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The Art of the Trade
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Fantasy Hockey - Toronto HockeyTrades in fantasy hockey can often be difficult and frustrating. Still if you want to improve your team, sometimes it's your only option. While it isn't likely teams are going to give you an all-star for three waiver pickups, it does happen. Still it's rare and in most deals you have to give to get. Often the biggest barrier is convincing yourself trading some of your best players will improve your team. Following a few simple concepts can go a long way to getting you the player you want.

Try focusing on what you're getting, not what you're giving up. The golden rule when trading is simple - the team that gets the best player in the trade, wins the trade. Always insist on getting the best player in the deal and you won't loose. There are always risks involved, like players getting hurt, but no one can predict when players will get hurt. It is a good idea to stay away from "band-aid boys", players with a history of injury.

Keep in mind it takes two to tangle, and you'll need to find a willing participant, and convince him that the trade is in his best interests. Finding someone to tangle with can be difficult. In order to find a potential deal take a look at rosters around the league and make a note of what teams need help, where teams need help, and where teams have extra depth at certain positions. Then check your roster and see if you can accommodate.

Focus on teams in trouble. The teams at the top likely aren't going to be that eager to deal. On the other hand, teams at the bottom should or teams fighting for the money should be highly motivated. Sometimes teams that need that one extra ingredient will pay a little more.

So now that you've found a couple potential suitors, it's time to lay the groundwork. Don't start off by low balling your fellow GM and offering players that aren't even in the same class. A move like this will probably slam the door on any further negotiations. There are certain GM's I won't deal with because I know it's a waste of time. Every proposal is three of their bench players for one of my stars. Thanks, but no thanks.

To get the ball rolling offer players that are in the same ballpark. They might be just a notch or two below the player you are interested in. Remember you have to give to get. Climb the ladder slowly. Sometimes it can take multiple deals and waiver pickups to get the player you want.

Laying the groundwork can be a long process at times. If you're not prepared to put in the time and effort during negotiations you probably won't achieve the kind of success you've envisioned for yourself.

So here we are, you've outlined a potential trading partner, assessed his weaknesses, and found a fit with players on your roster that are expendable. Go ahead and offer up the deal. Can't believe he turned it down? Well when offering a deal it's important to remember that the first offer is often just the starting point in negotiations. It's often a good idea to include a comment with your offer to try and get talks going.

If the deal gets turned down without a response, don't be shy, ask what it would take to get a deal done. You might be a lot closer the you think. It might only be a matter of adding a small piece to the puzzle to complete the deal. Other possible ways to increase your chances are to offer a similar deal to more then one team. Basically increasing your odds by putting out a lot of feelers.

While risky, and you can't expect to win every deal, trading has huge rewards. In keeper leagues it might be the only possible way you're going to get the player you want.

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