Fantasy Football Trading Guide

By: Kyle VerHulst // @KVerHulst288

There are many aspects to not only playing fantasy football, but succeeding at it. The more of the following things you do, the more likely you are to win. There’s scouting, drafting, setting your line up, checking the waivers and making waiver claims and my personal favorite, trading. All but one of the before mentioned parts of fantasy football are pretty self-explanatory. The one I think a lot of us have the most trouble with and therefore most people don’t participate in, is trading.

Trading is the easiest way to make your team better and is also the one that usually requires the most work. Trading can lead you to a championship (which all of us hope happens) or it can bring you down in the standings until you’re playing for last place. Most people are afraid to lose trades so they don’t participate. The point of this article is to give guidance on how to make the trade process easier so that you feel more comfortable swapping some players on your way to the title.

1. Find the needs.

This is my favorite part of the trading process. Finding the perfect trading partner is a challenge in itself. Say you draft heavy RB in your draft. After 3 weeks you realize you have more RB’s than you can play any given week and your WR position is a mess, look through the rosters and find someone that has weak RBs and has WR galore. That is your trade target. Many people want a certain player and try to trade that way, which only works if that person has an abundance of the position you are seeking. Someone isn’t going to give up their WR1 unless they have players that they can slot in at the position on their bench or in the flex. If you take attempt to take someone’s WR1 and they only have WR4s behind the stud, chances are you’re wasting your time.

2. Open a dialogue.

This is by far the most important aspect of trading; it is also sometimes the hardest. Having a way to communicate with your trading partner is essential for pulling off a great trade. Sending blind offers works every once in a while but it could also take 3 weeks of counters in order to get a deal done, by communicating with your partner, you could get a deal done in a half hour. Email, texting, Facebook or even being old fashioned and talking on the phone are great ways to be able to get that instant feedback you are looking for. If that isn’t you style, at least try to get a little information in the comments sections on trades on what is going wrong or what they are looking for. Don’t bother wasting your time with people who let trades expire either, ain’t nobody got time for those shenanigans.

3. Ranks!

Once you are speaking to your trade partner, ask them to rank the position you are looking at. The beauty of fantasy football is that everyone values players differently and this gives you the chance to find value through ranks. Staying with our above example, you have Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt and Christian McCaffrey as your RBs. You rank them in the order given above from most valuable to least valuable. You ask your opponent to rank them and he says 1. Christian McCaffrey 2. Todd Gurley and 3. Kareem Hunt. You now know that you can give your 3rd ranked RB at a price of a 1st to your opponent. Not only does this give you a chance to get great value, but this also increases the chances of your opponent accepting this trade because he/she is getting exactly who they want.

4 Execute.
The last piece of the trade is to get the bad boy finalized. Give or require any picks or other throw-ins to make the trade acceptable to both parties and get it finalized. Once the trade is complete do any necessary roster moves that may need to be done to get your roster in the best position to succeed (if you shored up a position, drop a player from that position from your bench and get a flier from a different position or if you did a 2 for 1 trade then grab someone from the wire) and get ready to rocket up the standings.


The fantasy offseason is upon us and now is the best time to engage in trades. Many people are taking time off relaxing so there won’t be many people after the players you’re looking for. Trading this early after the season also allows you to capitalize on negative feelings people may have had during the season about their players (like Amari Cooper or the inconsistent Kareem Hunt or even injured players such as Dalvin Cook) and fear about upcoming free agency as well. Get out there and build your team through trades and build a name for your team that will strike fear into the heart of your opponents for years to come!