The Dynasty Confessional: Trades Gone Wrong


Editor’s Note: With your lineup likely set for the week, we take the easy reading time of Saturday afternoons to bring you the Dynasty Confessional featuring entertaining stories from your DLF brethren.  If you’d like to have your tale told, fill out the Dynasty Confessional Form and we may choose to interview you.

Today we share two sad tales,  from Ryan Mattern and R. Krcil.

Ryan Mattern’s Story

The summer of 2002 marked the first time my friends and I would venture into the world of dynasty fantasy football. We held a ten team draft, and I acquired many talented players. We all endured varying levels of success for the following years, but I felt I was starting to “get it” faster than many of the other newcomers.

I was fielding a very respectable lineup in the 2004 season. I felt like I was a player away from winning a championship. My claim to fame at the time was my quarterback duo of Dante Culpepper and Peyton Manning, but by week five, I realized my team was lacking running back depth. Each week, my great quarterbacks would record great stats, but one would be stashed away on my bench. I knew I had to change something. I planned on cashing in on my talented quarterback group, so I began searching through my opponents rosters for a team who needed help at the position. What followed would be the worst trade I’ve ever made.

Chris Brown was having a great year under the tutelage of his Head Coach, Jeff Fisher. Brown was averaging nearly five yards per carry that year, and I decided to aggressively pursue him. The Brown owner was very interested in Manning, so I decided to negotiate a deal with him. At the time, Brown was considered a trendy asset to possess, but I knew I needed more poker chips to be placed on the table before I called with my “Manning cards”.

On October 7, 2004, I  negotiated a deal that sent Manning to a league mate. In return, I would receive Brown, Reggie Williams, and a 2005 first round rookie pick. The next year I would draft Mark Clayton with the draft pick I acquired in my Manning deal.

On the surface the trade doesn’t seem catastrophic, but even in plain sight, it wasn’t a good one. Even an optimist would say that Brown, Williams, and Clayton had mediocre careers. The real disaster came in a different form of hindsight. Culpepper and Manning were each yielding about the same value on the trade market that year. I could have traded Culpepper and kept Manning. Since the 2004 season ended, Manning has had over 25,000 more passing yards and over 200 more touchdowns than Culpepper. I could have lived with myself after trading Culpepper for that middling talent, but instead, I’ve had to endure watching Manning fill the record books with his name for the past eight years. All the while, knowing he could have been my fantasy signal caller.

R. Krcil’s Story

My friends and I had done dynasty fantasy football for years, but 2012 was the first year we decided to introduce a “super-flex” position. Essentially, we could start a second quarterback if we chose to. The allure with a two quarterback league is the quarterback position is valued at a much higher level than in conventional leagues. I decided to investigate what some of my bench quarterbacks would be worth in a market that now valued them higher than before.

My running backs were not looking very strong heading into the season. Maurice Jones-Drew was currently “holding-out”, and not participating in preseason games. That worried me because I did not know whether or not he would contribute in my quest for a championship. I rostered C.J. Spiller, but at the time, he was considered to be a player I would play in my flex position; I did not envision him having the year that he had in 2012.

The player that all of my friends were talking about was Ryan Williams. He was returning from knee surgery, to what would essentially be his rookie year for the Arizona Cardinals. There wasn’t much statistical evidence that supported Williams’ spike in value among my group, but I decided he would have a tremendous season.

I had a backup quarterback named Colin Kaepernick on my team. My friends and I got together one afternoon to view a few preseason games together. We watched as Kaepernick ran for 92 yards and a touchdown in his first preseason game of the year. I thought it was great that my young quarterback just had an awesome game, all in front of potential buyers. I figured Kaepernick would surely see very little playing time, if any, in the near future. The San Francisco 49ers already had Alex Smith as their starter, whom took them to within a game of the Super Bowl, just months before. I had very little use for a backup quarterback, but I did need a starting running back.

