How To Gauge Trades To Make Your Own

Updated: February 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm by Chris Wassel

The answer to the above question is not likely but it is time to read below and look at a table as well to make the most informed decision in how to gauge trades to make your own.

Every Fantasy Hockey GM is curious when a trade goes down to see what each team acquired and what needs the trade served.  Sometimes the real world mirrors the fantasy world with trades and that REALLY gets people talking.

Several leagues I am in have trade deadlines this week and one has its very own show as well.  The NAFHA (North American Fantasy Hockey Alliance) is a very unique league that counts what appears to be only a few categories on the surface but has a unique scoring matrix that is intriguing to follow.  On February 5th at 10:30pm ET, the trade deadline show will go live.  Trades can take place up until Midnight and then the last half hour will be spent on analyzing said trades.  There has been a flurry of speculation all week and if you are in leagues that have a definitive trade deadline, I hope you take advantage.

This deadline is a bit earlier than most.  Usually more deadlines pop up next week or in the next couple weeks.  Below is a matrix of sorts from last year’s trade deadline week.

2010 NAFHA Deadline Week

1/26/2010 17 ND D Zdeno Chara Tottenville Totenvilles 1st in 2010 Yes
1/26/2010 17 Fla RW Jarome Iginla North Dakota C Brandon Sutter, C Evander Kane, Florida’s 2nd Rd Pick in 2010 Yes
1/26/2010 17 Que G Martin Brodeur,C Ryan Getzlaf,ND 2010 3rd rd North Dakota G Jaroslab Halak,D Victor Hedman,LW Benoit Pouliot,Que 2010 4th Yes
1/27/2010 17 ND D Chris Campoli, NY 5th 2010 New York D Ian White Yes
1/29/2010 17 Pitts RW Dustin Penner, D Lubomir Visnovsky, & 6th rnd pick Quebec LW Pascal Dupuis, D Kris Letang, Pit 1st pick,2rd pick Yes
1/30/2010 17 Cgy G Craig Anderson White rock 5th pick in 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 Que RW Martin St Louis,LW Loui Eriksson, Tottenville C Henrik Zetterberg,RW Devin Setoguchi Yes
Tot 2nd 2010,Tot 5th 2010,Tot 1st 2011 Yes
1/30/2010 17 SA RW Marian Hossa, 4th WR 2010, 4th WR 2011 White rock 2010 SA 1st, 2010 2nd (ND), 2010 SA 3rd, and 2011 SA 1st Yes
1/30/2010 17 ND LW Mason Raymond White rock Florida’s 2nd in 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 Fla C Paul Stastny North Dakota Floridas 4th round pick in 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 Anch Pavel Datsyuk North Dakota LV 4th pick in 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 Anch Tomas Vokoun Tottenville Anch 6th pick in 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 Morg C Evander Kane, LW Danny Briere North Dakota C Michael Frolik,RW Dustin Brown,Rich 2nd,Mt 5th Yes
1/30/2010 17 SA C Joe Pavelski (SJ) Tottenville 2010 4th round pick,2011 4th round pick Yes
1/30/2010 17 Cgy D Adrian Aucoin,FLA 8th round pick 2010 Florida D Denis Wideman,CGY 4th round pick 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 ND Tot 2010 4th round pick Tottenville D Scott Niedermayer Yes
1/30/2010 17 Anch RW Shane Doan Pittsburgh Anc 3rd pick in 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 SA D Tomas Kaberle Tottenville 6th Rd Pick in 2010 Yes
1/30/2010 17 Philly RW Bobby Ryan Tottenville C Mike Richards,RW Kyle Okposo, Yes
LW James Neal,Phi 2010 1st rounder Yes
1/30/2010 17 Anch G Miikka Kiprusoff,LW Kristian Huselius,7th in 2010 Quebec RW Johan Franzen, G Marty Turco, 1st in 2010, Yes
6th in 2011 Yes

This was last year’s trade deadline week from the league.  What we are going to do below is try to explain how to gauge trades like this so you can make your own trades.  The key is not to analyze too much here.  Let us do that for you instead.

Step 1: Look at the trade made for its parts not whole

Well this sounds a bit backwards at first.  The whole trade is what comes down as a result of negotiating the parts.  However, the gems found in the parts are ultimately what makes a trade.  The Fantasy Hockey GM is looking for that part that gets him the leverage to win (or believed to win) the deal.  Art of the deal is one of the most primal things in fantasy sports.  Would you make a deal to set up another deal for example?  It is a vital question to be asked.

