This week's mailbag covers a few trade questions, a couple of rebuilding questions, and one about taking over a team that someone else has left behind. Of course, all of these questions work together pretty well as well. You aren't going to rebuild without trading, at least not very effectively. I also can't imagine taking over someone else's team without doing some pretty massive trades to mold that team to my liking.
For a lot of people, trading is the best part of Fantasy Football. But I also understand that it can be the most frustrating. It's not easy to get a deal done, which is why we'll start with a question that covers my general approach to trading.
If you're looking for Dynasty content surrounding the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, make sure you check out my top-40 rookie rankings and our recent rookie-only mock draft. You could also find our latest prospect profiles on the Dynasty Landing Page.
Dynasty Trade Etiquette
What's your approach to trades? Start high and negotiate back down? Offer fair value initially? Do you offer more trades or wait for others to make offers?— KT SharkAttack (@ktSHARKATTACK) April 13, 2022
One of these questions is easy to answer, so I'll start there. If you want to make a lot of trades, you have to make a lot of offers. This is why I find it helpful to shop multiple offers at the same time. For instance, last year when I was rebuilding, I'd send out something like Corey Davis for a second-round pick and I would send it to every team that had a second-round pick that I would take for Davis.
I'm upfront when I do this, which has a couple of benefits. Mostly, it's that Fantasy managers are no longer negotiating with you, they're negotiating with an unknown number of Fantasy managers who could all accept the offer at any time. This at least creates a sense of urgency if the person is at all interested. The worst thing you can hear from someone in negotiations is "let me think about it". That is not a state of action. Even if they don't like your offer, if they believe you're also negotiating with someone else, they will counter offer sooner than they would otherwise.
This example works better with picks because almost everyone has those. It's more difficult as a contender when you're trying to acquire league-winning players. But it's still doable as long as you're trying to trade for a type and not a specific player. In other words, I might look at the four worst teams in the league and offer a similar pick for any older star players they have. Again, I'm telling them upfront that I've offered the same picks to multiple teams so the offer is only good until someone accepts one of those picks.
I think this kind of answers the first two questions as well, but if not: I do not offer my very best deal the first time, but I generally offer pretty close to it. Leave enough room to move a little so the other manager can feel like they won the negotiation, but don't constantly flood teams with offers you wouldn't consider accepting yourself.
Managing a Takeover
Took over a team (PPR 3WR, SF) stacked at WR (Adams, Lamb, Allen, Metcalf, Cooper, OBJ) and TE (Kelce, Waller), but no QBs or RBs to write about. I have all future picks and draft 7th this year. Where do I start?— Colin Williams (@colin_williams1) April 13, 2022
Assuming you're being literal and really don't have any quarterbacks or running backs you would consider starting, I would view this more like a quick rebuild than an immediate contender. The good news is that you are filled to the gills with elite assets to deal away in pursuit of that rebuild.
My priorities would be to deal Davante Adams, Keenan Allen, Travis Kelce, and Darren Waller. Amari Cooper and Odell Beckham would be secondary priorities only because I can see a path to their value rising in-season. CeeDee Lamb and DK Metcalf would be the foundational pieces I would look to hold on to.
In terms of what you acquire I would be targeting young quarterbacks, young wide receivers, 2023 draft picks, 2022 draft picks, and a young tight end -- in that order. I know this doesn't solve your running back problem. If you're in a rebuild, you shouldn't be trying to solve that problem yet. Their windows are so small that you don't want to waste a year of them on a team that isn't a contender.
Target the four or five best teams in your league and try to get them to bid against each other for your elite players. Is it possible to turn Adams and one of the others into Ja'Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson? Find out! What quarterback could you get for Keenan Allen and Travis Kelce or Darren Waller? Again, you're most likely to have success with teams who think they're real contenders and make sure you look at their actual needs.
If you actually do have starters at the other positions, just not depth, I would still try to deal Adams and Kelce, I'd just be looking to pair them with my mediocre starters at the other positions to acquire stars and compete right now.
Escaping the Middle
My team is decent but not amazing. The champion team is on steroids. How do you determine when it's time to rebuild? I have Kyler and Russ along with old receivers and young RBs.— John Dumont (@johnnydumes) April 13, 2022
This will be a short answer but John is answering a question I get a lot with his first two sentences. If you look at your own team and say "decent, not amazing" and you look at the contenders and they look like monsters, it's time to rebuild. That doesn't necessarily mean tanking. It does mean trading any QB over 33, wide receiver or tight end over 28, and any running back over 25. Soon.
The exceptions are guys like Cooper and Beckham from the question above. If a player's value is already depressed, but you can see a path to an in-season boost, I'm okay with risking their value falling to zero in hopes that they actually do have a good stretch and a desperate team overpays in-season.
Trading Picks for Deebo Samuel
1.07/2.06 for Deebo? I have Kittle and a championship roster… or should I draft dart throws?— Brad (@largechungus69) April 13, 2022
I'm only answering this question because I enjoy pain, apparently. I say that because Samuel is one of the hardest players to value in Fantasy Football. That's partly because he's a unicorn in his role. Second, he almost certainly just had his career year and we don't know how far he'll regress. To add to it, he's in the middle of some sort of contract demand that is playing out on social media.
All that being said, I value Samuel as my No. 11 wide receiver in Dynasty right now, right between Stefon Diggs and Chris Godwin. In terms of 2022 picks, I think he's worth the fourth or fifth pick overall in a one-QB rookie draft. The 2.06 seems like a perfectly reasonable bridge from 1.07 to Samuel's value. The trade seems fair for both sides, I'd lean towards the picks.
Since you're trying to win it all, I'd probably prefer to target someone like Diggs, Adams, or Cooper Kupp with those picks and see if you get a nibble. They are older and probably don't have the future prospects Samuel does but I feel a lot better about their chances of helping you win it all this year.
For what it's worth, I ran a Twitter poll on the trade, you can see what the consensus says here.
Rebuilding with Draft Picks
I’m in a rebuild. Been offered 2022 1.11 for T Ettiene and, in a separate deal, offered a 2023 1st for Carr. Thoughts.— Pete Neubacher (@commishpjn) April 13, 2022
The Derek Carr trade, even in Superflex, is a smash accept for me. Travis Etienne is a little bit more complicated. I value Etienne very close to a late first right now, but I don't feel like the players you get 11th overall will probably have as much upside and carries just as much risk. If they threw in a late second or a 2023 second, I would do it. Otherwise, I'd probably hold Etienne and hope he increases his value early in the year.