Fantasy Football Trading Advice

Nov 14, 2007

Many times a trade that will help your fantasy team out looks lopsided, and not in your favor.  Typically the key to a solid trade is to get the best player involved.  If you can do a two-for-one or three-for-one trade where you get the best player, and you can fill your roster with waiver wire guys that aren’t much worse than what you had, you did well.  There is the occasion when you traded one great guy for two good guys that still works in your favor.  If the difference in needs you filled equals or is actually better than what you gave up, you did fine.

I recently had to defend a trade I made in my league.  It’s an eight man keeper league so quality players are fairly abundant.  Anyway, after Donovan McNabb’s four touchdown performance, I snatched him up off the waiver wire.  I figured I could have a solid backup to Brett Favre or I could move him to upgrade my team.  Sure enough I did just that.  I traded McNabb for Green Bay Defense.  The guy I traded him to has Pittsburgh Defense so I knew Green Bay’s would be possible.  His starting QB is Drew Brees so I knew the average performance he had on Sunday would make him interested in McNabb. 

 As soon as the deal went down there was one guy questioning the trade.  I told him that I picked up McNabb from the waiver wire and moved him for a starting defense.  That answer wasn’t good enough as he continued the complaints.

 I hated to show my thought process to the league, but I couldn’t stand for my integrity to be question.  This is what I posted for the guy on our message board:

McNabb scores 15.83 points per game. Take away those two huge games, and that number plummets, but that’s a different story. That ranks him as the 8th highest scoring QB in the league. Let’s compare him to other QBs. 

McNabb 15.83 (8th)
Brees 14.54 (10th)
1.29 point differential

McNabb 15.83 (8th)
Garcia 13.75 (12th)
2.08 point differential

McNabb 15.83 (8th)
Cutler 11.94 (16th)
3.89 point differential

Now, Green Bay scores 10.77 points per game, which is the 2nd best total. I understand that it’s over 5 points per game less than McNabb, but you need to compare the point differential from the defenses.

GB D 10.77 (2nd)
MN D 9.44 (10th)
1.33 point differential

GB D 10.77 (2nd)
Jax D 8.77 (12th)
2.00 point differential

GB D 10.77 (2nd)
CHI D 7.22 (16th)
3.55 point differential

So the point differentials are basically the same. If you could start a QB in place of a D, then yes, this would have been an awful trade for me. However, you don’t start 2 QBs.

Also, if you throw out the two monster games he had, which appear to be anomalies, McNabb averages 11.83 points per game.

So at first glance it appears that I was giving up way to much in the trade.  However, when you look at the differentials you see I didn’t.  The key is to have the best starting lineup possible.  Trading a backup to improve your starting lineup is a great move.  You will score more points each week.  Your depth won’t be as great, but the key is to have your starting team score more than your opponent.  Your overall score including your bench doesn’t come into play.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to drop me a line.

Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, NFL |
. .

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Kaleganong
    November 15th, 2007 at 8:35 am #

    This is really informative thanks

  2. Ryan Lester
    November 15th, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    Kaleganong – Thanks. Hopefully it helps. Good luck in your league.

Leave a Comment

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties