Fantasy
Trade-a-phobia
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Maybe I'm a little late to the party here but really? "Twerking" got added to the dictionary?

That's the best you can do, Merriam-Webster? If it were up to me, I would have gone in a totally different direction. I realize I don't have a whole lot of say in the submission process (getting on the board of directors is on my to- do list) but how about "trade-a-phobia?"

It's perfect, isn't it?

Okay, I see I'm getting a lot of blank stares. Probably because "trade-a- phobia" isn't an actual word. But think of it this way. What has a bigger impact on our day-to-day life? Miley Cyrus doing whatever it is she does, or the crippling fear we face whenever we get a trade offer in fantasy?

I'd go with the latter. The trade deadline is right around the corner, but many of us (myself included) are afraid to pull the trigger.

Are the fears warranted? Who knows. But here are 10 reasons why, when given a choice, fantasy owners would rather not trade.

1. If it ain't broke ...

Let's all say it together ... DON'T FIX IT! That's right. If you get a trade that you weren't looking for, or one that provides no immediate benefit, why bother?

If you're 8-2 and all your guys are healthy, trading complicates things. Keep it simple, stupid. This is probably my favorite excuse not to trade.

2. But he's my keeper!

Some players are just off-limits. Peyton, Calvin, Rodgers, Graham ... these guys are so valuable that no amount of players or bribery (gift baskets are a nice touch) will do the trick.

In keeper leagues, it's especially tough to part with these players. Sure you can have Russell Wilson ... in about ten years.

3. Low-baller syndrome

Be careful of the trades you float out there. It's tempting because many of them will never see the light of day. Your Vernon Davis for Adrian Peterson suggestion may seem harmless when you send it, but the low-balling tactics can get tiresome after a while. If it happens enough, you may even get blacklisted by other owners.

Make sure your offers are legit if you want to be taken seriously within your league.

4. Right person, wrong players

Obviously, within a league there are owners that we are more comfortable making a trade with than others. And it's good to have a strong working relationship with your fellow owners. But it's also important not to force anything.

Joe may be your go-to-guy when it comes to fantasy trades but if the players he's offering don't fit your team's needs, it's okay to say no. He won't hate you for it. And if he does, well then he wasn't worth trading with in the first place.

5. I did it to save the league!

Some trades make perfect sense ... until you look up at the standings. Sure Matt Forte for DeSean Jackson looks like a swell deal on paper. But if your team is 6-4 and you just made a team that's 7-3 even more dangerous, well, it's something you have to at least consider.

If you have your doubts about a trade, it's always better to make that deal with someone who is lower than you in the standings. That way if Victor Cruz does become a full-fledged fantasy Goliath, he'll be doing it for 3-7 Eddy instead of the guy you're competing with for a playoff spot.

6. I see what you did there

Fantasy has always been about trickery. Which is why you always need to be on your toes. Take this offer I got this morning for example.

I receive: Kansas City D/ST and Trent Richardson

For: Percy Harvin and Zac Stacy

Innocent enough, right? He knows I don't have a good defense and that I'm pretty much set at every other position. Stacy is on bye and Harvin, though well-respected within fantasy circles, is a bit of a wild card given his health status.

So what's stopping me from making this deal?

I'll tell you what's stopping me. Two of the Chiefs' next three games are against Denver. That makes them practically useless.

And what about Richardson? Yes, he's a big name but have you seen what he's done recently? Since the Browns traded him to Indianapolis, he's averaged a pathetic 2.85 yards per carry.

Sneaky, sneaky. Do your homework, folks. If it seems too good to be true, it's because it is.

7. Set him free, darn it!

We've all encountered this. The player you've been coveting all season is sitting on another team's bench. His team's needs and yours align perfectly.

Just one problem. He never checks his team! The guy still uses Randall Cobb in the flex. Cobb hasn't played in months.

It just breaks my heart to see great fantasy players held hostage by absentee fantasy owners. Sigh. Let's move on before I start losing even more faith in humanity.

8. A change of heart

The fantasy season is full of ups and downs. Never has that been more true than in the case of Chris Johnson.

CJ2K (a facetious nickname given that he's only run for 2,000 yards once in six NFL seasons) went his first seven games of the season without a rushing touchdown.

And I was ready to trade him. I would have taken practically anyone for him. Even Harry Douglas.

The trade offer was sent, but I never heard back from the owner I sent it to. Until Johnson went off for two touchdowns against the Rams. And then another two against the Colts.

"Is the deal still on?" he asked me weeks later.

Changes of heart like this happen all the time. For the record, I didn't end up making that trade.

9. It's making my head spin!

It's hard enough to keep track of your own roster. When you're in four different leagues like I am, it begins to feel like a full-time job.

Add in a half dozen pending trade offers and my head is about ready to explode. That's why unless something blows me away, I'd rather keep the status quo.

I think fantasy owners have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed or confused over a trade, just call it off. There's no shame in that. In fact, most of the time, it's the smartest thing you can do.

10. Why trade when you can use the waiver wire?

Here's a sampling of some of the players I've acquired via the waiver wire in my various leagues:

- Jordan Cameron (second in tight end receiving yards)

- Harry Douglas (on pace for 80 catches and 1,102 yards receiving)

- Zac Stacy (combined 323 rushing yards in his last three games)

- Chris Ivory (two 100-yard rushing games in his last three appearances)

- Case Keenum (7 TD, 0 INT since taking over as Houston's starter)

- Panthers D/ST (second-highest scorer among fantasy defenses)

- Jordan Reed (double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games)

Why trade for someone when you can get him for free?

So how about it, Merriam-Webster? It's okay if you don't get back to me right away. I can wait.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.