As the NHL trade deadline approaches, so too do many fantasy trade deadlines. While waiver pickups account for more than 90% of transactions in hockey pools I have been involved in, a well orchestrated trade can benefit both sides, putting you in the optimal position to either solidify your position at the top or make a last-ditch run for first place, bragging rights, and/or the prize – cha-ching!
For example, I just finished executing an enormous trade in a pool in which I am currently ranked 2nd out of 8 teams. I traded Evgeni Malkin, Ed Jovanovski, and Dwayne Roloson to the 7th place team for Henrik Zetterberg, Brian Rafalski, and Marc-Andre Fleury.
“What?! How could this whack-job have traded the current point leader, Evgeni Malkin?!” is probably what many of you are thinking as you read this, but consider several factors before you judge. The talent I have at the forward position is so deep that I am forced to sit out point per game players like David Krejci and Mikko Koivu on many nights. I’m severely weak at the goaltending position with Ty Conklin splitting games, Carey Price playing only mediocre, and J.S. Giguere appearing to have lost the starting job to Jonas Hiller in Anaheim. The Penguins level of talent combined with their closeness to Stanley Cup victory last season, leads me to believe that they will be a determined bunch down the stretch. Fleury will get nearly all the starts for the remainder of the season as they make their playoff push. This is exactly what I need: a reliable starter. Henrik Zetterberg is no slouch either, and Rafalski is a definite upgrade from Jovanovski. So now what do you think?
Here are my 3 cardinal rules to remember when trading:
1. If you can better your overall team by dealing him, you’ve got to do it.
As the season goes along and certain picks you made in September are producing for you night in and night out, you develop an odd, emotional attachment to them, that only a true fantasy sports fan can understand. Cut him loose if the price is right.
2. Don’t waste your fellow GM’s time; make a serious offer.
The reason trades rarely happen is because the opening offers are typically so poor. Your opposition isn’t stupid; consider what his or her team lacks and what your team needs, and then make an offer that will benefit you both.
3. Always, always, trade down.
Because your trade will be helping both sides, you want to make sure that the person you are trading with sits below you in the standings, and the further the better. If you’re in last, well, the fantasy baseball season is just around the corner…
What are some trades you’ve made/tried to make?