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In regards to fantasy football, I have always been a terrible trader. I always subconsciously assume that the person I am trying to make a trade with can read through the proposal and can see my true intentions for what they really are. I also make the assumption in these trading scenarios that the person has all of the same knowledge that I do, rendering me incapable of making an argument, leaving my team stagnant.
With this in mind, I decided that I needed to come up with some idea of a mindset that can make a trade possible and the most simple understanding I could come to is the difference between perceived and actual player value.
The easiest way to exemplify this is by giving two potential scenarios from this past season, showing both the “sell high” and “buy low” strategies that may be employed.
There are few bandwagons that have ever cleared as rapidly as that of Chris Johnson.
A few years ago he was the hottest commodity in fantasy football, the surest No. 1 pick since the days of LaDainian Tomlinson’s reign. Since then, people have been disappointed by his lack of production, especially those who have him on their fantasy rosters.
The disappointment has not changed the fact that there will still be fantasy owners who take him with an early pick.
This season, that pick led to scores of six, three, and five in the first three games of Tennessee’s campaign. An attentive, peripheral owner may have seen this and been able to predict that an owner who spent a high draft pick for that kind of production would likely be frustrated. Johnson’s owner would likely be willing to listen to most any offer, just to get something out of a wasted early pick.
This season certainly began strong for the Arizona Cardinals and also for Larry Fitzgerald. Upon returning from injury in the third week of the season against Philadelphia, he posted performances of 22, 18, 13 and 21 points. With Arizona’s early strong showing and the name of Larry Fitzgerald, these numbers were certainly enough to build up his perceived value.
The savvy owner may have recognized that the team really may not be as strong as they made it seem early on and defenses may, with more tape on John Skelton, be able to better take away his connection to Fitzgerald.
An owner would know that Fitz’s stock would not rise much more than it presently was, so that would be the time to offer him around the league. Granted, this would have taken a great deal of foresight, boldness and understanding of the situation, but it is an example of a time in which perceived value may not have matched actual value.
Again, this is a lesson that I had to learn myself and is likely already in the arsenal of many experienced fantasy players, but it does reflect the need to fully understand what you have as well as what your opponents have on a given roster.