I've written openly before about my devout love for fantasy football. The perfect intertwining of gambling and the most beautiful game on the planet is unrivaled. But if I had to pick out one flaw from the game I love so much, it would have to be the lack of trades that occur between
unemployed 20 somethings owners during the season. I have a few theories on why this trend has continued, and possible solutions to fix it. To start let us break down the two types of fantasy owners in every league.
The Hype Men- These are the guys (and girls) who hang over every word from their favorite Fantasy Football preview magazines. They watch every single fantasy segment on ESPN and partake in countless mock drafts to get a feel for "how high Felix Jones is going to go". "Upside", "Break though" and "Potential" are words that these owners routinely throw around to defend their picks come draft day. The gamblers who live and die from the rush they get from picking a "high risk, high reward" guy like Reggie Bush. These are the Hype Men.
The Old Faithfuls- To be blunt, these are the guys who still draft Reggie Wayne in the first round. These guys are all about past accomplishments and last season's numbers. This is the same group of owners who in 2010 neglected to take into consideration the fact that maybe, just maybe, Larry Fitzgerald's production level would drop when you switched his quarterback from Kurt Warner to Derek Anderson. More often than not they pay less attention to new systems, coaches and personnel that gets implemented to a player's team, and just expect that they will miraculously put up the same numbers they did last year. These are the Old Faithfuls.
Now the reason that many trades don't materialize comes down to the varying perceptions that each owner has of the players being discussed. You have one side over valuing a guy like BenJarvis Green-Ellis because he had 13 touchdowns last year and on the other side you have a guy handcuffing Dez Bryant (Dallas' 4th option) because Street & Smith's Fantasy Football magazine predicts a pro bowl season from the second year wide out.
Another monkey wrench that stagnates potential deals is owners who put too much stock into what round a player got drafted in. For example if you took a guy in the 6th round (ex. Santonio Holmes) and someone offers you a package revolving around a guy they took in the 8th round (ex. Anquan Bolden) the initial instinct is to reject the trade because you view a 6th round player as more valuable than an 8th rounder, which is not always the case. An owner will completely disregard the other players packaged in the deal and risk putting their own teams depth issues on the back burner, simply because they don't want to "trade down" with a player that they drafted too high.
And lastly, the biggest reason why some deals never get done is because one side comes on way too strong. Look, since there is no cap room in (most) fantasy leagues, the only reason one would make a trade for a player is because they think that that player will help win them a championship that year. This truth scares the owner that you are approaching. "What? You want Hakeem Nicks? But why? Surely you know something I don't. No, I will not make that trade with you and furthermore Nicks is now untradeable" Making a trade in fantasy is a lot (but not entirely) like bedding a women. You never want to come on too strong, or rapey. It's a turn off and human nature rejects your advances. However, if you wine and dine, spit some smooth game, and have intelligent conversations about your motives for acquiring a player, your chance of pulling off the deal increases tenfold.
So as summer turns to fall, and the thermometer starts to drop, I advise all owners out there to take some chances and shake up that roster. After all, fantasy football is a gamble so get online and roll the dice (possibly for Ray Rice?). It'll give you another thing to obsess and debate over internally for hours and hours on end while you sit and impatiently wait for Sunday.