Playing chicken

With the All-Star break fast approaching, time is running out for dramatic changes to your team to make that second-half push in the standings. Especially in leagues with trade deadlines, your role as the general manager of your fantasy team is diminishing with the latter half of August and September being more a time for managerial decisions, such as deciding who to start and making small roster tweaks.

As Derek Carty recently demonstrated with his “Trade-A-Palooza” in the Card Runners league, trades are the easiest way to make significant alterations to your fantasy roster. Derek is lucky to be in a league with a high commitment level from the other owners, nearly all of whom are still open to and actively looking for ways to improve their teams.

Not all of us are so lucky.

I am sure more than a few people reading this article are in leagues with owners who have either abandoned the league completely or would rather watch re-runs of Everwood than entertain trade offers from you. Simply talking to these owners is viewed as a privilege and obviously that puts you at a significant disadvantage from the start in the negotiations. Unless the offer blows them away they probably aren’t accepting and you can be certain a counter-offer will not be sent back.

The question is, should you even attempt to reach out to one of these owners?

It is certainly worth an initial try. Maybe they will be so annoyed by your attempts to trade that they will accept any reasonable offer simply to appease you. However, I would be wary of crossing the line from inquiring to pestering someone into a trade. You don’t want to be that guy and if someone simply refuses to trade, I suppose that is their right.

The next question is, if the best deal you can achieve is one that is somewhat lopsided in the other person’s favor but still helps your team because of a special need, should you accept?

The answer obviously depends on the specific players and how badly you are lacking in the specific category, but in general you should hold off until you feel you have exhausted all other possible options on any trade where you are accepting less in return simply because of the other owner’s initial reluctance to trade. Even your teams do not match up as well, talking to more emotionally invested owners is a lot less frustrating and will probably lead to more fruitful results.

The best remedy for avoiding this type of situation altogether—and it is easier said than done—find a better league.

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