It’s week 4. Week 4 might be my favorite week of the fantasy football season (or SZN as the young kids like to say). In my opinion we have 3 full games worth of figuring out players who are good, are going to be good, are so-so, and those who are falling flat on their face into the pit of misery (dilly, dilly!). Week 4 is the perfect time to go shoppin’.
With that being said, you might have your own list of buy-low candidates or maybe all the sleepers you stashed on your bench have blown up and you want to package a couple for a “PTP’er”. Whether you need depth help or just want to get greedy and put together a juggernaut of a squad, this article is general advice on how to approach your fellow GM(s) about a trade.
Now, I’m no Jordan Belfort. I can’t just give you this script and teach every one of you to be the best. This ain’t it, Chief. Think more along the Pirate Code in that this is more of a guideline than rule, per se (I love movies). One that is geared more toward a buy-low strategy specifically because it is quite difficult to trade for studs.
So let’s make a deal:
Formulating your offer
You have spent the first 3 weeks figuring out the shortcomings of your team. You could be 3-0 entering week 4 and still want to improve an area of your team. Keep in mind this is what every other GM is thinking as well regardless of record.
First, start by looking at other starting lineups and figure out what you may think the real shortcomings of that team are or where that team could improve. Treat it like it is your own team.
This next step is key. Your goal of the trade is to get the deal, sure. But understand that the other owner is probably not going to accept if it doesn’t help their team. With that being said before you hit that propose button ask yourself, “would I do this trade in reverse?”
I will explain this more later, but when thinking about the offer come up with an initial person to give up. Most likely the negotiations will go a few rounds of offer/counteroffer. Come up with a best-case scenario player and a worst-case scenario player, and understand that eventually it is probably going to take the worse-case player to obtain the player you’re targeting. Keep in mind when I say “worse-case player” I don’t mean one of your best players for a guy you think might blow up, nah, that ain’t it either, Chief. I just mean there’s probably a more valuable player that you own that will probably get the deal done. Again, this will be explained more later. Just keep reading (actually do what you want we already got the click).
In some leagues this is actually somewhat difficult. If you’re in a league of family members or lifelong friends, or a bunch of idiots and lovely ladies that you write a blog with, it is a little easier to contact one another about a trade since everyone has the other GM’s contact info. If you are not in one of these leagues where people know one another, then what I suggest to do is to send the owner a message before hitting the propose button. Look, none of us likes getting bombarded with what they think are crap-tastic trade offers. Those of us that get these offers can’t smash the DECLINE button fast enough. To avoid this, start by sending a cordial message asking if Player X, Y, or Z is available. If they aren’t available then easy enough, move on and find the next owner to go through the process with.
This step is still taking place either in text messages or e-mails between you and the other GM. The most important thing to remember here is to avoid being a sleazy car salesman at all costs. Typically the more “salesy” you are in a proposal, the more cringeworthy it will be and most likely, turn the other GM off.
Be honest. Just not too honest. For example, if you are wanting Wide Receiver X from this GM and are willing to give up Running Back Y to this GM explain why this works for both teams (since you put yourself in their shoes this should be easy). “Alright well since Wide Receiver X is available what do you think about possibly trading him to me for Running Back Y? I looked at your team and thought you might could use some RB help and I could use the WR help so we could help each other out and both get a little better.” You don’t have to explain that you think Running Back Y is about to lose his job and that Wide Receiver X has the chance to be the #1 wide receiver the rest of the way.
Their reaction: acceptance/rebuttal/counteroffer
Best case scenario, they reply to the message with, “yeah that sounds great. Propose it and I will accept it.” Bingo, bango, bongo. Congratulations, GM! Stand proud in front of your phone, tablet, or computer like Superman (or Superwoman) you got the deal done. Pop bottles (do people say that anymore?)
Now most likely you will get a response along the lines of what BanterCamp’s own, Team Dave Trubisky, says to most initial trade offers, “kick rocks.” Hmm. Productive response, Cowboy. Thanks.
Occasionally though they might propose you a counteroffer or ask about another player.
Your reaction: acceptance/counteroffer
Now think back to when we talked about best-case player and worse-case player. This is when that comes into play. They rejected your best-case player. Shucks. Thought we might be able to get away with one there. Alright, well, time to go in with the big guns. Time to propose the offer you thought you were going to have to make all along but play hard to get. “Hm. Well, ugh…. I’m not sure I want to do this but would you accept Running Back Z for Wide Receiver Y? Not for sure I want to do that but is that enough to get Wide Receiver Y?”
There are two outcomes here:
One is that after this conversation, this is the deal that gets accepted. In which case, hey that’s great, it’s what you expected anyways and you got your guy.
The other is another rejection or counteroffer. You have got 3 options from here, you can either thank the GM for their time and stick with what you have, move on to the next owner of a player you are targeting and start the process again, or continue through the offer/counteroffer, offer/counteroffer song and dance until one of you gives in, gives up, or falls over dead.
Hope this is somewhat beneficial for those of you struggling to make moves. Fantasy football leagues are always more fun with more active players making trades. So don’t be afraid to reach out to the person you’ve never met before or if you’ve never made a trade before. There’s a first time for everything and practice makes perfect, unless you’re Allen Iverson.
Alright BanterCamper’s… LET’S GO SHOPPIN’!