I used Kaepernick’s big game as leverage in trading. I am very keen in the art of negotiation, so I sent out a “feeler” offer to the Williams owner. That is to say, I sent an offer in which, I expected to be declined, yet I felt would measure the owners interest in my young backup signal caller. I offered him Kaepernick for Williams, straight up. Surprisingly, within hours he accepted the deal.

Kaepernick is now considered a consensus top-15 player in “super-flex” leagues, and Williams is barely rosterable.

Would you like your story told? Fill out our Dynasty Confessional Form.

Follow Karl on Twitter @KarlSafchick




  1. PV

    September 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Four years ago I felt I had a contending team and Shonn Greene was coming off his coming out party in the playoffs with the Jets. Feeling the Jets were committed to him I offered Wes Welker coming off his injury and some unknown Arian Foster for Greene. My leaguemate called the trade totally unfair and rejected the offer. Two championships later I agree the trade was totally unfair.

    • Karl Safchick

      September 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Haha! I love it. If you have any story that you’d like told, fill out the form.

  2. Jim

    September 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Couple of years ago, I was around .500 and trying to make a push to get in the playoffs so as Vick was my quarterback I traded MJD for Desean Jackson straight up hoping my combo would catch fire down the stretch and lead me to a title. The 1st game I could use Jackson was the game he got suspended by the Eagles. Worst trade ever for me. Needless to say, I didn’t catch fire and in fact I dropped like a lead balloon.

  3. Bryan l

    September 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    MJD and what would eventually be the 1.01 (McFadden) for Cedric Benson. Benson was cut by the bears and I later dropped him. Mjd went on to be mjd. This trade would set any franchise back a few years!!!

    Glad to see I’m not the only one capable of this bad of a deal.

  4. Karl Safchick

    September 28, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Wow, back to back MJD trades. To be honest, many people were low on him when he first came out. He was always supposed to be undersized and slow. He just outplayed what everyone thought he would. Nothing to be ashamed of, but thanks for sharing!

  5. clayton westphal

    September 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm


  6. BAMNation

    September 29, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Dont feel bad about Kaep – I had a chance to grab him for peanuts when I had Smith as my QB – I didnt move fast enough and still have Alex.

    Smith is consistent and in 2011 I was 1st in the league and finish 3rd in my league w him as my starting QB (McCoy’s delcine at end of 2011 killed me in the palyoffs) and was leading the league last year with him until he went down.

    Worst trade for me was giving up Palmer for Flynn in 2011 in another league… Figured Palmer was done and Flynn was a good future option… oh well.

  7. invisibulman

    September 30, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Nearing the end of the 2010 season, my team was a powerhouse behind Philip Rivers, Peyton Hillis, Mendy, Megatron, Roddy, DJAx… we were loaded except for QB2 (this was a two QB league and you really needed a second to win it.) I decided I could part with an under-performing Reggie Bush and a breakout WR (Stevie Johnson) who was never going to relive this kind of season. The most valuable asset I had to give up was an up and coming Kevin Kolb. I was able to swing a deal for a 3,500 yard passer who had already chucked 20TDs that year… Kyle Orton.

    Not only did Orton not lead me to the promised land, but he was benched in favor of Tim Tebow two weeks later. I eventually lost in the title game and have had two watch in horror at the resurgent career of Bush and the continued success of Johnson.

  8. Eric

    September 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Being a Giants homer, in a 16 team leagur I traded Matt Ryan for Eli Manning straight up after the 3rd game of the 2012 season. I really thought Eli was elevating his game to the next level and was the better QB. The very week I made the trade Eli began what’s now a 17 game spiral into oblivion and Ryan has of course been a solid starter.

    And of course I traded for David Wilson this preseason, and of course I have Hakeem Nicks as my WR2, and of course I’m 0-4 (and so are my G-Men) . . .

    Gotta love FF.

  9. Jake

    September 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Late last summer (2012) I was completely stacked at RB. I had an unknown commodity at the time named CJ Spiller. Being soft at WR, I decided to trade Spiller for the hot commodity known as Antonio Brown. The trade obviously looked terrible going into this season. However, hope remains.

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