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Is collusion possible before Week 5?!?! - long post

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Is collusion possible before Week 5?!?! - long post

Postby tyger1147 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 11:58 am

There has been a recent discussion about when trades should or should not be vetoed. The overwhelming response (which is wrong in my opinion) was that ONLY when collusion is OBVIOUS.

But my question is: Short of the most ridiculous trades (Tomlinson and Larry Johnson for David Akers), is collusion even possible before Week 5?

My answer is "NO".

Thus, short of the aforementioned ridiculousness, no trade should be vetoed. If the following trade happens in your league right now, it should not be vetoed under the (stupid) "collusion-only" rule: Shaun Alexander and Chris Chambers for Jericho Cotchery and Bernard Berrian. Alex has a crappy line and Chambers has a stupid QB (I have both Culpepper and Chambers and, yes, I am pissed at myself). On the other hand, the two other WR's have had great starts and are in their third year--that "magic" year when so many receivers seem to break out.

The most common argument against "league integrity" vetoing of trades is that there is no way we can predict what is going to happen and that fair is completely subjective. While the former is true, that doesn't make attempts to predict the future (a.k.a. PROJECTIONS) irrelevant. And the latter, while mostly subjective, it is not 100% the case.

First, it is unreasonable (and an irresponsible argument) to say we can't veto trades that upset the league integrity because we can't predict the future. That is the same as saying that every single way, every player has an equal chance of scoring the same points as every other player. That's stupid. I could go on, but I'm getting bored and I think the obviousness of it is apparent. FUTURE PLAYER OUTPUT IS EXACTLY WHAT FANTASY FOOTBALL IS ALL ABOUT. We only care what they have done in the past as it might be indicative of what they may do in the future.

For the second part, while a "fair" trade is very much subjective, it is not 100% the case. If I made the trade for Alexander, Tony Gonzalez and Carson Palmer, and all I gave up was the Bills 'D', EVERYONE can see that is an unfair trade. While the other person may have agreed to it, it doesn't make it more fair. If however, I traded Alge Crumpler and Darrell Jackson for Jamal Lewis, whether it is fair or not is harder to see (even if it looks ridiculous on first glance., more subjective and definitely depends on the circumstances.

So... this is just a general question. After reading through all that, I ask ________ questions:

A) Is collusion even possible before week 5, when no one is "out of it"? (other than super ridiculous trades mentioned at the top)

B) How do you define collusion/cheating? If it's subtle (a kicker and No. 4 WR for a solid No. 2 RB and a No. 3 WR) is it wrong, just unfair or just plain stupid?

C) If something appears to be obvious collusion to you (as someone voting on a trade or someone who has the power to veto a trade <commish or on a panel>) but you know that it is not (because of personal relationship with one of the parties involved) should you veto the trade? For example <again>, if I am the commissioner of a league and my cousin rips off a newbie for Ronnie Brown, Chad Johnson, Todd Heap and the Bears DST for... Wali Lundy, and I KNOW my cousin is not colluding with this random guy from some message board we got to play, just that he is ripping off this stupid Texans fan, should I veto the trade? It's not collusion, so according to most (from another forum) this trade should not be vetoed. <--I think that's stupid.-->

Say what you want after this, but for "educational purposes" I would like direct answers to A, B & C at the beginning of every reply. Say what you want after that.

Thanks,
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Postby terpfan » Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:14 pm

A. Sure its possible. Say you joined up with another guy just to give yourself an edge. You would make the trades all lopsided to give yourself an advantage.

B. Personally, any trade that seems outlandishly lopsided creates an unfair advtanage for one owner over the other owners not involved in the trade. So as a commish I would veto collusion OR one member totally robbing a newbie blind.

C. I would veto that trade. Your cousin does not deserve that huge of an advantage over the other players. For the record I would veto Alexander and Chambers for Cotchery and Berrian as well.

This is why I only play in league with people who know what they are doing. Dealing with stupid trade just frustrates me to know end and pretty much ruins the experience.
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Postby Shaman » Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:21 pm

A) Yes. Easiest example would be two teams owned by the same player who is stacking one team and lettign other die.

B) A trade or action (e.g., benching a stud to allow opponent to win) unfairly influenced by an agreement beyond acting in one's own independent best interest.

C) Yes, how to determine is a rather subjective challenge. Our league uses simple majority voting, which works early in the season, but falls aprat late in the season when some folks use voting as a defensive mechanism to keep other contenders from imrpoving. Another great option is having an independent arbiter (such as sending it in to a fantasy column writer) decides. In absence of an independent informed arbiter and a Commish or individual decision, I think you have to look at consensus rankings (both projections and performance) and show that the trade does not violate B above. I agree with you that sometimes one side wil be giving up much more than the other, but in that case, each owner should be able to justify how the trade is in their own best interest ... for example, the S.A. owner might feel that he can give up Alexander because your league only starts one RB, and he also has LT2. Although I'd still need a lot of convincing cause I think Crotch and Berrian are not that great.
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Correction to A) above

Postby tyger1147 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:34 pm

Is it possible to PROVE collusion before Week 5? (except for extreme examples)
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Re: Correction to A) above

Postby Azrael » Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:28 pm

tyger1147 wrote:Is it possible to PROVE collusion before Week 5? (except for extreme examples)


If it is not an extreme example, then whether it is collusion or not is probably irrelevant. That is why people collude, to provide a sure thing advantage for one team.
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Postby bobbing_headz » Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:17 pm

First off there are some trades that are just obvious vetoes like trading LT for D. Davis or Greg Jones after he goes on IR. If a player isn't going to play then it should be vetoed. Now, you are arguing that collusion can't be proven before week 5. If some trade happens like LT or SA for say Cotchery I believe this should be vetoed. Nobody would ever accept this unless A) its collusion or B) they know absolutely nothing about football. In the case of B I doubt the guy would even be playing in the first place.

Now there is a tricky part which is deciding whether a trade is vetoable. Maybe SA for Cotchery is vetoable but what about say SA for Benson. It still looks unfair to most but could be argued for. But then again almost any trade could argued for or against.

As for collusion I feel that it either happens really early or late into the playoffs. Right after the draft/very beginning of the season one team just dumps some players to another. Or, trade deadline/playoffs when one team is out of it. Still pretty broad though.
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Re: Correction to A) above

Postby Crippler » Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:26 pm

tyger1147 wrote:Is it possible to PROVE collusion before Week 5? (except for extreme examples)


No, but you must use your common sense and judgement. You should know your league-mates and know what type of people they are. If not, then you can only veto extreme examples where everyone agrees that something is fishy.
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Postby bellings » Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:55 pm

I think that a trade should be vetoed if it's collusion, or if it's SOOO bad that it looks like it is collusion. Either of these can happy before week 5.
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Postby steelerfan513 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:58 pm

collusion and trades like the ones you mentioned are trades that should be vetoed. for the record, i would veto Alexander and Chambers for Cotchery and Berrian in a heartbeat.
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Re: Correction to A) above

Postby Shaman » Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:10 pm

[quote="tyger1147"]Is it possible to PROVE collusion before Week 5? (except for extreme examples)[/quote]

Not sure that innocent until PROVEN guilty applies in the game of fantasy football. Anyone with a sense of sportsmanship should be willing to justify how the trade is in the interest of both owners. Personally, I will not offer nor accept a trade that I don't think has a benefit to both sides because I know my league won't likely let it pass.
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