The Art of the Trade: My Exceptional Week of Trading

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There are many different aspects to your success with Fantasy Football, but none may be as important as your ability to make trades. Anyone can draft well, or pick up players that are on waivers, but to make great trades takes skill.

I want to walk you through five trades that I made over the course of a week. With each trade, I will explain what happened during the negotiation of the trade that led to it being completed. Some trades take a lot of work to complete while others happened rather quickly.

Trade #1

Gave: Ezekiel Elliott and Alex Collins

Received: DeAndre Hopkins and Christian McCaffrey

I had been trying to get DeAndre Hopkins for a couple of weeks. I believe that he is going to be a stud for the remainder of the year because the Texans realize that if they target him excessively that he is going to produce as he did in 2015. Hopkins will likely finish as a top five wide receiver for the remainder of the year.

The owner of DeAndre Hopkins loves Ezekiel Elliott. I knew that if I floated him as a part of the trade I would end up with Hopkins, but I did not want to trade Elliott. I did not feel like I would get a decent running back in the trade in return. I half-jokingly floated Zeke for Hopkins and Christian McCaffrey, and the owner said if I added another piece, he would accept.

I could not believe it, but quickly scanned my roster and said I would add Javorius Allen to the trade to make it a two for two trade. The other owner reviewed my team and said he would rather have Alex Collins, and I made the offer seen above and he accepted.

Trade #2

Gave: DeAndre Hopkins and Christian McCaffrey

Received: Antonio Brown and Pierre Garcon

I was feeling good about my team after getting Hopkins and McCaffrey. Very quickly, many owners came looking for McCaffrey. While I like him, I am not sure why everyone is in love with McCaffrey. Sure, my league of record is a point per reception league, but he has not been that great in the four weeks leading up to this trade. Still, I am always willing to review offers that could improve my team.

The owner who I ended up trading with originally offered me two different trades. The first was Joe Mixon and Eric Decker for Christian McCaffrey. The other was Robbie Anderson and Pierre Garcon for DeAndre Hopkins.

I did not particularly like either trade. However, I did like Antonio Brown on his team. I declined both trades and told him that I wanted Antonio Brown. He then offered me Antonio Brown and Pierre Garcon for DeAndre Hopkins and Christian McCaffrey. I could hit accept fast enough.

In the trade, I received the first and third best players in the trade. For a flex option, I would rather have Pierre Garcon. Garcon is getting more targets than McCaffrey, which is essentially all McCaffrey is good for right now. While I subscribe to always needing to get a running back when you trade one, I could not pass up on getting Antonio Brown!

Trade #3

Gave: Antonio Brown and Ameer Abdullah

Received: Le’Veon Bell and Randall Cobb

Since his arrival to the NFL, I have always had Le’Veon Bell on my team. The previous two seasons I had the number one overall pick, and he was my choice. Both of those seasons, I had to deal with suspensions to start the season. It did not matter, as I needed to have him on my team. This season I had the seventh overall pick, so there was no chance he would be on my team.

It was literally three minutes after I completed trade number two that I received a text message from the Le’Veon Bell owner saying he would trade me Bell for Brown with extra pieces in the trade. I quickly needed to figure out how to make this happen quickly before he changed his mind!

I ended up discovering that he wanted Ameer Abdullah and he would give up Randall Cobb. I sent that offer over quickly and it was a done deal!

While the three previous trades did not leave much in the way or negotiation or “selling the trade” to the other owner, the next two were a little more work to make happen.

Trade #4

Gave: Andre Ellington, Demaryius Thomas and Randall Cobb

Received: Michael Thomas and Hunter Henry

I had Odell Beckham Jr. as my number one receiver when I made this trade. This was the day before he broke his leg and put on IR for the rest of the year. The goal was to get two number one receivers to pair with Le’Veon Bell to lead me through the rest of the year into the playoffs and hopefully to my fourth straight Super Bowl appearance.

