Trading: How to Successfully Land a Megastar (Fantasy Football)
When it comes to trading, especially in a fantasy sport like football that has far fewer of everything than baseball, it can be difficult to find a deal that makes sense. When negotiating a trade in fantasy football, you are typically doing one of two things: splitting a superstar or consolidating talent. Of course, this is an oversimplification as there are smaller trades designed to acquire a back end starter or add a little extra depth, or trades where you are shuffling positions based on strengths and weaknesses, but at the very core of trading, you are looking to improve your starting lineup by plugging holes or clearing excess.
The focus here is on acquiring a megastar. This is a specific form of consolidating talent that should be treated differently than merely a “2 for 1” deal.
The first thing you need to do is identify the megastars. There are very few every year. A megastar is a player that you can plug into your lineup every week with no fear of matchup or failure. That’s not to say a megastar will literally never fail, but he’s a player that you know you can rely on every week to mostly both not fail you and also win you matchups.
Once you identify the megastars, you must evaluate the fantasy teams they are on. Sometimes a team is just stacked and an owner will have no reason to sell. The only way you’re ever getting a megastar is from a team that has holes you can fill. You need a team that has very little behind the megastar; someone starting multiple fringe Flex guys at WR or RB. And, of course, you need to have the pieces necessary to acquire such a player. You can only buy a megastar if you have a surplus of talent.
For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume you have excess talent. Your roster consists of multiple starting-caliber players on your bench. If you want to acquire that megastar, you need to not just give the other team quantity, you need to give quality. You need to offer enough in terms of quantity to fill the holes in the other team’s starting lineup. A three for one deal is not uncommon. In all likelihood, the struggling team with the megastar has multiple droppable players so every player you’re trading away is going to help that team.
The toughest part of acquiring a megastar can be convincing yourself it’s worth it. This is the most important part of the process: you need to overpay. Objectively, in a vacuum, the other team should “win” the deal. In other words, if you completely remove team construction and purely look at the players in the deal, the players your trading away should be definitively better to have than the one you’re acquiring. This is the key to successfully completing a trade for a megastar. The other team has to feel like it got a fantastic deal. You are trading away anywhere from 2-4 starting caliber players for just one megastar. But it’s okay because you have the depth to do it. When evaluating the trade from your side of the coin, the only thing you should be looking at is how your starting lineup improves. Since you have a surplus of talent, you are either trading away bench assets that are starter worthy for other teams, in which case your starting lineup doesn’t change – you just add a megastar, or, you are trading away starters on your team, but your bench players are so good that the drop off is minimal and now you’re adding a megastar.
There is also one little cheat code towards acquiring a megastar and it involves exploiting bye weeks. If you can afford to take a loss, look for megastars on teams that can’t afford to take a loss and make an offer during that megastar’s bye week. That manager may be forced to sell at a bit of a discount based on the knowledge that his or her team cannot win with that megastar on bye. It’s a very specific situation, but you should be aware of all the things that could potentially help your team.
To recap, in order to land a megastar, you need to:
- Identify the megastars for the current season;
- Find an opposing team with a megastar that has holes in its starting lineup;
- Have an excess talent that can fill those holes;