Posted on: July 22, 2008 3:12 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2008 3:17 pm

12 Step Program to Trading Bliss

12 Steps to Trading Bliss 

       -By Strictly Butta

To be successful in fantasy football, an owner has to be able to adapt & adjust their roster due to the constant changing of circumstances resulting from bye weeks, injuries and overall bad performances. Making a trade most certainly is one of the most exciting & sometimes necessary ways to accomplish this! After being deluged by offers year after year, I wonder…where is the etiquette? 3 worthless players for a stud WR? Sorry Charlie, that just ain’t gonna cut it. Now there may very well be a potential ‘meeting of the minds’ between myself and one of these owners but frankly, I’m already hesitant to attempt to make a fair deal with any single one of these offenders! In the game of inches and when time is crucial this can be very dangerous. Either I’m not making a deal, or I’ll settle for the WRONG deal. Someone needs to set the ground rules so precious time isn’t wasted lolly-gaggin back and forth on BOTH ends of a potential trade while the season passes us by. For all of us “Fantasy-A-Holics” I present the 12 Step Program to trading bliss:  

Step 1: Extend the courtesy

  Aside from first admitting that you are indeed a “Fantasy-A-Holic”, the very first move one should make when attempting a trade is a simple one. Extend the courtesy of asking which players may be available for trade! Some leagues allow owners to put certain players “on the block” but when circumstances change so often in this game you can never really know how up to date something like that really is, so just ask! Give a phone call. Write an email. Send a smoke signal. Beat a drum, whatever works for ya! Additionally, when offered trades, as ludicrous as they may be; thank them for the consideration. A simple “thank you” shall keep a small window open with the other owner if there is indeed any possibility of a better deal. Moreover, when the time comes that they may need to make a deal, they won’t be hesitant to reach out to you! Simple manners here, gang.  

Step 2: Know your players

  A little research goes a long way. This goes without saying, but with the amount of bad trades that I’ve seen go through sometimes I wonder. Make sure you know the value of the player(s) you are trying to deal and make damn sure you know full well, the value of who you may receive. Not sure? Then ask your CBS Community comrades on the forums, or call a psychic hotline, remember: A little research goes a long way!  

Step 3: Trust no one!

  Ok that’s a little harsh. But understand that no matter how many times you ask who’s available, or how much you research, some owner’s are going to play coy like fantasy killer Mike Shanahan. Whoever said patience is a virtue was full of it. It’s a different word that begins with a ‘P’ that is a virtue and it’s persistence! Now, there’s a fine line between helping another team to ‘see the light’ and being completely annoying. Someone who says they “don’t like to trade”, or “they don’t want to give up that one player” might be a liar. Unless you are dealing with “Pinocchio”, you’ll never know for sure so when you find yourself in this situation then consider this next step, Geppetto.  

Step 4: Negotiate up

  Yep, the “N” word. This is simple though. If you are really high on a certain player then put a feeler out. I’m not saying offer your 15<sup>th</sup> round, waste of space WR for your objective but I’m also not saying to throw out your ‘highest and best’ either! This allows the trade to consummate on the “offeree’s” terms creating the false impression that they are getting what they want, vs. what you wanted. A more aggressive approach could certainly involve a temporary violation of the next step, as long as you intend to work back to your best offer. Got it you heartless thief?   

Step 5: Quality over quantity

  If everyone followed this step then there likely wouldn’t be a need for this program because it would be a perfect world where everyone won, all the time! But, it’s not a perfect world so for the love of Pete, understand that in no way, will your 4 piece of junk, pine ridin’ players EVER be worth the price of one stud!!   I just hurt my pointer finger on the “R” key because that’s how aggravated I get when I receive these offers on an almost daily basis! It can’t work, it doesn’t work, and it’ll never work. Period! And yes, I look just like Rafael Palmiero right now!!! And yes, you will obey this step because I use lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!! Just pay attention to the next step when you are ready to offer up a trade...  

Step 6: Help the other team out

  That’s right ya selfish bastard, it can’t be just about you! Instead, approach a team that really needs some help. Kind of like a Tiger stalking the weakest Gazelle in the herd, and then snapping its torso in half just at the right moment! Or, like how beer will kill off your weakest brain cells first thus making you smarter. You’ll have a much easier time with someone who is borderline desperate with something you may want. Likely, you won’t waste that precious time going back and forth because there is an obvious sense of urgency and a potential quick deal ahead. Any number of circumstances could lead to a team being in dire need of a certain position while being fairly solid in other areas. Research the league roster for teams in this spot, and approach accordingly. For those of you on the other end of this scenario (and for those who just completely lack any common sense) check out this next step...  