I floated Demaryius Thomas and Randall Cobb for Michael Thomas. The Thomas owner felt like he needed additional running back help because his number two running back was Isaiah Crowell.

I had originally offered him Marshawn Lynch or Frank Gore. He did not like either of those options and asked about Andre Ellington. Ellington is someone who I believe will be great in PPR leagues this year, and at the time was really the only running back that the Cardinals had. He said he would trade me Hunter Henry if I included Ellington in the trade too.

In the midst of deciding on running backs, I had to sell Demaryius Thomas and Randall Cobb. Those two would immediately become his number one and number two receivers, as Michael Thomas was the only receiver on his team that was any good. While I believe that Demaryius Thomas can be a number one receiver for a Fantasy Football team, he is not in the same tier as Michael Thomas. Randall Cobb will have weeks when he is the second best receiver for his team, but it will only allow him to be a wide receiver two at best.

Of course, I sold Demaryius Thomas as the same caliber as Michael Thomas and said Randall Cobb is the second option for Aaron Rodgers (which he should be). His wide receiver depth would be better with the two versus only have Michael Thomas was my primary selling point.

It worked and I acquired Michael Thomas and Hunter Henry.

Trade #5

Gave: Golden Tate, Pierre Garcon, Frank Gore and Hunter Henry

Received: DeAndre Hopkins, Sterling Shepard and Sammy Watkins

Week five came and went, and I won my match-up. Unfortunately, I lost Odell Beckham Jr. in the process. My team of two stud wide receivers and a stud running back was gone and I did not know what I was going to do.

At the same time, the owner who I just traded DeAndre Hopkins to came to me about wanting Pierre Garcon and Hunter Henry. He realized that he really believes in Garcon, and his tight end Charles Clay injured himself in week five and he needed another quality tight end.

I immediately went to wanting DeAndre Hopkins for the two of them, which he did not want to do. I do not blame him for wanting to keep Hopkins as who would want to trade Hopkins after his three-touchdown performance in week five. I upped the offer to what you see as the final trade proposal.

Here is where my experience with understanding Fantasy Football paid off. I explained to the owner with DeAndre Hopkins that it would be a blow to his team. However, being able to get two starting caliber wide receivers, a running back who will likely end up as the 12th overall running back at the end of the season and a quality tight end for the price of Hopkins would strengthen his team overall.

As it relates to the additional players he sent to me, I argued that Sammy Watkins could be a one-hit wonder given his limited production with the Rams and that the Giants are so terrible that Sterling Shepard won’t be relevant even as their number one receiver.

I honestly believe everything I said to the Hopkins owner. If I were him, I still wouldn’t have made the trade given the value of Hopkins. Of course, I did not tell him that and he accepted the offer.

To keep score, below is what I had originally on my team, what I added to my team and traded away and what I ended up getting new on my team:

Original Players Acquired then Traded Players Acquired and Kept Players
Ezekiel Elliott

Alex Collins

Ameer Abdullah

Andre Ellington

Demaryius Thomas

Golden Tate

Frank Gore

Christian McCaffrey

Antonio Brown

Pierre Garcon

Randall Cobb

Hunter Henry

Le’Veon Bell

DeAndre Hopkins

Michael Thomas

Sammy Watkins

Sterling Shepard

In conclusion, I believe I made positive moves to cement my team with studs that will carry my team to the Super Bowl. With these trades, my likely starting line-up when I do not have players on bye will be:

Quarterback – Alex Smith

Running Back – Le’Veon Bell

Running Back – Doug Martin

Wide Receiver – DeAndre Hopkins

Wide Receiver – Michael Thomas

Tight End – Cameron Brate

Flex – Alvin Kamara

Flex – A combo of Javorius Allen/Martavis Bryant/Marshawn Lynch/Sammy Watkins (Match-Up Dependent)

I need to work on improving my tight end and my second flex player, but other than that I think I have a great chance in playing in my fourth consecutive Super Bowl!