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The Art of Persuasion

Learn tactics to help execute a successful trade

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by Joe Knapp, Guest Writer

Original Release: August 27, 2003


Your fantasy football draft is complete. You're looking over your roster, curiously trying to determine who is expendable. Why? Because ever since the last player was selected in your draft, you've been combing through the un-drafted, wondering who might step forward and produce. Someone nobody is even thinking about selecting is going to emerge. You can't lie to me. I've been there. Done that. I've spent the hours, same as you, combing through every article, every magazine, every website, every free agent report, trying to uncover that hidden diamond in the rough that is still available before the season starts.

Sorry my friends. "It ain't gonna happen."

Although it is true that once the season kicks off there are a couple of players every year that breakout off the waiver wire, it is also true that there are loads of players who people had high hopes on due to a great performance in one game that just never panned out for the remainder of the season. For example, remember on October 21, 2001 when David Patten became the first player to pass, rush, and catch for a touchdown in a game since Walter Payton? In fact, he actually caught two touchdowns that game and amassed 117 receiving yards, 29 rushing yards, and 60 passing yards. In all, he scored two receiving touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and threw for another in just one game. Unbelievable! Everyone wanted him. However, you should also remember another thing about David Patten - although he had nailed four touchdowns in just one game, guess what his total was for the year? Six (Four receiving, one rushing, and one passing).

Look, if you have the chance to get these one-time waiver wire specials, then your team is in dire straits.  In most fantasy football leagues, picking up free agents is designed to help keep lower level managers interested, not competitive. Is that where you want to be? It doesn't have to be. Look to the "Art of Persuasion".

Pulling off a successful trade is a craft. For some it's a fun part of fantasy football. Yet others consider it tedious and unworthy. For the small percentage of folks with the know-how, it's a fine tuned symphony, an ageless bottle of fine cognac, a masterpiece of classic style.  To help those who have been unsuccessful with trades in the past, here are five tips to help orchestrate an effective trade.

1.  Ensure that the trade makes your team better.
Never, and I mean never, make a trade in the hopes that your team will improve with the addition. You need to know it will.  And it needs to be immediate.

2.  Try the bundle.
Group two players together and trade for one. People seem more willing to pull the trigger on a deal if it's a multi-player deal, like they get one for free. Focus on the needs of their roster.  Offer a player at a position they need and throw in a "free" player.  The best "free" players to throw in with a mulit-player deal are kickers, tight ends (excluding the top one or two elite Tight-Ends) and back-up receivers. (Nothing puts a big smile on my face more than trading a quarterback and a kicker or tight end, for a top five running back).

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3.  Involve multiple teams.
This is the best way to lose the least amount of talent, while gaining the most in the confusion of a multi-team deal. Basically, you are the "agent" that creates and facilitates a trade between two teams. Only difference is, the players go through you. You may get to do this only once, so make it count.

4.  Go after proven players that are temporarily broken.
People tend to overreact when a player is hurt.  Take the initiative, see where they are deficient and make an offer.  Just be careful not to overextend yourself.  Make sure you can wait for that player to get healthy.

5.  Sell it.
Make them think they are getting the better end of the deal.  If you know they will go for Player A, offer Player B.  Let them seek Player A on their own.  This will give them the feeling that the trade was their idea and increase the odds the trade will go through.

When it is all said and done, just nod, smile big, and welcome your new players to the team.

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