Gridiron Experts

Fantasy Football Trade Advice: 5 Tips to Improve Your Chances of Winning

Fantasy Football Trade Advice

Maybe you are afraid of trading in fantasy football because you are still haunted by that trade that backfired on you.  Or maybe your buddy ripped you off five years ago and still won’t let you forget about it.  Perhaps you just want to take your team to that next level and build a dynasty that lasts for years.

In this article, we will explore ways to improve your team and make it the envy of the league.

Trading is a key component of fantasy football. It can vault you up the standings or destroy your team’s outlook.  Different trades involve various levels of risk and learning when to take certain risks while avoiding others can help you build your team or dynasty.  Predicting certain outcomes often involves some amount of luck, but the tips below will help improve your chance of winning your trades.

Step 1 – Know Your Team

The first step in conducting better trades is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team.  Many owners overvalue their players, so it is important, to be honest when evaluating your roster.  This involves identifying positional weaknesses, lack of bench depth, too much investment in one NFL team, and even having too many rookies or veterans in dynasty formats.  Trades are a great way to address these weaknesses, but identifying them is the first step.

Step 2 – Know Your Opponents’ Teams

The next step is to be familiar with each of your opponents’ teams.   Every team is constructed differently and each owner is going to want to fix their own weaknesses in trades.  Knowing what your opponents need and value will improve your chances of making offers and counter-offers that they will accept.

Keeping notes on each owner is a great way to give you an advantage in negotiations.  If an owner previously mentioned they like a certain player, including him in negotiations can help complete subsequent deals.  In the stock market that is fantasy football, obtaining as much information as possible will help maximize your chances of pulling off favorable trades.

Step 3 – Do Your Research

After analyzing both your own and your opponents’ teams, you can start formulating offers.  As you do, make sure to conduct various methods of research.  Search rankings of various sites and ask as many people as you can about your ideas.  Include people who have credibility and ideas that you respect.  Following people on Twitter and posting trade polls on there is a great resource to take advantage of.

Fantasy Football Rankings and advice should help give you a sense of how players involved in your offers are valued amongst the fantasy football community.  This information will also help you figure out if offers you receive are beneficial to your team.  Sometimes a deal might look great to you at first glance, but after checking rankings and seeking advice from others you might find out it probably does not actually help your team.  The opposite is true as well.  Even the unglamorous trades for aging veterans are sometimes the ones that help propel your team to a championship.

Step 4 – Have patience

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As you start understanding player values and sending out formal offers, understand that patience is key.  Forcing trades just to obtain a rising star is a good way to wreck your team.  If you and the other owner do not see eye to eye on a player’s value, move on and think up some new offers.  There are too many players out there to get hung up on one potential deal.

Often times, teams don’t send out their best and final offer right away.  Knowing this can really help you squeeze more out of your trade partner when you are the one to receive the offer.  Squeezing in smaller players/picks into a deal can really tilt the scales in your favor.

This also includes fielding multiple offers when placing a player “on the block.”  If you decide to sell a player, offering him to multiple teams can often give you a better return in the end.  The first offer you receive is not always the best.

You aren’t going to score points with your opponents by spamming them with trade offers, texts, emails, etc. Don’t go writing encyclopedia-length text messages to your opponents telling them why your trade benefits them. Sure, there are leagues out there where this can work, but it’s not likely.

This one may seem obvious to you, but it’s still easy to fall victim to it in the moment, especially if we feel we are on the cusp of another owner accepting a trade. Be calm and patient. Make your offer and wait, and you will be rewarded. Let your trade offer speak for itself. If you have to justify it immediately after sending it, you will look weak and lose negotiating power.

Step 5 – Trust Your Gut

Finally, the last step is to trust your gut.  Have you ever heard the phrase “sometimes you just have to go get your guy?”  If you really love a player and believe in his potential, sometimes you have to be willing to overpay a little now to reap the rewards later.  On the flip side, if you are pessimistic about a player’s outlook more than someone else is, you can flip him for someone else before his value flat lines.  Trusting your gut can be risky, but so is trading in general.  Keep making calculated, informed decisions based on knowledge and instinct and you will win more trades than you lose.

Conclusion

Although trading is one of the many paths to a fantasy football championship, it is arguably one of the most fun.  It gives you an excuse to spend even more time improving your team(s) than you already do.  No set of rules comes without exceptions and there are leagues out there where you don’t have to follow the five steps above to make great trades.

But in the majority of leagues, and in nearly all competitive leagues, following them will really help you improve your team.

Feel free to send me any trades you think up!  Even the ones that do not directly involve you.  If you are involved in a trade that you want my opinion on or see a trade that interests you, tweet it to me @KyleHolden25.  I will respond and retweet it for additional feedback from the Fantasy Football Twitter community.  Please be sure to include as many league settings (ex. PPR, PPC, Dynasty, Superflex, TE Premium, etc.) as possible so I can offer the best advice possible.

 

 

Kyle Holden

Kyle Holden

Kyle Holden graduated from Cal Poly SLO and currently resides in Sacramento, CA. He has enjoyed playing and watching sports his entire life. Although he never actually played organized football, he has loved watching it for as long as he can remember. Growing up in Los Angeles when there was no professional team there allowed him to focus on rooting for individual players instead of for a single team. His research of players quickly led him to participate in many fantasy leagues and even run a few of his own. He is excited to now be able to write articles to provide knowledge and advice on various football topics.

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