I recently joined a first year Dynasty League, my first new Yahoo dynasty league in three years. I knew a couple guys that were in the league and thought it would be fun to compete against one another. It was immediately brought to my attention that three of the emails seemed suspicious. The commissioner, who I did not know personally, had an email eerily similar to two other drafters.
This posed a question, do I trust the commissioner when he says both email addresses are separate people? A ghost team could create a league ending problem right before the league could even really get started. Ultimately, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and went ahead with the league. In hindsight I probably should have signed up with an alternate email.
The league itself was a Dynasty points league where we keep twenty players each year. When I joined the draft I noticed a particularly heavy points difference between hitting and pitching. For example Anthony Rizzo was projected to score 605 points, while Sale barely got above 200. This seemed pretty imbalanced to me. Had I not noticed this difference, I would have gone with the draft plan I laid out in my first article, “Is a Hitter's Mentality Obsolete in Fantasy Baseball?".
The draft itself went off without a hitch besides a few minor issues. WIth Dynasty leagues, there is always a problem with parity. You will always have that one team that loads up on prospects and nothing else. This creates a situation where anyone who plays such a team will automatically win that week. While I fully agree with letting each participant manage their owns teams, this could have an affect on the entire league. What happens if this drafter plays a 9th place team in the last week before playoffs? This is why setting up a league constitution before you draft is vitally important. There should always be a rule in place that you can only have active players in your lineup.
Another slight issue was the supposed “ghost team." This team easily had one of the worst drafts I have seen in awhile. This team picked Ryan Braun in round 2 and Yan Gomes in round 8. For perspective, Braun was picked over such outfielders as Pollock While one could make a reasonable argument for Braun, other picks were more head scratching. For example Yan Gomes went off the board in Round 8. At this point in the draft Devin Mesoraco, Travis D'Arnaud, and Lucroy were still on the board. These were just a few examples of puzzling choices made by the supposed “ghost team."
The draft concluded without any other problems. Now the only thing to do is wait and see if suspicious trades start popping up between this team and the commissioner's. All this could be just a eery coincidence, or the makings of a messy situation.
So the question is, how should you handle a league such as this? My best advice is to make sure you do not sign up with your regular email. Make a side account so if things go bad, you have any easy exit. Also, as mentioned in an earlier paragraph, make sure your league has a clearly laid out constitution. Next you should confront the commissioner and get his explanation. Now I doubt any commissioner will come right out and say that he indeed has multiple teams, but it makes him aware you are closely watching. I will definitely be watching the commissioner's trade moves all season and let you know how things turn out.