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Let’s Make a Deal: The Anatomy of a Trade

OK, so you thought you had a good fantasy draft and you now find yourself 0-2. Maybe you used your first round pick on Jamaal Charles or the first overall pick on Arian Foster and have found yourself 0-2. There is no need to throw in the towel just yet. As I’ve always said, it’s not always how you draft, but how you trade.

For example, if you’re in a keeper league and have Charles or even Peyton Manning and you are 0-2, trade them now. Someone else might see the value in keeping Charles for next year or have high hopes Manning can come back this season, exploit them. Try and get a mid tier player or a middle round draft pick if your league allows for draft pick trading. The extra pick you get for next year’s draft can be flipped for a player this year. Below are some other helpful tips about fantasy trading.

I don’t want your kicker or defense, no matter how good they are

Don’t offer the Lions D because they destroyed the Chiefs and scored a bunch of points because it won’t happen again. I don’t want Sebastian Janikowski because he just kicked a 60+ yard field goal. The average difference from the number one kicker or defense to the number 12 kicker or defense is about three points.

If I wanted the player you just picked up I would have done it myself

Don’t immediately offer a player you just picked up on the waiver wire. I know David Nelson had a great game in week two, I’m not going to give you Tim Hightower or a third round pick in next year’s draft for him. Now if the waiver wire pickup does string together a few hot weeks, then unload him while he is hot. You will get much more value after he has three good weeks instead of the initial one good week. Along the same lines, if you picked up a no name WR that had 2 catches for 86 yards and a long TD it was probably a fluke. Please don’t ask me for Jeremy Maclin.

Please know where or when my players were drafted

Fred Jackson is currently the rushing leader after week two, but I’m not going to give you the guy I drafted in the first or second round for him. Please don’t send offers for Adrian Peterson or MJD for Fred Jackson, they are foolish. On the other hand, if you value Fred Jackson and what the Bills are doing, offer MJD for Jackson and CJ Spiller. That way you at least get the handcuff, assuming that owner owned his handcuff. Also, if I drafted a guy in round two, don’t offer me a third rounder in next year’s draft, as of right now it’s not going to happen.

I’ve been playing for years, I’m not stupid

I can respect an initial offer where the offering owner is trying to low ball me. I understand he might be feeling me out, seeing if I’m interested in the player he is offering or if I have interest in trading the player he wants, that’s cool. However, don’t low ball be to the point where it is a joke and mockery. Don’t offer me Kyle Orton for Tom Brady. Don’t send me an offer for Greg Jennings that includes Mike Simms-Walker. For God’s sake stop offering me Sidney Rice for a round two pick, are you high?

All trades are usually one sided, but only slightly. Offering LeGarrette Blount for Peyton Hillis is a damn fine fair offer. However, offering Blount for Hillis and Michael Turner is ridiculous. There is an owner I play with that always ask for too much, and he never gets deals done. He might offer fair deals with players, but he always wants to include future draft picks. These picks aren’t in my favor. He would offer Hillis for Blount and a first round pick, really? Who would do that?

Scan and exploit

Constantly scan and review ever roster each week and look for their weaknesses. If I’m heavy at RB and weak at WR I might be forced to trade a better than average RB for an average WR. However, don’t over exploit me. I’m not going to give you Adrian Peterson for Reggie Wayne. However, I could give up Frank Gore for Stevie Johnson.

Always keep CAM in mind

No, not Cam Newton. However, if Newton is your backup QB trade him now while he is hot. If you are stuck with Rex Grossman or Colt McCoy at QB, go get Newton. CAM means to counter, accommodate and message. If you are offered a decent trade but just don’t like all that is involved, counter offer. The offering owner might start at one extreme; you can counter the opposite extreme. After a few counters, you can meet at the middle and both of you will be happy.

If you offer three players to one of mine, accommodate me. I will have to drop two players to reach roster requirements. Go ahead and ask for two of my weakest players. The fewer steps I have to do during or after the trade the better. If you’re not in my division I’d rather give you the two players instead of risking a divisional opponent picking them up if I drop them.

Communicate with the team offering you a trade. Most websites have the ability to send a message with a trade, with a counter or with a decline. Don’t just decline a trade, always send a message as to why you have declined the trade. Tell the other owner that a player is untouchable or that you would like more in return or you’re not interested in the player(s) he was offering. Good communication will result in better trading success.

Finally, be active and never let down

If you don’t make the effort you will not succeed. You can’t wait for trades to fall in your lap, you will need to make the effort to propose them, and at times, propose them often. This offseason in my keeper league one owner posted a message explaining how unfair it was that I was the only owner who got trades approved. He said it was unfair that his offers weren’t getting considered, yet I was always able to pull off a deal. Well, in the month prior I had made countless offers and counter offers, he made only two trade offers.

My success came from my willingness to stay active and be persistent. I call myself the busiest GM in fantasy football. I work the phones, emails and text messages to try and get a deal done. You will miss out on 100% of the trades you don’t try to make.

I hope this info is helpful to your future success. If you happen to play in a league against me, please ignore everything I’ve written.

1 Comments Say Something
  • I love picking up a player off the waiver wire, then trading them away… Especially in a keeper league, where I can get a mid-round pick next year.

    Here’s a few more:

    A tough one to pull off, but with some owners, you can make them doubt themselves by publicly mentioning their past performances or trades they have made

    Always talk up your own players, no matter what you think of them… Subconsciously, some owners will begin to take on your opinions.

    Tell owners who you are working out a deal with that you are currently working on a deal with another team involving the player he/she wants. A lot of times you can get an extra bump in value.

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