Commissioners Quandaries - The Off Season Disappearing Act
As both an owner and a commissioner it is infuriating when a league mate essentially closes up shop on their team and breaks off all fantasy conversations from December until the rookie draft, then goes AWOL again until mid August. The last time I checked a dynasty league runs year around, with no off-season. I don't expect every dynasty owner to be a degenerate like myself, but with that being said it's not like I'm sending out trade offers on Christmas or while your posting beach selfies on social media. So from a commissioners perspective what is the ideal way to deal with this increasingly common issue?
As the commissioner who is running the league you essentially have the ultimate say on what happens, I understand that a lot of owners like to “decompress” for a few weeks or a month after the fantasy season has concluded. But after the conclusion of the Super Bowl it is officially draft season to all die hard dynasty players. This is usually the time when the first wave of feeler offers are sent out gauging the price of upcoming draft picks. There is nothing more frustrating than if one or more of those offers expire without a reply, especially if it's the owners with the early draft picks. As an owner with an early pick you have to understand that other owners will want to at least inquire at the asking price of that particular pick, increasingly as rookie draft fever sets in.
As a commissioner I have never enforced the three strike rule during the off-season, but I'm really considering it in several leagues for a variety of reasons. Reason One. You signed up for a dynasty league with the understanding that the league runs 365 days a year, not just during football season. Reason two. In many salary cap leagues there tends to be off season deadlines to be cap compliant or to move expiring contracts. More often than not a seemingly straight forward trade that could potentially help both team with their current cap situation is staring you directly in the face, the only obstacle being the other owner simply doesn't reply. Reason three. Which is possibly the most frustrating of them all and I see it happen every spring just prior to roster cut downs for rookie drafts. Savvy owners have studied their league mates rosters and know exactly how many players will need to be dropped and likely which ones. So to stay ahead of the game you send multiple offers to help that owner avoid a conundrum come draft day. Surprise, surprise the offers go unanswered and come rookie draft day or week that very owner ships out the player you were interested in at a fraction of the cost of what you had previously offered.
I don't feel it's right to go full hard ass on owners as a commissioner especially in the off season, but a proverbial line definitely has to be drawn in the sand. If an owner allows trade offers with a shelf life of a week or more to regularly expire without a reply, regardless of the time of year that owner simply isn't cut out to be in a dynasty league. They should incur some sort of initial warning or punishment at that point. If this nonsense continues sorry but see you later, it is very simple to find a die hard dynasty degenerate on Twitter now a days so why waste time with a questionable owner who doesn't really appear overly interested to be apart of a dynasty league. Back to re-draft simpleton. I understand some leniency if an owner isn't exactly on the ball during the off-season, as in being slow to reply or missing offers all together. But if it is going to be an ongoing issue or perhaps it already is then rules are rules when it comes to expired trade offers. How hard is it to set your damn trade offer notifications like the rest of us, then open your MFL emails, and reply to your frigin trade offers? Don't just decline the offer and forget about it either, if your not interested at all say so, if you looking for something altogether different tell the person offering that.
In the decade plus that I have commissioned leagues, I have had to remove a multitude of owners for various reasons, each time providing its own set of issues. In every league that I have had to remove an owner I found that even though the replacement process seems like a big deal at the time it turned out to be a very small bump in the road in the grand scheme of the league. And each time the league was significantly improved as a result of the problem owner being ousted. So don't hesitate to remove an owner that is creating friction or outright ignoring the rest of the league for the bulk of the calendar year because it's “not football season”. It's always football season bitch! I have used a term that I truly dislike when it comes to dynasty in the word “Off-Season” on countless occasions in this article. I would like to take this opportunity to point out that there truly is no off-season when you join a dynasty league. So from this point on I am looking to start a movement to end the use of the derogatory term of “off-season” and replace it with seemingly more appropriate terms for dynasty such as. In season, post season, draft season, & pre-season.