The Trade Master

The question we all face during our Dynasty and Re-Draft fantasy football seasons are how do we properly execute an equitable trade without destroying what we have already built. The act of trading has certainly become an integral part in finding or sustaining success in fantasy football and is emphasized in Dynasty formats to an even greater extent. The idea of course is to simply become a savant in the art of trading and acquire a mastery in assessing player values in a constantly evolving marketplace. Sound easy enough? No? Need more input? Let’s dig in and review some simple steps that can be made in an effort towards finding consistent trade partners and more importantly how you can walk away from the deal feeling good.
Knowledge is Power
The most important thing you can do before actively entering into trade discussions is having a firm grasp of your league scoring system. This is the front line of information that will pre-emptively set values for all positions. Therefore, the more educated you can become on your scoring system the better equipped you will be when breaching the topic of trades with your fellow league mates. The last thing you want to fall victim to is your own personal ignorance and have it come back to bite you, so make certain you are up to speed on your leagues scoring format.
Another area, which is necessary in gaining front-end knowledge, in order to be successful in making trades, is by gaining a working knowledge of your leagues By-Laws. Each league will certainly be formatted differently, so make sure you are aware of any special notations within the governing “rules of engagement” of your league.
Community Awareness
Get to know your competition. Remember, a Dynasty league is not merely an investment of your own time and energy, in building your own team, its about participating in a community with fellow owners who likely share the same devotion to this silly game we play. Whether it’s a home league or a random online league you have joined, take the time to get to know your competition.
Friendship and fellowship play a big part in enjoying the experience of participating as a Dynasty owner. This effort is also critical in finding out the preferences and tendencies of your fellow league mates. This information can be a useful tool for you to utilize when designing or identifying trade partners. It is always good to know who has a favorite player or team they like to follow.
Be a Vigilante of Vigilance
Being active in the trade marketplace is key. Be sure to always keep your Trade Bait List updated for all league owners too view. Conversely, I would also recommend setting up your own Wish List of players you didn’t get a chance to snag in your draft and are on another owner’s roster. Keep close tabs on any desired individuals for whom you may want to make a play for. Staying informed via social media is another weapon that will help you identify good value trade targets or maximize your return, by moving away from certain players.
There is never any harm in letting people know you are open to having trade talks. Additionally, sending out trade offers is a healthy and needful act, especially within Dynasty formats. So, if there is someone you have your eye on it never hurts to place a feeler offer out there.
Although sending out trade offers is an exercise in good team management, it is equally important that you aren’t identified as the guy always sending over bogus offers in the hope someone isn’t paying attention. This could quickly cause other owners to view you as someone only looking to get the obvious upper-hand. You have to Cloak & Dagger yourself if you want to be viewed as a studious trade partner.
Karma is Real
One of the most undeniable facts in playing fantasy football is that Karma has a way of rearing its head at some point. So always play with integrity and keep the heading on your moral compass positioned in the right direction. I do not advise burning bridges or constantly trying to hound or guilt your fellow owners into making trades, simply because you have offered your perspectives to which they should just accept as gospel. Everyone dances to the beat of a different drummer. I would argue that this is what makes this game so much fun. One mans junk is another mans treasure. Be sure to never go overboard with ridicule or disrespect or you could find yourself 86’ed from the league altogether.
Sense & Sensibility
Review the other teams in your league and try and uncover glaring needs you see. Its very likely they know where they have a deficiency and want to make a move. For example, if I need a WR, but have plentiful RB depth, I would identify which teams are light at RB and target them first. It’s always easiest to make a deal when each team is fulfilling a need.
Here is how I would present my inquiry: “Hey buddy I’m looking to possibly make a move. I was curious if there were any areas on your team you were looking to shore up? If so, maybe we can strike a deal.”
This is a very non-invasive approach of putting the onus on the other owner to take a look and make an offer. You have subtly led him into your trap without them even realizing it. This is where you can capitalize. Get them talking about their wants and needs and not your own. Once you have the hook baited all it takes is for them to bite. I call it my Silent Assassin approach towards getting a deal done. Also, keep in mind that its okay to go back and forth while discussing a trade. It’s important to not get impatient. Patience is a virtue during trade discussions.
Always Ask for What You Want
Too many times we sit back and look at our roster and think, “I need this position or I need that position tightened up”. Then we go hunting for what we want on someone’s roster and say to ourselves, “they would never do that.” Then we find ourselves sitting back and overthinking what we should offer up, all the while causing ourselves more anxiety than needed. The remedy is to not overthink it. Don’t do the negotiating for the other owner before you have even submitted the offer. It creates the possibility that you might be underselling.
Therefore, never sort out the trade before you ask for what you want. Remember, it’s a negotiation, so if you aren’t getting the value you feel is right just remember, there are others in the league who might meet your price so shop around before making a quick emotional decision.
Leave Emotion at the Door
The act of trading can be the most fun part of the entire experience in playing Dynasty Football if you let it. In my opinion, the only other thing better than trading is drafting. Just remember don’t get too emotionally invested in your players and earmark someone as “untradeable,” because values & preferences fluctuate constantly. Always be at the ready and willing to make a bold move. Besides, it’s a Dynasty league, you will always have a chance to re-acquire any player you’ve dealt away.
Recapping the Path towards Dynasty Trade Success:
  • Understanding your leagues Scoring System & By-Laws
  • Get to know our competition
  • Stay active & informed
  • Play with integrity
  • Be Sensible for both yourself & your trade partner
  • Always ask for what you want
  • Don’t get overly attached to any one player

Thanks for reading. You can find me on Twitter @DynastyFFactory.



Dynasty Football Factory Owner. Flip flop wearing, sailor swearing, land locked pirate in search of that one particular harbor while being a Dynasty Football addict. My motto is "Always Be Building".

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