Fantasy Football Part 3: The Conclusion and an Unbelievable Finish!

Welcome to the Halftime show, brought to you by “Prince.”

Back in November, I made a Trade for Runningback Nick Chubb. The trade deadline of the Fantasy Season was a week away and I wanted to improve my team since it was in the playoff race. One team can win it all, and since I was neck and neck for second place, I wanted to make a big move for the postseason at the deadline. (Like how teams in the NFL do)

How trades work

In the NFL, the halfway point is marked by the trade deadline. This year it was November 1st at 1pm PST. This means all teams that want to trade players must complete the transaction by that date and time. Trades are made for several reasons.

At the season’s midpoint, teams have a better feel for how the next half of the season could go. Players get injured, Star players want off of the team, and the team’s record is a factor. Top teams in the race for the playoffs/Super Bowl will want to improve their roster or replace injured players. Teams around the .500 mark are deciding whether to make a big move to improve their chances of reaching the postseason… This is a complex decision based on their roster and opponents for the rest of the season. Since there are 32 NFL teams, each team’s schedule is different. It is decided before the season begins and usually favors teams with a bad record the prior year, but sometimes this radically changes by the season’s midpoint. Bad teams often trade players with expiring contracts or star players for draft picks, or a combination of draft picks and young players with upside to improve their team in future seasons.

Here are the basics of how trade works:

  • Each team must agree on fair compensation. In the NFL, trades are typically between two teams. Compensation means A player or players on their rosters, draft picks, and money because players are paid differently depending on their skills, production, and perceived future value.
  • NFL teams operate with a salary cap. A salary cap is another term for a budget. That means they can not exceed the salary cap number for all their players’ contracts. For trades, this means that the contracts and future draft pick contracts can not exceed this season’s cap or the coming Season’s salary cap.
  • After the trade deadline of November 1st, Teams have to wait until the new league year, February 1st, to be able to trade players. Between, they have to release the player. Then any team can sign them.


A tale of two Trades.

It was the best of trades, it was the worst of trades.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

A Tale of two Cities by Charles Dickens

I first offered a fair trade, asking what players this team would want from my team. He said anything was okay. The league instantly noticed, called out, and voted on this trade. I admitted fault and apologized. The league vote was a landslide “No” vote result. The fair trade I made, which was accepted with no league vote or votes against, was RB Nick Chubb for TE Pat Friermuth and $20. I made the trade in good faith and posted it on the ESPN app with a note for everyone to see and give feedback.

No better meme or story reflects this situation than this clip From Chappelle Show called “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories: Rick James.” The whole story is hilarious, and while a bit hyperbolic for my situation, it fits in a comedic sense. Especially since my middle name is James. It’s worth watching the 8-minute story.

I was upset because I didn’t like being accused of collusion and my integrity being called out without a chance to defend myself. I was upset because the playoff structure was changed out of the blue after the trades happened without the commish informing the league and in the middle of the Season. I was upset because this happened right after he approached my trade partner and me for our motives after the second trade and said he had to do something. (I never said what). I was upset then and annoyed now because I asked to reschedule that discussion because it was Saturday, and I was high and not sober to have this conversation then. Which wasn’t acknowledged. My trade partner made excellent points that I agreed with that day. After hearing nothing else a day later, I thought the issue was resolved.

A couple days later, I noticed that the playoff bracket structure had been changed by the commish.

This affected me and the commish because we both had similar records and were hunting for that second spot in the playoffs. The projected playoff matchup would have been me versus him in round 1. With the change, he would likely have a BYE week because he had an easier projected schedule based on the opponent’s records through the end of the Season, while I had a tougher path. I would have to face 1 playoff team, a projected team then and now that had defeated me earlier in the Season.

I called him out in the league chat when I noticed, asked for clarification that I felt punished, and asked why the change was now mid-season. He graciously explained why, that he said it would be more fun that more teams could be in the playoffs (it changed from 4 teams in the top bracket to 6, with the top 2 getting a BYE or break week).

I said it wasn’t fair that he decided that without a vote. That it was suspicious that the change happened when it did and that it would be like if the NFL commish changed the playoff format mid-season if he was in control of a playoff team without asking the owners.

The commish agreed to hold a vote.

This is not an effective way to communicate, to compare a person to someone else.

After his explanation, a vote was held in the League to choose the playoff format. Would 4 teams make the top bracket or 6? It was a Unanimous vote for 6 team playoffs.

Here is what I wrote in an old draft after it had happened:

What did I learn?

Through this, I learned something about myself that I must change. There were things I did well. The fact that I stood up for myself and asked for clarification on an issue is positive. This is proof of my growth this year. One habit I didn’t know I had and need to work on is that when I don’t feel heard and feel ignored, I get upset when I see shady behavior in others after I have been accused of shady stuff. I have a tendency to hold things in and go off on others. I will change going forward now that I know.

While I am upset about how this situation was handled and there was no repair… Either way, I am moving on with different boundaries. Im embarrassed that I didn’t ask for further clarification on trade boundaries.

I have to practice letting go. The commish did allow the trade. I voted for the 6-team winner’s bracket format. All I can do now is make the best moves, continue to research matchups and players, and pray that I win.

This is fine



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