TDS Community Special: The Trade-Maker with MAK

Here at The Draft Society we’ve always said that what makes the draft game different is the community that is has fostered. It’s all love, baby. The support we get from each and every one of you every day of every week is beyond anything we could ever have imagined when we founded back in March of 2021. And whilst we’ll never be able to thank you all enough for this, we hope that we can give a little something back in the best way we know how: the Community Special.


Each week the_innergeek will write up a personalised article for the league of one lucky winner. It’s your call on the topic. Whether it’s a Trade-Maker Special, a Gameweek Preview, or The Crystal Ball Breakdown, the Inner Geek has you covered. A word of warning, though: no punches will be pulled when the Inner Geek gets to work! This week's winner is MAK, who chose to have their league’s rosters analysed and some trades proposed by the Inner Geek. A fair, honest, and impartial third party, think of the Inner Geek as everything that Mina Raiola is not. So MAK, are you and your rivals ready?

Whilst this article will aim to provide some legitimate trade suggestions for this specific league, it is very likely that you will be able to take some of the insights and advice and apply them to your own teams. And if not, well, you can always enter next time to try and get a personalised article for your own league. Make sure you follow us on Twitter and keep an eye out on Sunday evenings when the advertising post will go live.


Note: Numbers in brackets indicate the player’s position in our most recent Consensus Ranks, published on Tuesday September 7th.


The Rosters


1. Team FPLMAK trade Matt Targett (115) to Team Xiocanthl for Hwang Hee-Chan (148)

That’s right, we’re kicking things off with the big guns: Matt Targett and Hwang Hee-Chan. But seriously, every main event needs an undercard, and this is it. Not every trade needs to create a seismic shift in the fantasy landscape – as long as each manager keeps moving the needle in the right direction then it is job done.


If you were evaluating this trade on a player for player basis, you’d probably say that FPLMAK lose out. That may be right, but it’s the wrong way to look at it. They don’t need Matt Targett. With Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Ben Mee, Emerson Royal, and Shane Duffy on the roster, their defence is set. Bringing in Hwang Hee-Chan gives them the fifth forward that might prove useful (though is not something I would usually propose). With Marcus Rashford soon returning Mason Greenwood will likely see some bench time. Timo Werner is already at home there. And even Adama Traore is susceptible to the odd visit. A fifth option isn’t the worst thing in the world. 157 minutes into his Premier League career, I don’t think anyone really knows what we will see from Hwang Hee-Chan this season. An explosive start with a goal on his debut (as a substitute) has been followed up by two very lacklustre performances; not exactly whetting the appetite for fantasy managers. But the possibility is there, and for the small price of Matt Targett, it is worth the punt for FPLMAK.


In a similar manner, Team Xiocanthl don’t need the 5th forward. Mohamed Salah and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are as good a 1-2 punch as you are going to get in the league, and Bryan Mbeumo has potential (due to his guaranteed starter status) as a FWD 3. Steven Bergwijn wouldn’t usually be a name I’d tout as a FWD 4, but he was part of Tottenham’s winning start to the season, so we should expect him to be brought back in as soon as he’s fit enough. All in all, it makes Hee-Chan expendable. Do they need a 6th defender? No. But it provides options. Outside of Vestergaard, all of the defenders on this roster are from teams likely to finish in the bottom half of the team – meaning the manager will likely need to rotate each week to avoid matchups against the big four. Matt Targett provides greater flexibility to do that, and whilst he hasn’t had the best start to the season, let’s not forget that he was the 7th highest scoring defender last season.


2. Beast Mode trade Michael Olise (86) to Resident’s XI for Che Adams (73)

Two players on the slide trade places in this one, and whilst Olise’s value has dropped considerably since the preseason sleeper hype, I’m still liking his potential ceiling this season. That’s essentially where this one falls: Beat Mode opting for some reliability up top and a fairly decent floor in Che Adams, and Resident’s XI taking a risk on the potentially sizeable upside of Michael Olise.


