Cloud of collusion overshadows losing streak

In the aftermath of the Horsemen giving up a 1st round pick for almost 29 year old running back Derrick Henry, 3rd and Unpredictable felt the need to make a move, themselves. One would think that a first round pick was the going rate for an aging top 10 running back after the Horsemen set the market – but one would think wrong. While the Horsemen attempted to acquire mid level talents for a 2nd round pick unsuccessfully (Kareem Hunt, Devin Singletary, AJ Dillon), 3rd and Unpredictable would offer a 2nd round pick for top 5 running back Austin Ekeler… and they were successful?

Unpredictable already owned numerous top talent running backs (Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Taylor) and were the clear favorite to win the championship despite a couple early losses. Straight Laced barely had 3 keepable assets before the trade and now, without Ekeler, have what is likely the last pick in the 2nd round instead of a surefire keeper. In a redraft league, this would amount to the last pick in the 8th round – so unless their assumption is that Ekeler is going to fall from redraft top 10 pick to the end of the 8th round, this trade makes absolutely no sense.

Upon entering the league under shared ownership and an inherited roster Straight Laced’s manager, Michael Christman, took the franchise from 2nd place to 12th place – and appears dedicated to continuing this trend. Having made a side bet with the Horsemen that they would win a championship first, they had clear motive to tank their team and load up another contender to keep the Horsemen out of victory circle.

While the Horsemen would have lost anyway because of massive performances by Dalvin Cook (25.1), Alvin Kamara (20.4) and Travis Kelce (30.0) en route to the highest point total by any team on the year – the Austin Ekeler addition to the roster (33.9) cannot be overstated. When Unpredictable trades Ekeler away for a 1st round pick in the offseason sending the last 2nd round pick in the league for a lottery pick, will the league show more disdain for what is clearly a move in bad faith by both of these franchises?


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