Julian Edelman has been short on fantasy value so far, but it’s no stretch to think he’ll turn it around. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Let’s go live to a shot of your league’s waiver wire.


For six weeks now, owners have picked over the free agent pool, snapping up injury replacements and any breakout stars. By now, things are looking pretty bleak if you need to find a starter on the waiver wire. If you want to find an impact player, there’s really only one place to turn.

Trades are a fundamental, but surprisingly underutilized, method for improving your roster. Gene Wang, for example, believes in fantasy isolationism, building his roster solely through the draft and waiver wire. His rationale? He doesn’t want to be bothered researching whether or not a deal is good or bad. Judge him accordingly and then tell him to reply to Des Bieler’s trade offers, will you please? Thanks.

Other owners are sometimes skittish because they feel they’ll be taken advantage of. But that’s not the case if you’re smart about making moves. Trade can be mutually beneficial — particularly to help shore up rosters around bye weeks. But it’s worth noting a few suggestions if you want to be successful on the trade front.

1) Don’t presume to know the other owner’s mind. Even if you’re looking at their roster and think you’ve identified a clear need, don’t just put a package together and tell the other owner it’s a good deal. Consult with them and see what they think they need. If you have players you know you don’t want to move, tell them that. But the best way to consummate a deal is to give your partner something they actually want, not just something you want to give away. There’s a big difference and it’s the foundation of point No. 2 …

2) Offer something of value. Even if the other owner has a clear need (see No. 1 again) you’re not going to endear yourself to your trade partner by touting your table scraps. Look, you wouldn’t try to pick up a date by saying, “Daaaaaaaamn [mildly offensive term to denote gender with subtle sexual overtones], I was checking you out every which way … and you’re pretty much about a 2. But hey, [repeat mildly offensive term to denote gender with subtle sexual overtones], I’m a 4, so lemme do you a favor and hollah at you and maybe help each other out. You can thank me later.” The only thing those offers will get you are swift rejections and whatever is the Internet equivalent of a drink dumped on your head.

3) Cast a wide net. Don’t just fixate on one player or owner and keep flooding them with trade offers they just keep rejecting. That’s a waste of your time and in some cases a little creepy. Take a hint and move on. Target multiple players and multiple owners, make fair offers and see who bites. Best case scenario you’ll get multiple hits and you can choose from the best offer.

We discuss the dynamics of fantasy trades in depth this week on the Fantasy Football Beat, providing three players we believe are “buy low” bargains that could pay big dividends later, and which players you might be able to offer in exchange. We also consult with fantasy maestro Christopher Harris on his trading pet peeves and some of the more intriguing fantasy questions facing owners entering Week 6.

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Week 6 Over/Under Picks

A quick reminder of the rules for our game …

• Each host picks a roster consisting of a QB, RB, WR and TE, identifying whether they believe they will finish higher or lower than their consensus player ranking according to FantasyPros.com.

• For every pick we correctly identify as an over- or underperformer, we get one point.

• For every 10 spots higher or lower that player finishes from his consensus ranking, we get a bonus point.


QB: Andrew Luck (Fantasy Pros: 8 | Des’s rank: 13 | Differential: -5)
RB: Jonathan Stewart* (32 | 18 | +14)
WR: Chris Conley (79 | 46 | +33)
TE: Charles Clay (20 | 14 | +6)

* If Injured: Cameron Artis-Payne (36 | 18 | +18)


QB: Kirk Cousins (Fantasy Pros: 22 | Gene’s rank: 15 | Differential: +7)
RB: Mark Ingram (1 | 20 | -10)
WR: Sammie Coates (28 | 19 | +9)
TE: Gary Barnidge (12 | 8 | +4)


QB: Brian Hoyer (Fantasy Pros: 18 | Mike’s rank: 12 | Differential: +6)
RB: Ezekiel Elliott (5 | 10 | -5)
WR: Cameron Meredith (43 | 32 | +11)
TE: Martellus Bennett (7 | 12 | -5)

Standings after Week 5
Total Points (Bonus points)

Des: 25 (10)
Mike: 19 (8)
Gene: 10 (3)

This week’s reading list

CBS: Buy or sell these trade targets?
Harris Football: Check out the work of this week’s guest

More fantasy football from The Post

PFF: The best and worst player matchups for Week 6
Time to go trade for Doug Martin
The most important, must-read tips from Week 5