This is the sort of trade that probably ends up lopsided…but that could be in either direction. It is completely conceivable that Olise fails to break into a Palace side that is sneakily starting to look good, whilst Che Adams continues as a Southampton regular, totting up ghost points and adding in the occasional goal and assist. Alternatively, Olise is a Jordan Ayew injury/bad performance away from making the right wing role his own, where he will get the chance to showcase the talent that saw him finish with a PP90 of 13.3 in the Championship last season, whilst Adams could be on the verge of losing his spot to Nathan Redmond/Theo Walcott.

But even if Che Adams were to add some goals to his game and end up increasing his PPS from 8.4 to a more respectable 10-something, is Resident’s XI ever going to start him over Raul Jimenez, Jamie Vardy/Kelechi Iheanacho, or Patrick Bamford? Definitely not the first two. Maybe Bamford. But again, the safe bet is to say that he’s expendable.

3. Master Shevchenko trade Christian Pulisic (77) to SmuelMartin for Matthew Cash (79)

The Master Shevchenko strategy in defence seems to be “quantity over quality”, and in a move that goes against all my better instincts, I’m actually going to contribute further to that by adding a SEVENTH defender to this roster. I know – I actually can’t believe what I’m suggesting here. In my defence, Nathan Ake needs to hit the bin asap, and Gabriel, Saiss, and Konate would be on the end of a VERY short leash. So essentially this defence is just Chilwell and Thiago Silva – hence the Cash reinforcement. What’s more, the rest of the roster is pretty strong. With a front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ismaila Sarr, and one of Roberto Firmino/Gabriel Jesus depending on who’s starting, the midfield will only need four names. Raphinha and Matt Ritchie are already nailed on, and after gameweek 5, Jadon Sancho and Jack Harrison should be in line for another chance to stake their claim as starters for their respective clubs too. Suddenly, Christian Pulisic has become the 5th choice midfielder. So yeah, maybe getting rid and embracing the quantity over quality approach in defence actually has some merit here.


The concern for SmuelMartin is that Marcos Alonso’s annual purple patch may have come to its inevitable end. Which makes losing Cash a little risky. But Ethan Pinnock looks legit – something I’m wary of saying about a newly promoted defender, but long-time Fantrax players will remember the likes of Shane Duffy, Callum Paterson, and Willy Boly, and recall the value of jumping on the bandwagon early. Add in Aaron Cresswell and you have a defence that can get by. For at least half of the season, this side is going to play just the two up top, meaning finding that 5th midfielder is a necessity. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to tell you that Mohamed Elyounoussi is not it. Anwar El Ghazi even less so. But Christian Pulisic could be. Yes, he’s at risk of Tuchel rotation (who isn’t), but there’s enough there to make that risk worthwhile. Just take a look at his performance on the opening day.

Matthew Cash for Christian Pulisic: a perhaps slightly odd looking trade, but there’s a reason these two sit near each other on our consensus ranks. It’s a fair deal.


4. Team Grantm97 trade Diogo Jota (27) to Team SamMartin Sucks for Wilfried Zaha (81) and Pascal Gross (37)

BREAKING NEWS: In an unprecedented move, The Draft Society has decided that it is going to offer the manager of Team Grantm97 a free one-month subscription to The Inner Circle*. For real, this roster needs some serious help. If this team gets any worse, we might need to call in Bob Geldof and Midge Ure for assistance too.


When a team is in a battle to avoid the wooden spoon – as I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that this one is (I haven’t seen the standings) – you need to make big moves. The biggest move available for Grantm97 is Diogo Jota. If I were the manager, I’d be hosting an open house and inviting bids from every corner. The more assets that can be brought in, the better. A 3-for-1 would be the ideal scenario, such is the lack of viable options on this roster, but remember we’re still only talking about Diogo Jota here. Therefore a more realistic ask is perhaps to go to Team SamMartin Sucks and discuss Zaha and Gross. Losing the number 27 player according to our consensus ranks is required if it brings in the number 37 and 81. That would take the number of top 100 ranked players on this roster from three (yeesh!) to four (marginally less yeesh). It’s a start.


