Everything You Need to Know About Trades in Fantasy Sports
Our fantasy football trade analyzer has been breaking down trades for over a decade. In fact, we invented the trade analyzer across all of fantasy sports and were among the first to assign player ratings (Not counting video games of course).
As stated above, every player in the NFL is assigned a player rating based past, future, and expected performance across dozens of categories.
Our formula is constantly evolving as the game of fantasy football has evolved and has undergone a massive update in September of 2023. This includes more accurate pre-season ratings as well as revised in-season ratings. Our formula is has been a trusted go-to source for fantasy owners since before ESPN cared about fantasy football and will continue to be the de facto standard in fantasy football for the next decade.
Below we will provide an overview of how to best utilize our trade analyzer plus tips and tricks.
Understanding the Basics of a Fantasy Trade
Understanding and completing successful trades in fantasy sports is key aspect to a Championship winning season. To be a successful team owner it is important to master trades, waiver wire, draft season, and setting optimal lineups. Do well in all four areas and odds are you are making a playoff run. Oh, and of course luck can't hurt either.
A fantasy team owner will likely get offered trades multiple times per season, some of which may be completely unfair and one-sided trades to see if you might bite. You might even see fantasy owners picking up players with waiver priority simply to trade them away for whatever they can get. Needless to say, it is imperative to understand trades and how to ensure you don't become a victim of a poorly constructed trade or waste too much time weeding through potential trade candidates.
Our trade anaylzer is a great unbiased objective approach on various trade scenarios. The goal is to ensure a fair trade or at least ensure that you are the winner of a trade. The team receiving the players with more points is the winner of a trade.
Our trade analyzer works best for re-draft leagues with PPR or standard scoring. We have a very robust approach that breaks down various important categories instead of simply looking at fantasy points
Why Losing a Trade Can Be a Win
We have been discussing why it's important to ensure a fair trade or at least ensuring you are the winning side of a trade. However, in some scenarios it may make sense to be on the losing end of a trade.
Sometimes ensuring you are always getting the best of every trade isn't always a winning strategy for you.
Accepting a trade on the "losing side" in terms of ratings may actually be a net positive if it fills a void in your team through injury, bye weeks, or just plain bad luck. Not every trade is about the long term value.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Trading
Ask yourself the following questions: Will this trade help you win today, in the future, or both? Are you winless and desperate for a win to keep your season alive? Can you afford to take a risk? Do you have a surplus of talent in a specific postion? Is the player you are trading for on a good team? If you make this trade does the opponent become too strong of a team?
Short Term Trade Solutions Versus Long Term
Players can often times have a shelf life, which means they may only be useful for a specific timeframe based on injuries, coaching decisions, suspensions, etc. Always read up on the latest news about a specific player. We make that easy at FantasySP because we collect news from around the web. If there is something notable about a player we likely have the information.
Do your research about all players involved in a trade. Utilize trades to plug a whole in your roster that the waiver wire isn't able to accomplish due to lack of talent or in deeper leagues. In these moments look to trades to improve your team
Do not accept a trade unless it is filing a hole in your lineup OR you are getting rid of a player you do not see as a long-term solution.
How to Come up with Fantasy Football Trade Suggestions
We have perfected team ratings and inside the Fantasy Assistant. Sync your league and we'll evaluate each team's strengths and weaknesses to help you see team(s) at a glance. The ideal trade candidate is with a team that is weak in a position that you may be strong in. That way both teams can benefit from a trade.
Another alternative trade strategy is trading away a player who you don't have long-term belief in and is currently overhyped or overvalued. Then try to locate a more reliable fantasy player with a track record of success that may be in a slump or had a tough schedule. This is the classic, sell-high buy-low strategy.
In this particular example we are looking at Running Back rankings in my real fantasy leagues among the first 8 teams. Off in public has the weakest starting running backs in the entire league and the weakest running backs including the bench.
My team has a surplus of talent at the RB position which means I should formulate trades with teams who: 1) Need help at Running Back, and 2) Are Strong in Wide Receivers.
Utilizing our tools this has saved a lot of time in research. All of this data is easily at a glance and is updated daily.
As you can see, the first 5 teams are very strong in running backs. According to our research Team Off in public is the worst in RBs but among the best in Wide Receivers. We just found our most ideal team to trade with.
Start formulating trades based on this aspect yourself. The team owner probably already knows they need help at WR, so hopefully your team has a surplus at WR to give up to make this trade happen.
Generating Trade Suggestions Using the Fantasy Assistant
Alternatively, we can formulate trade suggestions on your behalf using the Fantasy Assistant. We do both the research aspect for you and the trade suggestions.
It works by selecting which players you are willing to give up and what positional players you need help in. Based on what we learned from above, we know which teams are weakest in RB and which teams are strongest in WR. We also know our team is weak in WR, so let's see if we can fix our WR issue through a trade.
In this particular scenario we are willing to shop Alvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams, and Jonathan Taylor as trade bait.
Our trade suggestion engine takes all of these metrics into account and formulates trade scenarios for you.
Research Players Involved in a Trade
The last mistake a fantasy owner wants to make is being lazy and accepting a trade based on a quick look at stats or ratings without diving deeper into the news. Breaking news can tell the story of a player with a nagging injury, losing favor with a coaching staff, losing their job to another player, dropping down the depth charts, or a looming suspension.
FantasySP collects news around the web to make researching and reading up on players a snap. We also have an editorial staff dedicated to providing you with insights and analysis from experts you can trust.
More About the Buy-Low Sell-High Trade Strategy
Additionally, we previously mentioned trade ratings but also keep in mind that we track player ratings over the course of an entire season. It is absolutely vital to see which way a player is trending. Is his rating falling or rising? Has it remained consistent? Is this near his peak value and are you over spending? These are some of the questions our ratings can help you answer. We calculate trade ratings across an entire season for every player so you can see when a player has had their max/min value from an objective perspective.
In the above example, Alvin Kamara has been selected as a trade option. As of this writing he is currently suspended so his value will continue to increase as his removal from suspension date gets closer and he is back to being able to play once again.
Historical trade ratings can be found on the Trade Value Charts but will soon be available in other areas. Stay tuned.