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HTH Mailbag
Week 12
11/26/04

Here is a mix of interesting questions I received from fantasy players this past week, and the response provided. If you have a question for the HTH Mailbag, just drop me an email.

Note that not all questions will be answered because it just isn't possible to respond to them all. Also there are no certainties in fantasy football. The responses represent one opinion to consider in your final decision managing your fantasy team. Overall, I just Hope This Helps...


Mike, Our league has recently encountered some issues with our waiver wire system and trade rules. Our trade deadline was prior to kickoff on Week 9. Our commissioner extended the deadline to the Monday after Week 9, and there was a trade in the works with me and another owner that was completed on Tuesday. The trade was fair and collusion was not an issue (Willis McGahee for Drew Brees). Due to the fact that the deadline was extended already, a request was made by myself to allow for another extension for one more day as it would not have had any different effect on the following weeks games (Week 10). After the other owners in the league saw the trade they decided that it was not legal (not in their best interest), due to the expiration of the deadline and pressured the commissioner not to allow it.

Our waiver wire system is first come first serve, which I have not agreed with, and therefore it is feasible for us to perform the swap through the waiver wire. We proceeded to drop each player from our roster into the waiver wire and then pick the other player up. Because they did not have to "clear waivers" we were able to do this without a problem. Again, we do not have a waiver line, which would prevent the possibility of such a transaction. Needless to say most of the owners in our league were not happy and went on to accuse us of collusion and cheating. The other owner and myself did not agree to a sharing of the pot, nor is there a rule in our league stating that this type of transaction is not allowed, which everyone has acknowledged. Therefore, it is in my opinion that this is not collusion and the transaction should be allowed. Your objective thoughts on the situation would be appreciated. Thanks, Trevor

Hi Trevor. You may not like this but my objective thought is you are screwing with the system, and the transaction(s) should not be allowed.

First on the trade. Even if there is no collusion in the trade, and I believe you that is the case, you missed the deadline. Therefore, the trade cannot happen. It doesn't really matter the deadline was extended once because you knew what the current deadline was, and missed it. If you needed an extension and it was possible, you should have secured it before hand. The owners may have neglected to extend the deadline because they didn't like your deal, but their reasoning is of minor importance. Since you missed the deadline, it is completely the other owners' prerogative to extend the deadline or not (essentially allow the trade, or not). They chose, 'not'.

Now on the waiver maneuver. I don't like first-come, first-serve waivers either, but if that is the system in place and the league has agreed to use it, then that is what is used no questions asked. If you want to change it, then next year is the opportunity to do that. What you and the other owner are doing is using the waiver wire to circumvent the trade deadline. Neither of you under normal circumstances would drop either of those players to waivers. It is clear your intention.

What it boils down to is you are doing something that is against the spirit of the league. While your league may not have a specific "spirit of the league" rule in place, I believe all leagues should have some consideration to this. Yes we want to all want to win at fantasy football because it is competitive, but for the good of the league we, as league participants, need to act in a fair and just manner. You crossed the line here.

My recommendation: Admit the mistake, mend fences and carry on.

And a follow-up question from Trevor...

Mike, Thanks for your reply. One more question. Would you also agree that picking players off of the waiver wire to bench them in order to keep another team from filling a roster need in the event of an injury or other short coming, is also against the spirit of the league? This has been an issue in the past with some owners?

Grabbing a good player - say Blaylock from the Priest Holmes owner - done within the rules is a smart move. Nothing wrong with that.

Grabbing every remaining kicker after someone loses theirs to injury is perhaps a little more shady, but as long as done within the rules I don't really have too much problem with it. The owner who lost the player should have protected himself. However the owner who tries such a tactic is probably hurting his own team more then hindering the opponent.

Hi Mike. I'm Gary from Toronto. I was wondering if you had any information on how to get access to the NFL combine, or how to get invited to a combine? I'd greatly appreciate it.

Hi Gary. I'm in Toronto too! Really should have mentioned the Grey Cup Champion Argos in my FF In The Groin article this week...

