• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

The Art of the Deal

By Joe Goodwin

Have you ever woken up to a notification that you have received a trade offer in one of your favorite leagues only to see the offer and think what a waste? Well, you and just about everyone else has had that feeling. Curiosity peaks me to then ask, what did you do with the trade offer that was a waste? Most managers crush decline and move on, and that is the biggest mistake in fantasy.

All too often, one manager is throwing out hypothetical trades to other managers to see what an interest level might be on a particular player. For example, I recently received a trade offer for CeeDee Lamb and Chris Olave.  Each player is my WR1 and WR2.  So, obviously, the return for my top two receivers should be a lot. However I was disappointed in the offer.  Not because of the value, Nuk, Dalvin Cook, and a 2nd round pick are not a bad place to start.  I just am not interested in DeAndre Hopkins in a dynasty league.

I could have easily hit decline and been on my merry way, but that’s not what makes a good trade. Instead, I reached out to the other manager and requested more if I was to lose my top 2 receivers;who also happen to be on most analysts’ top 10 dynasty receiver lists. The offer increased to include another 2nd round pick (2024) and a third round pick (2024) which now also included Derek Carr with Olave and CeeDee..

So, the “game” of trading had begun. Although the inclusion of Derek Carr in a superflex definitely tilted the request to “too much” in my book, it did provide valuable insight to me.

Through trial and error, I can now see three things the other team is trying to accomplish:

  1. They are dedicated to winning our league now by offering substantial draft capital
  2. By asking for my top 2 receivers, this team is in need of an upgrade at that position
  3. Other teams see me as a potential trade based on my current roster

When I responded that a certain player (DeAndre Hopkins) did not interest me, the trade cooled off…and that happens. However, I have gained a lot of information through the process.

If, at some point this season I decide to punt and reload, I can always follow up with this owner to see if CeeDee or Olave are still of interest to them, and I know the level of draft capital this manager is willing to part with to get a receiver. Lastly, if CeeDee and Olave are in my long term plans, I can pivot and potentially offer another wide receiver in a smaller package to the same manager.

In each of these scenarios, I maintain flexibility.  If I am too rigid with other managers, I’ll find it difficult to find trade partners when I am ready to make a deal.  People don’t want to deal with managers that are quick to dismiss offers and not willing to negotiate.

Many managers just see an offer that they don’t like, decline, and move on. This behavior can make you an “unwilling” trade partner and those managers may be hesitant to offer you trades in the future due to your response to the current offer. Instead, I URGE you to communicate with the other team. You may end up with a package you love. You just have to start the conversation. Or, you gain information that you can use later on in the season whether with this team or a different one.  I now have a baseline of the value of those players.

Yes, you may have to clearly state that you are not interested in moving a certain player, but since the door is open, you can suggest a different player to gauge interest. Regardless of what happens, always be willing to listen and negotiate with any team. Many deals get done because two teams decided to talk and listen to each other.

Good Luck and Happy Trading!