Fantasy 101: Winning Your Trades

     I don’t remember much from my Economics degree in school, and I use even less in any given day.  But one thing I do remember: timing is everything.  If you want to sell something at a high price, you need to do it when demand is high and supply is low.  Conversely, to buy a player for great value you should strike when demand is low and supply is high.



Trading, at least in most leagues I am in, is a seemingly impossible thing to do. Everyone wants the big win.  At the beginning of this year someone offered me a soon-to-be suspended Zeke for Tom Brady and OBJ.  Luckily, down the road of offensive offers and selfishness, I do believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  

People, far too often, think about trades on a player by player basis; as opposed to addressing them situationally.  Often I hear people saying “I need to get rid of x” or “Y had a really good game, I want to target him”, but all that’s doing is chasing points.  Instead, you should address the situation as a whole, and manipulate good timing to your advantage.  Here are a few examples I went through this year.

I was an OBJ owner, if you are grieving as well I understand your pain.  As soon as he went down, I had to upgrade my WR core.  I did not chase a particular player, instead I looked at my situation.  What I did have, was Duke Johnson Jr., who had scored three touchdowns in the last three weeks, before that he only has scored three in his previous two years.  Looking at what is most likely to happen next, I traded Duke for Doug Baldwin, a historic slow starter and potential top 10 WR every week.  Here are their outputs before and since the week 5 trade:


These don’t always work out.  Similarly, I was struggling at RB, so I looked for more depth.  I traded for C.J Anderson in week seven only giving up Sammy Watkins.  He had a few bad games, but so did the offense as a whole, and I think he is the best running back on Denver.  It has not served me well thus far, but I think the trade was the right move at the time, and am more optimistic about C.J. becoming fantasy relevant again before Sammy Watkins.

I’ll give one more example.  Zeke got ‘suspended’ in week 9, supposedly keeping him out until the last two weeks of the fantasy playoffs.  There is one team in our league that has a dominant roster, and plenty of skill to spare.  He traded Doug Martin, his fourth best running back on his roster, for Zeke straight up.  A trade like this would only be possible with this timing, because he traded a starter now for a league winner later.


Rarely, in competent leagues, can you outright rob someone in your trades.  The best way to upgrade the strength of your team is to trade based on situations, not players.

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