Trading: Making Moves on Moves

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By Jay Myers (@Dynasty_DFW)
Founder, Owner & CEO of Dynasty Football Warehouse

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 players only think about their next move, which is a mistake as it makes them very predictable. That kind of approach makes it rather difficult to get into “scoring position” to take any of your opponents power pieces. I compare fantasy football to chess because when I make a trade I’m often times doing so to set me up for future trades.

I see it all the time… an owner passes up a deal that is definitely in their favor as far as value is concerned. Why? Because they feel the deal leaves them too weak at a specific position. But not every good trade is going to leave you balanced. By strictly thinking that way you’ll end up leaving a lot of value out there on the negotiating tables.

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 it be in dynasty or redraft formats. 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 strongest (or will soon be upon accepting an offer that is on the table). You don’t have to have anything lined up for your second move, but you can always throw a feeler out to other owners in order to see how they feel about certain players you’d be willing to move after obtaining them in a separate trade. 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 that initial deal — the one that may leave your roster a bit unbalanced — once you’ve confirmed you have some future trading partners. Make sure you know your league-mates though as some may not be all that active as far as trading is concerned. If that’s the case you may want to be more selective with your moves.

In conclusion, don’t look at trading as being nothing more than one-and-done transactions. Instead, look at it as a series of possible moves which will help you field an even stronger lineup in the end.

And with that, I wish you all happy trading as the in-season trading deadline nears in the majority of fantasy football leagues these coming weeks.