As with previous draft style fantasy seasons we have had a season filled with very little movement of players between teams.
In order to remedy this, my cousin Nish came up with a suggestion: What if we implemented compulsory player trades? Each team must be required to make X number of player trades per month.
While I think Nish's suggestion may have something to do with Da Costa losing form and Welbeck not living up to expectations, I think it's an interesting suggestion. While my immediate reaction was to think 'no way, you can't force trades, this will never work', it is an interesting suggestion. First, a couple of barriers to this approach:
- Picking the right mechanism might be tricky.Player trades can be exciting... IF they involve the 'big' players. Cesc Fabregas moving teams is a lot more noteworthy than George Boyd getting poached by another team (that said, he's knocked in a few handy goals for me in recent times! I hope I haven't jinxed him)
- Simply a requirement for a trade might be difficult. One of the biggest reasons that there is a lack of trades is that nobody ever feels that the other side is offering a fair deal.And well, that is often the case - like when Rishi tried to get Hazard off me in exchange for Nasri... Really?! On a related note, when we rebuild the UniqueFC engine, I intend on enabling points to be used as currency. I think this would be a good negotiating tool that can encourage transfers by acting as make-weights. So for the prior example, I could demand 100 points to give up Hazard for Nasri (if I am feeling generous!). Note - I categorically deny any suggestions that I wanted Nasri before Rishi snapped him up ;)
- How would this be enforced? What would be the punishment for not fulfilling your obligatory trades? Chances are also fairly high, in my opinion that there would likely be a large number of fringe players moving back and forth just for the sake of doing the trade.
But, all that said, I think it is a fantastic idea in essence. Whether it is successful in making draft leagues more exciting would come down to the player execution. My suggested formula:
- One forced trade per month - this is, of course, the whole point of the system.
- Each team in the league is matched with another, at the end of each month, to make the trade with. The match is made based on the points tally from the past month. So the team that scored the most points the previous month can be paired with the team that scored the least - The idea is that the team with the most points will have on-form or better players and doing a trade with the team at the bottom will allow the lower ranked team a chance to make up some ground. Note - For leagues with an odd number of teams, the middle ranking one will miss out.
- The position traded must be the same. E.g. - Midfielder for midfielder - This is primarily to make the trades straightforward, but it also has a tactical element behind it. See numbers 4 and 5.
- The biggest factor: The player to be traded is chosen by the opponent party - This ensures that the biggest players will be moving ensuring the make up of the squads can be very different from month to month.
- The tactical element, based on rule 3 and 4, would be to avoid choosing the position you are strong at - E.g If I have a particularly strong midfield (e.g. I have Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez in my draft squads) it would be silly for me to target an opponent's midfield because I will, inevitably, lose a prime midfielder in exchange for an inferior one.
- The position to be traded is decided by the lower ranked team in the trade - This is up for debate. On the one hand, the enforced player trade achieves its primary purpose of generating transfers regardless of who gets to pick which position is traded, however, giving the lower ranked team the decision means that they have a better chance of bridging the gap and ultimately, tighter leagues are more competitive and more fun.
The overall prospect of losing a key player to a rival and seeing his points be used against you is quite interesting and I think worth exploring. On the flip side, stealing an opponents key player to bridge the gap against him is fantastic!
I think this is definitely an idea worth exploring. Any suggestions on how to improve on the concept?