The Art of the Trade: Negotiation Strategies for Fantasy Football

August 4, 2023 by Staff

In the world of fantasy football, mastery over trades can be the difference between glorious victory and agonizing defeat. But what if you had secret weapons, trade strategies whispered in closed societies, and reserved for the fantasy elite?

Dive deep with us as we unravel seven game-changing trading tactics, each holding the power to transform your fantasy season.

Will you unlock the potential to reign supreme? Keep reading to find out!

1. Scoring Streaks: Trend Spotting

With Trend Spotting, you target players with solid recent performances. If a relatively unknown player is on a scoring streak, but there may be lingering doubt about their long-term value, they're a prime target for a trade.

This approach involves monitoring performance trends more closely than your competition to gain an advantage. Knowledge is power in this trading strategy, so it helps to follow a fantasy football advice site with a history of accurate projections.

2. Timing the Trade: Swing Trading

Swing Trading is all about capitalizing on extended swings in player point output. Instead of strictly targeting players on an upward trajectory, opt for players who are in a slump.

This strategy works best against owners who get easily jaded from week to week. It’s easy to spot these owners because they’re typically the most active owners on the waiver wire.

Sell the trade proposal to the opposing owner by highlighting the strong recent performance of the player you're offering and the targeted player's recent downturn.

If you're right about the projected swings, you'll improve on both ends of this deal.

3. The Daily Grind: Day Trading

Day Trading involves making fantasy football trades based on late-breaking player news. For this strategy to be effective, you must stay informed and ready to make trades as soon as impactful news hits the wires.

Downloading a free fantasy football app with alerts is crucial to the Day Trading strategy. FantasyPros’ free news app is my favorite tool for implementing this strategy.

Capitalizing on news that another owner isn't privy to is the key to this strategy. So always target an owner who isn’t actively engaged.

4. The Long Game: Position Trading

Position Trading involves strategizing about player performances over the long term. Identify middle-tier players who you expect to excel over the length of the season (or their entire careers), and attempt to trade for them early.

Dynasty fantasy players will find this trading strategy especially appealing. The earlier you can land a diamond in the rough, the faster you can compound the overall value of your franchise.

For this technique to work, you need to offer a player with strong recent performances that also address a weakness on the opposing owner's team. Emphasize how their team's current weaknesses will be immediately addressed by accepting the trade, while you're quietly banking on long-term value.

5. Riding the Wave: Momentum Trading

Momentum Trading involves targeting a little-known player whose performance and potential are improving rapidly. Analyzer player performances and identify obscure players with rising stats who have a good chance at increasing their snap count.

This strategy works especially well when trading for rookies, but is also effective when targeting players who are fighting for a starting position (think #3 wide receivers).

To convince the other owner to accept this trade, emphasize the risk associated with the player you're targeting. You may want to offer a player who has consistent production but is injury prone. Then, you can highlight the player you're offering as a safer, more stable choice.

6. Snipe and Swipe: Scalping


Scalping involves executing several minor trades, each capitalizing on nominal fluctuations in player valuations. The goal is to trade for a player who's slightly undervalued due to a recent dip in performance.


This approach is similar to the One Red Paperclip project (which would actually make for a funny team name if you employ this trading strategy throughout the season). Using a similar scalping method, Kyle McDonald started with a red paperclip and swapped his way up to a house in a series of fourteen strategic trades.


This fantasy football trade strategy works best when owners are swapping players due to bye weeks. During this stretch, opposing owners are more willing to trade middle-tier players as they shuffle their rosters to account for players who are unavailable.

7. Two Birds, One Stone: Arbitrage

Arbitrage involves exploiting differences in perceptions of player performances. Identify owners that undervalue players you think have long-term promise, then propose an offer that they can’t refuse.

Everyone has seen a fellow fantasy owner reach for a player during the draft, only to become disgusted with them after a few poor performances early in the season. Monitor your league message board for owners who are disillusioned, then pounce when the time is right.

This strategy is also effective when you own a player whose value you expect to drop. Find another owner that chases after the latest shiny object and you’ve got yourself an easy trade and an effective upgrade.


Navigating the ever-changing landscape of fantasy football is a test of skill, intuition, and strategy. With these seven trading tactics at your fingertips, you're now equipped to make those incremental roster improvements that separate the champions from the rest.