Before we get on to why this deal works for Team SamMartin Sucks, let’s address the elephant in the room: the two goalkeepers on this roster. Come on people – this is never a necessary roster strategy! Give yourself the bench options! Now that’s been said, we can see how Jota fits in – and that’s as a forward upgrade. This frontline goes from very good to great with this trade. Romelu Lukaku, Danny Ings, Diogo Jota? Forget the 1-2 punch of Team Xiocanthl, this is a triple-threat combo that can guide a team to fantasy glory. Of course, the downside is losing an important midfield piece – and reducing that stable to just four options. But as guaranteed starters go, they don’t get more locked in than Tomas Soucek, Kalvin Phillips, Ashley Westwood, and Jarrod Bowen. This roster can withstand the loss of Gross (here’s a hint: drop Pickford and waiver in a 5th midfielder!) if it means upgrading the front line.


*we are being 100% serious. Please reach out to us on Twitter Team Grantm97!

5. Thomase trade Lucas Moura (75) and Raheem Sterling (33) to Yeelyboys for Andrew Robertson (25)

These two rosters are probably the most unbalanced in the league, with Thomase holding SIX forwards and Yeelyboys rostering just four midfielders. It should make for a fun (and successful!) exchange in negotiations. Ultimately I’ve gone for a 2-for-1 which helps take Thomase’s defence from arguable #1 in the league to absolutely definitive #1 in the league, whilst deepening the forward options (and actually providing midfield options) for Yeelyboys.


To say that midfield reinforcements are essential for Yeelyboys is an understatement – this is a donut of a roster. Some sides can cope with just four midfield options (see previous blurb re Team SamMartin Sucks) but a roster made up of Yves Bissouma, Milot Rashica, Emile Smith Rowe, and Bertrand Traore cannot. Lucas Moura, whilst hardly setting the world alight this season, should definitely improve it. The Tottenham man has scored 7 and 7.5 in his last two games – games in which Spurs have lost 3-0 and 3-1. If (and it’s a big “if”) Nuno can turn things around, then Moura should be at the heart of it, and those fantasy points could easily hit double figures. On top of that, Yeelboys would also acquire Raheem Sterling – England’s Euro hero suddenly thrown into the cold by Pep. But this happens to Raz from time to time. And more often than not he bounces back. They may not necessarily need a fourth forward, what with Rashford’s imminent return, but that’s a nice problem to have. Perhaps they could then tempt someone to dig deep for Harry Kane and strengthen their roster even further…


For Thomase, the losses are not a problem. In fact, I’d let Yeelyboys take their pick of midfielders (excluding Pogba) if Moura doesn’t tickle their fancy. And whilst I still believe Sterling will end the season as a FWD 2, why wait for that to happen when you can cash in now and utilise any of the remaining five forwards on the roster – all of which have genuine value? In return, you get a defender who’s finished as the 2nd, 6th, and 4th highest scorer in his position for the past three seasons. Placing him alongside Vladimir Coufal, Ricardo Pereira, and Takehiro Tomiyasu creates a defence that can be rolled out with confidence on a weekly basis. It’s a win-win deal, though I wouldn’t stop there for Thomase. I’d also see what midfield value Demarai Gray and/or Trincao fetch.


6. Team FlunkyGuy trade Trent Alexander-Arnold (8) to TS14 Massive for Virgil van Dijk (34) and James Ward-Prowse (20)

Gotta have a big dog in here somewhere, and right now they don’t come much bigger than TAA. The Liverpool right-back is currently the fourth highest scoring player, despite playing just 5 out of 6 games this season, and is on track to smash the record he set back in 2019-20 for most points in a season by a defender (535, if you want to know). There’s not much more that needs to be said to sell him to TS14 Massive. The guy is pretty damn good. Losing James Ward-Prowse in the deal will sting, but with Bruno Fernandes, Declan Rice, John McGinn, and Bukayo Saka on the roster – as well as four solid forward options – a fifth midfielder is a luxury. This, alongside Thomase, is the best roster in the league. If it can add another elite asset like TAA then it becomes formidable.


