• The dominos are falling, friends. Luis Castillo has been dealt, and these next few days have the potential to shake up MLB even more as the likes of Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani have legitimate chances to switch teams. The entire baseball world is watching, and fans from all over are combing through prospect lists and scouting reports, either to see if their team can afford one of these players or to examine a potential return if one of those studs gets dealt away.

    Those two are just the tip of the iceberg, as other high-end talent such as Pablo Lopez, Frankie Montas, Willson Contreras, and possibly even a couple of Red Sox could be on the move. Chaos is in the forecast if all or even some of these guys are on the move, both from a fantasy perspective and a real life baseball one as well.

    The great news is that all will be revealed by Tuesday night, as the deadline for trades to be made is 6 PM ET. There will surely be moves made even if the aforementioned stars don’t get moved, but whatever happens it is safe to say that all fantasy teams will be in need of a once-over following the deadline to see where they may have gotten better or worse.

    Today, ill be going over the three steps that I’ll be taking during trade deadline week to ensure that I can make the most of whatever happens. Waiver moves made over the next few days have the potential to make or break your season, and there are a couple of thing you can do to gain an advantage.

    Step 1: Save Your Adds Until After The Deadline

    Tons of people like to stream in a couple of two-start pitchers (myself included) but this week requires patience and restraint with your waiver moves. In most leagues, you have between 4-6 adds for the week, and I personally won’t be using any before Tuesday when some more big moves will have been made. Roles will change in rotations, lineups, and bullpens and players we don’t really have on our radar yet will be valuable mid-week.

    There will be save opportunities that open up if/when closers such as David Robertson or Jorge Lopez get traded. Outfielders such as Soto, Ian Happ and Ramon Laureano all seem fairly likely to be on the move, which will open up playing time for the guys behind them on the depth chart. Teams that seem to have a set starting five may opt for an upgrade, leaving someone in a bullpen role, where a starting job would open up for the other team in the deal.

    The point is, we just don’t know what will happen over the next couple of days. We can predict and run trade simulators, but ultimately we haven’t a clue about what will go down. Save your adds so that you are able to jump on an opportunity when it opens up.

    I can all but guarantee it’ll pay off more in the long term than that fringe starter you might have your eye on.

    Step 2: Start Thinking About Your Adds/Drops Now

    In most competitive leagues, it will be a scramble to add players once the dust has settled and it’s important to have guys in mind so that you don’t get sniped while debating between Player A and Player B, either by debating who to add or who to drop. There are some players who are nearly certain to be dealt and it’s important to know who is next in line for those jobs. On the other hand, there will be players who lose a ton of value by being traded and it’s important to have a short leash in those situations.

    I mentioned Jorge Lopez and David Robertson above, and they are great hypotheticals for both scenarios. If they are traded, it will likely be to a competitive team and the odds are they won’t be closing anymore. We saw this happen last year with Diego Castillo, Yimi Garcia, and Craig Kimbrel. They were dealt to teams that already had the 9th inning sorted out and none of them were fantasy relevant for crunch time in 2021. At the same time, it also opened up opportunities for the likes of Andrew Kittredge, Dylan Floro, and Rowan Wick, among others.

    Having a rough idea in advance about which players will be moved can prepare you for the worst, but also help you make the best of a bad situation. Let’s say, for example, Robertson or Lopez get dealt to the Brewers, Mets, or Blue Jays. They wouldn’t be the closer and they would become near auto-drops, depending on how deep your league is and if it values holds. It would, however, be a chance for you to get ahead of the field and drop them for their replacements. It’s likely that Wick would be a beneficiary for the second consecutive season in Chicago, while Felix Bautista stands to inherit the closer role from Lopez if deals get done.

    It’s smart to know the likely trade candidates on your team, and to have at least a rough idea of who stands to benefit. Take a look at bullpen seniority and potential trades to make sure you don’t fall behind the rest of your league.

    Step 3: Have a Roster Spot Free Heading into Tuesday

    This builds a bit on my point from Step 2 about sorting through your drops a day or two in advance, and it really works best for daily changes leagues. If there is someone who is dead weight on your team, ditch them now as opposed to waiting until you make your adds later this week. Take a look at the worst couple of players on your roster and their schedule for this week and don’t get sentimental.

    There is an added element for those in leagues where adds can be made throughout the day as opposed to a nightly waiver/FAAB process. You can add those players who will get a bump at the deadline on Tuesday as opposed to Wednesday.

    This will really put you in a position of power in your league as you will have first dibs on players with the most improved situations post-deadline. My advice is to have one pitcher and one position player spot available, but of course individual team needs are a massive variable there. If your team is really struggling for saves, this is a great time to make up for that, and you would probably benefit more from having two open pitcher slots.

    At the very least, having one open roster spot and getting your top priority guy before the rest of your opponents even have a chance at them can be a huge game-changer over the final two months of the fantasy season.

    This is my process for trade deadlines, specifically for fantasy baseball and basketball, because so many things change at this time of year and people already have their attention divided because of football/failing teams. Get in there and gain an edge over the rest of your league.

    If you want to stay up to date during the deadline, I’ll be hosting a live show on Tuesday from 3-7 PM ET. We have 14 guests from throughout the fantasy baseball industry that will be stopping by to help us make sense of the moves that may or may not happen that day. You can find a full schedule on my Twitter account in my pinned tweet. Hope to see you guys in the live chat!

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