I am the commissioner of a fantasy football (basketball and baseball as well) league with about 10-12 of my buddies in it.
This is our second go-around for fantasy in the coming 2009 season. But we have a problem in our league that nobody will trade with each other. Everyone is fairly active yet trading almost never happens.
I, as the commissioner, would like to find a way to encourage more trading. I was thinking about bonus points (We always play H2H points system) or something like that.
First of all, welcme to the Cafe. Why do you care if people trade or not? As a commisioner , just having everyone be active is just fine with me. There will be a time sooner or later that people will eventually trade. It's inevidible.
In a keeper/dynasty, we use a contract system with a salary cap that seems to help trading, since teams that are rebuilding usually want to get under the cap to sign rookies/FAs for the following season.
In a redraft, I'm not sure what you can do. You could have a limit on free-agency moves, which would encourage people to trade more...
While I'm a big fan of leagues and league mates who actively trade as much as I do, I have to say that I think any "encouragement" or "forcing" of trading will most likely backfire on you. The best thing that I can say is to be very active yourself as an owner in offering trades and doing what you can to make trades happen with your own team. My league used to be trade "reluctant" when i first joined as a replacement owner. 2 years later, they voted me as commish when the current commish left. 2 years later, as the bad owners were weeded out, my 2 brothers joined the league.
They, like me, actively traded. Over the next 4 seasons, the three of us combined to make the playoffs roughly 80% of the time and one of us has won the championship 3 of those 4 years. Now when I offer a trade and an owner seems reluctant because they feel they will hurt their own team by doing so, I remind them of the fact that we have done so well and it's obvious that smart trading can actually help both teams and that there doesn't have to necessarily be a winner and a loser on every trade. That has helped ease the reluctancey of the other owners to trade.
You can't force people to trade and different people have different values of players, just because you think a trade is fair, the other person may not. That is why we see so may, 'Should this trade be vetoed?' threads. This is also the reason I have a problem with the veto in general. People want to manage their teams the way they feel best, obviously there are circumstances that arise that need a veto to keep the integrity of the league, but you can't force people to trade or think that you can work out a deal with any owner. Earlly into the season, those players were drafted for a reason, they thought that they had potential or they really like them, so why are they going to trade them or give up on them. You never know how an owner feels about a player. Later in a season, people don't want to give up the guy that may explode and push them into the playoffs.
I don't think you want the quantity of trades to affect your outcomes directly. If you use a point system, don't award bonus point for trades.
There are indirect ways to incent some trading though. You could offer coupons off of the following years league entry fee for trades executed. You could assign a 'raffle ticket' to each owner who completes a successful trade, then put all of these tickets in a hat the next year at the draft and draw out a winner. The winner could be awarded an extra late round draft pick.
I have never really concerned myself with trade issues becuase I am too lazy to find a way to encourage, or reward trading that is fair to those who drafted well enough not to feel impelled to trade. So awarding future draft picks doesn't work for me. I wonder, though, if you couldn't limit the amount of WW transactions each team can make and award X amount of transactions for each trade completed. If you rocked your draft, you won't need the transactions anymore than you'll need to trade. If you Mooched (blew it) the draft, you will have a tendency to use the wire alot and expend your transactions. Thus an increased premium on trading will be realized, which is good, since your team is probable overdue for a serious shake-up.
I dunno, just thinking.
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My dynasty league is completely seasonal when it comes to trades. Some years there will be dozens, some years there will be half a dozen max. In reality there are 3 or 4 teams that are usually involved in trade proposals, who get the ball rolling for the rest of the league, and the seasons where their teams are stable we see fewer deals. Plus, since we are pretty tight most years few teams become "sellers".
The deeper the teams the more deals we see. In my redraft we added an extra flex starter (and two extra roster spots) a couple years ago. It significantly reduced the FA pool, and put more people on the lookout for trade opportunities.