This article is based off of a 12-team, standard scoring fantasy baseball league on ESPN and does not necessarily compare to all leagues. But, knowing when to leave your roster alone is a good strategy no matter what league you participate in.
Fantasy baseball, among other fantasy sports, requires constant rebuilding and molding to maintain a competitive team that can make a run at a fantasy championship. While most of the prep work takes place prior to the draft, the next important step is drafting well and understanding what strategy other owners are using throughout the draft.
But there are also two other important areas that can make or break your fantasy baseball season: the waiver wire and trades. Finding the next superstar on waivers is something that can be done fairly easily, and it is important to use your watch list to keep an eye out for hidden talent throughout the season. The focus of this segment is trades though, and knowing when it is time to stop tinkering with your roster.
In my league, I was able to acquire depth and rid my team of underperforming players through trades early in the season. It is not always a good idea to overhaul a fantasy roster early in the season, but there are times that you can tell how a player’s season is going to look after the first few weeks.
So far this season, I’ve been offered an astronomical 29 trades, but many of them were for players that I wasn’t willing to part ways with. Our league is one of the most active that I have ever been a part of, and has made for a competitive and enjoyable start to the season. With that being said, there were very few trades that I actually accepted, and using discernment is as important as not overreacting when players are struggling.
Below are some of the trades that I have accepted at this point.
- Ken Giles (RP) for Nathan Eovaldi (SP) and Tyler Clippard (RP)
- Francisco Lindor (SS) for Jung Ho Kang (SS, 3B)
- Josh Harrison (3B) for Brandon Finnegan (SP, RP) and Collin McHugh (SP)
- Sergio Romo (RP) and Santiago Casilla (RP) for Eugenio Suarez (SS) and Fernando Rodney (RP)
- Miguel Castro (RP) and Matt Harvey (SP) for Jay Bruce (OF) and Johnny Cueto (SP)
- Adam Morgan (SP) for Jonathan Villar (SS)
Of the above trades, the Lindor trade, Romo-Casilla trade, Bruce-Cueto trade and Villar trade have all helped my roster become one of the best in my league and have helped me stay undefeated through Week 8. Romo went to the DL shortly after trading him and Harvey has been one of the biggest busts of the 2016 season.
Finding value and not giving up too much in a trade are the best ways to build a contender, and when playing in a pay league it makes every move that much of a bigger risk. But finding and acquiring players like Cueto and Kang early in the season are moves that make sense if you find someone willing to take a chance on a player like Harvey, and giving up Lindor was a move made because of the depth at shortstop that I already had.
Also, remember to make it known which players are untouchable on your roster at the start of the season, but fluctuate them accordingly if an offer is too good to pass on.
If winning your league is the main goal — why wouldn’t it be — then don’t be afraid to find a player or players that other team owners find to be expendable or are willing to trade at low-cost to your own roster, but never mess with a good thing when momentum is in your favor.
What are some of the trades you have made this season? Have they helped or hurt you to this point? Leave your comments for discussion and feel free to break down the trades mentioned in this article.