The Art Of Trading

The Art Of Trading

Everybody knows that Fantasy Football Season is my favorite time of the year. In fact, it’s rare that I’m more excited about my Dallas Cowboys than I am my own fantasy teams. While I do love a good draft party or a long grueling slow draft, nothing gets me more jazzed than executing a good trade. I’m perpetually that guy that is in everybody’s inbox working an angle. There is an art to maneuvering and executing fantasy trades and some definite golden rules to live by. Here are 10 of them.  

  1. Don’t Sell Low 

This should go without saying but DO NOT sell low. When you’re riding a slump, keep riding it out, even if it’s on the bench. All it takes is one performance to completely change the narrative when a player has a little name value. 

  1. Fantasy Production > Name Value

Sometimes a player comes on the scene and makes such a profound impact that they stay fantasy relevant long after their peak fantasy days are done. A guy like Odell Beckham Jr. comes to mind. No matter how poorly he may be performing, that name will always carry weight. I just saw an OBJ owner flip him for Terry McLaurin. Yes, THE Terry McLaurin who is currently sitting at 6th in fantasy points. I also just saw someone swipe Michael Thomas for Mike Williams. Just because these guys have produced in the past, doesn’t indicate they’ll find that magic again. Be wary when someone is throwing one of these guys in a trade, oftentimes it is fool’s gold.

  1. Make It Make Sense

This could be more of a personal pet peeve but I hate it when someone throws me a blind trade with zero reasoning behind it. Most savvy players won’t just throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Your chances of executing a trade are infinitely better when you have an explanation attached to it. Highlight the other team’s weakness, explain why this trade is a no brainer for both of your squads. Get their buy in. If nothing else an owner that is throwing out ideas is typically an owner that gets stuff done.

  1. “Give a Little”


Always come in with a lower offer than what you’re willing to give up. Don’t be afraid to highlight another player in a trade, only to “settle” for a different guy at the same position as a consolation. Strategically I always try to throw a decoy out first. For example, let’s say that I am targeting Adam Theilen. The owner also has Cooper Kupp. Send the offer out for Kupp first. Chances are the owner says no. However, now is your time to “give a little” and bump the offer down to Theilen. Once the owner see’s you give in a little, they’ll be more likely to give a little themselves.

  1. 2 for 1, Never 1 for 2


There are certain formats that this is not applicable. If you’re in a 20 team, deep roster type league, this is likely not viable. However, in your standard 8-12 man leagues, the idea should always be to acquire the best player in the trade. Depth is important, particularly through bye weeks, however, you can usually find someone startable on the waiver wire when this happens. Turning an RB2 and a WR3 into an RB 1 is always a SMASH accept for me. I’ll figure out the replacement for the WR3 all day.

  1. Finally! Bye Weeks Matter

I never even take a look at my bye weeks when I’m drafting my team. Plain and simple byes are inevitable and you will find a way. That logic doesn’t apply to trading though. Players who hit their bye weeks early carry much more value than the guys who have later byes. Let’s use Tampa Bay and San Francisco as an example. Assume that my roster includes one of the Tampa receivers, take your pick. Now let’s also assume I have a guy in my league willing to give me someone like Deebo Samuel for them. If the trade makes sense from a number perspective, I won’t think twice. Not only am I getting a comparable talent but I’m getting a guy who has likely had his bye week already and exchanging a player who will have his bye week much later. Thus I gain an additional GP that I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

  1. Use the Waiver Wire


All is fair in love and fantasy football. If you have the top waiver priority, you have a very valuable asset. Do you see the latest 49ers RB on the waiver wire and know that these three teams are going after him? Great, use that to your advantage. Negotiate and pick that player up. Chances are you can recoup any faab that you spend along with another usable piece. Leverage everything you can. 

  1. Keep Leveraging

Speaking of leveraging, don’t settle for just the waiver wire. Do you have a trade 90% of the way finished? Great, leverage it. How? You can do a few different things. Option A.) Take the trade that is almost completed and dangle it around the league. Perhaps someone is willing to offer a better package. However, if nobody is, use that to your advantage too. Option B.) Talk to your trademate and let them know that you have a few “offers” out there and if you could add (Faab, Draft Picks, Waiver priorities) it will leave you no choice. Trading is exciting. When you’re at the table at the 11th hour most owners won’t walk away because of a few Faab or a future draft pick that they ALWAYS believe they’ll be able to recoup.  

  1. Only Roster Tradable Assets

One of the Golden Rules of fantasy football. You don’t need that backup TE or QB, in most formats. If you do, chances are you don’t need that 5th WR. The end of my bench is typically littered with potential breakout and high upside guys; the type of guys that can really swing their trade value after one performance. There is no need to roster a Leveon Bell in a standard 12 man. Go get that young emerging WR that could pop and become the talk of the fantasy town. 

  1. Sell Your Players


We finally reach our conclusion. SELL YOUR PLAYERS. Don’t be the owner that sits on their hands all season and never makes a move. Don’t be afraid to tell owners how great your players are. There are owners who have CeeDee Lamb right now who don’t have a positive thing to say about him. What do you think that does to his trade market? Talk about his upside, or his all world ability. Talk about his Quarterback, who is most definitely better than Derek Carr. Talk about anything positive that builds him up in a positive light. If you really don’t want him, great, but don’t let the other owners know how sick of his crap you really are. 

Thanks for reading and as always, stay true. 


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