A Guide to Making Smart Trades That Can Save Your Fantasy Football Season

Daniel Stack@@stacdemonContributor IIOctober 19, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 14: Robert Griffen III #10 of the Washington Redskins runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at FedExField on October 14, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Vikings 38-26. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

With the fantasy football season approaching the midway point, you have to assess if you’re in it to win it. If you are not, it's time to find out how can you adequately upgrade your team through trades.

Making trades in fantasy is what makes the game all the more appealing. You get to act as real general managers, and if you make the right moves, you can propel yourself to fantasy stardom while bringing home the hardware in the process.

In order to make good trades, it pays to be smart; advantageous; and, most of all, gutsy. Remember, in order to get something of quality, you have to give up something of quality. You have to be shrewd and on point.

There is no time for second-guessing when it comes to making trades in fantasy.

So, in an effort to evaluate the trade market, I have come up with some general guidelines to follow before pulling the trigger.

Deal from a Position of Depth

Say you have three top-10 running backs but don’t have a top-10 wide receiver. This would be the ideal time to package one of your running backs and swing a deal for an elite receiver.

There is no reason to hold on to a surplus when another area of your team is in need of an upgrade.

To win in fantasy, you have to have a well-balanced team with not too many glaring weaknesses. So if you have Arian Foster, Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles (granted, this is not likely) at running back but your best receiver is someone like an Antonio Brown, you should try to trade one of those running backs in a deal that could net you an elite receiver (e.g. A.J. Green or Calvin Johnson).

To make successful trades in any fantasy league, you have to deal from an area of strength to a team that is in need of your assets, one which in turn possesses an excess of what you need.

Make 2-for-1 Deals

The most savvy way to make deals is usually going the two-for-one route.

Let’s just say you drafted well, made some valuable pickups and have a deep team. Well, if you have a deep team, then you can afford to deal two quality players for one great player.

Say you are loaded at every position except quarterback and you want one of the best. What you do then is look for a team that has a good quarterback but is lacking at the running-back/wide-receiver position and propose a two-for-one deal.

A hypothetical trade could include offering BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Roddy White for a Drew Brees- or Aaron Rodgers-type signal-caller. This way you are dealing two starting-caliber players for one elite talent.

The two-for-one trade method is how many quality deals go down.

Sell High, Buy Low

This is a tried-and-true method by which every fantasy owner swears.

Just because the advice is old doesn’t mean there is no merit to it.

If you don’t think Alfred Morris can sustain his current pace (especially with a daunting schedule ahead of him) but you do think Chris Johnson is on the rebound, then don’t be afraid to sell high on Morris and buy low on Johnson.

Yes, it’s risky, but in order to make quality, clever trades, you have to roll the dice sometimes.

Don’t Panic

We’re now six games through the season.

Don’t worry if you’re 3-3 or 2-4 (as for those who are 1-5 or 0-6, well...), there is still plenty of time to salvage your season. If you are low in the standings, the best way to shake it up and move up the ladder is to trade your best assets for a big lot.

If you have a Rice- or Foster-type RB and you're low in the standings, try to package him with other decent players and bolster your squad so that you have a well-balanced, deep squad.

Let’s just say you have Rice but you need a quality quarterback and a wide receiver. Try to make a deal in which you trade Rice and get Eli Manning, Percy Harvin and a throw-in running back (say Michael Bush) to replace Rice. This way you get three quality starters who could still put up quality numbers.

Just be prudent in your deals and know that there is plenty of time to regroup and make a surge to the playoffs.

Trust Your Gut Instincts

If there is one thing I live by when it comes to trades, it is listening to my gut.

If you don’t think Robert Griffin III can keep it up, don’t hesitate to deal him if you can get a solid quarterback in return (Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, etc).

Fantasy football is not an exact science, so don’t get wrapped around all the numbers, metrics and projections.

One of the best things to do is trust your gut. As it is, there is just too much second-guessing when it comes to trading in fantasy football.

Just remember, the best way to make trades is to take calculated risks; have faith; and, most of all, have fun in the process.

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