July 19, 2012
Resident Fantasy Genius
Time to Get Real Value
Back in May, I penned an article talking about how imprudent it was to take the standings too seriously so early in the season. When making a trade back then, I advised trading for value as opposed to need. A lot can happen between May and July, and simply accruing as many stats as possible—regardless of how they’re distributed amongst the different roto categories—is the best course of action early in the year. We’re past the All-Star Break now, though, and the time for discussions on theoretical value is waning. Trade deadlines are less than a month away in many leagues, and what matters most now is how the individual category standings are shaking out.
If you have a big lead in home runs, for example, adding Adam Dunn to your roster accomplishes nothing, even if you can get him for 75 cents on the dollar. Sure, he adds value to your team, but fantasy championships aren’t won using abstract concepts of value. In the end, it comes down to points in the standings, and for a team like this, Dunn doesn’t add any of those points.
(That’s not to say you shouldn’t accept the deal; if you don’t have to put much legwork in, certainly don’t pass up a chance to add “value.” It’s just that it shouldn’t be your primary goal. If a good deal of this nature falls into your lap, go for it; it will usually give you more options when looking to deal for the categories you really need.)
When contemplating a trade early in the year, there generally three categories it will fall into, in my mind:
1. I receive more value than I trade away
It’s obvious which of these are preferable, and whenever possible, I will try to get more value than I trade away. I don’t see much need for even-value deals early in the year, because they accomplish nothing. After all, if I’m trying to build as much value as possible, this doesn’t aid in that goal. The only reason I see to make such a trade is to build rapport and goodwill with another owner in anticipation of more deals later in the year. But on the flip-side, you could reject such a trade simply to aid your reputation as a strong trader (if you feel doing so would be helpful). It all depends on the exact situation and the owner in question.