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Trading Tactics: Mass Trade Offers

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.

 

 

 

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Cyrus
10 years ago

I agree with a lot of this advice… but I would recommend contacting the other owner via email or other message with the framework for an offer but not a firm offer.

For example: An owner had just taken over a team with a surplus of TE. It was insane, Gates, Finley, Graham and Pettigrew. I figured he would sell one of them for a low price, so I messaged him and said that I was interested in one of his TE’s, and other players on his team that I liked were (list).

He got back to me that he wanted to trade Stewart because he didn’t trust him. He asked me for an offer. Instead of giving a hard offer, I listed the players I would part with in some sort of package. Then he got back to me with a hard offer of Finley and Stewart for Timmons and my 1.09 pick in the rookie draft.

Had I given a hard offer, I wouldn’t have even started that low out of fear of losing a trade partner. Granted, if DeAngelo returns, the trade is fair and I didn’t make out… but if DeAngelo leaves in FA, I feel like I just robbed him. To make sure he would trade with me in the future, I accepted the offer and added a WR (his biggest weakness) that I could part with in Hines Ward for free.

That is just one example– I trade a lot in my leagues, so I have many others. I guess the three things I would add based on this is:
1- Have multiple frameworks thought out so that you can negotiate and possibly increase the deal. I aimed for Finley, but got Stewart and Finley.

2- Start a conversation and see how the other owner values players. I like to be open and rank how I value their players, and in return ask them to rank how they value mine. I then target players they undervalue (according to me) and offer players they overvalue (according to me).

3- Be willing to give extra value. I didn’t need Ward, and I feel much better including him because if Stewart blows up, he knows that I didn’t try to fleece him and will trade with me again. Fair value for both teams.

Riders4Ever
10 years ago

Cyrus,
I can’t see how adding Ward to the deal comes even close to evening up that deal. I think you just got handed an early Christmas present. IMO Timmons and the 1.9 rookie pick are a good return for either Stewart or Finley (although I would still want the Finley or Stewart side of the deal by a large margin!), but to get both is just robbery. Adding an aging/declining Hines Ward just doesn’t even it out. Also, even if DeAngelo returns to the Panthers you still made out like a bandit.
You essentially gave up Timmons (admittedly a stud IDP), a draft pick that will turn out to be somebody like Leshoure, Carter, Murray, Vereen or Baldwin and Hines Ward in return for two stud players.Those kind of offers don’t come along every day.

Cyrus
10 years ago

Agreed it was a steal. I shouldn’t have said that it was fair value, as it wasn’t, but my point was that I made an effort to be fair by including someone that I didn’t need that could help his team.

I also like to do that when I have a lot of prospects and not a lot of room– it doesn’t matter how good the prospect is, if I am not going to be able to keep them, they are thrown in to trades to make the other owner like trading with me.

Not all of my trades are that one sided, but I do have a long history of trading players I don’t value for players I do– and in retrospect, the trade looks one sided because the players I like pan out.

My favorite thing to do is to trade for future 1st rounders– I successfully guessed the 1.01 pick in 2009 and 2011, trading for them before the season. Too bad all I got was Moreno from 2009. I have one pick that will be top 3, with a chance at being #1 overall again next year.

Brian
10 years ago

I think it was pretty even but certainly not a steal. Stewart is no stud as long as he’s part of a committee and I don’t think any TE(even the top prospect) is worth a 1st round pick where you can get a stud WR or RB for years to come. Furthermore, after the 3 skilled positions, linebackers are usually the top point-getters in fantasy(unless you incorporate a team DEF). Now that Williams is back, he got the better deal, not you.

OFFL Champion, 2011
OFFL runner-up, 2010
OFFL Champion, 2009

Steve Wyremski
10 years ago

Dealing Finley for just Timmons/1.09 is an absolute steal in itself. Add in Stewart and it’s grand larceny.

I generally agree with the thought process of the article. I often have 10-15 offers outstanding with various guys across the league in a period when I’m really looking to deal a player. It’s not a rare occurrence that I’d send out 100 offers in a week if I want to deal a particular guy. MJD back in March/April was that guy for me and I ended up dealing him away for a price I was very happy with.

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