With the NFL trade deadline behind us and many fantasy deadlines ahead of us, I figured it would be a good time to shed some light on this seemingly harmless subject.
Trades can often be the subject of debate among teams, and they certainly have the potential to make or break your season. When done right, there is no better feeling. When done wrong, well, I believe we all know what that feels like.
Trades should be a calculated move, used to improve your team in positions that would otherwise struggle. However, not every team may need to trade during the season.
Let’s start with the teams on the top, the ones that can safely assume they will make it to the fantasy playoffs. These teams are usually filled with studs who have outperformed their ADP, and like the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I am not saying these teams should refuse every trade made to them. However, teams atop the league leaderboards should think long and hard before breaking up their successful squad.
Next are the teams that rest at the bottom, the ones who need to make moves, and quick. It is safe to say these teams usually have 1 stud (their first pick) and a hodgepodge of bums. In these situations, my best recommendation is to diversify. Trade the one shining star you have and acquire value at multiple other positions. For example, if your one stud is Antonio Brown, I would recommend trading him for two lesser WR’s. A worth combination would be something along the lines of Keenan Allen and Jarvis Landry. Now, your team has the potential to score solid points at two positions, rather than just one. In my personal opinion, it is better to spread value across your entire team than to have all your fantasy eggs in one basket.
Finally, and arguably most difficult, we have the teams in the middle. These are the most difficult because they often do not need much in order to become a contender. However, deciding exactly how much to give up in order to become that contender can be tricky.
Contrary to the previous paragraph, teams in this position should consolidate rather than diversify. It can be assumed contending teams are scoring points week to week, with value at each position. Turning Tevin Coleman and Golden Tate into Doug Baldwin may give these teams the necessary boost to compete for a title.
Before a trade is made, there is a whole dance which needs to take place. You may not have the best Samba, but here are some tips which can solidify your negotiating skills.
Start your offer low! Obviously, do not low ball your potential partner. No one likes receiving obvious low ball offers. However, make an offer that is just ok. If they deny the offer, no big deal. Move slightly higher and higher in terms of player quality until you can reach a deal you both agree on. You do not want to make your best offer right off the bat! They may bite on an offer that does not require you to send away your quality players. Also, temper your emotions when negotiating. If you are too excited and accept immediately, it could cause your trade partner to second guess if they are getting a good deal. You never want your opponent to feel as though they are being ripped off.
Whether you sit alone in first place or tied for 4th, trades can benefit all teams in all situations. Just remember to make sure you get the most bang for your fantasy buck.