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How to Trade in Fantasy and Win at Life

One of the greatest, yet underutilized tools of roster management is trading. There are teams in every league with varying strengths, weaknesses and records and therefore unrealized trade opportunities to be had. But trading is infrequent in most leagues and I implore we join together as a powerful community of nerds to change the paradigm. Who's with El Camello (@pfunk00) and me?

Trading effectively can be like a cheat code for fantasy if you follow some simple strategies.

But first we have to address the Trade Killers...

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The Trade Killers

There are a number of factors that kill the possibility of trading in fantasy football and these SOBs must be found and dealt with.

Team Voting and Vetoing of Trades – Trades should not be evaluated on fairness. The end. Unless there is collusion, all trades should go through, you horrendous commissioners you! For those of you who need an example of collusion: A team with little to no chance of making the playoffs in a redraft league without keepers trades a stud for a sucka to a playoff team. The primary function of a trade is to improve your team, not to get more value on a single player. Therefore it is very possible to over-deliver on a trade and yet improve your team. Please change your system to Commissioner Veto and let everything go through unless there is collusion.

"My Guys" – As fantasy players, we get way too attached to "our guys" and often overvalue them. Bottom line is we are unwilling to trade our guys even if it means bettering our team. Good job sinking to the bottom of the ocean with your favorite players.

Improving Other Teams – I would be open to trading but I don’t want to make another team better. There is some truth to this because ultimately you are competing with these other teams. However, trading with a few trusted confidants can better a few teams that need to compete with the big boys. So try and trade with the inferior teams so that you rise and compete together. Failing to make the playoffs should supersede your desire to avoid making other teams better.

The Low Offer – Most people attempting a trade are under-offering. This hurts your credibility as a potential trade partner and most likely won’t get anything accomplished. You’ll know when you have a feasible trade when it really makes you uncomfortable. Remember, the main purpose of a trade is to make your team better by filling a weakness and this may require giving up slightly more in an area you can afford to take the hit. So start your offers with someone you feel is of equal value and consider that you may have to offer slightly more. A great player on your bench is not as valuable as a good player that you can start.

Disinterested – I don’t care enough about fantasy. I can’t believe you keep trying to trade bruh. I’m too cool for fantasy even though I paid for this league and check the league app every 10 minutes on Sunday. I just don’t care enough to delve into this trade offer.

Please stop playing fantasy football if you really don’t care. At a minimum, please play in a league with others that don’t really care. And if you are in a league that cares that needs extra players you are better off with a smaller league. Or, there are many resources these days that allow you to reach out and find players who will care.


What Have We Learned?

Now we know some of the reasons that trades are so infrequent.  Here are some tips that should help you trade effectively. Yes some of these were touched on above, but I think you’ll find it helpful for me to extrapolate them below:

  • Try to get the Voting and Veto on trade rule removed from your league. Trades should not be voted down or vetoed on fairness. Many good trades are inherently unbalanced, but they help both teams.
  • Trade with a few key trading partners. If you are concerned about making other teams better, trade with the inferior teams in the league. Failing to make the playoffs trumps improving other teams.
  • Offer trades of equal or slightly higher value, as long as they better your team. You will know a trade is possible when it makes you uncomfortable.
  • Listen to trade offers and don’t act like you are too cool. This is not only a great way to improve your team, but can be incredibly fun. Trades can be great fodder for water cooler bets throughout the season.
  • Most importantly, make trades! The Waiver Wire is not the only place to better your team. There are teams with different strengths, weakness and records, which means there are trade opportunities out there right now!

Thanks as always for reading my rants.  Find me on Twitter @BrettMitchellFB

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