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Making the Tough Trade
Joe Levit
November 21, 2007

With trade deadlines looming in most fantasy leagues, I would implore you to consider making a key transaction at this moment in time. Over long experience, I have found that the majority of fantasy owners in any league do not make many, if any trades during the entire course of a season. Though I understand the logic behind some of the reasons owners give for not making deals, I must say that my best fantasy teams have always been constructed in some part through trades – even when the transaction(s) ended up being detrimental to my overall squad! I think there is something about the energy of effort that shines on those willing to work and take risks for a league title.

I won the championship game of the first fantasy league in which I participated by one point. It wouldn’t have happened if I had been unable to ultimately put my head above my heart. In 1991, Barry Sanders was my first pick in our draft. I was a Lions fan, true, but it was one of those circumstances where I wasn’t being a homer for choosing a personal hero. It was a warranted selection. I drafted well later at the running back position too, grabbing Rodney Hampton and Reggie Cobb. Rodney was a beast that year, doing nearly as well as Sanders. Cobb was no slouch. That was one of his best statistical years in the league.

Just past halfway through the season, another owner made a trade proposal. He wanted Barry Sanders badly to bolster a weak RB corp. He was offering up Jerry Rice. I needed help at receiver, but I just couldn’t part with Sanders. I nearly hesitated too long. After avoiding the issue for a few days while he repeatedly asked me about it, I checked in with him regarding the transaction. Now he was reticent. I had realized that I would strengthen my overall roster by doing the deal. It took a long time to convince him to go ahead with what he had initially proposed.

Giving up prime players can be like agreeing to pull our own teeth. It’s painful. We want to be loyal to those players who do well for us each week and have formed an emotional connection with them. But, the name of the game in the end is winning. If you can trade a stud on high for two or more very solid starters, you must at least consider the deal, particularly if you have decent depth. That is why this week is a perfect time to unload a couple of death defying, stupefying wide receivers.

Terrell Owens and Randy Moss put on an absolute clinic in kick-ass this weekend. Both had four touchdowns on Sunday, with at least 128 yards receiving and one pass defended! Moss, as has been well documented, had his four scores in the first half! They are both going to continue to play well – that’s a given. But four touchdowns a game? That’s an anomaly. And it means now is the time for you to offer these guys in a trade, particularly to the owners who just got clipped by their huge performances.

This is the epitome of “selling high.” You might be able to solidify your starting lineup to such a degree that it truly becomes a knockout contender. Consider this scenario. You are a playoff contender in the thick of the hunt. You have Randy Moss, and some other solid players. But, your second running back leaves a lot to be desired and you need a serious upgrade at tight end. Another league member has a lot of good players but no great ones. His or her fantasy team is struggling for wins each week because it ends up matched up against some breakout stud who goes off for 30+ points.

This is a wonderful win-win opportunity. You ask for a strong running back, a good tight end and a decent receiver for Moss and some throwaway player who would appear to help that team after the trade. It is true in this scenario that you are missing a monster in your lineup, but if you get the right guys in return, this will put you in a better position overall.
Some owners will be willing to trade away the world right now. Take advantage of it, while the brilliance of your player is at its peak.

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