It’s Trade Talk Thursday and many readers are trying to figure out which week eight trade targets would look best on their fantasy football team. Unfortunately, it was a relatively quiet week on the fantasy football landscape when it comes to trade implications. There were no Zeke suspensions and the only quarterbacks that were hurt were Carson Palmer and Jay Cutler. And if you were counting on either of them to save your fantasy football season, you are beyond saving.
If you’ve read up on our guide to initiating fantasy football trades, you should be ready to go. If you haven’t read it, I can only assume you are illiterate, so I will show pretty pictures for you to help guide you through the disaster that is your fantasy football roster.
Since there don’t appear to be any major week eight trade targets that can be had at discounted prices, I want to take at how to approach maximizing your bench depth to give your starting lineup more firepower. And like I always say, your assessments might not be the same as mine, so be sure to adapt these strategies according to your own evaluations.
When Two For One Becomes Two For None
Goal: To figure out how to maximize our bench depth to improve our playoff staring lineup.
Problem: Even if you had a perfect fantasy football draft, you probably don’t have a perfect fantasy football starting lineup. We have all been in leagues where we are trying to figure out how to pry away an elite player from a struggling team. This presents a major challenge for two reasons. First, if someone is trying to compete, they are not going to give you the only player that is making them competitive. The other problem is that by sacrificing bench depth to improve your starting lineup, an injury that might have been uncomfortable when you had a strong bench, can become a disaster once you’ve traded them away.
Strategy: I believe the first half of your fantasy football season is for building as deep a roster as you can. If you have been working the waiver wire and making trades whenever possible, you should find yourself with a solid roster to work with. If you haven’t played the waiver wire game, you can probably stop reading now. If you couldn’t put in the energy to salvage your terrible roster, why spend the energy trying to make a trade. Nobody wants your bad players anyway.
And that is the point. Don’t just try pawning off your worst players for some guys best players. Just because his team is bad, doesn’t mean he is an idiot. All you are doing is making him not want to trade with you. This is why I tell you to start a dialogue and see what he wants. He might value players you are down on more than the players you like. Make him think that it is his idea that he wants your Tarik Cohen, when secretly you know that the only place the back up running back on a Chicago Bears offense is taking you is a state of perpetual sadness.
But before you start a conversation, you need to do two things. First, go through your roster and figure out which positions you are strongest at and which positions you are weakest at. If you have five top 30 WR’s, that is your strongest position. If you have two top five quarterbacks, why the hell are you rostering two quarterbacks anyway, you idiot? Trade one immediately!
Here is a 12 man standard scoring league roster of mine that I am looking to improve upon.
Because a lot of people made bad decisions on cutting elite players who are injured, I have put myself in a position to have an exceptionally strong starting lineup in the playoffs. Upon a casual glance, I would say that running back is my strongest position. But I am not going to just assume it is a position of strength. Let’s look at all the running backs in the league.
As you can see by the highlighted backs, I have three of the top eight running backs in standard scoring leagues. I also have Doug Martin, who has 36.6 points per game, but also missed half of his games. Had he not been suspended, I will estimate that he would have 73.2 points, which would put him as the 11th running back on this list. Whether this would be true or not is irrelevant. This is how I will try selling him to another owner.
Now that I have figured out where I am strongest at, I will look at running back list and figure out who has the worst running backs in the league AND who has someone that I want. And I found a winner.
This man has a dumpster fire at running back and he has the best wide receiver in our league. Best of all, he is 5-2, so he hasn’t given up on his team quite yet. This is someone we can make a deal with. The players my opponent has that I like are Antonio Brown, Doug Baldwin, Ameer Abdullah, Travis Kelce and TY Hilton. The rest of his players I can take or leave.
Of those players, Antonio Brown is my main target. Doug Baldwin and TY Hilton are both buy low candidates, but frankly, I already have a bunch of wide receivers that are underperforming. While I also like Ameer Abdullah, I don’t think this guy is going to trade me the only running back on his roster worth a damn. And while Travis Kelce is intriguing, I picked up Greg Olsen on waivers and feel my team is strong enough to wait it out and see what happens with him.
Trade Parameters: I’ve determined who I would like from his team. Now I need to determine who I am willing to part with to make a deal. For Antonio Brown, every player of mine is on the table. However, Kareem Hunt and Ezekiel Elliott mean that he would need to offer me two players that improve my line-up enough to part with one of them. Otherwise, I am looking at a combination of Jordan Howard/Doug Martin and one of my wide receivers. Now I will rank my wide receivers and running backs rest of season.
The Pitch: My goal is going to set up two players of mine for one of his that actually improves both of our teams. Antonio Brown is his best player. So getting a new running back that matches his point total at running back, but decreases his receiver production doesn’t actually help him. He is also going to need a receiver that is a low end WR1 or high end WR2 to go with the RB1 I’m providing.
Having said that, I am going to start off with Doug Martin, DaVante Parker and Martavis Bryant for Antonio Brown. I am also going to let him know that all of my players are available for trade and make an initial offer to see who he likes. A lot of people worry that by starting low, you are going to offend the person and they won’t want to trade with you. I’ve never found that to be a problem. By indicating that it is an initial offer and I understand they might not like it, I’m just using it as a starting point for the conversation. Then I want him to tell me which players he wants on my team and I will adjust accordingly.
My ceiling for a trade will be Howard/Crabtree, which softens the blow of losing Brown. Ideally, he will be more interested in one of my other receivers or will settle for Doug Martin/Crabtree instead.
Trade talks are always very fluid, so I think it is important to really map a strategy out before you proceed. Here at Football Absurdity, the only thing more absurd than our love for football is just how nerdy we can be when discussing it. Hopefully this guide to approaching a two for one deal helps you in the future for closing your own deals.