“The best trade is when both teams come out of it happy.”
These are words to live by when making and offer to another team owner, but perception can be your most valuable asset. We all know buy-low and sell-high, but the first thing to consider when approaching a deal is to know your enemy.
Know Your Enemy
Every owner in your league is different. You may have the pushover, who happily forks over his league fee every year, seemingly content with habitual losing. Maybe he just likes the camaraderie, but he would hand you the keys to his car and tell you where he keeps the “good” scotch. No one needs help here.
Then there’s the Immovable Stone. He, who graciously offers you three pennies for a nickel. You feel compelled to share his ridiculous e-mails with the rest of the league while he complains that no one trades with him. There is no help available here either, unless you happen to be the Irresistible Force, but even then it’s a toss-up.
Finally, we have the Lowballer (starts low, finishes stronger), the Bigger Better Deal (loves to tell you how he’s the only one who won’t screw you over), and Mr. Name Recognition (whose roster reads like a greatest hits album … from five seasons ago).
Once you identify what type of owner you are dealing with, you can get to work.
Deal from Strength
Loading up on runningbacks on draft day can pay big dividends later. Runningbacks always get hurt … always. The same can be said for quarterbacks and wide receivers to a lesser extent. As when shopping for accessories with your girlfriend, take a page from her handbook and think
Sexy Handcuffs. There are just too many two-back backfields today, so don’t be so shy and/or polite come draft day. Grab a few of those big time backups. There isn’t a year that goes by that
Chester Taylor wasn’t off the board earlier than he should have, but what if Adrian Peterson went down? Yes, Peterson’s owner thinks about this all of the time! That, my friend, is juicy bait.
One of your owners will draft
Felix Jones. He will think about
Marion Barber and he will doubt his pick, and rethink it, and change his mind, and change it back again. Well, besides Barber’s value on your bench, the level of security it would afford Jones’ owner is higher.
Think Starters, Not Bench
Depth is a good thing. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s helpful if a starter goes down or for that one bye week. Myself, I would rather have the weakest bench in the league if it meant that I could put my starters on autopilot right through the playoffs. Don’t overlook the value of someone who will start for your team as opposed to the player who looks pretty on your bench, so when you have the chance to overpay with bench players, well, don’t you just have to do that? An unexpected benefit can be clogging up your opponent’s roster with more choices for him to mess up!