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The Art and Science of Trading:
Managing your roster is a challenging aspect of fantasy league play. While teams are built in the draft, in-season strategies are often vital to guaranteeing victory.
Trading is a skill that has to be cultivated. It begins with an in-depth knowledge of the players and owners in your league, then adds the element of salesmanship and negotiation. Many leagues have experienced a decline in trading activity over the years because owners are ill-equipped to deal with this human aspect of competition.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Trading is a methodical process. It includes:
A. A careful analysis of the makeup of your team, its strengths, weaknesses and future potential. Trading must always be done with the future in mind. This often involves using some leading indicator gauges in lieu of traditional stats to gauge future value. Solid career batters who are slumping in traditional categories but have strong leading indicators are prime trade targets. Overachievers with weak indicators are prime trade bait.
B. A careful analysis of the makeup of the other teams in your league. You obviously need to know what your own team's needs are, but unless you have a firm handle on what the other teams' needs are as well, you'll never find a willing trade partner.
C. The development of an effective psychological approach that fits your personality. Here is the big grey area, one that is the cause of many of the problems leagues experience. However, there are some simple, basic concepts to help you put trading in the proper perspective.
The following series of essays will help lead you into a comfort zone in the trade negotiation process.