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Should I Make This Trade?

Have you ever been frustrated with trades in your dynasty league? Trading is not easy in any format but TNFF crew member Brian Bailey (@TheFFAviator) is here to help you overcome some trading obstacles and to provide advice on which type of players to trade and which managers you should trade with.

If you play dynasty fantasy football, you have been asked or have asked someone the following question:

Hey … should I make this trade?”

It doesn’t matter if you have been playing in a dynasty league for a long time or if you are new to it. There are many different variables to look at when determining whether to accept a trade or not. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as looking at a trade offer and analyzing whether you are receiving ‘market value.’

In the fantasy football world, there now exists multiple trade calculators to assist you in evaluating a trade along with Average Draft Position (ADP) charts. However, you need to step back and look at your team in order to effectively evaluate whether or not to make or accept a trade. If you complete trades solely based on a trade calculator or ADP chart, you could end up creating a middle of the pack team that is stuck to be mediocre for as long as you are playing in that league. Let's take a look at some of the key factors to consider before accepting or offering a trade.

Determine the Identity Of Your Team

The first thing that you have to do before you accept or offer a trade, is to determine what kind of team you have. Is your team a contender? Or is it rebuilding? This is a crucial part of the trade process. If any of you travel, you need to know which direction you are going before you head out on a trip. Otherwise, your journey can take longer or you may just go around in circles. Fantasy football is no different. If you think that your team is a borderline playoff team you should not consider yourself a contender.

You have to be honest in this process and that is tough to do when you are looking at your team, especially when you are the original manager. Most of the time we have drafted or traded for players that we like. However, owning players that we like that don’t produce, won’t win you any championships! You need to produce a team that is able to put up points and be young enough to maintain that production or else you will be in Dynasty Mediocrity Limbo. The worst place to be year after year is to be the team that gets knocked out in the first round of the playoffs and subsequently does not get to draft the top-end talent in rookie drafts. This is the worst position for your team to be in. It's not good enough to win you games in the playoffs and subsequently league prizes but not bad enough for you to draft high-end rookie talent needed to help you rebuild for a future championship.

Once you have made this very important self-analysis of your team, you are Golden Pony Boy! (for those of you under the age of 35, Google 'the Outsiders')

Trade Calculators - Helpful But Beware

Trade calculators can be a very valuable tool if you are new to the dynasty world. If other managers know that you are new to dynasty and their leagues, they will smell blood in the water and the fantasy football sharks will be circling. You will receive multiple trade offers from savvy managers trying to sell you players for your picks that are way off value and visa versa.

A trade calculator can give you the knowledge about what some players and picks could be valued at, so you don’t get taken advantage of. This could prevent you from having to start into rebuild mode right away when you just finished your initial draft. You wouldn’t want to try out a dynasty league and get talked into trading away a future first-round pick for a player that will be put on waivers halfway through the season. Making the wrong trade can set you back and have you facing an uphill battle right away!

There are many trade calculators out there and they all value players and picks slightly differently. Some figure out the value based on that company's writer’s rankings, while others may set the value based on current ADP and other variables. Do your research and figure out which one will work best for you.

When using a trade calculator, always remember that values change constantly and the value on the calculator isn’t gospel. You have to make your own decision of how you view that player moving forward.

Which Players to Keep and Sell

Once you have figured out if you are a contender or in a rebuild, stick to it until you get where you want to go. If you are rebuilding, don’t trade for older RBs or old WRs. The thing that will delay your rebuild the longest is having guys on your roster that are going to lose substantial value. You don’t need to hold on to WR Antonio Brown until he finally gets suspended because by then, he will have lost all his value on your team. When value disappears … it's gone! We all want to have guys on our team that we want to root for. Whether it is because they are on our favorite team or that we like their personalities. However, you have to know when to cut ties.

If you are rebuilding, the only players that you should have on your team are appreciating assets. There is no reason for you to have a player like Julio Jones on your roster if you are rebuilding. While he is an elite talent, he actually hurts your rebuild. Julio will produce for your team and possibly help your team win more games, which in turn will give you a worse draft pick the following year. While staying on your roster, he will only be decreasing in trade value in the future as he gets older.

Tip: When building your roster, sometimes the best trades are not for players you are trying to acquire but rather trading away the players that don’t fit your team identity (contender or rebuilding). Work hard to move these players before they sour in the eyes of others and they are stuck depreciating on your roster.

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How To Get Trade Deals Done?

Similarly to how you had to initially do a self-analysis of your team before you send a trade offer to another manager, you should try and figure out where that other team is at - what is that team's identity? If they are a contender, they will be more likely to trade for aging veterans that will give them instant production and they will not be concerned as much with the age drop off.

Along with looking at whether they may be a contender or rebuilding, you also need to see where a team is strong or weak positionally. A good trading partner is someone that is weak at the positions that you are strong at. The perfect trades are the ones that make both teams stronger and both owners happy.

An important aspect of making trades is to develop strong trading relationships with other managers. I compare it to how my dad taught me how to shop growing up. He used to tell me that if you have the choice to buy from local shops consistently, you do it. You will receive better service and deals after you have built up a relationship and you will save more in the long run. The same concept goes for trading. If people are comfortable trading with you then they will be return customers. If you trade multiple times with another owner, then you get to understand the way they look at player values and their needs. This allows trades to get done easier.

When you are working on trades, make sure you are honest and transparent. No one wants to feel like they are dealing with a used car salesman trying to sell you a car that is going to break down on the way home. Be straightforward about your roster construction and where you are going with your team. It helps the other owner to understand why a trade may not work for your team and how you are trying to build it.

There is always that one manager in every league that when other owners receive a trade offer from, they roll their eyes before even opening the offer. Don’t be “That Guy!” There is no reason that you should be constantly sending out trade offers, that someone would have to accidentally hit the wrong button, to be accepted. It will annoy the other managers in your league, they won’t take you seriously and it will ultimately make it harder to get a trade done.

Putting the Plan in Place

Now that you have stepped back and evaluated your team, it is time to put your plan in place. Figure out which players should be on your roster and which ones shouldn’t. Look at the other rosters in your league and find that team where a trade could mutually help each other. Spark up those trade talks, get some deals done but most of all...have fun!

Thank you for reading this article. Agree or disagree with my advice on how to approach dynasty trades? Do you have any tips or strategies when dealing with trades? Please leave a comment or feedback on Twitter @TheFFAviator

Graphic work: Dan Made Graphics (@DanMadeGraphics)

Editor: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)