Editor’s Note: This strategy column is written by a new Member Corner Author, Chase Wheetley.
When I first started playing in dynasty leagues, I loved the feeling of negotiating a trade, but it was often hard for me to find a partner. Part of the problem was not understanding player values in dynasty, but another part of the problem was playing it safe too often. It’s easy to sit back and wait for trades to come to you, or maybe send out an offer or two hoping someone will bite. You may even go out of your way to make a post to your league’s trade block, but that’s often not enough.
When you really want to move a player, it’s time to start sending out offers in bulk. Everyone has their players they want to target (if you’re like me there are dozens of them) and you can always find multiple players in the same tier you wish you could target. The good thing is you can target as many of them as you want while shopping guys you want to move. Instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen, I’ve begun sending out as many offers at once as I’m comfortable with.
This strategy works on multiple fronts. By sending out trade offers to multiple teams in your league, everyone knows who you’re looking to move, and you’re much more likely to get someone to pull the trigger on a trade or to receive a counter that opens the door to negotiations. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to find trade partners if everyone knows what you’re seeking from them in exchange for your players.
In fantasy football, just like anything else, most owners want to achieve as much success as possible with the least amount of work needed. While you may never receive an offer if you say you’re looking to trade Maurice Jones-Drew for a top receiver in a package, sending offers to all the teams with comparable wide receivers you’re looking for takes most of the work out of your trading partner’s hands, often leading to swift negotiations.
Sending out trade offers in mass will result in many more rejections than accepted trades, but this strategy leads to progress much quicker than targeting one or two teams and trying to work something out. Instead of an email or two, if you’re in a 12-team league, send hard trade offers to 6-8 teams.
It’s up to you what sort of trade offers you send. You can send out the fairest offer possible on your first attempt, or leave yourself a little wiggle room to make a compromise. I’ve tried both ways, and I usually like to leave myself just a little room to pull back if an offer is rejected. If you send out your absolute best offer and the other owner comes back to negotiate, it can feel like pulling hairs to try to work something out.
If there’s a 4th round rookie pick coming back to you that you just threw into your original offer, you don’t even have to hesitate in asking the other owner, “Would it make any difference if I took that 4th round pick out of the offer?”
To the other owner it looks like you’re doing a little to level with them, which you are. What they don’t know is you weren’t necessarily expecting them to pull the trigger on the deal in the first place. You shouldn’t expect to make a trade on the first round of offers. Things usually heat up after your offer is rejected.
When an owner rejects your offer, send them a short email saying you’re interested in working something out if they are, and are willing to negotiate if you can get a little insight into what they’re looking for. Most owners will reply to your emails, and your follow-up is a sign that you’re willing to work with them to make a trade that benefits their team.
This follow-up email often leads to nice dialogue about your offer, and can pave the road to a trade. If the other owner still isn’t open to a trade, that’s okay, too. Sending follow-up emails will help improve your relationships with other owners in the league, leading to further negotiations down the road. Always remember that just because you didn’t make the deal today doesn’t mean it won’t lead anywhere in the future. A good impression can go a long way.
If an owner makes it known they’re not interested in any sort of package involving those players, just cross them off the list of teams you’ve targeted, but don’t stop making offers until you’ve crossed all possible partners off the list. With a little work, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a partner in your league. It only takes 5-10 minutes to pump out quite a few offers, and then you can sit and wait for the rejections/accepted trades to come back to you before taking your next steps.
Sending out mass trade offers can speed up a rebuild quickly. Instead of planning the traditional “fire sale” that many owners attempt, you’ll find yourself flipping players for others, and increasing the value on your team. Always remember the goal is to improve the value of your team. If you manage to swap a player for another with better value, don’t be afraid to pull the trigger just because you don’t like the player. Instead, make the trade and start all over, sending out multiple offers and flipping the player you received for one that you are higher on.
Everyone should have some sort of method they use for making dynasty trades. Without a plan, you’ll have trouble making anything happen, but if you have an attack plan it’ll be easier for you to make the deals you’re looking for. All you need is a list of the teams in your league and a commitment to putting in the work needed to get a deal done. As long as you can handle the multiple rejections and be devoted to sending follow-up emails, you’ll see an increase in the number of successful trades you make.
- The All-Ugly Team - May 27, 2012
- Dynasty 101: Maximizing Value on Your Dynasty Roster - May 15, 2012
- Trading Tactics: Mass Trade Offers - July 20, 2011