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Fantasy Prologue: Trade Value

Sorry Chris, but after the last two seasons, you won't make it a third straight on my team.
Sorry Chris, but after the last two seasons, you won't make it a third straight on my team.

In our second installment of Fantasy Prologue, we're going to discuss trades. Plenty of times you'll find you have players that are underperforming that you want to upgrade, players that are overperforming that you want to convert into potentially more consistently good options, or a position of strength that you want to turn into improving other aspects of your team.

Today, we'll look at some of the trades made in the 2011 version of the Writer's League. Expect to see David Taylor's name a lot.

The first trade we'll look at is one that I've brought up before. Keep in mind our settings of 0.5 PPR and 6 point quarterback touchdowns.

Scenario: Chris Johnson wasn't exactly performing up to snuff for me, but I fortunately had Maurice Jones-Drew holding down my RB production. However, the depth I had wasn't exactly anything to write home about either. David had a horrible start to the year, going 1-4, and needed to improve his roster. He viewed Chris Johnson as an interesting buy-low candidate, and Johnson had also burned me in the prior year (needless to say, I'm pretty sure I won't be picking him up for the third straight year...).

Trade: David got Chris Johnson and I picked up Darren Sproles and Daniel Thomas.

Result: This paid off in pretty big dividends for me. With our format, Sproles is fantastic when he receives out of the backfield, and Thomas was an okay 4 for me for a while. Johnson still struggled, but David wound up finishing the regular season winning six of his last eight, and we both made the playoffs at 7-6.

Scenario: Just prior to the trade deadline, David felt that he needed one more playmaker to fill out his receiving options. It just so happened Stephen Ronkowski decided to make Calvin Johnson available for trade - running quarterbacks who throw into wide open windows for touchdowns are a hot commodity, and David was willing to part with Tebow who was incredibly hot at the time, so it happened.

Trade: David got Calvin Johnson for Tim Tebow, Dez Bryant and Earl Bennett.

Result: Calvin Johnson was Calvin Johnson. Ronkowski picked up a couple receiving options to plug in for Johnson, but Tebow et al weren't enough to save Ronkowski's season.

Scenario: Early in the season, things are kind of shaking out and people are attempting to fill a couple of holes. But even so, the first trade of the year raised a couple questions in my mind. Brendan needed a more reliable running back option, and Just Dave had Fred Jackson in the fold.

Trade: Brendan got Fred Jackson for Andre Johnson and Felix Jones.

Result: Johnson was injured on and off last year so there was a little bit of "sell for what you can" in there, and Jackson was decent in his own right as a PPR option - and Jones, with the emergence of Tashard Choice, is a bit of a non-commodity. Bit of a rough price to pay (I mean, it's Andre Johnson) but Johnson really didn't live up to himself last season.

When it comes to making trades, of course the first thing I think of is how the trade will make my team better, particularly by the numbers. But you also need to take into account what the other player needs. Offering them Jay Cutler and crap for Calvin Johnson when they have Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers is an exercise in futility (and if someone has Johnson, Brees and Rodgers, something is clearly wrong here). But if you need a quarterback and they need a running back, then you might pull a Maurice Jones-Drew and Cutler for Rodgers and LeGarrette Blount, or something of that ilk, and you have a more likely chance of getting that trade through.

There are also other things to consider - is this player worth the bye week pain he'll cause? What's the rest of his schedule like? Does this trade make another hole in my lineup?

What are your analyses of the above trades? Brendan, Dave, Stephen, David, care to educate the class on your thought process if I've gotten any of the details wrong? What are your priorities when you make a trade?