Gridiron Experts

Fantasy Football Trade Tips: Life as a Ruthless Scumbag (aka Champion)

Fantasy Football Trade Tips

For some people, Fantasy Football trading is the only reason why they play the game. These owners tend to get lost in the whole concept of what the ultimate goal here is, but a “trade junkie” is the kind of person that makes Fantasy Football fun. A league that never trades, or has a ton of red tape in order to get a deal done, can be frustrating. Some leagues feel that a bad deal could hurt the league as a whole, making one team too strong and allowing them an easy path to a championship. This problem can cause lengthy discussions, league voting, and even the overruling of a trade even if both owners are happy with the deal. Usually, keeper leagues have the biggest problems as owners trading for players on IR to build for the next season can stack a roster with players by giving up quality talent this season. Whether your league is a dusty old group or owners that never make deals happen or a league that has weekly trades at will, I have put together some quick tips to help you rake in the best offers.

1. Watch them Bleed, Wait for Monday

Don’t like my trade offer on Friday? Well.. let’s just see how you feel after another loss on Monday.

One of my favorite fantasy football trade tactics is to make an offer just out of reach on Friday, hope they can’t get a deal done with someone else, and then send a follow-up offer on Monday after they’ve lost. Fantasy owners fresh off a loss are more likely to want to shake up their roster with a trade than they are at the end of the week when they’ve already gone through a waiver claim.

I find trades at the end of the week are due to injury or bye week problems. The early week deals are, from what I’ve seen, more blockbuster. The waiting game can backfire, but you will get more if his players continue to disappoint, and the players you’re offering had solid performances in the games over the weekend. Don’t get too greedy, but you can increase your offer if the situation has become more bleak.

2. Trade for Players Who’ve Had Bye Weeks

Usually, we have to wait until week 4 or 5 before NFL Bye weeks start, but due to hurricane Irma, the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Buccaneers have already had their bye week for the season. This makes things interesting if you think of a trade in terms of games played, as trading for a Dolphin or Buc would gain you an additional weekly starter.

For example trading Michael Crabtree for DeVante Parker might seem fair to some, as Crabtree is averaging 11.7 Fantasy points per game and Parker is averaging 11.1, but Oakland still hasn’t had their bye week gaining you an extra week for your starting lineup.

This trade tactic can sometimes be very obvious when it’s just a one-for-one deal. But when six to seven players are on the table, your opponent will be more concerned about what’s coming and going, and will often forget about bye weeks or games played. If you’re smart, you can offer multiple player trades where you gain starters who have had their bye week and sell players who still have their bye week upcoming.

Tip: Gridiron Experts has a great NFL Schedule page, bookmark that for research.

3. Make it Known You Want To Deal

Take advantage of league email, message boards, group chat and contact lists. Most Fantasy Football commissioners will post a contact list of phone numbers or emails of the league owners for easier use to get a hold of someone. You need to use that to get the word out that you’re looking to trade. Talk to everyone. Pre-write a text message and send it to each owner in the league. Also, what you say is important, don’t seem desperate.

Your first message should be very simple, vague, you just want to get the conversation going. This is actually an area where a lot of Fantasy owners struggle. By sending a text like “What do you want for Julio?” catches the person off guard. They put their front up and will either say “not for sale” or make a ridiculous counter offer which ends the conversation. You need to bullshit a little bit. Try breaking the ice, be friendly and just get them talking. I try to avoid player names in the first message. Maybe even work an angle for a bench warmer and then work your way up to a bigger offer for a star player. Put in the time.

4. Play Owners Against Each Other

The best way to squeeze more out of a fantasy owner is to offer the players he’s interested in, to other owners. Once you have another offer on the table, all it’ll take is a screenshot to prove you can do better somewhere else. This is a really dirty move because if your league owners start talking to each other, then they’ll figure out what you’re up too. Nevertheless, once he see’s you in the works for another deal, he’ll either up his offer or storm off. The trick here is you send the “nice guy” follow-up email and say you were the first player interested, and that you want to “help them out” by getting a deal done.

5. Squeeze the Streamers

If there are a few owners in your league that want to stream their quarterbacks week to week, make life difficult by stockpiling a few QB’s if you have the bench space. This puts pressure on them to trade especially as we start to see more and more QB’s get injured. This trick is best to recommend for teams with winning records and in large leagues. I have even used a waiver claim to pick up a QB, only to trade that QB to a player who missed out.

6. Buy Low, Research the High

pierre garcon 49ersWe’ve all heard it before Buy Low, Sell High, it’s the most common expression when it comes to trades. I agree with trading for players coming off average to bad games. However, I’m not your typical “Sell High” type of owner. If an offense is getting hot, the targets are high, the carries are strong or the matchups look great, then hold on to that player as long as possible. I think there is a misconception of what type of player falls under the “Sell High” category. If you have a player on your bench that you would never start or need, then yes… trade that player away. Buck Allen was a sell high player this time last week. Those who held on to him will now have wait for a bounce-back game. You missed your opportunity to sell high. However, a player like Pierre Garcon, who finally had a strong game is not a player I want to move. Some would argue now would be the perfect time to sell after his strong Thursday night performance against the Rams and the three-game road trip the 49ers are about to kickoff, but I like having WR1’s on bad teams. If the 49ers are going to struggle, then they’re going to need to throw the ball to catch up into games and rack up garbage time. Brian Hoyer and Garcon finally look like they’re on the same page.

Make sure you research the players you want to get rid of. Look at the team schedule, targets, reps, and decide on how you see the player performing down the road. Also, have a peek at the matchups in weeks 14 through 16. Your goal is to make the playoffs, not to win next week.

Final Advice

Make trades that make sense for the season, not for the week. Every trade you make should improve your chances of making the postseason.

Got anything more for me to add to this article? Leave me a comment below. Also, follow me on Twitter to talk trades and tactics: @MikeRigz

Mike Rigz

Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 25 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had an outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike has three kids and lives on the West Coast. He's happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.

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