Sunday, September 9, 2012

DOs and DON'Ts of Fantasy Sports Trading

Trading in fantasy sports is a very valuable tool to help improve your team throughout the season. It can be an extremely fun part of the game. However, it is often a very difficult skill to master.


There are four types of fantasy sports traders: 

1. Terrified Tommy – He will almost never make a trade. He is super concerned about making a bad trade and looking stupid so unless it is a slam dunk in his favor he won’t make any deals. He will prefer to try to improve his team through the waiver wire and will never make trade offers. 
2. Gunslinger Gary – Gary will lead your league in trades throughout the season. He sends offers all the time and will quickly pull the trigger on a deal he likes usually without much thought. 
3. Ridiculous Rick – This is the owner that offers up lopsided trades all the time hoping someone bites. He will probably piss off a few people in the league and will likely not be able to make trades due to his unreasonable expectations. 
4. Savvy Sarah – Sarah is your classic experienced trader. She is always aware of what’s happening around the league and knows how to improve her team through trading taking advantage of less experienced owners.

Most players in your league will fall somewhere in between these extreme personalities. In this column, some things that you should strive to do (DOs) and things you should avoid doing (DON’Ts) are discussed to help you become a Savvy Sarah and be able to use trading to effectively improve your team.


TRADING DOs:

DO BE ATTENTIVE
One of the most important aspects of trading in fantasy leagues being attentive to player updates as well as the rosters of all the teams in your league. Simply put, the more information you have, the better decisions you can make. Waiver wire pickups, trades and an owners start choices will give you valuable information that you can use when approaching trade talks. For example, if an owner is consistently benching a player for a inferior player in your opinion, perhaps there is a buy-low opportunity there.


DO BE PROACTIVE, BUT PATIENT
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky

You never know if you will be able to make a trade in your favor unless you try. Don’t wait for other owners to approach you with a trade offer, reach out! You don’t necessarily have to send a trade offer, simply asking another owner what they want for Player X and letting them know you are interested could lead to a trade that could help you win your league.

However, it is also important to know when to step away from trade talks. Let’s say you have a dearth of talent at a certain position and want to make a trade to help elsewhere or give you more depth. If you’re not able to find a trade that helps your team, there is no issue with standing pat and waiting for the right offer to come around. Most cases, another owner will suffer injuries at that position at some point during the season at which case you can take advantage. 


DO APPROACH TALKS FROM THE OTHER OWNERS POINT OF VIEW

Before you make an offer, take a look at the team you are interested to trade with. There is nothing more frustrating as a fantasy owner than getting and offer in which you are asked to give up a player at a position you can't afford to give someone up for a position that you don't need. Take some time to see the strengths and weaknesses of the team. It will help you get a better response in trade talks.


DO LISTEN/RESPOND TO ALL OFFERS
You are probably going to get a lot of trade offers throughout the season, so of which at first glance may be unbalanced and maybe even insulting. Don't just decline the offer or let it sit there until it expires, respond to the offer, explain why you aren't interested and possibly send a counter offer.

It's easy to respond by saying something along the lines of "What the hell is wrong with you?!? How can you possibly think that's a fair offer! You are probably the dumbest fantasy owner alive!" No good will come out of a response like that. There are only a certain number of players in the league that you can trade with, you don't want to burn any bridges and make it more difficult to trade later because you reacted negatively to an offer.


DO COMPROMISE/NEGOTIATE
Trade negotiations are all about compromise. Don't expect that you will be able to pull off a trade exactly how you want. To make a deal that improves your team, you will often have to give something up as well. Feel free to tell the owner you are negotiating with "I really don't want to give up Player X, but I will if you also include Player Y". That owner will probably respond more favorably knowing that you are trying to consider their trade needs as well.





DO TRADE FROM A POSITION OF STRENGTH
It is always easier to make trades when you are in a position of strength, meaning that you have excess at positions rather to a big need. When you have a big need at a position, there is a lot of pressure to make a trade because not doing so will significantly hurt your team (especially in deeper leagues). As a result, other owner's who are aware of your trade needs, may offer you less. When trading from strength, you can afford to be more patient and therefore, you will make a better trade.



TRADING DON'Ts

DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR TEAM
So you've drafted your team and you got all your favorite sleepers. You and your fantasy team have been through a lot together. However, sometimes it's time to let go. In order to make a trade that will help you improve your team, it is often necessary to trade away players that you have come to love. Don't let your emotions get in the way of winning your league.


DON'T HANG ONTO PRE-SEASON EXPECTATIONS
In fantasy sports, things happen very quickly. As a result, it's important to re-evaluate your team throughout the season. Pre-season expectations are often just educated guesses and as games are played these expectations need to be adjusted.

For example, if a sleeper was drafted with the expectation that they will get a much bigger role and that does not look likely anymore, you may be able to take advantage of an owner than remembers the pre-season hype. As a result, you can move that sleeper for a player that can help right away.


DON'T TRY TO ALWAYS WIN THE DEAL
One of the biggest mistakes that fantasy owners do when trading is to always try to win the trade. That is implying that the owner you are trading with is getting ripped off. Well, if you are playing with smart fantasy players, you will not be able to make trades like that. The best fantasy trades are the ones that both players improve their teams, or think they are at the time. If you are always trying to rip off other owners, chances are they won't want to trade with you.


DON'T MAKE A TRADE UNLESS IT HELPS YOUR TEAM
This sounds ridiculous, but it's amazing how many trades are made without considering whether it actually helps your team. Even if you are getting amazing value, don't make a trade that will weaken an already weak position with the expectation that you will be able to make another trade later. More often than not, you will get stuck with a talented player on your team with no place in your lineup to start him.




DON'T BE AFRAID TO TRADE A STUD
Most fantasy owners will try to make trades in which they are getting the best player in the deal. More often than not, that's a great strategy. However, smart fantasy owners will trade away a stud at the height of his value in order to improve their team in a few different areas and therefore, make their team significantly better.


DON'T MAKE ANYONE UNTOUCHABLE
There is no value in listing a player as untouchable in trade talks. All it does is cut off communication. Every player has a price, it may be extremely high, but never rule out the possibility of trading any player. If this player is good enough for you to consider them untouchable, chances are other owners may feel the same way and often will pay a king's ransom to acquire them.

2 comments:

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