Being Proactive Vs. Being Annoying
I am all for trying to better your roster from the time the draft ends to the very second that you are eliminated from the playoffs. I even love making trades during a draft. That’s why I always prefer having a live in-person draft because you can use some of the best skills a poker player possesses to your advantage. You can read a person’s reaction to a pick. (bad or good.) You can use your memory of how much an owner loves a certain player to corner them into a trade. You can even use your mathematical skills to gain an advantage when trading draft picks.
The problem I have seen with online drafts full of anonymous strangers is there is little to no advantage to be culled for trade purposes during a draft. The message board is often filled with braggadocio and insults, and offers little useful information to the cunning owner. The occasional, you sniped me comment, can be used, but even then the owner knows they opened their big mouth during the draft. The trade block after a draft is filled with mistake picks that look like road side junk on the way to a theme park.
After a draft is always a delicate time for trades. It’s easy to take a player or two off an owner’s hands that had some buyer’s remorse, but trying to pry away top draft picks is often a fruitless endeavor. They were drafted high for a reason. The owner believes in their talent and opportunity. The only time I even try and go after an owner’s first few picks is when there is some post draft news that may affect how in love they really are with that player. Is the backup all of a sudden going to be handed a bigger role. Is there an injury that went unnoticed in the preseason.
Make Sure You See The Signs
If an owner tells you up front that they would prefer not to talk about trades until after the season starts, take that as a big hint. They are basically posting a huge warning sign that states CLOSED UNTIL THE SEASON. Treat these owners like they are bears in hibernation. You don’t really want to go prodding the bear and end up creating an enemy for life.
If an owner says a certain player is OFF LIMITS don’t cross that line. As the great @WHUDEY says all the time, habitual line steppers will be put in their place! No rationale or pointing out of holes in an owner’s lineup will help you pry away an untouchable. You will only make that owner dig in deeper, like a jungle warrior trying to avoid an invading army. You are only setting yourself up for disaster if you keep on with the assault.
If an owner says they have a certain need, make sure your trade offer solves that problem otherwise you are wasting people’s time. Don’t try and sell your offer as a problem solver if it only puts a band-aid on an open wound. When someone loses Reggie Wayne for the year don’t offer them Hakeem Nicks for Jimmy Graham. Not only are you insulting their intelligence, you are bringing your own into question.
If your 100 MESSAGES aren’t being returned it’s time to rethink your strategy. Trying to get a trade done is not a war of attrition. You don’t try and wear down the other owner until they finally accept an offer. You are not only alienating the owner, but you are setting yourself up for a big problem. If you continuously set your sites on one player you can make so many offers that you may make a mistake where you give away way too much for that player. It’s especially dangerous if the owner you are trying to force a trade with is a poker player. A good owner (poker player) could be just checking and checking every time they decline your trade offers without a reason, waiting to trap you into that one big hand where he empties your wallet. (roster.)
Being First To The Feeding Frenzy
When there is a major injury on a Sunday in fantasy football, the first thing I do is check the owner of that player’s roster for possible trade fits. I treat that owner as if they are a stranded swimmer out in the ocean. Life boats will be coming at them from all angles with some boats looking more inviting then others. Being first to lend a hand with a sensible offer can put you at the head of the line if there are multiple owners with similar offers. Remember that most owner’s worst traits tend to come out when they smell blood in the water. They offer their waiver wire bound wide receiver and act like it’s the golden ticket from Willy Wonka. I’m pretty sure Slugworth wouldn’t even want Miles Austin on his roster if it meant some of Wonka’s secrets.
Please use these tips as a guide of what not to do in trying to trade in fantasy sports.