April 19, 2017
Where To Find the Trades
It’s early, but the post-draft, post-auction, post-opening day euphoria is waning already for most fantasy baseball participants. Some players are doing better than expected, and some are doing worse, even though, only 17 days into the season, we surely are looking at an incomplete picture. Regardless, this is the time when some owners will begin looking for trades.
Is now a good time even to be considering trades? Great question. I believe it is a good time to do so, if only because our competition often is looking to make a trade now. Put differently, the way to get the most back in trades usually is to make a deal with someone else who wants to make a trade, someone who either wants something specific, or who wants to trade a particular player. We know that trades can be difficult because of the endowment effect—our tendency to value something more, simply because we possess it; thus, we always are looking for opportunities to make trades with a team dealing with factors that are counteracting the endowment effect.
We will review what factors make people want to make trades (and thus engage in risky behavior, from a loss standpoint), and where to look for them in order to find favorable trade opportunities. As a result, what follows are the places I recommend searching for possible early season trade opportunities, and why.
The roster needs of others
This is the most obvious place to search for motivated trade partners. Obvious, but still worth noting, as searching for trades based on the needs of our competition is not common practice for most fantasy baseball participants. Instead, most start by addressing their own needs before looking for a match—a process that produces far fewer leads than looking at what others need.
This sounds painfully obvious, but every season trades happen where we think to ourselves, “I would have sent a better starting pitcher for Player 'X' than the starting pitcher that got the deal done,” or at least something along those lines. The reason we often do not offer something better is because we were not looking; and the reason we were not looking is that we were either too focused on our own needs, or too focused on making a certain type of trade—one that made the most sense to us.