Next up in our Fantasy 101 series: The Art of Trade Negotiations 101. In Fantasy Football, a startup draft can be one of the hardest and most impactful events of the whole season. In Fantasy 101, we’ll take a close look at the basics of fantasy football and dive deep into what you NEED to know. Engage with 1,500+ passionate dynasty players and let the RotoHeat content team know what topics YOU want to hear about by visiting our RotoHeat Facebook page.
The Art of Trade Negotiations
In The Art of Trade Negotiations 101, we will take a deeper look on how to improve your team during and after your league’s draft. I will touch on Redraft/Keeper, Dynasty, IDP and Devy leagues.
I have been playing fantasy football for years, and my favorite part of it is trading. I’m not an expert, but I have turned around almost every team I’ve had by doing so. I’m not a good drafter, so I have relied on my trading methods to take me to the championship. I want to give you some insight on how to be the best when it comes to the art of trade negotiations.
How to be a Good Trade Negotiator
First things first: it’s important not to overvalue your players like crazy. I have tried trading with multiple guys who do this, and it can really take away from the knowledge they do have. Being unrealistic about your players isn’t going to fool anyone. You HAVE to learn how to compromise when trading. You’ll almost never get exactly what you initially ask for, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get what you need to make your team better. DON’T GET GREEDY! There’s a lot of give and take in the trade game. Make sure you’re not just a taker because people will stop trading with you and will ignore your messages.
Trade calculators are a great tool to help gauge, but it is NOT the end all be all. They don’t often take into account age, potential, expiring contracts and other outlier circumstances. You also have to make sure the calculator you’re using is up to date, otherwise it’s practically useless. I would suggest using one, but don’t be the person who relies solely on that.
When learning the art of trade negotiations, there can be a lot of pressure to accept a trade the further you go into trade talks, but don’t let that be your downfall. Learn to take a step away from your fantasy team, then come back and reevaluate where your trade discussions have gone. You don’t want to get caught up in your own trap. Moral of the story, don’t pull the trigger if you’re not 100% confident in what you’re getting.
Why Responding is Critical
Communication is the most important aspect of the art of trade negotiations. Lack of communication leads to frustration, which can lead to other players no longer wanting to trade with you. On the opposite side of things, make sure you’re patient with those who aren’t the fastest communicators. There are few exceptions where I have stop trying to trade because of communication. Don’t be the person who’s the reason for that.
In the art of trade negotiations, you won’t be able to read each other’s minds, so make sure you ask the right questions. Ask questions like, “Which player do you value higher?” or “Do you value superstars or depth more?” in order to learn more about what the other person is looking for in return value. While you’re asking questions, make sure to communicate where you’re at in the process, especially if not interested. There’s no point to lead someone on with a trade you know isn’t going to happen. You’ll just piss them off and ruin any chances to trade with them in the future.
Learn How to Become a Salesman
It’s the art of being pushy, but not over the top. You want to make the fellow trader comfortable, especially if you don’t know them very well or at all. A good salesman is someone who studies and knows not only their product (players in this case), but they also knows their competition’s as well.
In order to trade effectively, you need to know and highlight your players strengths, while acknowledging their weaknesses. Your player isn’t perfect, so make sure to learn how to respond to your own players weaknesses. Agree to the weakness if it’s clearly there, but bring up a strength that outweighs the weakness or dumb the weakness down. In the opposite way, highlight the weaknesses of the player you’re trading for and dumb down their strengths.
Being a salesman is the hardest part of trading because if you think your player has no weakness you will sound like you overvalue your players way too much. If you bring up too many weaknesses for the player you’re trading for, they’ll realize you’re undervaluing their player and question why you’d want him. The art of trade negotiations as a salesman ultimately means learning how to finesse.
Taking Wise Risks and Maximizing Waiver Wire Pickups
When looking to improve your team, it’s important to focus on the weak spots in your roster and attack those. I will often do that by going after sleepers in my position of need. Some sleepers are obvious breakout candidates and can get bought for a low value. Whether you’re in dynasty or redraft leagues, you have to learn how to look into the future and take risks. If you don’t take risks, you may not ever see a fantasy football championship. Make sure to be aware of RBs in RBBCs (running back by committee) and make sure to go after WRs with trash QBs. Bad QBs probably won’t be there long, but the WRs talent doesn’t change.
I will ALWAYS value a star player over multiple good players. If you can trade for a guy who gets you 20+ points a game for 2 guys who average 15 fantasy points per game, I’m all about it. I can always fill the empty spot with a guy from my bench or someone who has a good matchup off waivers. Hypothetically, the players you traded away get 30 points, but the star you traded for got 22 points. All you would need is a player who could score 8+ points to even the odds, and I’m confident most teams have a player who can surpass that. The art of trade negotiations is all about strategy. Remember that consistent RBs are hard to come by and WR’s are easy to come by week to week.
Waiver wire pickups are the last thing I want to touch on because they can carry a lot of trade value. I often have 1 or 2 guys who I constantly rotate from my roster for a guy on waivers. It’s educated guessing on who is going to pop off for the next week or two. Once in a while, if you’re diligent enough, you’ll pick up a guy who becomes a consistent starter. The key here is to trade when a guy is at peak value. I’ll say it again and again, it all comes down to doing your research!
Reference How to Easily Exploit Your Waiver Wire 101 to learn more about maximizing the waiver wire and the art of trade negotiations.
Thank you for reading The Art of Trade Negotiations 101. If you have any additional questions about something I didn’t touch on, make sure to ask me in the comments below! For more articles like this visit RotoHeat. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!