May 17, 2013)
Here we go again with another discussion on how morality fits into fantasy football. This time let’s talk about whether or not a league should allow league voting on trades. This decision alone isn’t necessarily enough to try our moral compasses but what happens when the decision is made one way or another certainly is. In this case it is more the side effect than the actual decision that leads us to the topic of morality. So is it right or is it wrong? Read on and I’ll let you be the judge.
A big factor in morality in fantasy football is fairness. By enabling the league to vote on whether a trade should be approved or not (be it majority, 2/3 vote, or some other approach) you are essentially trying to be fair. You are allowing every member of your league a say on what happens when trades are proposed and made. This makes it fair right? No one person can take advantage of another because the league can simply vote against a trade if it is way “out of whack”. Likewise if the league suspects collusion a vote will stop the cheating from occurring thus protecting the league and serving the greater good. None of us wants to see another team in the league taken advantage of and it is the right thing to do to stop that from happening. As a result, allowing league voting on trades, at least on the surface, is a good thing. It is a moral thing. It takes the power out of one person’s hands and gives it to the collective
But… and there is always a but… the byproduct of creating this “fairness” is anything but fair. Let’s face it we all play to win. With this approach it is WAY too easy for people to not only take advantage of the rule but to exploit it primarily for their own benefit. Don’t like the top team in the league getting another top WR? Vote the trade down. Don’t want to see the guy you’re playing next week get a starting QB? Vote the trade down. Not a fan of seeing a team get the handcuff for their oft-injured starting RB? Vote the trade down. Simply sick of one owner making all of the trades in your league? Vote his or her trades down. The list goes on and on. I could cite numerous situations where I have personally seen owners vote trades down just because they don’t want to see another team get better. There is nothing right or moral about that. Just petty jealousy and selfishness.
By having this rule in your league you are enabling this type of behavior. There are far simpler and more effective rules such as commissioner approval (assuming, of course, you have a trustworthy commish) or immediate processing of trades. As long as you define it within the commissioner’s power to reverse trades after the fact having no approval at all seems reasonable to me. Trades should really only be reversed or stopped if there is reason to suspect collusion anyway. This is something that is hard to identify (especially in dynasty leagues where player values vary more widely) but must be accounted for nonetheless.
So while in theory league voting on trades is a good idea, in reality it is most definitely not the right thing to do. If your league has this rule it is opening a big can of worms that morally corrupt owners can take advantage of. Something that is sure to create drama at some point down the road. We all love and play this game with the hopes of it being drama free and fun for all. So while I don’t personally think there’s any place for owners who behave this way in fantasy football they certainly do exist. Not only that, but not everyone will agree that what these owners are doing is actually wrong. They are trying to benefit their team and playing for themselves. That is, after all, why we play this game in the first place. To win at any cost right?
So what is your take on this issue? I want the Warehouse faithful to tell me. Leave some comments or join our discussion on this topic in the forums. I want to hear from you guys most of all. Together we can all decide if league voting on trades is truly right or wrong.