FPL Draft Transfer Tactics: Trades

Everyone sets out to create the perfect fantasy squad but Draft teams can easily become as unbalanced as a drunken Mario Balotelli on a tightrope. Somehow you’ve ended up with a 5 Star midfield and a top quality defence but a strikeforce that makes even Crystal Palace look prolific. The Waiver Wire doesn’t offer much of an upgrade on what you’ve already got so what do you do? It’s trade time baby!

Trades between managers are such a key component of Draft format Fantasy Football that it’s criminal for the Official FPL site to omit them from their game. A blockbuster trade could be the difference between winning your league or finishing in mid table obscurity and these deals require expert timing along with no shortage of skill. Here we take a look at some trade tactics that can be used right now on Draft FantasyReal FF and Togga websites, and hopefully on the Official FPL Draft game in the future.


Trades can be split into 2 categories; Balanced and Unbalanced. A Balanced trade is where there are an equal number of players from each position on each side, for example exchanging a Defender for a Defender. Multiple players can also be swopped in the same trade e.g. 1 Midfielder and 1 Forward for 1 Midfielder and 1 Forward. Balanced trades are the most common type and can be executed on all websites that allow trades.

The key to any successful trade is timing. You want to trade out players who are over performing at the moment and once their trade value has peaked swop them for a superior player who will get you more points long term. You need to ask yourself how sustainable is a player’s current form and will it end this week or is it worth hanging onto him a little bit longer?

The flip side of this is to look out for players who for one reason or another are under performing. Perhaps they aren’t in the starting lineup for some reason or are just coming back from an injury. Try and trade for them before they find form again.

Over on the Togga version of Draft FPL @ipredictapayet pulled off this ballsy trade 2 days before the summer transfer window closed: 970DCC89-4C6A-4244-ADB2-F546EAEFE735

With Liverpool’s Coutinho desperate to join Barcelona his trade value had plummeted with a chance he may leave the Premier League altogether. The second the window slammed shut the gamble had paid off and with standard FPL scoring the Brazilian has averaged over 10pts per Gameweek since his return to first team action. A perfectly timed trade!

Players with short to mid term injuries or players who have hit a quiet patch will be easier to acquire by trade as long as you can afford to carry them until they are fit or on form once more. As always any changes in circumstances can have major effects on a player’s points haul. Keeping an eye on injuries, suspensions, upcoming fixture difficulty, changes in formation or manager etc can keep you one step ahead of others in your league. When it comes to Fantasy Football hard work works!

The most important thing to remember with trades is that it has to at least appear to benefit both sides. Not even the most ardent Gooner would give you Harry Kane for Olivier Giroud. If the manager you’re trading with doesn’t think it’s a good deal it won’t get done. This season I’ve seen somebody offer Nemanja Matic for Alexis Sanchez. Thats not happening. Ever. Getting someone to part with Sanchez isn’t a total impossibility but you’ll have to be a lot more creative than that.

When making a trade you have to put yourself in the other managers shoes and ask what would make him or her accept the offer. If you’ve got rubbish strikers but an awesome midfield look through your league to find a team with the opposite problem. You can try and convince them that it’s in their interest to improve their midfield and that losing one decent forward out of 3 wont hurt them too much. Offering them a high quality Midfielder and an average Forward in exchange for an average Midfielder and a high quality Forward can help you both.

The free agent pool can be used to your trading advantage too. Imagine you have a rock solid defence but are in need of a striker. Perhaps you’ve got a defender from one of the Top 6 clubs who is at risk of rotation and has a tough fixture list coming up. There may be a free agent in the same position who starts every game for a less illustrious team and has a favourable run of games ahead. You can use your Top 6 Defender as a makeweight to get the deal you really want. Here is a real life example:

Kieran Trippier at Spurs has Serge Aurier back from suspension and between now and GW13 the Lilywhites have difficult League games against Liverpool, Manchester Utd & Arsenal, 3 crucial Champions League ties against Real Madrid (both home & away) and German side Borussia Dortmund as well as 2 other Premier League games and a Carabao Cup tie against West Ham. It’s fair to assume that Trippier won’t be starting all 9 games and when you consider the fixture difficulty involved that puts him at serious risk of scoring limited fantasy points over the coming 6 weeks or so.

Stephen Ward at Burnley starts every week and is averaging a huge 6 Points Per Game this season. At time of writing his ownership level is just 17.8% (www.draftfantasyfootball.co.uk) and he could well be a free agent. Up until GW13 Burnley are at home to West Ham, Newcastle & Swansea and are away at Southampton and Manchester City. Now apart from the City game there’s a good chance of clean sheets and a decent points haul from all the other matches. In fact if you look a little bit further ahead Burnley only play 2 Top 6 sides in their next 11 League games so having Ward or one of his defensive teammates in your squad could be a good idea anyway.

But in this hypothetical example the area you really need to improve is your Forwards. You currently have Sergio Aguero who is injured, Wayne Rooney and Newcastle’s Joselu. You don’t fancy relying on Rooney & Joselu to pick up the points until Aguero’s return so you scout round the league for a trade. One of your fellow managers has an average defence but owns Firmino, Jamie Vardy & Marcus Rashford up front.

You try offering a straight swop of Rooney for Jamie Vardy but that predictably gets turned down flat. So here’s where Kieran Trippier can be used as bait. Make a trade offer of Rooney AND Trippier for Jamie Vardy and the other managers WORST defender. That’s right the worst defender in his squad. In fact the worse the better! Even if you don’t want him. This tactic can tip the trade in your favour.

The other manager sees your offer and clearly Jamie Vardy will score more points than Wayne Rooney so knows he will lose a bit there but Kieran Trippier is absolutely miles better than his worst defender so thinks he will gain a bit overall and massively improve his defence. If the trade is accepted then you immediately release the rubbish “deadweight” defender you received in the trade and pick up Stephen Ward instead.

Your already solid defence remains a strong point with the addition of Ward but now your forward line has massively improved. By using this tactic you deliberately lose the trade battle in order to win the war.


Some sites such as RealFF allow Unbalanced trades. These are when the number of players or the number of players from each position given and received by each manager does not have to be the same. For example you could offer 1 Defender, 1 Midfielder and 1 Forward for Harry Kane. If this trade is accepted your squad will be 1 Defender and 1 Midfielder short so you will have to make up the numbers by picking up a Defender and a Midfielder from Free Agency or off the Waiver Wire.

Play these Unbalanced Trades just like the Rooney & Vardy trade example outlined above, and overload the trade with players you feel comfortable you can replace.

Happy Trading!

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Transfers / Waivers

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In Fantasy Football hard work works.



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