Now that draft season is coming to an end and the regular season is right around the corner, I want to give you the best advice I received when I was new to dynasty fantasy football: don't be afraid to lose a trade. Trading is not only the best part of being in a dynasty league, it is the easiest way to build a dynasty. When you are thinking over trades and worrying about losing out on value, someone else in your league is acquiring players, making their team better. Talking about potential trades is a great way to test your leaguemates values on certain players. We all should know how to wheel and deal our way into getting better deals for ourselves. It’s like buying a car or something at a garage sale - the sticker price is too high and you counter back and forth until both parties agree. Sounds simple right? Well here are some pointers on what to avoid in order to make trading a little easier.
-When you approach someone with a trade offer, don't tell them how good your player is and what's wrong with the guy you're trying to acquire.
-Don't overvalue the players on your roster. The way you feel about a player isn't going to make your league mate hit accept.
-If your trading partner already rejected Alvin Kamara+ for Saquon Barkley, don't offer him Jordan Howard+.
-Trading is contagious and it goes in spurts. Take advantage of your leaguemates that get caught up in the trading frenzy. I've seen it happen in all of my leagues and sometimes I can jump in and get a good deal and sometimes I can't. The important thing is that you try and get involved.
There have been plenty of good and bad trades for me since I’ve started playing dynasty. You can’t be scared to hit accept because sometimes it works out. I get lucky on some trades, take advantage of stubborn league mates at times, and I send offer consistently. Here are just a couple examples of some trades that have worked out well for me.
-Traded Mark Ingram + 1st + 2nd for Hopkins during the 2015 season to a running back needy team.
-Traded 1.02 + 1.06 for 1.01 in 2016. The 1.01 owner was going to take Treadwell before Dallas took Zeke.
-Traded Allen Robinson for Todd Gurley the summer before the 2017 season. Gurley and Robinson were coming off down years and people were throwing the overrated/bust labels out there.
There are a ton of trades that didn’t work out, but stuff happens and we move on. I traded Carlos Hyde and Russell Wilson for Ben Roethlisberger back in 2014. I thought stacking Big Ben with Antonio was a great idea.
With years of dynasty experience I noticed that it is key to pay attention to your league and keep up with the news. No, don't run to your TV and turn on ESPN or the NFL Network. It won’t help you and should only be on your TV as background noise when you are getting useful information from sites like DHH. There are hundreds of websites out there. Find the good ones and check them on a regular basis. Go and listen to podcasts. There are hours of good fantasy advice out there each week. Most importantly and my most used source is Twitter. Every good analyst is on Twitter and they constantly post their work. If you don't follow @RyanMc23 , you are already losing. Ryan McDowell did a project earlier this spring and gathered all the best people to follow on twitter for any kind of format imaginable. Go to Ryan's lists and subscribe to whatever list that applies; Top FF followers, podcasts, devy, dynasty, redraft, etc.
Pay attention to your leagues lineup setting, scoring settings, taxi squad, etc. can really pay dividends when it’s all said and done. Players can and should be valued differently depending on your league settings. Watch who is being dropped and added during waivers. Figure out how everyone plays in your league. That will help find people who are more willing to make trades for certain players. These are all little things that may seem pointless and there might be a time when you decide it isn’t worth your time. Don’t do it. There is a lot of luck that plays into fantasy football and you can’t control what GMs, coaches and players are doing. You can only control how prepared you are. Knowledge is power and being the first to know will give you an edge.
Trading can make you stressed about nothing and it can also make your day at times. Make a plan and stick with it for the most part. The more time you put into your league, the more you will get out of it. That doesn’t mean you need to be constantly trading and picking up guys off the waiver wire. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do. Trade talks don’t need to lead to a trade. Stay tuned in and make moves when you can. Now it’s time take advantage of your league mates, get trading, and pick up that perfect guy off the waiver wire.