Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Fantasy Man - The Art of the Trade - Defending against a "Slick Willie"

The fantasy baseball trade is what makes your fantasy season exciting. Sure, winning a championship tops the list of great fantasy moments, but pulling off a killer trade makes you feel like a king.  Conducting a fair trade can be tough, there is actually an offense and a defense and savvy managers can certainly exploit the situation. Today we're going to defend against what I call, "the Slick Willie" or better known as the bait and switch.

To pull a Slick Willie, named after a current fellow fantasy baseball manager and long time friend of mine named Bill, you will get a simply fair offer from a manager. So naturally, you're playing defense at this point and you're in control as to whether or not this deal will happen with a simple yes or no. So let's say your fellow manager makes an offer, it's a fair offer, and you would certainly consider it.  "Let me think about it", you say. You look at your roster, you crunch some numbers and it turns out, you love the trade. It seems like the perfect fit and you set it in your mind that its a done deal.  You send a message back to the manager and tell him you accept.  He replies back with, "hmmm, actually, what if I add this player and you add that player?". You then look at this new offer and you have two reactions..... First, what happened to the first offer? Second, there is no way I would consider this second offer as it severely tilts the trade in the other managers favor. Congratulations, you been baited by Slick Willie!

Nowadays, communicating about a trade goes through email, a text message, or simply posting an offer on the league site and going back and forth. The Slick Willie usually happens during the negotiation obviously but before a deal is posted on the site. However, the most savvy trick, the other manager agrees to the deal after you finally agree and tells you to post it on the site. Then, he lets the trade sit there until you start to get antsy, and thus he pulls out the Slick Willie and tries to change the deal and never agreeing to the original offer. That's a more experienced Slick Willie. You are now so engaged in doing this deal, you've pretty much traded the player in your mind that many times you'll settle on the deal they want just to get your player. Many times, you lose out on the deal in the long run.

So how do we turn defense into offense here? It's called patience. When you get that first deal and you agree and the other manager doesn't accept immediately, then he probably wasn't serious about the deal in the first place. DO NOT then start playing the defense to settle on a another offer, you're playing right into his hands because nine out of ten times, you won't get fair value....or at least the value you would have received in the original offer. What you do is you tell the other manager that the only deal you would consider is the first offer which you agreed to. Then you wait and you reject any other offer that comes in. When the other manager questions your decisions, you let him know you are interested in the first offer and thats it. In the back of your mind, you know he wants your player, so now you play offense and offer a deal severely in your favor and make him sweat. Maybe you can bait him into desperation. Otherwise, just pass overall.

It's like when your girlfriend cheats on you, you find out, she confesses, and then wants to stay with you. If you're a sucker, you'll fall right into the trap. If you're patient, head strong, and have confidence you'll get future offers (girlfriends), you'll have no problem passing up the opportunity of getting back together. So if you're patient and play the game, and you continue to reject dumb offers after a Slick Willie, eventually, that manager will probably end up reoffering the first deal, or accepting a counter that tilts into your favor.

Its all about patience. Turn defense into offense!

The Fantasy Man

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