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Say Goodbye to "Your Guys" - Trade to Win in Week 8

Trading is hard. People looooove their guys and love big names. The tendency is for us to evaluate players based on potential over reality. “Wait, you want to trade who for LeSean McCoy? He was the RB4 last year!” “Julio is still a target monster and will finish with eight TD!” Other common responses include that said player was a 1st or 2nd round draft pick or that said owner will strengthen through the waiver wire. Maybe I’m missing something but can someone please explain to me what relevancy the draft round of your player was come Week 8?  And you’re going to change the trajectory of your season through the wire or, even worse, free agency?

I think the limitations of that strategy were on full display with this week’s poor free agency pool. Did you spend a ton on Josh Doctson or Kenny Stills? How large of a performance would they need in Week 8 for you to feel confident in starting them going forward? How many weeks of consistent production for you to feel warm and cozy starting Josh Doctson, who had three receptions and five points despite an 84% snap share?

This week showcased an underwhelming waiver wire that should have fueled trade talk. But did trades take place in your league, and if so, how many? So how can you trade in a league where people overvalue their players, hardly respond to messages and bark when they do?

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Trade Strategy 1.0: Overtrade for Studs

Fantasy owners love their studs. It appears most would rather sink the season with their presumed studs each week, rather than trading them or God forbid, improve a good team. So if you want to talk to the stud owner, you best be willing to step up your offer.

Step 1) Look for studs that aren’t playing their best or are dealing with injuries for a slightly easier negotiation. Guys like Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Demaryius Thomas, LeSean McCoy, Stefon Diggs, DeMarco Murray, Jay Ajayi, Keenan Allen and so on.

Step 2) Look for players on your team of slightly less value that have been performing such as Doug Baldwin, Chris Thompson, Jerick McKinnon, Tyrik Cohen, Chris Hogan, Duke Johnson Jr., Nelson Algholor, Adam Thielen, Buck Allen, Danny Amendola, Devin Funchess, Cooper Kupp and so on.

Step 3) Now be prepared to give up 2 of these guys for one stud and make sure the offer is super attractive. Do not waste your time trying to pay low because you’re going to lose friends.

Step 4) Don’t be a dummy and evaluate the value as a simple 1 + 1 Vs. 1 formula.  The formula needs to be 1 + 1 Vs. 1 + Value of replacement.  This should make you feel better about giving up more.  I also love gaining the extra roster spot because it gives you a little flexibility.

Using the formula above, some possible trades could be:

Doug Baldwin and Chris Thompson for Michael Thomas

Chris Hogan and Devin Funchess for Amari Cooper

Naturally, this all depends on how each owner in your league values their players. If you know they will hold on for dear life no matter what, don't bother. If you aren't sure, test the waters and see what happens.


Trade Strategy 2.0:  Trade for Depth

Something I’ve heard ad nauseam is that you must always get the best player in a trade.  Make note of what I’m about to say here.  Last week I touted an All Bench RB strategy and this week I’m changing the paradigm again and telling you that I believe you should TRADE FOR DEPTH!  Depth is so valuable in fantasy given injuries, byes and depth chart volatility. So, take advantage of the common misconception that you have to always get the single best player in a trade, and get two great players for the price of one.  I am not going to walk you through the steps because you can simply reverse my Trade 1.0 strategy to concoct solid trade offers, but I would like to discuss Trade Strategy 2.1. This is the tactic of trading studs that actually are performing up to or even beyond their ability.

Trading away guys like Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette is extremely painful, but could just win you the ship.  These guys suffer from volatility, albeit lower levels of it.  Kareem Hunt and Antonio brown disappointed in Week 7, Todd Gurley in Weeks 5 and 6 and Fournette gravely hurt owners with a last-minute sit in Week 7. Our expectations for these players are incredibly high and sometimes unsustainable.  By putting so much stock in them we are increasing the risk of a poor performance or an injury. We can alleviate some of that risk by spreading it across 2 players.  Lastly, we increase the potential value of players received by trading a stud that is performing over one that has underperformed.  So, look to trade for lesser studs by giving away a monster.  Some examples could be:

Antonio Brown for Mike Evans and Amari Cooper

Todd Gurley for Jordan Howard and Doug Baldwin

Kareem Hunt for Jay Ajayi and Michael Thomas

Cooper's huge breakout last week might change things in terms of his value (you should have bought low earlier!), but if a disgruntled owner who had him on the bench is just ready to give him away, you could get a bargain still.


Trade Strategy 3.0: Trade with Bad Teams

Obviously, this strategy doesn’t apply to you if you actually are the bad team.  But if you have a good to great record, you should not risk making a competitive team better by trading with them. Any good trade will burden risk, and you’d rather the risk of losing on a trade exist with a team that isn’t staring up your crack in the standings. Bad teams are usually more willing to make deals, often bad deals. Start from the bottom and work your way up the standings when looking for a trade partner in any of the above scenarios.

Thanks again for reading my strategy articles.  Can’t wait to hear some success stories! Hit me up on Twitter @brettmitchellfb and let me know how it's working!


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