Fantasy trade strategy

Ryan McKee explores the concept of anchoring bias and use an effective anchor to make successful trades

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Fantasy trade strategy


This is the first installment of a season long series aimed at making you a better trader in fantasy football. If roster construction were a four-sibling family, drafting, waiver wire and start/sit would be the popular, good-looking and successful siblings, while trading would be the pimply one that eats dinner in his room. Too little time is spent on trade strategy, leaving the general fantasy populace to cast random offers around the league. That’s where this series comes in.

A key theme throughout this series will be the exploration of cognitive biases.

This series will teach you is how to recognize biases in yourself and in others and use them to your advantage in trade negotiations. The areas of cognitive psychology and behavioural science are too vast for me to go into great detail, but I’ll take some well-known and easily identifiable biases and apply them to the fantasy football landscape, and we’ll all come out more educated in the process.  Sound like fun?

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  • Bryan Gilliam

    I’ve got James Jones. I’m being offered Matt Jones for James Jones. I’m set at WR and I could go for some improvements at RB. Should I pull the trigger?

    • Giovanni Rivera

      Did you see the game last night? Target a RB2 that that gets the majority of the carries and is not in a RBBC. Martin, Ivory (dealing w/ thigh injury, should be good soon & the owner may be worried) Coleman (when he comes back in a few weeks he’ll be a beast, Freeman sucks) Forsett (the owner may be upset w/ his production , but it’s a reach) Same w/ Miller, Stewart. Or just sit on James, Remember his 13 TDs, Don’t make another team better just cause.

    • Ryan McKee

      Apologies for the late reply. I’m not sure what we’re going to get out of that Washington backfield, as now we have Chris Thompson as a third-down/vulture possibility. But I always take skill over opportunity and Matt is the best back on that team. If you feel you have a strong chance at the playoffs, getting a guy like Matt Jones for the second half could be a difference maker. As such, I’d probably do that deal. I’m still not sold on James’ long term value, as he’s getting an absurd amount of red zone looks per target and injury woes to Davante Adams and Eddie Lacy have moved him further up the queue. He’s going to be solid all year, as would any WR2/3 in that offense. But the TDs aren’t sustainable and I just don’t think the yards will rise. Plus, from a macro point of view, it’s always better to have more RBs for depth or trade possibilities. I don’t know your league, but potentially there’s a Hurns or Hankerson type sitting there, whereas RB is probably looking a little thin.

  • JJanota

    I have Forsett and my league mate offered me Dion Lewis straight up for him. I am ready to give up on Forsett after the Ravens poor start to the season. Am I undervaluing Forsett or should I seriously consider this trade?

    • Ryan McKee

      I think now is a great time to swap Lewis for Forsett. We finally saw a good game from Forsett last night, but remember it was against a pretty average Pittsburgh run defense. I think these two are really close, but you should be able to add another two players into the mix now for a slight upgrade. In fact, that’s one of my favourite trade scenarios – a seemingly even 1-for-1 trade but you use the reputation of the outgoing player to add another piece to the trade that slightly upgrades you elsewhere.