It can start out with laughter .. and end in tears.
It was true, I lost the trade, swapping a highly skilled playmaker for a questionable penalty producer. In the race for the Championship I had given away a vital asset. I took a chance.
This calculated deal, executed with precision, won the Championship. How? Just like this.
Sometimes, it's impossible to gain points in roto leagues regardless of roster depth. Categories where GMs are unlikely to catch the next rung on the point level to make up points when chasing someone for the title is difficult.
The deadline approaches and you still can't find a fit for your roster. An impact player would be expensive enough to derail the season. Even with gains trading, you still wouldn't catch the next GM.
What do you do?
An advanced strategy, along with advanced risk, but could pay off in the end. It takes some planning and execution, but it works. Unconventional methods (along with a little luck sometimes) win Championships and a good GM has an idea of how to manipulate their roster. The trade deadline is where this all begins.
Assume a rival GM on your heels in a rotisserie league.
Find a category where the rival fights for positioning. For example, a GM has 5 rotisserie points in the assists category. You have a comfortable lead with 10 points, but your rival is within striking distance of the GM with 6 points, the next rung.
Trade an assist producer to the GM with 6 points, to keep his distance not allowing your rival GM to make up any more points. You're giving up an asset and could be looking for help on the waiver wire, but if it works, it's worth the effort.
To gain on a GM you're chasing, chip away at his overall rotisserie points using the reverse logic; trade an assist producer to the GM right underneath, (4 points in this case) to overtake the GM in overall points.
This has a two-pronged effect; a) it forces the Rival GM to focus on the other GM threatening his standing, and b) could possibly force him to make a deal to reinforce his categorical advantage and in return hurt his overall standing.
There's a lot of planning involved in executing a strategy like this ... including, ensuring you have enough depth to maintain your own production.
If you can take the early ridicule and have the window of opportunity, try it out.
Trade Deadline Tips
Be mindful of offers to fellow GM's. GM's should consider throughout the season, but the deadline can be a hectic, crazy time. Darcy Hordichuk for Alex Ovechkin isn't going to cut it, so don't bother. Consistent terrible offers will put you in other GM's bad books and then they might even refuse to deal with you in the future. Identify a need and make a legitimate offer, even if it's a little low to establish a market.
Although it's not often wise to trade studs, if you're going to be so inclined, shop them around the league. Put the message out there they are available and let the bidding begin. The return will be greater should there be a desire for fellow GM's to outbid each other.
This is supposed to be a fun past time. Don't pester fellow GM's but remain cognizant of the market. Goaltenders/defensemen could be expensive, while centers could be a lot cheaper. Sometimes a deal can happen after the fact, so it's good to maintain interest and let the GM of a targeted player know. Don't repeatedly send the same offers or ask for availability, and dialogue for players that aren't available; in other words, don't pester.
If you're the GM receiving offers for players not on the trading block, properly address the GM's inquiry, indicating your player(s) is/are not on the market. Don't simply reject their offer, let them know players you are willing to move. This way GM's can focus on their next target, and you may be able to move parts of your roster you are looking to move. When getting an offer, if there is a possible counter, regardless of scope, try ... you have nothing to lose.
Don't get caught up in what other GM's are doing, focus on your own roster. GM's make moves to make their roster better, while not always successful. In other words, don't counter with a trade just because other GM's are dealing. Proper assessment and strategy should be your guideline. Sometimes the status quo is best.
Don't force yourself into making a blockbuster, just because you're offered an excellent player in a deal. It's all right to say no. Look at your position in the standings, relate that to what you are receiving in return and if it in fact helps you this season, pull the trigger. But ask yourself, how long will this affect me in the future? If it's a keeper league, are you giving up too much to go for the win? Will you be a middling GM for next season and beyond, not winning or losing? Are you really strengthening your roster? Make the assessment before pulling the trigger.
Don't sell the farm -- GM's at the bottom will be looking for major packages in return for future assets (prospects, draft pick exchanges, etc.). Make sensible trades and make sure you've eliminated available players from the waiver wire before making a bunch of offers.
If you're only looking for a tweak, and just need a little help, don't be goaded into entering negotiations for a bigger deal. Just because your potential trading partner wants to expand doesn't mean you have to oblige. Be willing to walk away. Chances are in most cases, the GM will come back with the offer you are looking to complete.
Above all, have fun. This can be a nerve-wracking experience, with heightened anticipation and tension. It's an exhilarating feeling to pull the trigger on a blockbuster, or beat out a rival GM for a player vital to a Championship finish. Even smaller tweaks have the ability to arouse the senses. Once this period is over, it's down the stretch we go.
Blockbuster or Not?
Tempting isn't it?
The offer is right in front of you. It's .. big. Huge. Deadline day is coming and the other GM needs to know so he can plan another pursuit.
You turn it down. Sometimes a blockbuster just isn't necessary.
Finding an undervalued player could turn out to be the best deadline move a GM can make. Instead of a blockbuster changing the make up of an established roster, a subtle addition of underachieving Dion Phaneuf or Carey Price from frustrated GM's can be more rewarding. Maybe now is the time to take a look at Alex Kovalev.
Players likely to be moved could fetch a good return with a benefit to both in the transaction. The owner can demand higher return on the premise that Pavel Kubina, Wild goaltender, Niklas Backsrom and Florida's Jay Bouwmeester from are all likely to be moved. If so, the GM ending up with one of those players could have an asset on a contending team, increasing their fantasy value. Be mindful of the cost of acquiring players in this situation.
Don't know if you should click on Accept to a red-hot trade offer?
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