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Ten Quick Tips To Trading The Right Way

By Jeff Melbostad (@Jeff_DFW)
DFW Owner, IT Guy, and Senior Writer

There are lots of ways to approach trading in fantasy football and especially in dynasty leagues. Almost everyone has their own way of doing things and their own preferred methods. In an attempt to help you out I’ll do a brain dump of my top trading tips. These aren’t necessarily groundbreaking and many will seem obvious, but they are good rules of thumb. If nothing else they’ll make you consider your approach and either confirm what you’re doing or help you adapt just a bit.

So here goes…

1.) START OFF WITH A STRONG OFFER

This is my go-to advice for anyone who’s looking to trade. I feel it’s by far the best advice I can give. No one wants to be ripped off and no one wants to feel insulted. If you start with an offer worth considering you’re far more likely to get a response and eventually work out a deal. I know everyone thinks that a trade is a negotiation and the initial offer is just a starting point, but I make my offers at or near the full value of what I’m willing to offer. I’ve found it’s a much more respectable and effective approach.

2.) BUY LOW AND SELL HIGH

I know this is as clichéd and overused a term as exists in fantasy football. Everyone knows about it and everyone talks about it. But the funny thing is I see lots of people not heeding their own advice. I always see people selling guys at the lowest point of their value or buying guys at the absolute peak. Now I understand that in order for me to buy low someone else has to sell low, but I won’t be that guy. Unless, of course, it involves someone who is normally not attainable (e.g., Calvin Johnson).

3.) SHOP YOUR PLAYERS AROUND

I see trades that happen every day where people think they got great value for a player only to have someone else in the league say, “I would’ve given you more.”  Now talk is cheap and maybe they wouldn’t have actually done it, but before you make a trade check around the league to ensure you get yourself the best deal. Don’t just roll with the first guy who responds or you’ll be leaving value on the table more often than not.

4.) THINK A FEW TRADES AHEAD

If you trade for a player or a pick how will this benefit your team not only immediately, but what could you also get in another trade for said player or pick? Looking ahead a few steps opens a lot more trading opportunities than you’d normally consider.

5.) CONSULT OTHERS

I know many of us have a great deal of pride in our craft. We all want to make our own decisions rather than having someone tell us what to do. And I’m definitely not recommending anything else. But we can all use a sounding board from time to time (and probably more often than that). Even if you don’t use the advice it will help strengthen your stance and make you feel better about any deal you make.

6.) DON’T TRADE TOO OFTEN

I have witnessed more than my fair share of people who completely trashed their teams by being obsessed with trading. There’s nothing wrong with sitting on a good team if you already have one. Sure it’s fun to trade, but don’t make deals just for the sake of doing so. Unless you really feel you’re improving your team, just sit back and relax. Your team will be better for it.

7.) DON’T TRADE TOO LITTLE

Even worse than the aforementioned trading addicts are those that don’t trade at all. If there’s any way to ensure your team will stagnate and decay it is by making no moves. This is especially true in a dynasty league. No draft every year (other than rookies) means that trading is your only way of getting better, younger, or whatever other need your team may have.

8.) UTILIZE TRADE BAIT

Whether your provider is MyFantasyLeague.com or not, I’m sure it has some sort of trade bait or trade block concept. Make sure to put the guys you’re thinking of moving on the block. This lets other owners know that not only will you move specific guys but that you’re open to trading in general. My advice is to always have a couple of things (players/picks) up on the trade block especially during the NFL offseason. A lot of the deals I make start based on that alone.

9.) THROW IN ROOKIE PICKS TO GET DEALS DONE

In my experience there’s no better way to get a close deal done than to throw in a 2nd-round pick. It makes the other owner feel good about the trade, and in the grand scheme of things it isn’t a ton of value to give. Likewise, don’t scoff at later round picks being in a deal you’re not sure about. Those picks aren’t likely to be very meaningful in the long run. So, for example, don’t kill a deal over the inclusion of a 3rd-round rookie pick.

10.) DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH SPECIFIC PLAYERS

This is something we are all guilty of at at least one time or another. We all have our favorites, whether it’s because they’re on our favorite team, they propelled us to a championship three years ago, or we just like their style of play. This is totally normal. But don’t give up value or pass up on a beneficial deal just because you love a certain guy. Value is value and it has no face. I hear some guys say that player X is “untradeable” and that should simply never be the case.

So those are my trading quick tips. Whether they’re new to you or not, they’re little tidbits I’ve picked up over the years that I figured I’d share with you. Hopefully they’ll ring true with some of you. I’m sure you all have a bunch more you can add and I’d love to hear them. Feel free to comment or shout them out in the forums!