So with all that said, why would Team FlunkyGuy sell their best player? The answer, of course, comes down to overall roster strength. As it is, the midfield is very…meh. If I’m honest, I don’t really like any of them except Harvey Barnes, and even he is competing for the title of biggest underperformer of the season at the moment. There’s potential in Martin Odegaard and Hakim Ziyech, but this side screams out for a solid midfield points scorer. Enter JWP. For sure, the defence is downgraded a little, but VVD is obviously no slouch. A Reece James-VVD-streamer combo each week should be able to do enough to keep a team competitive, which is why that midfield man is so important. Without Ward-Prowse, this midfield has the genuine potential (maybe even likelihood) of failing to hit double digits BETWEEN THEM more times than is acceptable. I think this is my favourite trade of the six. Make it happen.


Other Roster Moves

Every suggestion in the above is gold. I know that you know that. But some people are just non-traders. So if any of these deals can’t be made, why not head to the FA/WW list and make the most of some of the gems that can be found there. Below I’ve listed the ones that I think deserve particular consideration from a few teams.


Joel Veltman – Very surprised to see Veltman on this list. The defender has started the last three games for a Brighton side that have begun the season exceptionally well. He also finished last season strongly, scoring the 16th most points amongst defenders from mid-January onwards. He’d walk into every defence outside of Thomase’s soon-to-be ultimate defence (see trade suggestion 5 above).


Mohammed Salisu – Salisu has, according to WhoScored, been Southampton’s best player so far this season, with a 7.04 rating. He’s also been pretty decent on Fantrax too, scoring 44.75 points (FP/G of 7.46), good enough to crack the top 30 defenders in the game. Southampton also have the easiest schedule in the league for defenders coming up – and that’s even with the gameweek 7 matchup against Chelsea taken into consideration. A few sides would do well to pick him up now and reap the rewards from gameweeks 8 to 12.


Tariq Lamptey – The Brighton man may not have played a league minute since December 16th 2020 thanks to injury, but the upside is so high here that someone needs to take a punt on him. He is (or perhaps it should be “was” until further evidence emerges) a very good player and one that should still be improving as he gets more experience. Can he force his way back into the side? Graham Potter has already experimented with Pascal Gross and Solly March at right wing-back this season, so it’s not unlikely that Lamptey will get a shot soon too.


Douglas Luiz – Douglas Luiz has suddenly started taking set pieces. Douglas Luiz has suddenly started scoring fantasy points. The astute managers out there might just be able to find the connection. Now admittedly, this is sans Emiliano Buendia, but it could be that he remains on some corners/free-kicks, and if he does, then he becomes a viable midfield option. The former Manchester City player can pick a pass, and with Jack Grealish now gone, it may be that Villa are giving him a little bit more license to do that now…worth a pickup for the likes of Yeelyboys.


Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Tottenham’s Hojbjerg has generated a surprising amount of fantasy discussion so far this season. He may be playing a slightly different role; it may simply be the product of the particular opposition that Tottenham have faced in the early goings. Either way, an 8.0 FP/G (a big jump from last season’s 5.9) is workable. It won’t set the world alight, but given how shallow the midfield pool is this season, a few teams could certainly do worse than bring him on board.


Sergi Canos – Okay, so Canos has fallen spectacularly far from his blistering 22-pointer in the season opener, but I’d still rather roster him than some of the dross on these rosters. He may not have reached 5 points in any of his five previous games, but he’s still looked decent (WhoScored have him as Brentford’s 4th best player so far this season). Maybe the points will come (WhoScored ratings do correlate strongly with fantasy points), maybe they won’t. I’ll gladly stick him on the roster and take the very minimal risk.



So there we have it. The Trade-Maker's suggestions for MAK's league courtesy of The Inner Geek. Some food for thought for all managers and hopefully enough to kick-start a few negotiations at the very least! If you want a Community Special article written about YOUR league – whether it’s a Gameweek Preview, a Trade-Maker Special, or The Crystal Ball Breakdown – then make sure you follow The Draft Society on Twitter and keep an eye out on Sunday evenings when the advertising post will go live.


For all the latest from The Inner Geek, follow @the_innergeek on Twitter!

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