Fantasy Sports Etiquette: Vetoing Trades

Fantasy Sports: To Veto or Not to Veto – That is the Question

I have a confession to make: I used to veto trades.

If some deal popped up needing my vote, I pulled up the rankings, checked out the standings, and came to some half-assed judgment on whether or not the deal was a fair and allowable trade.

There were plenty of times when I would click the “Vote Against” button, convinced that there was no way the deal before me wasn’t some kind of back-alley pact designed to help one team improve, because — you know — complete strangers playing in a Yahoo! public league do that kind of stuff all the time.

Winning standard leagues where the only prizes are bragging rights and a new trophy for your fantasy profile often compels people to cheat and try to screw everyone else in the league. This is honestly how my brain works some times. Thankfully, I know I’m not alone, because it takes more than my single vote to kill a trade, and more often than naught, trades get shot down.

But why the hell do I care if someone else wants to make a trade I would never make in a million years? I think you’d be crazy to trade Matt Ryan and Danny Amendola for Joe Flacco and Eddie Lacy, but if that’s the deal you want to make, why should I put a stop to it?

The answer is that I shouldn’t, and I don’t any more. I’m a changed man. Two people in a league come to an agreement — drive on you trading fools; don’t let me stop you.

No one ever wants to admit this, but one of the reasons we all have vetoed trades in the past is because we want one of the players involved. No one ever wants to admit this, but one of the reasons we all have vetoed trades in the past is because we want one of the players involved.

You see his name sitting there, in a deal you think isn’t as good as the one you would have offered if you knew he was on the block, so you click that button, hoping others follow suit, and prepare your “If you’re interested in trading Steven Jackson, have I got a deal for you” proposal. It doesn’t matter that two of the other owners in your league already came to an agreement, and are ready to move forward; you’re only thinking about your team, and how this deal impacts you.

Your team doesn’t matter, at least not in this trade.

If you wanted that player, you should have been pursuing him earlier, not killing someone else’s trade just to see if you can get something done amidst the potential wreckage of a shot-down deal. You need to be proactive, not reactive, and definitely not reactive to the detriment of other owners.

Because here’s the thing: none of us know how that trade is going to work out. We think we do, but there are no certainties. Guys get hurt all the time. They underwhelm and exceed expectations all the time.

At the start of last football season, a LeSean McCoy-for-Alfred Morris, one-for-one deal would have been panned. No way do you give up a proven Top 10 back like “Shady” for a sixth-round draft pick who was probably taken in the middle to late rounds of your fantasy draft and plays for the running back assassin that is Mike Shanahan.

If you were the owner getting Morris, you hate everyone in your league right about now. I’m pretty sure the 95-point difference between the two backs would have changed the outcome of a couple games, maybe even playoff seeding. If you were the owner getting Morris, you hate everyone in your league right about now. I’m pretty sure the 95-point difference between the two backs would have changed the outcome of a couple games, maybe even playoff seeding.

That’s why I won’t veto trade any more, and implore you to do the same.

A lot of fantasy sports comes down to playing hunches. Sure, there is a bunch of research and analysis that goes into it as well, but when you’re deciding between two players that are pretty evenly matched, you go with the one you think will have the better season. You don’t know that he will, but you think he will, and that’s reason enough to draft him.

The same goes for trades.

It may look like a crazy deal, but McCoy for Morris looked kind of nuts at the start of last season, and ended up being crazy the other way by the end of the year.

Manage your team, and your team alone. As long as owners aren’t trying to pass off “Drew Brees for Blaine Gabbert” deals as being legit, let people make whatever trades they feel improves their team, especially in the preseason.

If someone beat you to the punch on acquiring a guy you had your eye on, applaud them, don’t try to torpedo their deal so you can stop sitting on your hands and try to work something out yourself.

If another owner wants to give up their first-round pick for a fifth-round selection, let them; it’s their team.

Being an absentee owner ranks at the top of my fantasy sports pet peeves list, but vetoing trades is making a charge towards the top spot.

Think about it this way: would you like a bunch of people shooting down your deals left, right, and center just because they don’t like the trade?

Of course not, so don’t be that guy yourself.

Don’t veto trades.

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