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Bending the Rules Part Two: Unique Trades

Matt Plumb breaks down some unique types of trades to add to your dynasty and salary cap leagues.


Trades are one of the two most important aspects of fantasy football.  The draft and trades. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for two owners to agree on the fair value of an asset in any league format.  Below are some ideas to spice up trading in dynasty leagues:

This is part two of a multi-part series on different rules and settings you can add to your dynasty and contract leagues to give your league a new and exciting dimension. These articles will be broken out into different changes ranging from rosters to contracts and trades. 

Conditional Pick Trades

How many of your trades involve future draft picks? If you have looked at the trade browser on the DynastyGM, from time to time, there is always a player whose value is all over the map. Usually, there is a disagreement on the round the draft pick should be. Conditional picks will help facilitate big-time trades, especially at the trade deadline. A way to bridge the gap between differences in value is by attaching conditions to a draft pick.  

Let’s say Team A wants to acquire Player X from Team B. Team B is asking for two first-round picks for the player, but Team A values Player X at a first-round pick and a third-round pick.  Team A is concerned about a hamstring injury that occurred earlier in the season and worries that it still lingers.

Depending on Team A’s desire to acquire the player, they can attach conditions to the third-round pick.

The conditions bridge the value gap between Team A and Team B and can help facilitate the trade.

Retained Salary Trades

Retained salary is applicable to only contract leagues. Contract league trades hinge on fitting all the moving pieces under the hard salary cap. Retained salary trades allow difficult salary trades to be completed.  Let’s discuss the below trade: 

Team A would like to get the deal done so that they can become the top contender going into the playoffs.  This is where the retained salary aspect would come into play. Team A could offer another pick and/or young prospect to Team B. Team B could retain $12 million of Tyreek Hill’s cap in 2023 to help facilitate the trade.  

Daniel Bellinger and Skyy Moore were traded for $12 million in retained salary for two years.

Team B would acquire additional assets just to retain some money.

Dead Cap Trades

The complete opposite of retained salary trades is dead cap trades.  A fun way to maneuver around the salary cap is to allow owners to trade assets for dead cap removal.  This is a way for owners who are out of the playoffs to acquire additional future assets.  Let’s say Team A wants to acquire a player who has a salary of $10 from Team C.  Team A has a dead cap hit of $15 for the season.  Team B is in rebuilding mode and is looking to acquire future capital.  B is willing to take on all $15 of the dead cap from A for the season for a next season’s second-round pick.  

One of the key aspects of dynasty success is trading.  Conditional pick trades, retained salary trades, and dead cap trades are ways for owners to enhance their league activity.  

Did you hear the big news? The Dynasty Nerds YouTube channel is up and running. Now you can see the podcast straight from the NerdHQ!! Smash that subscribe button. Sign up for the DynastyGM tool to keep that edge over your league mates. Manage all of your dynasty teams, use the trade calculator, and we just added a player shares tool so you can see all players you roster in one place.

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