The Fantasy Footballers Writing Staff: Best & Worst Recent Trades
Looking back at your past fantasy trades is a great way to see how player values were perceived throughout the season. I myself made 12 trades and had 69 acquisitions in my main keeper fantasy league in 2019, and that doesn’t include the trade I made in June.
With full transparency, our writers put together our best and worst trades from 2019 along with what we learned. What worked out? What went wrong? These are real trades we made in our personal leagues! Be prepared to be amazed at our incredible foresight…as well as some of our cringe-worthy decisions. Let us know about your #BestTrade and #WorstTrade in 2019 – @TheFFBallers.
Jeff Greenwood – (10-team dynasty, PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1FLEX, 1D, 1K)
In June of 2019, I decided to be aggressive and make a move on a Tyreek Hill. I traded my rookie 1.03 pick (consensus David Montgomery) for Tyreek Hill straight up. At the time, Hill was in the midst of a very serious criminal case, and it was unclear if he would ever play another down in the NFL…especially because it wasn’t the first time he faced serious criminal charges. I decided to gamble on the chance that he was innocent and would soon become a top-5 dynasty receiver again at some point in the season. My thinking was that a rookie pick and Tyreek both presented a significant risk, but Tyreek’s upside was greater as potentially the best overall dynasty player. Lessons learned: Pay attention to swings in player value and avoid groupthink. Every trade is a gamble so don’t be afraid to take your shot. Also, I can say firsthand that it did NOT feel great when the trade went through…I obviously do not support (alleged) abusive behavior.
Kyle Borgognoni- (12 team redraft, 0.5 PPR, 1 QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1FLEX)
I somehow ended up with the New England Patriots defense in two of my main redraft leagues. While this seems like an extremely beneficial spot to be in, I worried each week when I would miss my chance to cash and get top-notch value. My team was in deep need of some wide receiver aid so I traded the Patriots defense for Michael Gallup and Will Fuller. At the time, Fuller had done nothing and Gallup was still riding in the coattails of Amari Cooper. The next week Will Fuller went off (217 yards & three TDs) against my beloved Atlanta Falcons and Gallup eventually became a safe consistent starter after clearly his injury woes. While Fuller flamed out fast, it was the boom I needed to take my team over the top and receive at least something for a fantasy defense.
Ryan Weisse- (10 team dynasty, .5 PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1 SFlex, 3Flex)
My shining moment in this dynasty came just before the NFL draft took place last year. The preseason hype surrounding Alvin Kamara was in full force and I owned him. A rule I play by in dynasty is sell RBs at the top of their hype because it won’t last long. The Dalvin Cook owner inquired and sent out an initial offer. I rarely accept an initial offer so I countered asking for just a bit more. I liked AK41 a lot but my adoration for Cook was growing daily by this point. I saw Cook as a legit RB1 overall contender so anything he added was icing on the cake. My haul ended up being: Cook, the 1.05, a 2021 1st, and 2021 3rd all for just Kamara. I ended up in 3rd place to end the year and set my team up for at least a little bit. Lesson Learned: There is not a ton to learn here, this offer was ridiculous if you were a Dalvin Cook believer, but one lesson would be to never consider anybody on your roster “untradeable”, you never know what others might be willing to pay.
Mike Wenrich – (10 team dynasty, PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1 SFlex, 3Flex)
In early 2019, I traded Cam Newton for Derek Carr and a 2020 1st Round pick. 2017’s QB2, Cam Newton was playing as a top 5 QB in 2018, before missing the final two games of the season due to injury, finishing as QB12 in the league. While the rumors were swirling that Newton may not be ready for the 2019 season due to his injury, trading away a young, top 5 Dynasty QB for Derek Carr, who was QB18 for the 2018 season, was questionable at the time. However, the ability to gain an additional draft choice in the highly-anticipated 2020 class was enticing enough considering the downgrade at QB. Little did I know at the time that Newton would play only two games in 2019 and subsequently become a free-agent and likely end up in a backup role in 2020. Carr performed as expected, finishing as QB15 for the 2019 season. Without that trade, my team would not have fielded a QB in the Superflex position which would have severely impacted my team’s performance and 3rd place finish. Surprisingly, the trade ended up not impacting the new Cam Newton owner, who won the league, making my acquired 2020 the 1.10 draft pick.
