The Art of Dynasty Trading
Guest Submission By Andy Miley of
July 5th, 2011

What kind of trader are you? Are you the free wheeling dealer? Are you the guy who worries about another owner getting over on you? Are you a trader that likes to offer only fair trades the first time? Maybe your style is to take a little hit now to build equity for later trades?

Maybe you are the guy who is always looking to win every trade? Are you the owner that sends out a ridiculous offer to gauge interest? Are you the guy that sits on trades forever hoping that they expire or get taken back? Or maybe you just hit reject without giving a reason why? If you are more about the second set of questions, this article might not be for you...

Those are all great ways to not make that many trades in a dynasty league and/or any other kind of league. The thing that is unique about dynasty leagues is that the owners hopefully are constants, aka the same owners year after year and relationships count. You may never be friends or friendly with everyone in your league, but at least you can find out their needs, help teams acquire what they want, and assist them if you can. To use Matt "Wildman" Waldman's "The Audible" sound bite: it's like making love to a beautiful woman.

Talk to them first, find out what they need. Make it about them.

If you want to be a successful trader, find out what the other team perceives itself needing. There is no point offering a QB when an owner feels that their biggest weakness is at TE. Ask the potential trading partner a question: if you could improve one position or aspect of your roster what would it be, then wait for the answer. An example of this was during last year's (2010) rookie draft, I was discussing the rookie draft with another owner, Wayne. Now Wayne wanted to get into the 3rd round and had unsuccessfully tried to acquire the 3.04 for Wes Welker (who at the time had a serious knee injury) from another owner. I had no idea that Welker was on the market. I had the 3.06 and thought Welker could help my team.

I offered him Earl Bennett, 3.06, and my 2011 3rd rounder. He accepted my offer and many in my league felt I paid too much at the time. I did it with the goal to acquire talent for unknown or lesser talent. Wayne perceived the Earl Bennett, 3.06, and my 2011 3rd rounder side as more value than what he was trading. I gave him more than what he wanted. This year Bennett may turn out to be the #1 or #2 WR in Chicago, his selection TE Ed Dickson with my 3.06 pick last year may or may not pan out, and the 2011 3rd rounder that he ended up trading away helped him make a needed trade. Wes Welker helped lock down my 3rd WR spot. My team had a second place finish out of 14 teams partly to do with Wes and the 2011 3rd rounder I traded was the 3.13, so I was happy to give up what I did for Welker.

Wayne thought he won the trade with me as I gave him more than what he was asking. He talks to me about trades all the time and I'm trusted. Will it help me out in the long run...maybe, but I know I'm the first guy he will talk trades. It is ok to give a fair offer with someone, the first time. Some people love to talk someone into trading with them. I have a friend that has burned about five teams with his trading tactics after agreeing to a trade then he: raises the stakes, changes offers for different players, etc. Yes, you may get a great deal from someone by trying to win the trade, but will they trade with you again?

I ended up trading for Steven Jackson and gave up 1.04, 1.06, and Curtis Martin before the 2005 rookie draft. Needless to say that owner never traded with me again. In fact, I don't even bother to send Joe trade offers as he is still burnt 6+ years later. Legitimate offers also let the owner know you aren't playing around; you want to get a deal done. That is the same when you take a lady out, don't take her to McDonald's and talk down to her, and then expect a wild ending. Respect and listening skills go a long way helping you get lucky in life and in fantasy football.

Take care of who needs to get taken care of first

Who has the immediate need, you or your potential trading partner? The owner that needs to make the trade is the one that has the most gain. I always try to be helpful to another team, but not too helpful, as I may need assistance later. By letting an owner improve their situation before you do, it may go a long way as this works the same in a romantic relationship. I have shoveled snow, painted houses, and helped move in the pursuit of my carnal happiness. When I am doing well in a league and need to improve a spot, I am willing to trade a young player for a proven player to make sure I go farther in the playoffs. This way an up and coming team gets youthful help while your team gets a productive older player to push you farther into the playoffs, win-win not #winning.

When I am trying to rebuild a dynasty team, I try finding teams that are doing very well and that have a lot of young players they aren't using in their lineups. I am more than willing to trade my older guys to get younger and acquire more rookie draft picks. Once I have a solid team, I am willing to trade those draft picks for solid younger players. Rookies are as great as a shiny new quarter, but they spend the same as an old quarter. I much prefer trading for 2nd and 3rd year players that haven't hit yet for unproven 2nd round and higher rookie picks. The relationships that you build with a good trade can lead to more trades and more rewards. This is similar to the trades we, as men, make going to a romantic comedy with that beautiful woman instead of twittering all day.

Will another partner help the possibilities?

If a team needs help at a position that you aren't strong, you still can help that team make a trade. By using the relationships that you have built with friendships and trades, your team could gain an advantage through goodwill and specialized owner knowledge that may be quite helpful. By being of service, karma can help you out when one of your players get hurt/cut/etc. If your team or you are perceived as a non-threat, you may get some unexpected help. Other times, you can use your knowledge of other teams and turn that into a three-way deal that benefits everyone. The chances of a multiple partner situation working out in your romantic life may not turn out so well. Please refer those scenarios to Charlie Sheen if you need more insight into that as I am not qualified.

As mentioned in a previous article, dynasty leagues are built on relationships: some good and some bad. If you help out a team, they will be more likely to assist you as well. If a team you have a solid relationship is in trouble, you can help them with spare parts and they would do likewise for your team. Bottom line, relationships count when you are looking for a trade partner. Heck, I have been known to advise another team not help a bad trading team in need unless they receive a good deal as a karma payback. By listening to how the other owner values their players, it will give you an idea on how to trade with them and how to make them feel like they won the trade. Owners that feel they won the trade will always want to come back to you again for more. Try to deal with teams that are in different stages than yours when looking for trade partners, and be willing to help a team find a good trade even if it is not with your own team. Dynasty trading is just like getting the chance to make love to a beautiful woman: listen to her, find a way to help her, and close the deal solo or with someone else's help.

You can find me on twitter @AndrewMiley and find more of my writing at

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