I’m not sure how many of you out there play chess, but it’s the ultimate game of 1-on-1 combat where you’re constantly thinking 3-5 moves ahead in order to keep your opponent off-guard. Some people only think about their next move which is a mistake as it makes them very predictable. This really makes it difficult to get into scoring position to take any of your opponents power pieces. I compare fantasy football to chess, when I make a trade I’m using it to set me up for future trades.

I see it all the time where an owner passes up a deal that is definitely in their favor as far as value is concerned. Why? They feel that the deal leaves them too weak at a specific position, not every good trade is going to leave you balanced. You’ll be leaving a lot of value out there on the negotiating tables thinking that way. Unbalanced lineups create a sense of fear for most owners, the fear of the unknown since they don’t know how they’ll replace a certain player in their lineup. We all want the strongest lineup possible, but there are ways to take advantage of these types of trades if you have the right pieces leftover for your next move.

In chess you are constantly sacrificing pawns or even a power piece for the greater good of your overall strategy. It’s no different in fantasy football whether dynasty or redraft, owners sacrifice depth at one position to gain it at another. The end goal is to field the best lineup possible regardless of how you get there. The only time I don’t recommend this is if you have absolutely no other trade chips that you can use for your next possible trade. First, you’ll want to take a look around your league at the different rosters to see who has a weakness at the position where you’re strong or will be strong if you take a specific trade that you’re considering. You don’t have to have anything lined up for your second move, but you can always throw out a feeler to owners to see how they feel about certain players you would be willing to move next. Typically though, you’re just looking to make sure there are 3-4 teams that could be good potential trading partners to help fill your holes. You can feel comfortable taking your current deal once you’ve confirmed that you have some future trading partners. Make sure you know your league as some just aren’t very active as far as trading is concerned. If that’s the case you may want to be more selective with your moves.

Here’s a recent topic from our forum:
12 team ppr dynasty. This trade would kill my RB core this year.

I give: AJG, Charles, Vick
I get: Calvin, Tolbert, Stafford

Current Roster: (we start 1qb, 2rb, 3wr, 1te, 1 flex at rb/wr/te)
Vick, Fitzpartrick, Gabbert
Charles, Hillis, Scott, Powell, K. Bell
AJG, Marshall, Steve Smith, Ford, Boldin, James Jones, Doucet
1.1, 1.7, 1.11, 1.12, 3.12

Some might be scared off as Richardson (1.01 pick) would be his only producing RB. Here was my take on the deal….

I do this trade in a heart beat, this team is on the verge of falling a part IMO. Vick, Smitty, Gates, Boldin are all ready to fall off the map at any given moment and each of them have the chance to do that this year. This is a foundation-building trade, unless you are willing to sacrifice this for a repeat chance. In that case you pass. The main piece you’re losing in Charles will struggle to maintain his current value over the length of the season anyways.

You’re also getting two MONSTER upgrades. He can find some cheap RB’s next… he still has pieces to make more moves. Stafford, TRich, Calvin and Marshall is a good foundation to build around. If you make this trade you need to then look at moving the 1.7 and something for Bradshaw or the 1.7 for Reggie Bush. If you can get a quality RB2 on the cheap you may not need to rebuild. If not then you’ll want to trade Smitty, Gates and Boldin next.

End result was that a deal was worked out and his next objective is to use his remaining 1.7, 1.11 and 1.12 to find a RB or 2 in order to compete…

What’s your take on this trade, was it the right or wrong move?

You can also chime in on this topic in the forums here.

Here are a few other examples from trades I’ve done in the past:

Example #1
I give Peterson, Stevie Johnson and Mike Bush
I get Forte, Steve Smith and 1.5

I then turned around and made the following trade.
I give Steve Smith and 1.5
I get Kenny Britt

This was before the encouraging news about Peterson’s rehab, but essentially I gave Peterson and Stevie Johnson for Forte and Britt. I would consider that an upgrade in dynasty as Forte is healthy and Britt has top-5 potential.

What do you think?

Example #2
I was in negotiations with an owner to get Tim Hightower early last year, I was told that I could get him for an early to mid-2nd rounder. I didn’t have a 2nd, so I had to go shopping for one. I traded Fitzpatrick and a 4th for the 2.5. I then turned around and traded the 2.5 for Hightower. We all know how that worked out in the end with his injury. But, at the time it was definitely worth the gamble for a 2nd rounder, he was looking solid in preseason. I then moved Hightower, Wallace and Antonio Brown to the Torain owner for Larry Fizgerald. He was obviously buying the hype.

In conclusion, don’t just look at it as one move and done, look at it as a series of possible moves which will help you field an even stronger lineup in the end…

Happy trading!