Aaron Larson – (12 team keeper, tiered PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1SF, 1DST, 1K)
Remember when Mike Evans but up that goose egg in Week 5? That’s what you call a “buy low opportunity”. I was able to acquire Evans, along with Miles Sanders and Vance McDonald, in exchange for T.Y Hilton, Josh Gordon, and Will Dissly. From my point of view, I was getting a steal in Evans, a rookie that would continue to gain steam in Sanders, and a solid tight end option in McDonald. The thing that I couldn’t have predicted is that none of the players I traded away would play a full complement of games for the rest of the season. Lesson Learned: Savy trading can get you a long way; a little luck can get you even further.
Jeff Greenwood – (12-team redraft, ½-PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1FLEX, 1D, 1K)
After Week 1, I traded one of the most valuable players in fantasy and another solid piece for a player who ended up being droppable. I traded Austin Ekeler and Zach Ertz for Juju Smith-Schuster straight up. This happened right before Big Ben’s Week 2 injury. My strategy here was to trade Ekeler high to the Melvin Gordon owner, as I expected Gordon to return to the Chargers and reclaim his throne soon into the season. I also love Juju as a player and wanted to gamble on him having another elite fantasy season. Lessons learned: Be cautious about trading high/low immediately after the season begins. Also, never give up despite setbacks…I ended up winning this league last year.
Kyle Borgognoni (12 team keeper, PPR, 1 QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1FLEX)
When you have strong convictions that a player is going to break out from another team in your league, you sometimes outsmart yourself. I was waiting for Mike Williams to go big. The guy was piling up Air Yards and the TDs just weren’t coming. Remember he was in the double-digits the previous year. I banked on him blowing up and I traded away Kenyan Drake who was floundering at that point with the Dolphins. I figured I would move after Week 7. I thought it was a fair trade for two underperforming players. Well, you know the rest of the story… Drake gets traded to the Cardinals and goes off for the rest of the year.
Ryan Weisse (12 team redraft, .5 PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 2Flex)
Sometimes when you chase a unicorn, you get the uni-horn. This took place in the Ballers Writers League, I came out of the draft with excellent depth at WR and another team was struggling with an injured Tyreek Hill. Reports were high that Hill would be back sooner than later, so in Week 5, I sent my offer. I gave up: Courtland Sutton, John Brown, and Terry McLaurin for Hill. Hill did return the next week but depth was an issue for the rest of my season. I barely snuck into the playoffs and was bounced in Week 14. I was too confident in guys that didn’t deserve it. My replacement WRs were Tyrell Williams and Robby Anderson and they were untrustable on a weekly basis. On paper, it’s not the worst trade, but I only got eight games out of Tyreek with three of those being pretty pedestrian and another was a two-target goose egg. Lesson Learned: Moving depth for studs is always the right move, just make sure you move the right depth.
Aaron Larson – (12 team keeper, tiered PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1SF, 1DST, 1K)
You may recall from earlier in the article that I basically stole Mike Evans and Miles Sanders after Week 5. Well by Week 10 I was sick of waiting for Sanders to break out. I packaged him, Curtis Samuel, and a 2020 7th round pick for DJ Chark and a 2020 14th round pick. It looks terrible in hindsight (and it is) but remember, Chark was the WR9 through the first ten weeks of the season. At that point in the season, Sanders was just the RB29. The two went in completely opposite directions to end the season. What’s worse, since it’s a keeper league I could’ve kept Sanders at a late-round value had I just rode out the season. Lesson Learned: Don’t give up on rookie running backs too early in the season.
Mike Wenrich – (12 team dynasty, PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1 SFlex, 3Flex)
Instead of one bad trade, I made a series of three bad-for-me trades in 2019. It all started in January, with my team registering the best regular-season record and having led the league in scoring. While I lost in the semi-finals and finished 3rd on the season, my team looked poised for another championship run in the 2019 season. And then I made this series of failed trades. It started with a desire to get better at WR, so I traded Leonard Fournette and Nelson Agholor for A.J. Green and Sterling Sheppard.
A few weeks later, an admitted Cowboy-homer was desperate to acquire Amari Cooper from me. At the time, Antonio Brown was still a top WR, although there was plenty of speculation that he would not be a Steeler in 2019, no one was anticipating what would eventually occur. I traded Amari Cooper and Corey Davis for Antonio Brown and D.J. Moore, and we also swapped first-round draft picks; my 1.10 for his 1.04.
During the rookie draft, I was looking to trade down out of the 1.04. I ended up trading that 1.04 (along with the 3.10, and 4.05) for Derrius Guice.
When you boil it all down, this was the culmination of the trades:
- Traded Away – Leonard Fournette (RB6), Amari Cooper (WR10), and the 1.04 (Miles Sanders, RB13)
- Acquired – Derrius Guice (RB66, 5 games played), Antonio Brown (WR157, 1 game played), and A.J. Green (WRX, 0 games played).