Trade Bait

Fantasy Football Trade Bait Definition

A player who you draft with the sole intention of offering to other managers in trade is known as "trade bait." The term carried over into fantasy football from professional sports, where it is used to describe a player who gets traded way more than any other -- think of Shaq's last few years in the NBA. These are guys who rack up more jerseys than a sorority girl at Duke.

All kidding aside, understanding how to use trade bait is important. Including the acquisition of trade bait players into your draft adds a new dimension to your game. For starters, the other managers won't have any idea who you're drafting for use and who is being called on to play the Bait role. In other words, your draft moves will be quiet mysterious, with plenty of room between your true strategy and the outward appearance of your draft.

Another advantage to drafting trade bait -- you'll catch many of your opposing managers off guard. While they're busy building the best single team out of their picks, you're assembling a shadow team, a team (large or small) of players you think your opponents will bum rush once the season gets underway. Using the paranoia of the other members of your league against them is wise -- but it requires some planning ahead.

Lots of fantasy football sources will point you toward trade bait opportunities before the draft, but I think it is best to be familiar with the attitudes and interests of the other guys in your league. If you know Joe Blow is really gunning for a particular TE, you might consider drafting that guy for bait instead of picking that second high pick WR.

As the season progresses, your initial trade bait selections may not be as valuable. If you're going into the draft with bait on your mind, make sure you can unload it within a few weeks, before the rest of us hot and cold fantasy managers fall out of love with a RB who hasn't turned in a good performance. My biggest mistake in last year's fantasy season was failing to unload Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller from the Steelers after that offense aligned more with Willie Parker and Hines Ward. That was a piece of Trade Bait gone wrong.

There's something tacky about the term Trade Bait -- maybe it is the association with the rather unpleasant "jail bait". The two are similar for a reason. Lots of players look down on those of us that specialize in Trade Bait much like they look down their noses at Waiver Hawks. Using Trade Bait is not against the rules, and I don't think we should look at it as a dirty tactic. After all, another fantasy junky has to agree to the trade for the strategy to work.

See also: Waive

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