With the always fascinating non-waiver trade deadline come and gone on July 31st, many fantasy leagues have their own trade deadlines shortly after in August. If you are a contender in your fantasy league, then you should follow the lead of the contending MLB counterparts and buy for your playoff push.
When it comes to making deadline deals in your keeper league, there are lots of elements to consider.
One of the benefits of a keeper league is that some teams will be looking to rebuild while you are looking to contend. They will make perfect trade partners, especially if you own a potential keeper that is injured or having a bad year. Furthermore, you can also trade draft picks if that is within your league rules.
If possible, I highly suggest trading away trade picks to build your playoff roster. I have found that people tend to overvalue draft picks.
After you have examined your own weaknesses, scour the rosters of non-contenders to find any matches. Maybe they have a closer or a base stealer for you if you are particularly weak in those categories. Target guys that will go into the draft pool next year, so they have no attachment towards them.
In a keeper league, you could have to make a decision between this year and playing for the future, so you may want to bargain hunt in your pennant race purchases.
Also, you should examine if you have enough depth because it would be hard to replace any injured players with waiver wire production after your league’s trade deadline.
Besides adding depth, you should take a long look at your injured keepers. If you own Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, or Masahiro Tanaka, then you could have a tough decision to make. However, I do understand holding them if you think your team can compete without this stud.
I would be hard pressed to sell a top five player in Goldy or McCutchen, but if someone comes knocking with a serious offer such as Ryan Braun or Adam Jones, then you should go for the title if the replacement player will put you over the edge.
On the other hand, I would be less inclined to sell an elite injured keeper for two or three decent non-keeper pieces. While obtaining a haul such as Jayson Werth, Aramis Ramirez, and Casey Janssen could be instrumental for a title run in 2014, you would be significantly weaker in future seasons.
In keeper leagues, I would be hard pressed to deal a stud without getting a strong return, but winning titles are what matters in both real and fantasy sports. Having a nice keeper set does not mean anything if you cannot win your league, so do what it takes within reason to get that ring.