Thursday, November 8, 2007

Live and Die By the Deal

Expert Leagues are boring, mainly because no exciting deals happen. Now if you are like most of us, your fantasy leagues feature exciting blockbuster deals where teams trade half their rosters as often as Woody Paige makes absolutely no sense on Around The Horn.

That is why in most fantasy leagues, trading is much more important. Experts have their stuck up opinions, which remain true to them from draft day, through the end of the season. Experts live and die by the draft.

As common folk, we are more irrational beings, our opinions constantly changing. You can be so high on Mark Teixeira on draft day, pick him in the second round, but then two weeks into the season, willing to trade him for let's say Paul Konerko.

That is why trading is so important in (our) fantasy leagues. It is plausible to draft the worst team and still come out victorious - if you follow certain trading rules:

1) Do not trade for the sake of trading - Every deal you make, should have a purpose; whether you wished to bolster you Sp's, or add that 50 steals guy, do not just trade for the sake of change. Even if you are in last, do not make deals just to bring in some fresh faces.

2) Think over each trade thoroughly - Hopefully you did your homework before draft day, and are reasonably satisfied with your team. This should allow you to be very selective in the types of deals you do. When you finally come to the point of deciding between ultimately accepting or rejecting a trade, you should allow yourself at least two nights to think the trade over. Consult every known rankings/projections on the Internet, even ones you do not necessarily like, just to get the most opinions. After all of that, make your final decision. If the person you are dealing with is not a patient as you, and even threatens to cancel the trade if you wait that long, simply say, "Okay, you can cancel it then." Most likely this was a false threat, and the person will then allot you as much time as you need. Remember, you are not desperate since you are reasonably satisfied with your team, no deal is so important to you. Of course, there is the exception, that you person your dealing with is a complete moron/idiot/imbecile, and offers you a ridiculous trade you just know to accept. One last note, make sure no players you are receiving or dealing recently got injured without the other party aware.

3) Do not Deal to Deal - What I mean by that is this: do not complete a trade, simply to have to later trade one of the players you are receiving. Of course, if you already set up and agree to that second deal, then you can do the first. In that situation, make sure to analyze total players given up vs. total players received, not each deal individually.

So for example, Team A (you) wants to trade Posada for Brian McCann. Team B says, "I won't give you McCann, but I also have Russell Martin, who I know Team C really likes. . .I know you can get a lot out of Team C for Martin." You then do either two things. Either you set up a trade with Team C, in which you do give them Martin and get back enough, or you say to Team B, "Either McCann or no deal." Do not accept Posada for Martin before finalizing a deal with Team C. That's a good way to get ripped off.

4) Avoid uneven deals - By this I mean do not make 2 for 1 deals, try to stay 1 for 1, 2 for 2, etc. Especially avoid uneven deals if you are the side receiving the two players. Since you are getting the same production from 2 players you are used to from 1, your team is now more inefficient. Of course there are exceptions, like if you have major depth issues. In 2 for 1 deals, however, being on the "1 side" can be very beneficial. Consider it a 2 for 2 deal, since you can usually add a player after. This works great in shallow leagues where there is an abundance of talent in the free agent pool. Trade two or even three decent players for one super star, and then get some high-risk-high-reward guys that are available.

5) Never come across as desperate - In effect, you are "selling" your product, or players, to the other team. Make them seem as hard to get, as this will increase their value, and eventually increase what you can get in return for them. When talking about your players try to highlight their strengths, while avoiding their weaknesses.

Now let's say you are dealing with another team, and at one point in the negotiations an offer comes floating around that seems appealing to you at first glance. Do not stop there! Tell the other player that deal is just alright, and try to get whatever more you can out of them. Now if after lets say twenty minutes or so, the other player refuses to give in, and you still like the original deal, accept it. Make sure to realize that the other player did well themselves, as they did not act desperate and throw more at you.

Those are just some basic trading tips, the most important thing is actually knowing a player's worth, which is where stats come in. But still, being a successful dealer is not all knowing stats, you must also know how to become a businessman and make the best deal.



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