Step 7: Use common sense

   “Common sense, is not so common” -Voltaire. Hence the requirement for this step. Do not weaken your team by trading away a stud type player when you don’t have adequate backups for someone of a different position where you are hurtin already. If you haven’t been approached yet by the savvy player following “Step 6” then beat them to the punch by offering a player from a position you are very strong in. Maybe bye weeks are no longer an issue for you. Maybe you simply drafted 4 great RB’s, or you’ve held on to 2 solid QB’s. Deal out of these areas on your team to solidify your roster. Jump back to “Step 2” if you ever have a question but as the saying goes...JUST USE YOUR HEAD! Or, for you Brits out there, “just use your loafs you blarmy stroppy twits!”  

Step 8: Agree to disagree

  Ok, let’s face it. No one values players exactly the same. Besides, you are a fantasy genius and your simpleton opponents just don’t know as much as you do anyway right Einstein? Well, while that’s a judgment call, you CAN anticipate another owner not seeing things exactly as you do. Whether offering or accepting, someone may just simply love or hate a certain player way too much, either for no particular reason, or they are a part of or rival of their favorite team perhaps. And speaking of favorite teams, another team will not and doesn’t have to appreciate the fact that you are trading one of your ‘homer pick’ players away. Again, jump back to Step 2 to make sure you are not over-valuing someone for sentimental reasons.  

Step 9: All teams walk away better

  While this is not necessarily your prime objective, a good trade should somehow help any teams involved in the transaction. Whether it really does or doesn’t is not the issue, and it shouldn’t be. As long as the rest of the league, but especially the other party involved, feel as if they are making out, then you’ve executed a fair deal. Obviously, looking out for #1, you want to walk away better than the other owner but don’t look at it that way. It’s entirely possible that it looks like their team is getting a better player while you are solidifying your roster since you followed Step 2. Also, remember that trades cannot be “exactly” even, otherwise what would the point be of making a trade at all? They should be close however, and when one owner seems to be coming out a little ahead then that’s ok as long as it’s not ridiculous. Those of you in leagues that employ a peer voting system, and especially those of you ‘objection happy’ owners in those leagues, keep this in mind.  

Step 10: Three’s company

  If you are having a tough time with a particular team, but truly believe there is a possible deal there somewhere then you may need to seek out a third party. This may not be the easiest of solutions but considering every step through now, you should be able to locate that edge you need to get what you are looking for. There is a good chance that your target objective may just simply need more than you are willing to give up. This takes some strategy, finding a third party, and you want to be careful about it too. You don’t exactly want to advertise what you are attempting. You don’t want anyone else cutting you out of your own deal! Follow step 7 and carefully work a deal out with one party, while getting closer to your original target trade and “add on” the player from your first deal to your current offer to sweeten the deal. Hopefully, this works out for all teams and if it doesn’t, then hopefully it’s not too late with the other team. A good scenario for this would be if you were targeting a stud RB, while already being stacked with second tier RB’s. Your target has your RB in mind, along with solid WR’s but bad backup RB’s along with a disappointing QB. Third party has 2 solid QB’s, ok RB’s and terrible WR’s. Get it? Can you see how this can work? Certainly requires some savvy, but boy, what a pat on the back you give yourself after working something like that out right?  

Step 11: Make a name for yourself

  A fair trader shall receive fair treatment! By following these steps, you will make a name for yourself as a great trader, a good person to do business with, and will likely be the first contact when another team needs to make some changes. The main point is that whether you have fully executed a trade or not, your peers will respect your attitude, knowledge, and savvy, making YOUR team the first “go-to” for a deal. This can be especially true in keeper/dynasty leagues but we all know how long 1 season in the NFL can be. Make a name for yourself and leave the rest of the field in the dust!    As important as all of these steps are, none shall be more important than the 12<sup>th</sup> and final Step to Trading Bliss:  

Step 12: Have Fun!

  After all, it’s just a game! Follow these steps to reach a new high in the art of trading. If you don’t ever trade, ever… then give it a shot sometime. Trading adds some nice excitement along with really helping out your team…in theory. Trading doesn’t have to be such a pleasure-less experience anymore. Like all 12 step programs, we can support each other to make a difference! To keep things fun and interesting! The next time you get a horrendous trade offer, or a nasty response, then maybe you’ll forward the culprit to “12 steps to trading bliss” and maybe, just’ll have shown someone the light! So, let the offers roll on in and happy trading!!   Good luck with it, gang.....   -Butta            
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or