Anyway, I'm not sure how that works. I think training camps you can just show up for as certain times are open to the public. As for the combine, maybe the best bet is to post this question on our forums and see what you can learn there. Here's a thought: Try to get a hold of someone at the FAN 590 (local sports radio station) to see if they know how it works and (hint, hint to them) maybe they can get you a press pass to the event. Let me know what you find out. Regards, Mike

Hold on, did I misinterpret Gary's email?...

Gary, this just donned on me as I was writing my HTH Mailbag article in which I was going to put in your question. Did you mean public/press access to view the combine, or get invited to participate in the combine? I assumed the public/press access the first time (obviously), but now that I've read your email I think you might mean the latter. Where did you play college/university ball if that is the case?

If anyone out there reading this can answer either side of this question - how to get public/press access to the NFL combine OR how to get invited to participate in the combine, please drop me a line and let me know.

And now some fantasy football player stuff finally...

Mike, my RB situation is getting desperate. Right now my #2 is Onterrio Smith and he is getting way too few of carries to do anything. I was looking to get something else. One guy I was considering was Kevin Jones (he is one of the few RBs in my league who is not starting for his team, so I may be able to get him). I was considering offering Eric Moulds and Smith for Jones. What do you think? The Lions play bad defensive teams the rest of the way and Jones has been o.k. these last two weeks. Do you think that I am giving up too much/little?

If Smith even got 12 carries or 10 I could live with it, but it is always possible that he will get half that. Thank God my league is pretty generous on kick return yardage or he would have gotten me 3 points this week (as it is he only got me 7), and it seems to be declining each week. Not to mention that Tice really confused me by giving more carries to Michael Bennett. I feel that now Smith is virtually worthless, spitting carries with Bennett and losing TDs to Moe Williams. Thanks, Tim

I hear you Tim. Smith - or perhaps more appropriately, Tice - has been very frustrating to get a read on what he is going to do. I don't think he knows himself. I still believe they want Smith to be the main guy...eventually...

At this point though I do like Kevin Jones (cautiously optimistic) on him for the remainder of the season. We'll see how he does today (Editor's note: this was written Thursday morning) and what his role is playing from, presumably, behind. This is key when considering a RB for the Lions. If Moulds is strictly a bench player for you right now then no, I don't think you're giving up too much in the end. Maybe start with a slightly lower offer though because Jones really hasn't proven anything yet. The guy might be high on Smith as a lot of people still are, and Moulds is no slouch. The Bills also have an easy schedule the rest of the way and with McGahee coming on their offense is showing some improvement, something you can portray to any potential trade partners.

Mike, With Jamal Lewis out I need a #2 RB this week. I have several options, none of them good. I can start Chester Taylor against a tough New England defense; I can start Josh Scobey if Emmitt Smitt doesn't go (my league awards 1 pt for 10 kick return yards so he could be valuable this week if he starts, getting kick return points in addition to any other yardage). I have T.J. Duckett who may have success against New Orleans, but I hate pinning my hopes on a guy having to get in the end zone. I can pick up Travis Minor (it looks like Sammy Morris won't go Sunday, but I think that anyone on that team is a bad idea). I have Onterrio Smith against Jacksonville. Who knows what Tice will do. I have no idea what to do but this is an important decision for me considering that Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark combined yesterday to get me a whopping 4 points. I need a win to qualify for my playoffs.

Also, I can trade for Michael Pittman or Thomas Jones. Pittman will probably cost me Wayne, while Jones will cost me Mason. Which back do you prefer and is it worth what it's going to cost me? Losing Wayne or Mason will mean starting Moulds instead (and this is all contingent upon Randy Moss being at full strength for next weeks game or I'll be really thin at WR. I know that he is only playing 25 snaps this week. Thanks for the time. Your advice has really helped this year. Rick

Hi Rick. I'm looking at the stats from the past few weeks, and I see the concern with Duckett because he is averaging less than 10 carries per game. But, I think given the matchup I would go with him this week over your other options. When he has carried the ball he has performed really well, and the Saints are terrible against the run. Chester Taylor is an interesting option too, but that could be very similar to Blaylock last week. Duckett is more high risk because Taylor should get more carries, but I have a good feeling about Duckett.

I'd hate to see you lose Wayne in a trade. Thomas Jones I like but with that offense the Bears displayed yesterday, he is going to have trouble racking up points. Good luck!

 


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