One of the funnest parts of fantasy football is trading. As the season progresses you'll have some guys that are better than expected, worse than expected, and some that get injured. Making a trade makes sense to both owners at the time but in the long run usually one side gets the better deal. Here are some tips to follow when making a trade.
1. Always sell high.
If you have a top player that just had a down game please don't be dumb enough to think that's the time to trade him. For example, Keenan Allen of the Chargers just went against two of the top corners in football in Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman in weeks 1 and 2. Don't by any means think, “well it's time to get rid of this guy” or if someone makes you a less than favorable offer think it's fair based on those two weeks.
Say you have 4 really good WRs and want to trade 1 in particular for a position where you need a starter, wait until that player has an attractive game and sell high.
Most owners play this game week to week forgetting the objective: you're trying to build a team that wins you a championship. In one league I own both Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, Gronk had a quiet game while Graham went bananas, does that mean I tried to trade Gronk? Nope, I actually moved Graham for Matt Forte. Now by no means do I not believe Graham is a monster, he is, but I am getting a top RB and I have enough faith in Gronkowski to believe he'll be fine in the long run.
2. Try to buy low.
After my first point, this is pretty obvious. If you're eying a player, simply wait for him to have a down game then slip the owner a trade. Note: never seem too eager for a guy because that will just make the owner suspicious and not want to give him up.
I always come up with some excuse when trying to get a guy I like, something like, “I have too many RBs and I'm looking for a WR, let me know if you're interested”. When really I'm thinking “PLEASE TRADE ME THIS GUY”. You always want to be the one giving 2 for 1 trades opposed to receiving them because that means you're likely getting a sure-fire starter for your roster.
If you have a high waiver, those pick ups can always be good trade bait as well. I managed to pick up Kirk Cousins in two leagues this week. I flipped him for Torrey Smith (a buy low) in one, and Matthew Stafford in a two for one in which I included Ahmad Bradshaw (a sell high).
3. Never send the trade you want right off the bat.
Ever seen a pawn shop reality show?
“I'll give you $500”
“I need $1,000”
“I can do $600”
“Can you go up to $800?”
“You're killing me, let me give you $700”
“Can we split the difference, $750?”
The seller feels like he's a winner because he got the pawn owner to go up $250 but in reality the owner had that $700-$800 price in his head, it's the exact same premise. Note: always try to get all the owner's phone numbers in your league – it makes trading a ton easier and faster, even by text.
Now on the other hand, don't disrespect the guy. Don't send him a trade that's going to make him laugh and think you're an idiot and not want to do business with you. I'll throw out a hypothetical; say I want Mike Wallace, I'll look over the owner's roster and see that he needs a RB. I'll send him a trade with a guy I can afford to lose like Stevan Ridley, and a bench player for say Antonio Brown and a bench player. I'll send him a text saying something like, “have too many RBs, sent you a trade” and that will hopefully start the transaction.
He'll likely text back either saying he wants one of my top 2 RBs or that he can't give up Brown, nonetheless my response would be to offer him Stevan Ridley and a bench player for Mike Wallace and a player I don't need but I know has value to him. Hopefully after some back and forth the trade would look something like Stevan Ridley and Markus Wheaton for Mike Wallace.
4. Don't mock or act cocky after a good trade.
If you're out with your fantasy buddies, don't say something like, “did you guys see the trade I got from this bozo?!” Remember this is not only a season long game but a yearly game too, if you act like a jerk after a trade nobody is going to want to do business with you.
For example, after my Graham for Forte trade I was having some drinks watching TNF with my friends in that league and someone told the owner, “What were you thinking giving this guy Forte?” and I defended the guy, I said Graham is a beast – it wasn't a bad trade. Now if I carry myself like that instead of haha I know what an idiot, I'm sure the guy will want to make some trades with me in the future.