The in-season Fantasy Football Trade is something many owners cringe over. While your initial fantasy football draft makes up a big percentage of how good your team will look during the season, there are other variables you need to take into consideration while the season progresses. In-season waiver wire pickups are one key strategy that could take your team from a borderline playoff contender to the No. 1 ranked team in your standings. But another way you can take your team to the top is being able to pull off the perfect trade.
But I don't like trading.
I've heard this comment by many of our customers and also other fantasy owners I talk to daily. There are some owners who will wheel-and-deal on a weekly basis like it's nothing, while there are others who are simply too afraid to pull the trigger. The fear that you are giving away gold for garbage is always in the backs of some owners' minds. Lets face it, we live in a world where people will try and sell you a screen door for a submarine and make it seem like it will be the best buy you will ever make. These people slowly find their way into most-to-all of our leagues. However, if you follow these 5 simple steps, I have no doubt you can make a trade go smoother than a baby's behind.
1. Analyze Your Team Post Draft
We are so focused on our draft while it's going on, that we really don't get the time to take a breather and analyze our team during the process. Unless you are literally drafting right before the first Thursday night game of the year, take some time the day after and go over every nook and cranny within your roster. Is there a position that you are really strong at, but weak somewhere else? It happens. We'll load up on running backs or wide receivers so early, that we lack the strength in other spots. Knowing where your weak spot is a good step in determining how to help your team.
2. Scour The Rest Of Your League's Rosters
Once your done determining your team's weakness, look over the rest of the rosters in your league. Some will look stronger than others, but the chances of at least one or two teams being strong in the area where you're weak is fairly high. These are the owners you want to target. After you determine which owners are the ones you want to deal with, start determining which player you not only like, but the one you think he or she will be the most willing to part with.
3. Start Off With A Low-Ball Offer
I've had offers from other owners that were so ridiculous, I literally wanted to jump into my computer screen and choke the owner out. You'll have these guys in every league. They offer up their polished turds, talk them up like gold and hope you take the bait. A polished turd is still a turd. Don't fall for these types of trades. And don't be the guy to make these trades. When I say low-ball offer, you still have to make it somewhat reasonable. If you have four running backs who are starters, make an initial offer involving your RB4 for the player you are targeting. Not only will this make the trade offer still seem legit, but it will also keep your reputation as someone who isn't the type to offer garbage trades intact. Being known as the garbage trader will cause a domino effect and no one will want to deal with you. The chances of the other owner taking your RB4 is slim, but you never know. In my one dynasty league, an owner had Tom Brady on the trade block. I offered Mikel LeShoure. He took it for reasons that are too long to explain. But I threw out a player who wound up giving him value without having to dig up one of my more prized possessions like Steven Ridley or Adrian Peterson. If he balks, that's when you start moving up to your RB3.
4. Move On If He Continues Changing The Deal
You throw out a trade, the owner initially accepts it, but wants to think about it. Fine. A few hours later, the owner changes his tune and wants more. It might seem too soon, but this is an owner you want to pass on. Myself, along with many of our customers, have dealt with owners like this. They really don't feel confident in parting with any of their players. So instead of simply accepting or declining, they'll string you along in the hopes that you give up more than you were initially willing to give. There are also those owners who will make a player for player trade with you. But eventually, he tries to get you to throw in another player in the deal because that is the guy he is really targeting. You aren't a sucker. If he isn't willing to take the first deal, there is a better than 50/50 chance he will drag trade talks out to the point where your initial offer isn't anywhere close to the newer ones. Kindly thank him for his time and move on. If you deal with an owner like this, you won't get the trade done before the new week's worth of games begin. And you will have wasted the time you could have used to target a different owner.
5. When All Else Fails, Ask For Opinions
I've been involved with fantasy football in some way shape or form since 2001. I guess you can call me a seasoned vet. Even though people have been playing fantasy sports for a couple decades, it doesn't mean they haven't a clue on what they're doing if they ask for help from someone not affiliated with the league. I still ask for an opinion or two when I offer a trade or if a trade is offered to me. In the end it's the right thing to do and no one should be embarrassed by doing so. So now should be a good time to throw out our monthly, yearly and lifetime packages where you can get all the trade advice you need. And not only does a staff member help you debate whether or not to take a trade offered to you, we also help you look at the rest of your league and see if there is a way to make your team better without you having to do a lot of the work. So in a way, you don't have to worry as much about steps 1 and 2 from above.
To Sum Things Up
Don't be afraid of trading. Don't be afraid to ask for help. And above all, never be afraid to do what you have to in order to turn your team from pedestrian to a winner.