Fantasy EPL Trade Strategies: Ultimate Guide

Trades can make or break your Fantasy EPL season. Fact. A successful Fantrax Draft Premier League manager needs to be active in the trade market, always sniffing out a deal to improve their roster. Read below for an Ultimate Guide to Trading by our very own Master of Trades, Totti.

Get out there and use the below advice for Fantrax trades this week. Trading is fun!


This article will list a few fun strategies one can try to make trading even more exciting and engaging.


"The carpet bombing"

Anyone who has played in a league with me in previous seasons knows that I have been a frequent user of this strategy. As the name suggests, it is basically this: You send out an obscene amount of offers and hope one hits the target.

"You send out an obscene amount of offers and hope one hits the target."

This strategy has a few inherent flaws that make it one that is very rarely successful. Its main flaw is that because you are sending out offers blind, meaning there was no prior discussion of needs and valuations with the trade partner, you are constructing your offers so that on the off chance these offers get accepted, you are definitely the beneficiary of these trades, meaning they are almost exclusively very one-sided. As I mentioned before, I used to love this tactic, as it requires minimal effort from the manager making an offer and can lead to a trade conversation. However, when you consider the offers from the opposing manager's point of view these offers take time to answer and could be considered an insult to one's fantasy knowledge. This is the main reason behind my vow for this season to cut back on these "carpet bomb" offers.


So if it is not a good tactic, then why am I featuring it? There are certain situations, where I can condone the use of this @draftgenie patented strategy. 1. Last-minute, before you drop a player for the worst player on your opponent's roster. 2. Trades that clearly benefit your opponent. 3. Player for FAB trades. If you know yourself to be a manager who just loves to throw out offers in situations not listed above, please check with your league mates if they would like to receive these offers or would prefer a DM instead. Clearing the air in advance is ALWAYS the best solution.


"Hyenas get fed too"

This strategy is one that needs managers to be ruthless. We talk a lot about trading as being this great way to get to know people, an enjoyable chat with managers from all around the world. This time I am suggesting: "Sometimes you need to access your ruthless side and pounce on an opportunity when it presents itself."

"When you see a player you are interested in being benched on a team that that desperately needs a win, that is your time to pounce. offer however flimsy an offer you want. The more desperate your fellow manager is, the better deal you can get. "

With the playoffs and the end of the season approaching, managers are likely to make rash decisions that will benefit them in shorter and shorter terms. ie. one-week moves are more and more doable. If you pay attention to other matchups and rosters in your league you can vulture great players who either have bad matchups or are rested/dropped for a certain gameweek. Offering a player who will definitely play in any given gameweek or who has a favourable matchup has never been so enticing. Blank and double gameweeks offer you even more opportunities for such trades. Hyenas and vultures feed on the corpses left by other animals. This is what I am suggesting you do as well. When you see a player you are interested in being benched on a team that desperately needs a win, that is your time to pounce. Offer however flimsy an offer you want; the more desperate your fellow manager is, the better the deal you can get.


To get the best out of this strategy, the stars have to align: 1) You have to be in a healthy position regarding your league position and your roster, 2) You have to be intimately familiar with the gameweek matchups in your league and your fellow managers' rosters, 3) You have to check lineups regularly during the gameweek, and 4) You have to be able to conclude a deal mid-GW quickly, sometimes in a few minutes. When successful, this is one of the most satisfying strategies to pull off.


"It's not the destination, It's the Journey"

Not all managers are made equal. That is one of the beauties of DraftPL. Some like to play it because it gives them a way to immerse themselves deeper into the stats side of football, some love the head-to-head aspect, others love the way it provides a constant engagement. Me? I love the deeply personal side of the game. The interactions are always at their best when two managers are discussing trades. This week's strategy is more a strategy on how to enjoy less obvious aspects of DraftPL.

"Venture out of your comfort zone and try to get to know your fellow managers; I guarantee you, you will be richer for it, and last but not least, you will be more likely to actually complete a trade."

Truth be told, I was deeply moved and inspired by @JWillDraft's Love Letter to the community. It resonated with me on so many levels and spoke about real emotions in and around this fantasy game we play. This week's strategy is somewhat of an extension of those feelings and ideas. Venturing into the trade business is not easy decision, it involves thought, time, and perseverance, with the ultimate result of what? A gamble in a game we spend our free time with. I implore you to think about trades differently, not as means to get one over your rivals, but to get to know your rivals. Be it a group of close-knit friends or a bunch of people from all over the globe, talking, sharing ideas about life is a great way to get to know each other and in turn ourselves and refine our social skills. The best chats I've had in a DraftPL setting have always evolved from a trade negotiation. From 2 day extravaganza about first date locations, to discussing Hungarian literature, to sharing pictures of my new-born, these are just a few of my trade negotiation experiences.


