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How to be the Consummate Trade Partner (Fantasy Football)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Feb 14, 2020

Trades. They’re one of the best (if not the best) aspects of our beloved fantasy football. What could be better than negotiating, executing, and evaluating the perfect deal? Other than winning your league, of course. As with most good things in life, there is a proper trade etiquette that responsible fantasy managers must follow in order to make the experience enjoyable for all parties involved. Let’s talk about what it means to be the consummate trade partner in your fantasy football league.

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Stick to Your Word

There’s a timeless adage that posits a man is only as good as his word. You should heed that saying when making deals in your fantasy football league. If you agree to a trade, then honor that deal. There are few things more frustrating than agreeing to a deal only for your trade partner to rescind the offer at the last minute. Everyone makes mistakes, and even if you realize you’ve agreed to a foolhardy trade, you’ve got to stick to your word and follow through. Once you agree in principle, consummate the deal immediately by hitting the “accept” button and make it official.

Respond Promptly

Tom Petty once sang, “the waiting is the hardest part,” and it’s clear from that lyric that he must have been an avid fantasy football player. There’s nothing quite like being left on “read” when you send out a text message right? Wrong. Sending out a quality fantasy trade only for the designated partner to leave you stuck waiting is certainly comparable and arguably more emotionally devastating. If you receive a trade, respond to it, even just to deny it and let the sending party make other offers and move on. A response includes accepting or rejecting the deal or countering. Sending a prompt response makes you a good fantasy trade partner. Sending a response with an explanation or making a counter offer makes you a consummate pro. Countering keeps the possibility of a trade open and gives the other party at least some idea of what you’re looking for in a potential deal. Similarly, adding a comment to a rejection is a great way to start some dialogue that’s often needed to seal the deal. That brings us to…


As a happily-married man, I can tell you that one of the keys to a healthy relationship is good communication. If you play in a league that you really love, your relationships with league-mates are of vital importance, so keeping the lines of communication open are critical. Get a group chat together and keep up with the people in your league if you’re not doing that already. Not only is chatting with league-mates fun, but you can gain valuable intel and insight into the minds of your opponents. Not everyone in your league will have the same approach to trading or value players similarly to you. Find out which types of players your league-mates are prone to trading for and which ones they’ll be comfortable moving.

Be Polite and Professional

Come on guys. This is fantasy football. By nature, it’s a game that’s supposed to be fun for all owners. Getting too emotional over a trade that didn’t get done or a perceived “rip-off” can lead you to say things you don’t mean and burn bridges in the process. At the end of the day, you’re going to get ticked off at fellow managers when talking trade, but treat it as it should be treated: a minor annoyance. Yes, you do research. Yes, you put money into your league. Yes, you spend time and effort. And you care. I get it — but seriously, do you want to ruin friendships or look like a clown because you couldn’t snag Le’Veon Bell in a deal? You’re better than that. Keep your cool and be polite, simple as that.

Don’t be a Gnat

Gnats. There’s one in every league. You know the guy — the one who’s constantly in your ear about making a deal. He’s unrelenting. He’s unfettered by your constant rebuffs. He’s unnecessarily pushy, and he borders on rude. At some point, you just want to wave your hand around your face to shoo him away, just like the annoying bugs that can aggravate even the most enjoyable summer fun. Please don’t be the gnat in your league. You can ask for a trade, and you can follow up, too. But if you haven’t gotten a response to either of your attempts, start making other plans. People have lives outside of fantasy football (seriously, it’s true), and maybe something urgent came up that took precedence over your trade offer. Maybe you’re dealing with an irresponsible fantasy manager who doesn’t take the time to respond to trades. Whatever the case, there’s a reason you’re not getting a response, and becoming a pest isn’t the way to get one. You can easily alienate yourself from league-mates by taking an aggressive approach to proposing a trade.

Be Fair

This one should be self-explanatory. Have some common decency and execute trades fairly and professionally. You may be the most well-informed member of your league (hey, you get your advice from FantasyPros after all), and taking unfair advantage of someone just isn’t the way to operate in your fantasy league. What I’m referring to here are things like learning a player is injured and trading him anyway, even if the opposing trade partner isn’t aware of the situation. The same goes for trades that are made accidentally. If a fellow league manager offers a deal in error and requests that it be reversed, honor that request. Getting a leg-up on the competition is one thing, but winning unfairly makes you anything but a consummate trade partner.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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