The Art of the Trade

The Art of the Trade


Memoires by BryanGM and Britt Sanders

From tending bar and serving in some of the highest end restaurant/nightclubs Las Vegas has to offer, I have learned how to sell things people don’t necessarily need or even want.  From selling $2,500 shots of Macallan 1950 and accumulating over $1.35 million in liquor n food sales in a calendar year, it’s an understatement to say it’s easy or intuitive. Trying to sell a turd for a gem in fantasy is even harder, let me tell you. But I have found a sweet spot and been wildly successful in trades to date. Here’s some highlights on how to get a deal done:

1.)  Don’t make trash can offers- Listen we all wish we could trade our trash for gold but it’s never going to happen. The only thing to come from making a garbage offer is to piss off your potential trade partner and start things off on the wrong foot. 

2.)  Get to know your trade partners habits and who they love/ what team they are a fan of. Unfortunately for my potential trade partners, I’m a jets fan, and don’t value any of them extremely high this year except for Chris Herndon (see Greenlight Herndon article by Sandman).

3.)  USE YOUR TOOLS! (Sleeper trade block/interested in) This is seriously such a fantastic tool on sleeper, just look at what’s on the block and target your guys, then look at WHOM that team has shown interest in, if it happens to be one of your rostered guys, BANG you’re already in position to talk. If not, see where their interests are and then see what you have to supplement that interest.  Also, trade calculators can be valuable to give you a basic guideline of value if you are unsure.  I suggest DynastyNerds trade calculator or the DTC. DONT USE THESE AS GOSPEL EVER. 

4.)  Be a salesman! You have to make a sale ladies and gentlemen! You won’t be acquiring anyone for free via trade. Too many times I get people who offer a trade and then say absolutely nothing in response.  No back and forth.  Negotiating will net you more in the end. 

5.)  Don’t show your hand. If a guy knows you’re hot n bothered by a specific player he can exploit that and use it against you. On the flip side, use it against them.  Exploit the situation and make them pay up. 

6.)  DESPERATION NEVER SELLS. Don’t go into a trade desperate for a player because you will sell too much of your roster for one guy. Yes, of course, CMC is unequivocally the best RB, but is he worth selling 3 positional starters for?  Without depth, I think not. Be reasonable and take steps forward not backward. 


I’ve spent my two years of dynasty fully entrenched in a productive struggle mindset. When you take that strategy, you also acknowledge the fact trades are going to be an extremely important factor. I like to call me a rebuild guru, but what it really means is I’m making trades that are targeting a benefit in the future more than now. Here is how I approach a trade.

1. It is incredibly important to identify what position that team is heavy at and what position that team is weak at.  Now this owner may not agree with your analysis, but it’s helpful to narrow down what teams are even worth wasting your energy in negotiations with.

2. My first priority is trading away players who I think will fall off a cliff in the following year. Last year some of my sell targets were Brandon Cooks, Kerryon Johnson and Aaron Jones (oops). Out of those three players I amassed 3 2020 firsts and two 2021 firsts. Clearly this isn’t the best strategy for a win now team but as the say’n goes “I’d rather be a year early than a year late.”

3. When I am talking to the owner I ask for his projections or rankings of the players I’m interested in. If they view DeAndre Swift as a top 12 back, the likelihood of obtaining him is incredibly diminished. To summarize this point, I look for the value discrepancy between both owners. 

4. I used to send these awful low-ball offers because I have a weakness (we will talk about this soon). However, you are going to drive people away rather than bring them in. Especially if you are ‘cold-calling’ them on a player. So now I get the offer as close as I can get to where my final offer would be. Usually I get within the value of a 3rd round pick. 

5. Most of my successful trades have come from initiating the trade talks, so with that you have to take your initial conversation carefully. My main goal here is that I am trying to get them thinking about life without that player. Spark their interest, start to create a perception they would be better off without that player.

6. My weakness. I have paranoia of not getting the most value possible out of every single trade. I’ve killed more trades than I could possibly count by asking for a little bit more. While this has certainly backfired at times, it really comes down to nuance. Every little bit of value you can get, it only means you’ve got more ammunition to use later. What I have figured out is, sometimes it’s better to leave an offer as is. 

Tips and tricks: 

To me, 3rd and 4th round picks should strictly be to add onto a trade to let that owner think they’re getting more value. Late round draft picks are very easy to trade for during the draft and people value them a lot in season. 

If you are trading into a late round picks do so 3-5 picks ahead of the current pick, keeps the value very slanted your way. Secondly, get into devy, having knowledge of the future three year draft classes will help you plan out what years you can be lean on picks and what year you want to hoard. 

If you’re trading a running back that had a high profile handcuff, keep that handcuff at all costs. More than likely that owner will come knocking again for that player. 

This last one is a bit of a players choice.  I like making conditional trades. Just like the NFL, performance based trades that dictate the return you will be receiving or giving based on some certain players. Some don’t like future picks being tied up, but it always segways into future draft talks, which is beneficial for your team 

Happy hunting, don’t trade just to trade, sometimes values are not immediately returned.

-Britt Sanders, CTRS/R

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