6 Wild Trades From the Reality Sports Online Contract-League Draft

Reality Sports Online provides an auction format that replicates a lot of reality concepts in its innovative contract league. Rookies are added through a draft. Veteran contracts are determined by auction. Franchise tags are available. The salary cap is $167 million, just like in the real NFL.

Our RotoViz league is even more complicated with 16 owners and 10 starting positions. You must balance high-end starters with enough bench strength to survive bye weeks and navigate roster spots without creating too much dead cap.

The 2017 rookie draft transpired last weekend, and as is usually the case with rookie drafts, that led to a flurry of trade activity. Contract league trades are even more fun because owners have to juggle the financial ramifications as well as player values.

Trade 1

Side A Side B
1.14 (JuJu Smith-Schuster) 4 years/$13.3M

2.14 (Chad Williams) 3 years/$6.8M

Michael Crabtree 2 years/$16.2M

Michael Crabtree is signed to an owner-friendly contract over the next two seasons, the $7.8 million in 2017 a bargain for a solid WR2. If there’s risk, it’s that Derek Carr will stop peppering his less efficient target, especially in the red zone. Since Amari Cooper joined the league, he’s been targeted 30 fewer times but gained 300 more yards. Any further progress by Cooper – especially combined with any contribution from Jared Cook or Cordarrelle Patterson – would push Crabtree into the more replaceable WR3 tier.

Side A gains marginal salary flexibility and five total years of team control, although at the cost of a roster spot. JuJu Smith-Schuster has a long way to go to distance himself from Martavis Bryant but immense upside in such a scenario. Williams was eventually re-traded.

Trade 2

Side A Side B
2.16 (Taywan Taylor) 3 years/$6.5M

Sammy Watkins 1 year/$33.6M

Michael Floyd 3 years/$41M

Eric Decker 2 years/$27.8M

2018 R1 Rookie Pick

In this case, Side A was able to take on the risk of Sammy Watkins and the bad contract for Michael Floyd because he only had one other contract above $7 million. He’ll hope Taywan Taylor emerges as Floyd’s contract will remain for two years after Watkins departs.

Side B gains salary flexibility along with the risk/reward contract for Eric Decker, a player with a reputation for being underrated but who is just as likely to be a 2017 landmine with injury and quarterback worries.

Trade 3

Side A Side B
DeVante Parker 2 years/$11.9M

2018 R2 Rookie Pick

A.J. Green 1 year/$42.2M

2017 3.10 Rookie Pick

2017 3.14 Rookie Pick

After getting rid of the Watkins and Floyd salaries, Ben Gretch was able to take on A.J. Green’s big contract. He gambles on DeVante Parker continuing as a low-end starter. The Round 3 picks were eventually re-traded.

Trade 4

Side A Side B
2.04 (Joe Williams) 3 years/$8.1M Stefon Diggs 1 year/$1.4M

Nelson Agholor 2 years/$10.5M

Jaelen Strong 2 years/$2.9M

Leonte Carroo 3 years/$10.2M

In this trade, I included Stefon Diggs in order to dump the seven years and three roster spots tied to Leonte Carroo, Nelson Agholor, and Jaelen Strong. It likely made more sense to keep Diggs and simply release the other three – the cost in dead cap would not have been prohibitive – but this move did allow me to gain three years control over a RotoViz favorite who is the likely 49ers starter in 2018 and 2019. It also creates a situation where favorable contracts for Jay Ajayi, Ty Montgomery, Wendell Smallwood, and Williams then allow me positional flexibility in the free agent auction.

Ben continues to remake his roster in impressive fashion.

Trade 5

Side A Side B
2018 R2 Rookie Pick 2017 2.14 (C. Williams) 3 years/$6.8M

Chris Ivory 1 year/$3.3M

Side B is wagering that the 2018 R2 will be earlier in the round and also dumps Chris Ivory’s contract, essentially saving half the cost of cutting him. Grambling star Chad Williams is a long shot to take over as the No. 1 in Arizona following Larry Fitzgerald’s possible final season in 2017, but he’s not without impressive athleticism and gaudy 2016 numbers.

Trade 6

Side A Side B
(2) 2018 R1 and (2) 2018 R2 Rookie Picks Derrick Henry 3 years/$12.5M

Corey Coleman 3 years/$21.1M

Derrick Henry and Corey Coleman help to illustrate the danger of rookies. Neither player contributed in 2016, and both have seen their stars dim. Henry could become a fantasy force at any moment but needs an injury to DeMarco Murray. Coleman flashed in Week 2 but wasn’t the same player after a hand injury. Then stealth star Kenny Britt was signed in free agency, and David Njoku added in the draft. For now, Coleman appears to have dodged Josh Gordon reinstatement concerns.

Henry and Coleman have three years left on their contracts and could be mega stars by 2018.

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By Shawn Siegele | @ff_contrarian | Archive

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