By Dave Tapling – DFW Guest Writer

The most exciting portion of the off-season is nearly upon us, and if you’re in dynasty leagues you may have experienced it already: The Draft! 

Not every league trades and even in those that do, there are maybe a handful a year.  But in some leagues, trading is the centerpiece of what you do and this article is for you.  We’re going to discuss the thought processes of owners you’ll run into in your drafts, and how to deal with them. Playing your cards right can leave you sitting in the driver’s seat for this year and beyond. 

The Out of Towner 

We wish everyone could be at the draft. It’s a great time to catch up with people you are often only trash talking with the rest of the time, and may not live anywhere near or have another occasion to see. Even though this is an important yearly event, some league members will simply not be able to attend. 

What is their draft M.O.? 

This owner comes in two forms: 

  1. Owner who is desperate to be there. 
  1. Owner who is doing something equally important to them. 

How do you deal with them? 

For Owner 1, staying involved with the draft is paramount. You can often use this owner to move back in the draft for additional picks either later this year or for next year. For future picks, the general rule of thumb is that whatever round pick you receive from the next year is worth a pick a round lower this year. An example would be a 2018 second-round pick having approximately the value of a 2017 third-round pick. With this owner, maybe you’re not sold on Mike Williams at 1.06 (especially with his current injury status) and want to trade back. Often you can get this guy to jump on the pick and overpay a bit to be involved. 

For Owner 2, their goal is often to make a few picks early on and not have to think about it anymore. While it may be hard for you to comprehend, the draft just isn’t the most important thing on their mind. Typically this means any picks of theirs beyond 2.06 or so are up for grabs. Often this owner won’t particularly care if the trade is totally fair, as long as they get some sort of value for their later picks. Offer them something like a second and fourth in 2018 for their late second in 2017. You’re likely to get it. 

The Gun Shy Guy 

Everyone has an owner or two at their draft who pick in the Top 4 annually, and seem to make a mistake with that pick every time. That’s usually why they’re picking so early again this year! 

What is their draft M.O.? 

Don’t screw it up. Get something usable and get out. 

How do you deal with them? 

This owner typically has an early pick and knows that it’s valuable, but often doesn’t want to make the pick themselves. Offer them a way out. Give up a solid player for that early pick or picks in the future. Even though future picks are still picks, it’s not their problem for another year and they know the value of the pick. If they’re sitting at 1.03 and Corey Davis is somehow still on the board, throw as many future picks and player at them and watch them snatch it up and feel good about having to avoid the tough choice. To make this work, you have to be absolutely sure what you’re going after is worth the bounty you’ve offered. You’ve prepped for this draft for months, now take advantage of that knowledge. 

The Wheeler and Dealer 

This guy didn’t come for the draft, he came to trade. You’ll find him in the ear of everyone who’s on the clock, offering one thing and then the next in the desperate attempt to bask in the glory of one more trade. 

What is their draft M.O.? 

Trade, trade, trade! 

How do you deal with them? 

Listen and reject, listen and reject. Not forever, of course. Bear with me on this strategy for a while and you’ll see the wisdom of my ways. Reject the first offer and give a good cause. This guy can’t resist and will modify the deal. Consider and reject with another good reason. Try to focus on the worst part of the trade that you would be receiving each time. More often than not, this owner is so caught up in trade lust that the offers will keep rolling, each time slightly further in your favor. Within 3-4 offers, this owner will put his or foot down and inform you that it’s as much as they can give away. What they are telling you is that they only have room for one more concession. Ask for a small enough change that it will overpower any willpower they have left and take the deal. They may regret it for a few moments, but it won’t stop their behavior until they look back on the draft and realize just how much they gave up in total that day compared to what they got. 

The Drunk Drafter 

This one came to draft, as long as there’s plenty of beer. Four beers down in the first round and a little fuzzy, they’re always able to muster up the sobriety to make their next pick, but the light of the next day will reveal that there were better options available that more sober drafters were happy to snatch up. 

What is their draft M.O.? 

Get trashed, have a good time, and take a nap. 

How do you deal with them? 

Get your deals in before they can’t remember where they are. These owners will make their worst deals on the very edge of incoherence. If you liked a player they picked early in the draft, now is the time to try to acquire them. They lack the time with this player to have formed a bond, and the sobriety to hang on to them until they realize their potential. Offer players who have solid current value but low ceilings and this owner is sure to bite, even if they’re not sure what they bit on until the next day. You didn’t drink them into bad decision making, they did. Obviously, taking advantage of them and giving them Frank Gore for Leonard Fournette will probably not fly even with their consent, and won’t make you many friends in the league, so be somewhat reasonable in your offers. 

As usual, this is not a full description of who you’re likely to run into in these situations, but they are a few key ones to watch out for so that you’re ready to make the right move with the right person. Let me know your thoughts on this and any other topics I’ve covered on Twitter @NFL_Pundit.