Another example of setting up parts are secondary and tertiary deals.  This even happens in the NHL where a GM makes a smaller, early deal just to get a part or draft pick(s) in a later deal.  The exchange of picks often sets up something bigger late.  We preface to say however that the deals that do not get done may be even more interesting.

Step 2: When the seller rules the roost…..

There are deadlines where clearly the seller holds most of the cards.  They have that integral piece that most know will take to win a title.  This usually happens in a deadline environment where not a lot of big or even quality names are being dangled about.  In 2003, I still remember the only name being shopped around was Peter Forsberg.  This was a high money league and I knew I had a top 2 team at the time (was first in the standings but by a slim margin).  The guy that was in second had an abundance of hot goaltending (three goalies in the top eight in statistics).  However, he had the offensive firepower of this year’s Devils more weeks than not.  No one else was really willing to trade.

As a result, a Martin Brodeur for Peter Forsberg swap occurred.  What happened next was historic from a fantasy standpoint.  Peter Forsberg would be knocked out for the season days later (starting a string of injuries that continue to this day) and Martin Brodeur led my team to its first of several titles in a row.  Remember Brodeur at one time was a great second half goalie more for his wins and shutouts than anything else.

How are trade markets in fantasy leagues shaping up this year?  Well we will get to that one next week.  The seller market usually has only 2 or 3 big ticket items and several smaller ticket items.  Teams at the bottom usually hold out for better deals and that is why sometimes you hear about the angst of GM’s who could not get a deal done from both sides.  In the seller market, chatter is actually coming more from the buyer trying to get the seller to bend a bit on their demands.  Actually it is always quite fascinating what the buyer will do and sometimes overpay for.  Make sure you do not sacrifice too much for an often short term option.

Step 3:  When the buyer rules the roost……

Though a little rare, this has happened more in recent years actually.  How on Earth does a market tilt towards the buyer?  Well for one, there is the economically obvious reason.  That is, there are several sellers in the market trying to either obtain better draft picks or just simply retooling for next year.  Some are looking for players, picks, or a combination of the two. Personally I am in a league where I am looking for a combination leaning on prospects actually.  This would be called an accelerated rebuild or a step above the total rebuild, which is a complete overhaul of one’s team.

A league like the NAFHA, for example is more of a buyer’s league because there is so much more activity.  Teams have a strategy and are building at varying lengths and degrees while the buyers are just trying to maintain or accentuate what they have.  Several dynasty leagues often work this way but few match the activity.  The IHFDL (Inside Hockey League) is in its first year but coming rapidly close.  Money leagues I am in that have dynasty keeper leagues with contracts are a new wrinkle where you can realistically have to decide whether to attempt and sign the UFA or trade him and get value.

Buyers often looks into these options and many more.  It is crucial to get into the heads of the ones you are trading with without being obvious about it. Once it is obvious, the deal can go off track.  In the buyer’s market, the buyer can pull out of a deal real easy because of where their team is in the standings. Usually they are also positionally sound for coming years as well.

So if you are a buyer now is the time to gauge other leagues to see what trades are going down because this year (with the many injuries and upheaval), several teams are selling and assets can be had for lower prices.  Sellers really have to be careful.

Step 4:  Sample fantasy hockey shows and sites

It is the best way to take a look at what commodities are being shopped around by fantasy owners.  What better way than to take in a show or read a blog/publication.  From DobberHockey to The Program, there are so many different sources to get your fantasy hockey information.  Take a look around.  Ask questions, go to forums, and even use social media as well.  The options that are around now did not even exist five years ago.  One would be a fool not to at least take a listen or a look.

Remember it really is the one who sits there and does nothing that loses out in a trade deadline in MOST cases.  This is rare in highly competitive leagues and really only prevalent in leagues where one or two teams annually dominate.

Step 5:  Last but not least NEGOTIATE and make your move(s)

Really simply, negotiation is the last bastion of barter and greatness in any fantasy leagues.  The feeling that you got the better end of a deal is the equivalent of so many euphoric emotions.  Do note that it may not always work out but this is the time of year to either go for it, retool, rebuild, or give up.  Make the moves and get your value.  If you do that and do not overpay too much, most times you will see the return.

If there is a trade, you have a question with, leave it in the comments section or send us a message on Facebook, even tweet us @DailyFaceoff or me personally @TheProgramBTR.  This is a fun time of year where the trades fly everywhere.  The goal is to give you the best information not just into value but what is going on in the heads of the GM’s as well.  Good luck out there!

How to Fantasy Hockey, Trade Deadlines