By Guest Writer Dave Tapling

The Art of the Deal…in Fantasy Chapter 2 

Now that we’ve covered some basic trade types and how to handle them, it’s time to focus on the types of owners you’re likely to run into and the tactics that they will use to close a deal, skew it in their favor, or stall for time. If you can recognize what the other owner is trying to do and counter it with the appropriate technique, you’ll find yourself far less likely to be on the losing end of a trade or left holding the bag while the other guy just closed a deal with someone else.  You’re likely to notice that you do some of these things during your trade process too, so this is an opportunity to see what might happen if you try out some of these moves. 


The One Trade Pony 

Who knows why this guy loves your one particular player so much? Maybe his kid has the same first name as your guy. Maybe they went to the same college.  More than likely, you drafted them in a rookie draft the very pick before him and he’s still bitter about it.  Every month during the offseason and every other week in season this owner tries to get your guy.  He doesn’t seem to get the hint that you like this guy and aren’t open to dealing him.  In fact, he probably truly believes he is owed that player. 

What are they trying to accomplish? 

This guy wants your guy, and only that guy . No one else will do. 

What should you do about it? 

Are you as committed to this player as he is? Probably not. If so, hang on to him and continue to reject the offers and make jokes about this owner when he’s not around.  If you’d deal them under the right circumstances, then you’re in the best trading position in fantasy football.  This owner has shown his hand and will do a lot to get his guy.  What should you do? Ask for a lot!  Ask for everything you might want out of this owner and then some.  You’re fairly likely to get it.  Even if you don’t get everything you ask for, you’re going to get more value for that player than he is worth, and more than you would from any other owner.  Ask for that first round pick…you never know what they’ll agree to until you try. 


The Forum Dweller 

He is quick to point out any trade in your league that didn’t conform to the values set on his favorite fantasy site.  He knows more about what every player will do this year than you do (just ask him!)  Trade offers are responded to with examples of similar trades in other leagues so that you can see why you didn’t give up enough.  Any trade that isn’t what he would have done is a bad one in his mind. 

What are they trying to accomplish? 

Generally, this owner just wants you to know how much they know.  They are only open to trades that would be considered a “win” for them if they posted it on a forum. 

What should you do about it? 

A lot of times you do nothing.  You’re unlikely to come to a mutual understanding with this owner because they often ignore the quirks in your league’s roster and scoring setup that skew trade values from the “norm.”  Deandre Hopkins might command three middle of the first round rookie picks in a one dynasty league, but yours starts six receivers and you’d be stupid to invest so much on one player in that setup.  Explain once to them why you’re offering what you’re offering vs. what they’re asking for and if they aren’t willing to rework the deal then move on.  The only way to break this behavior is to let them be on the outside of trades looking in for a while.  


The “Let me look at my team.” Guy 

This owner knows who’s on his team; any semi-interested owner does! Yet, any time you throw an offer his way or start some dialogue about one and are just getting to the very tip of some real meat and potatoes on how the deal would work he drops that dreaded line, “Let me look at my team and get back to you.” The deal is dead.  Don’t be confused about this.  You are not getting what you’re looking for out of this owner until it’s not what you need anymore.   

What are they trying to accomplish? 

This owner is dragging out the process for some reason.  Maybe he never really wanted to trade with you.  Maybe he thinks he’s wearing you down until you’ll take less in the trade.  He may be buying time while he’s waiting on the results of a separate trade offer.  What he’s telling you is that no trade is happening today. 

What should you do about it?  

Be specific.  This is not the owner to send a message that you’re looking at WR’s, or need help at LB.  Have a player or pick ready and what you’re willing to give up for it. If he responds with any ambiguity, that deal is dead.  You can try another specific deal.  Do not get lost in the weeds with this owner chasing a dragon that you’ll never reach until you don’t need it.  Take it from someone who danced with one of these owners for over a year to get Percy Harvin, only to have him become a Jet, and a bad Jet at that, within a week of the trade.  Do not get attached to anything on this owner’s team. He can smell it, and will relish dragging out the process, only pulling the trigger once he no longer values the desired player.   


The Peacock 

This guy is into flashing what he’s got and bashing what you’ve got. You thinking of swapping your David Johnson for his Ezekiel Elliott? He’s going to tell you all about how much older Johnson is, why the Cowboys’ O-line is soo much better than Arizona’s, and how much more potential Elliot has compared to Johnson’s ceiling.  Flip it around and you’ll hear about how Johnson’s ADP is higher, Elliot is under investigation, and he’s only done it for one year, so how do we know he’s any good? 

What are they trying to accomplish? 

By “negging” your players and pumping up theirs, this owner is always trying to create a disparity in the values of players that are often close to equal in reality.  The hope is that you’ll offer more and this owner gets a win on the deal.  He also believe that his false inflation of his players will make more people want them, and sometimes it works. 

What should you do about it? 

Stand your ground.  You own each of the players you have now for a reason, and it’s usually a good one.  Don’t acknowledge any of the perceived weaknesses of your players unless you have an equally good reason why that doesn’t matter.  Does Lamar Miller stink in the red zone? Yes, but he is effective as a pass catcher and in a PPR league it may make up the difference. Is Mike Wallace a true #1 WR for the Ravens? No, but he’s still faster than most DB’s and Joe Flacco loves to show off that “elite” arm.  If you’re going to argue back, be firm and don’t make any allowances for their arguments.  Lastly, make them make as many moves as possible.  Don’t do follow up for them. Make them come to you for the next step in the deal.  This will leave them without the opportunity to reject you at every turn for a myriad of silly reasons. 


As with the last article, these aren’t even close to the total number of owner types or the tricks in their respective bags, but it should help with tough trades that you’re not sure why aren’t getting done.  The next chapter in this series will deal with draft picks and how to use them, from big picks for big players to effectively using late round picks as kickers for deals, as well as how to value the player vs. the pick.  If there are any special requests or trade questions in the meantime, please let me know at [email protected], and I will answer them in the next installment.