In the dynasty community a line has been drawn. You are either a “contender” or you are “rebuilding”. I have talked about this a little in a previous post, I stand by it still. I wanted to add a little to it though. This Culture has created a problem in some leagues when it comes to trading. Owners who have chosen the “contender” side don’t want to trade.
I have noticed a few common issues in leagues with this problem. The first common thing I noticed was that they are newer leagues. And I say problem, but it’s not really. It’s just how things go. If this is your first off season, it’s a new league and most or all owners are new to dynasty; than this is just part of getting your boats into the water. Everyone felt comfortable with their teams they drafted. They probably drafted pretty balanced or listened to various advice and derived a plan. This plan could still be in effect because they don’t know where to go next if it failed. It could also still be going smoothly and trading wasn’t a part of it. There are lots of reasons why owners are hesitant, but those are just a few.
So what do you do for this issue? Break the ice. Trading can be scary to some. Maybe they aren’t sure what their team needs or maybe they are unsure of their value on players/picks. They could be afraid of the other cultural problem we have in dynasty, “trade rape”. I don’t even like typing it. (Rape is not funny, it is not a joke, and it should not be taken lightly. Associating it with winning trades makes my stomach turn.) “But how do I break the ice? You’re not helping me Jojo.” Here is what you do: Let them win.
I’m going to say that again, because I don’t think you believe me, let them win. It doesn’t have to be by a lot, it shouldn’t be. rEveryone wants to feel like they are winning a trade though. Here a few things that can make it seem like they are winning:
- Give them a player that will fill a need. If they are weak at running back give them one. If you have depth on your side, give them a good running back. This is the first tip because it is the most important for any trades. Whether it’s an active league already or if you are trying to get things rolling.
- Don’t go for their key player unless you are willing to overpay. No one wants to trade Julio or Luck unless they are getting a king’s ransom. Don’t kid yourself and think you can stealthem away. Over pay for them, then share that the deal was done on the league board, get the blood pumping.
- Add in a late round pick even if the trade is even. You could already be giving two players for one and it could very well be a fair deal. But adding in a 3rd or 4th will add a little grease to the wheels. The odds of that pick hitting are small anyways and it will be worth it if it gets things rolling.
- Ask about the trade on a forum. If there is someone there that thinks they are getting the better deal or if it’s pretty even, point them in that direction. This works best if the trade is even and if they are still hesitant you can refer to tip 3. Add a little extra so they feel like they are winning.
- Feed their rookie fever or want for instant gratification. I’ve found that many owners who are coming from redraft or are new to dynasty hold more value on players. If it’s the first year of a league, this could be the case. Trading a known good player for picks could be the route to take. Or they could be the opposite. You could find that they are super excited about rookies this year and the chance to do a rookie draft. It’s a new and exciting experience. They saw how productive last year was, an anomaly, and think it will happen again. Because they are new and on one side or the other, they might not value picks the way you do. If you have done your research and feel comfortable with it, use their misevaluation to your advantage. Make them feel like they are winning.
- Point out a recent news article or blurb that devalues the guy you want, or overvalues the guy you want to trade. You don’t have to shove it in their face, just post it on the league board. Add a little, “I can’t believe it” or “did you see this? Crazy.” Get them thinking about their teams and what might have happened to their players while they weren’t paying attention.
- Lastly, relax. If you just did a start-up this off season and no one is trading right now, relax. Guys drafted their players for a reason. Give it a little time to simmer before you dig in. Some of these guys like who they draft and aren’t looking to trade much because if they wanted your guy, they could have drafted them. If you’re getting shut down left and right, wait for the next NFL milestone. Owners could be waiting to see how FA pans out too. When you get to the week of your rookie draft, go nuts. But remember, make them feel like they are winning.
With all this, there is one more thing to keep in mind that I think is vital. There is a general market value for players and picks that is always changing. On the DLF forum a top 5 WR has gone from being worth three 1st round picks to being worth four, in just the last month. But, and this is a big one, that doesn’t mean your league has the same value. Just because some guy says you should get X amount for a given player, doesn’t mean that it’s possible in your league. The player could very well be worth that to most, it still doesn’t mean you can get it or should give it. You don’t know what that guy’s league is like, which side of the fence they are on. So find your league’s evaluation of players and picks. Your league could be full of UTHers or guys that mostly play redraft. Or have any number of different ideas on what things have more value. Knowing this will be key and will allow you to cash in on their misevaluations. The forum or Twitter consensus is not always a possibility or right. Plenty of moves that seem crazy to people, can and will turn out good. Try and find your leagues own market values and trust yourself.
I hope this helps you break the ice. I love trading. It is one of the reasons I play dynasty. Some leagues are harder to get going than others. And if you have tried some of these things but owners still won’t communicate or make trades, join another league. You don’t have to quit the one you are in now. Just find a league that looks more active. An orphan team is a good way to get the trade juices flowing. To me, this game is about having fun with friends. Like I’ve told my daughter, “Our friends want to play with us when we are being nice.” So throw them a bone and they might want to play.
Special thanks to my editor and league mate, Brad McDaniel