Trading: Series Introduction

As we get further into the season, trades are far more likely to happen. This is due to the lack of quality free agents, forcing owners to contact each other when trying to build a better roster. With trade talks heating up in real baseball, there is no better time to delve into fantasy trading. For the rest of the week, there will be a series of articles delving into different aspects of trading.

In part, this is a selfish exercise to review and reinforce ideas, but it really isn’t. Anytime we can review even the most basic of activities in order to better understand them, we are better off. For the most part, owners lost track of why we make trades, and how they come about. If we can get inside our opponents head and comprehend why they accepted or denied our offer, we have a better chance at completing a deal now, and in the future.

Because this series is meant to help you, the reader, I am going to cater to your needs. While the articles are already written and the topics decided, they are not set in stone. If you have a question at any point in the series that pertains to the subject at hand (and isn’t a “Should I trade Player X for Player Y” question, those are for chats), I will do my best to answer it directly or modify future articles to include an answer of sorts. If enough questions come in, there may be an addition to the series so I can address them in further detail. In fact, we can start right now. If you have a topic you think should be covered, put it in the comments of this post.

So, I hope the 2500+ words you will read this week will be used for good, and not for evil. If you want to know what’s coming up, the table of contents (subject to change) is located at the bottom of this post.

I: Basic Trade Theory (Tuesday)
II: General Trading Tips Part 1 (Tuesday)
III: General Trading Tips Part 2 (Wednesday)
IV: Projections vs. Production (Wednesday)
V: Degrees Of Difficulty (Thursday)
VI: Specific Keeper League Tips (Thursday)
VII: Types of Traders (Friday)

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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One thing I think is worth discussing, and can probably be debated endlessly, is determining when a trade should be veto’ed by the league’s commissioner. From league to league there will be variations, but at what point is a trade “unfair” and thus worthy of rejection by your commissioner. On the other hand, where is the line of executive power drawn, allowing teams to compete even in the most desperate circumstances?

Maybe it’s not an answer set in stone, but probably worth exploring.


Vetoes should only be enforeced when there is a clear case of collusion and that’s really about it. If I can dupe a braindead into making a deal that benefits me, all the better for me. Trades don’t have to be ‘fair’. It sort of defeats the purpose. I can float out a load of scenarios but the bottom line is, vetoes should be used sparingly, if ever.


@Slick I totally agree that a veto should be used sparingly, if ever. But for the sake of arguing, say if week 1 of the regular season a trade in your standard mixed league was sent to your comissioner’s office with the likes “Albert Pujols for a replacement level 1B (Daric Barton)”. This is clearly a trade worth a veto.

I don’t think trades need to be “fair”, but they cannot compromise the integrity of the league.

Maybe this is the better question, is there a clear line when a trade should get the veto stamp? The easiest answer might be only when collusion is involved, whats the best answer?