In Dynasty, not only do trades alter your current season, but they can have ripple effects for years to come. Waiting too long to trade away an asset or buying in on a young player who never pans out can be devastating to a fantasy franchise. On the other side getting a guy at a value and watching them mature and selling before a player falls off the production cliff can be exciting and worthwhile. Trading in dynasty goes all year round and is one of the aspects of playing dynasty fantasy football that drives new players and makes current ones add more leagues.
Value is key in dynasty trading, as every manager has different values for almost every player. So how do you make a trade when you and the other manager might see players differently? This question has brought on the rise of trade value charts and trade calculators. There are many out there and it can be hard to know which ones to trust and how to use them to facilitate trades.
I virtually sat down with Alex aka PeakedinHighSkool to talk about dynasty trades and how to best utilize trade calculators. Alex is a fantasy enthusiast and writer who has had his trade charts published on The Athletic and can be found on Reddit, Twitter, and Patreon. He now compiles data from multiple sources and puts them all in a one-stop-shop for player values. Below is our conversation:
How should a fantasy manager use trade calculators and trade value charts?
Alex: “They are an excellent guideline. They are not the Bible at the end of the day. Just because someone has the same value doesn’t mean that you even have the same value for your team. I like to evaluate, that’s step one. What is the strength of my team? What is my weakness? Then I use them to look at the strength and weaknesses of the other managers in my league. Then I can use charts and calculators for players who potentially line up”
What made you want to make your own trade value charts?
Alex: “I started playing redraft originally, just like everyone and the first thing I did was I went to Reddit and joined the fantasy subreddit. I just got really into it. There were people who post other trade charts and calculators and then just rag on them because of issues or biases at the top or at the bottom or across positions. So what I wanted to do was make one that kind of aggregated those and tried to remove those issues. That’s it”
What Alex has done is he pulls from the various expert rankings such as Fantasy Pros, CBS, and Harris Football, and also pulls crowdsourced data from sites like Keep, Trade, Cut, and PollSports.com. All those sights have some weights based on how they rank players based on their metrics. He then runs it based on settings and publishes it in one graph so you can see values across positions. He mentioned in our chat that it was for him originally and that others liked it so he started to share it. His model is mostly automated for redraft so he can run it based on the different scoring settings. He is working on automating his dynasty chart, allowing him to run it more often.
How do blockbuster trades and big free agency signings affect your rankings and how quickly do they translate to values on your chart?
Alex: “It’s really instantly for the most part. I’ll run it a bunch sometimes multiple times a day when big news happens. Someone tears an ACL. Not all the experts are sitting at their computers and adjusting their charts as news breaks so ill do it by hand, I’ve been doing this long enough that I have a general feel for how it will affect a player. Maybe down a tier or so.”
Alex also mentioned that his model was based on 1-1 trades and that running backs were the “currency” he saw in fantasy.
How should someone use the charts for lopsided trades like 2-1 or 3-2 trades?
Alex: “10 to 20 percent is roughly what I’m looking at when making a 1-1 trade. Let’s say I have a guy who is worth 50 points, I might be willing to trade it for like 45 to maybe 42. When you are looking at 2 for one, 2 ponies for a horse, you are going to have to overpay. I got data from Poll Sports.com, what we found is the bigger the player that you’re trying to buy on the one side, there was a line that went up. Let’s say you’re trying to get A.J Brown who is 60 points. 2, 30 point players aren’t enough. You have to overpay by a factor of like 1.5 at that point. But when you are trying to get a player let’s say closer to 30 point, two 15 point players is a lot closer in value and you might only have to overpay by 1.1. It’s not exact.”
It brings up a really interesting point. When trying to make trades there are other factors outside of just pure value. The space on the roster, who you might have to cut to make room, and expected future all play into trades. As Alex said above; trade charts and calculators are guidelines. Just because one may have a guy high doesn’t mean that all will or that the owner who has them sees them at that price.
Everyone also has a different philosophy on dynasty and how they construct a roster. We discussed how we both look at it. I personally look at things in 3-4 year chunks because in that time frame you generally know what you have in a player. “Name another player besides Cordarrelle Patterson?” Alex mentioned. Patterson is a player who has been not very fantasy relevant for 4 plus years and then all of a sudden becomes an every-week starter. It’s very odd for a player to make a massive jump in production after 3 years of data to look at. Yes, there will be things that change. Moving teams, changes at the quarterback position, or even coaching can change the production for a player, but rarely does it make a drastic uptick.
What other advice do you have for dynasty players? Especially those just starting out?
Alex: ” I think really it’s take it slow, don’t trade your future picks if you don’t have to. I see too many people just mortgaging the future thinking they have a team and then they don’t even have their first overall pick next year. There are lots of great websites and people with Patreons where you can find help.
That’s what we try to do here at QB List. We have a great discord that you can access by subscribing to PL+. We try to give you honest, accurate, and personal advice in everything we do.
Featured image by Shawn Palmer (@Palmerdesigns_ on Twitter)