• Last week I went over some of the basic building blocks when it comes to trading in fantasy hoops.  Obviously the number one goal when making a deal is to improve your team.  Most people think the best way to go about that is by offering a trade so one-sided you could never lose.  While that can be a fruitful strategy, it ends up in failure 99% of the time and has the added benefit of everyone in your league calling you all sorts of names behind your back.

    In all my years of trading in fantasy, I’ve found that the best framework for enticing potentials deals is the 2-for-1.

    On its surface it can also seem like a ridiculous proposition.  I offer my two mediocre guys for your one great guy, but when you are trying to buy-low/sell-high, it acts as a solid compromise between both worlds.  I usually find myself on the receiving end of the single player, but that also comes with a higher risk profile.  Receiving two solid players, often one overperforming and one underperforming, can help mitigate the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket.

    Deciding to be on the side of getting the one player or the two should start with how big your league is.  If you are in a 14-man league, the wire can be a barren wasteland and the value of freeing up a roster spot to pick up an extra player isn’t nearly as attractive as it is in a 10/12-man league.

    For instance, last season around this time I traded De’Aaron Fox and Scottie Barnes for Evan Mobley.  At the time, Fox was ranked outside the top-100, Barnes was seemingly overperforming and Mobley was ranked inside the top-25.  I proposed this trade because someone had dropped Derrick White and I had the top waiver priority, but no one to drop.  On the surface I lost this trade, Barnes was awesome all season and Fox turned it around after Tyrese Haliburton got moved, but White was outranking all three players until he was traded to the Celtics.  I won on process, but lost on result, which I can live with even though I’m still bitter I traded Scottie.

    So before you make a 241 trade proposal, figure out what side of the bargain suits your team’s needs and vice-versa.  There is no point in trying to send two players to a team whose worst player is Jalen McDaniels (ranked inside the top-75) or if you already have three players who could/should be on the wire.  You can still win a trade if both parties view the trade as a success, but identifying the metrics for success is half the battle.  If you want depth instead of being top heavy, identify the team in your league who doesn’t have anyone obvious to drop.  They are exponentially more likely to trade two of their mid-tiered studs for one of your early round picks.  This might seem obvious, but trading already comes with so many built-in obstacles, it’s imperative to micro-target specific managers in your league with palate-appeasing offers.

    Here is a list of players I would target with potential 241/142 deals

    Sell High

    Anthony Davis

    The book on Davis has pretty much already been written.  An all-world talent that is more brittle than Humpty Dumpty.  Davis is currently ranked inside the top-10 in 9-cat per game averages and while he doesn’t look as dominant as he did at his peak, he’s still a beast down low and racks up defensive stats like no one else in the league.

    Davis is already dealing with a wonky back and I’m not sure it’s going to get better as the season progresses.  For this reason you were likely able to draft Brow at a discount and this is now the perfect opportunity to cash in.  I would go big game hunting with Davis as the bait.  I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a first-round talent in return for Davis, but you have to attach another enticing piece to get somebody to bite.  Nobody is doing Trae Young for Davis straight up, but if you attached a potential like top-100 guy like R.J Barrett (in points leagues, or if your trader partner has a specific roster build), Kelly Oubre or Jerami Grant you might get closer to the mark.  Realistically your second guy will probably have to be closer to Keldon Johnson, Isiah Hartenstein or Jarred Vanderbilt, which is painful, but in order to receive you have to give as well.

    If the goal is to get off Davis when he’s at the top of the roller coaster, it matters less who else you attach in the deal if you are getting back a Jayson Tatum, Dejounte Murray or Tyrese Haliburton.  Motivation to move Davis is 8.5/10 while he is healthy; once he gets hurt he becomes a sell-low instead of a sell-high.

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    Buy Low

    Jaren Jackson Jr.

    If you are like me and specialize in deciphering Twitter tea leaves, you may be aware that JJJ may be very close to returning.  His injury was a stress fracture in his right foot and he’s right at the four-month mark of his 4-6 month timeline.

    Anyone who drafted JJJ two seasons ago is probably still feeling burned by a similar rosy prognosis that took almost the entire season to materialize, but if you are feeling risky; this is the time to pounce.  I personally just traded Buddy Hield for JJJ, so I do practice what I preach.  If JJJ were healthy to start the season, he goes in the second round.  The managers that drafted him just did the heavy lifting and carried your water for the first three weeks.

    He finished 16th last season and played in 78 games, so there is a blueprint for sustained success.  If he comes back in 1-2 weeks, trading for him is the Queen’s Gambit, if it’s a month, it’s still worth it, but if he comes back early and gets re-injured, you might end up carrying dead weight for most of the season.  Fantasy is truly a crapshoot, but sometimes tiny windows open where you can swing for the fences without having to suffer too much collateral damage.   I believe one of those windows is open with JJJ and it will slam shut the moment he starts fully practicing or goes down the G League for conditioning.  Motivation to buy-low is 10/10 if you’re a true believer.

    Want to get access to the rest of our Buy Low, Sell High feature? You’ll need to have a FANTASYPASS membership. Click here to learn more and sign up! The FANTASYPASS also includes full access to Pickups of the Night, our Weekly Report and a daily preview with notes on gaming and DFS as well!

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