If you’ve been playing fantasy sports for any length of time, chances are fairly high that you’ve had a bad experience with another owner. Whether it’s a one-time interaction, or you’re ready to boot them from your league, bad fantasy owners can ruin a league. It’s hard to get people to change their behavior, especially when their primary goal is to use your team as a springboard for their success, but hopefully some of these suggestions and some gentle prodding can get them to change their ways.
Consider your trade partner’s team: Too often, one manager goes into a trade trying to figure out how they can “win” a trade. They’re going to offer as little as possible to gain as much as possible, typically offering lopsided deals. It’s infuriating to be on the raw end of these offers, and you end up wondering what these people were thinking when they clicked on the button to send the trade offer. People are unlikely to accept offers that do not benefit their team in any way, and it also makes it more likely that they’ll ignore your offers in the future.
The best way to approach any trade offer is to place yourself in the other owner’s shoes. Review their team and figure out what their strengths and weakness are. If you were handling their team, would you accept the offer you are making? Ultimately, both teams should be benefiting from the transaction, but many people seem to ignore this. If you’re willing to think about your trade offers and consider how they benefit the other team, you’re likely to gain a leg up on other owners making similar offers.
Stay active throughout the season: Losing isn’t fun. Most people don’t want to be bothered with the time commitment that comes with any fantasy league if they know their chances of winning are slim to none, but a league is only at its best when all the owners are fully participating. Even something as simple as checking your lineups daily, which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, shows that you’re committed to the league even when the season doesn’t pan out the way you hoped.
Don’t veto trades: This might sound a little silly, and there are some situations where a veto may be in order, but the majority of trades are made by two owners who simply might see the trade differently than you do. A fellow owner doesn’t need you to try and step in if you think the trade is unbalanced, and they might have reasons for making the trade that you didn’t consider. Nobody, and I truly mean nobody, likes to have their trade vetoed. Taking the time to ask the owner WHY they made the trade might give you insight into how they run their team, which could benefit you in future dealings with them.
Don’t play underhanded: This may sound self-explanatory, but some people don’t consider some of the following as acting poorly. Don’t purposely tank your team in order to get a better pick next season. Intentionally leaving line up slots empty during a season where you’re destined to get a high pick already is unfair to other managers who are making the effort to keep their lineup active, even when they’re in the same boat. Don’t use waiver claims or free agent pickups to block another team from getting a player. Sure, you may get the upper hand on that team, but people will notice if you do so and may be less likely to deal with you in the future. Fantasy isn’t a business like MLB, people can and will hold grudges.
Finally, don’t be a jerk. Everyone is in the league to have fun and share in a sport that they love. There’s no reason to purposely be rude to someone, have respect for your fellow owner and they in turn will respect you.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with all this advice, or any of it in some cases, but these are some general guidelines to help you have a successful season. Feel free to chime in with other suggestions in the comments.