Venture out of your comfort zone and try to get to know your fellow managers; I guarantee you, you will be richer for it, and last but not least, you will be more likely to actually complete a trade. Less a strategy and more some insight into how I approach my every day life in the Draft PL community, I hope it will inspire you to make you trade approaches more personal.


"What would my opponent do?"

Roster stability is something that is not talked about enough in daily conversation about Draft Premier League matters. Constructing a roster can mean a lot of things but it usually refers to the number of players you have on your roster of a certain position or the ratio of steady point-getter vs boom/bust players you have in your squad. Achieving a balance in these 2 areas is crucial if you want to mount a serious title challenge.

"... analysing your opponent's team can be almost as important to knowing your own if you want to cut a successful deal. Identifying your opponent's needs will be the key that gets you the players you desire."

Analysing one's own roster comes second nature to most of us as we stare at our team for hours on end usually either cursing or falling in love with our players. In trading, however, analysing your opponent's team can be almost as important as knowing your own if you want to cut a successful deal. Identifying your opponent's needs will be the key that gets you the players you desire.


Before approaching one of your opponents with a trade offer, put yourself in their shoes, try to imagine what sort of player you would be looking for to bolster your team then go back and see if you have players that fit the mould. I guarantee you, by using this strategy all your trade negotiations will be much smoother and the points you raise about why your opponent should take a certain player, will resonate more, therefore giving you a better chance at success.


"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

This one needs a little bit of research, but this close to the end of the season it's nothing a manager cannot do on a piece of paper with a pencil he stole from IKEA. The basic premise of this strategy is that this late in the season, you have certain teams that your team will not be facing, therefore a trade with these teams will not directly affect your result (a player you trade away will not come back to beat you).

"Ideally, you use this strategy to full effect if you trade away a player of value only for that player to help you, even on the other manager's team, by contributing to beating one of your rivals."

Not playing against your former player is one thing, but to really embrace the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" strategy, you have to look at your H2H fixture list. You will have used this strategy to full effect if you trade away a player of value only for that player to help you, despite being on another manager's team, by contributing to beating one of your rivals. By examining your trade partner's fixture list, you can determine if a trade with them will have additional value to you.


Let us have a look at an example. We are managing a team chasing a playoff spot, and we have two games left in the regular season. We have an opportunity to conclude a trade with Team A or Team B. Team A has 2 fixtures against teams already out of the running, whereas Team B is playing your closest rival this upcoming gameweek. Using the strategy outlined above, you might be more inclined to accept a trade that may be less valuable for you, but the player you trade away has a tasty fixture when Team B is playing your rival.


Planning ahead is never more important than in "quick sprint" situations, be it the last few matches of the regular season, playoff games, or a title chase. Identifying teams that can help you win by beating your opponent is an advanced tactic that if used well can help you achieve your goal.


"Red Herring"

Quite a straightforward strategical tool in a Fantrax trader's arsenal and one I love to use every time I can, but I have not encountered it a lot during my countless dealings. The strategy hinges on convincing the manager you are trying to trade with that you are looking to trade for one of his players, which should not really be a problem. The catch is, the player you are in negotiations for is the Red Herring. You, in fact, do not want that player, but instead prefer a different one of his players (ideally lower ranked than the Red Herring).

"This is when the switch of focus happens. You 'reluctantly' introduce a different player to trade for (the one you were after all along) to somehow salvage the negotiations that have been going so well."

During negotiations, you are free to throw around absurd valuations for the Red Herring for your opponent to start feeling confident that he will get a good deal from you. Once you have convinced them that the Red Herring is the player you want, slowly lower your offer to the point where you are just not offering enough value for him. This is when the switch of focus happens. You "reluctantly" introduce a different player to trade for (the one you were after all along) to somehow salvage the negotiations that have been going so well. With your opponent convinced that he has managed to divert you from your original target he will gladly do a deal for the player he perceives to be your less desired choice.


Trying to "win" a trade or "get one over your opponent" is almost as important during trade negotiations as getting a "value win," and this strategy feeds into people's desire to "win trades."


Use them wisely.


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