There are two kinds of trades you'll see in Fantasy leagues right about now: One-for-one deals and two-for-one deals.
The one-for-ones typically involve players representing the best depth from two owners -- like a team stacked with running backs will trade one of them for a receiver from a squad loaded with them. It makes sense. But it's the two-for-one trades that can impact the playoff race for one team on the cusp of making a run and a team ready to dominate.
A team with a likely chance of making the Fantasy postseason (a record of 6-2 or better) probably already has a loaded roster. Hand in hand with that, perhaps, is a bench with players good enough to start for other teams. When I'm in a position like this I like to consolidate my roster and have as many no-brainer starters as I can. I don't want to make lineup decisions late in the season, I want to have my guys and roll with them.
But a team on the fringe (anywhere from 5-3 to 3-5) won't necessarily be as loaded. Chances are those teams have a lineup hole or holes to fill. Building depth isn't important -- setting the best lineup possible is.
The fringe teams might not have the ammo to pick up a top-shelf Fantasy player but could have the bait to fetch a couple of legitimate starters. You never like to trade away a Top 10 player at his position but if the right trade comes along it makes some sense. And the best offers will come from those stacked teams looking to get stronger. In fact, the stacked teams can make deals that are better than what the Trade Value Chart suggests as fair.
Want some examples? Here are some legit trades involving top-tier players from actual CBSSports.com leagues. And remember -- the team trading for the one stud figures to be the team headed for the postseason, giving up two very good players to the team in need of a lineup fix.
Peyton Manning for Robert Griffin III and Dez Bryant: Perfect example. One team wants to get the best quarterback and biggest point producer in the game for a legitimate stud at another position and a capable starter. The Trade Value Chart obviously swings the deal in favor of the owner getting RG3 and Dez, but for the person getting Peyton, maybe losing Dez isn't quite as big of a loss. Maybe that owner is loaded at receiver and can afford to give Bryant away.
Calvin Johnson for Jordy Nelson and Josh Gordon: There's no qualms with this deal either. No one likes to give up Megatron, but two No. 1 receivers with gamebreaking potential fit the bill. Is it overpaying for Calvin Johnson? Yes. Is he worth it? Yes!
Jimmy Graham for Adrian Peterson and Jordan Cameron: This one is too rich. While no one is denying the big-game potential for Graham, even with a foot issue, now's not the time to overpay for him, and certainly not this much! I'm not sure this deal is fair even if we downgrade Cameron to, say, Heath Miller. The foot injury kind of scares me, to be honest. It's one thing to start Graham so long as he's healthy, it's another to give up one of the best backs in Fantasy for him (even if he isn't 100 percent).
Jamaal Charles for Arian Foster and Roddy White: I suppose this trade is close to fair for Charles given the value most people still see in White once he gets back on the field, but I'm not sure I'd do it if I were the guy giving up Charles. What's the upside? What if White isn't 100 percent again this season? Then I traded the best back in Fantasy for a banged-up Foster and a blemish on my bench.
Chiefs DST for Zac Stacy and the Bears DST: We've had a lot of debate recently about the trade value of the top DSTs in Fantasy. The Chiefs have been a runaway unit so far this year but let's be honest, finding a DST from week to week isn't exactly a chore. Most weeks you'll see more DSTs score 10-plus Fantasy points than not. So while most will agree that the Chiefs DST is the top of the class, it's not like Jimmy Graham or Peyton Manning at the top of their classes. I think if you have the Chiefs DST and an owner in the league covets them, don't be afraid to pawn them off for a position you're in dire need to fill.
Our Trade Value Chart is designed to assist you in making fair trades in your standard-scoring or PPR league. The values assigned to the players below are a long-term measurement of their Fantasy value. By adding two players' values you could determine what one player you might be able to get in return. This list should also work as a "Rest of Season" Rankings.