Player Transactions: It’s a Pleasure Doing Business

Buyer’s remorse is just the worst. I once spent $40 on beads at Michael’s thinking I was going to make a jeweled headband a la “The Great Gatsby.”

This project was never going to happen.

Of course the minute I got to my car, I got that sick feeling in my stomach when you realize you just dropped $40 on beads. BEADS! There was a Lakers playoff game on that night so I had to wait a day to return them. It was an unsettling day for sure. Buyer’s remorse has a way of hanging over you like a cloud until you manage to undo your mistake.

There really isn’t a return policy after the draft. But if you have players that get injured or under perform, you have the option to switch things up. These are called player transactions. And they can be kind of fun. So if you were hungover and had to autodraft, and maybe you have second thoughts about some of your players, here’s how you fix it.


Trades are the easiest transaction to explain and the hardest to accomplish, only because people get very attached to their players. Essentially you can trade up to three players each between you and another member of the league during any one transaction. To see which players are owned by each team, log in to your ESPN Fantasy Football account, click on the “League” tab and then click “Rosters.”

Once you design a suitable trade, you need only click on the “Propose Trade” link under the selected team’s roster. Select the players and the number of days you would like to keep the trade open (in other words, how long you would like to give this person to respond). If the person does not respond while the trade is open, the trade is automatically cancelled. You can also write a comment to beg or explain your reasoning for the trade.

I’m not actually going to propose this because there is no way he’d go for it.

If the other team accepts the trade, it goes under review for three days. Everyone in the league will receive an email with the details of the trade. This is to prevent collusion (a mortal sin of Fantasy Football wherein two players pool resources to win) or fleecing (taking advantage of a team who simply doesn’t know any better). If the trade looks unfair, anyone in the league has the ability to veto the trade. After the three days, the trade automatically processes.

A few additional notes on trades:

  • When you propose a trade, the selected league member gets an email notification from ESPN. However, after a day or so, you may want to send them an email/text/Facebook message in case they didn’t see ESPN’s email.
  • If you need a trade processed faster than three days (for example, if the point of the trade is to save you from an empty spot during a bye week that Sunday), just let me know and I will accept the trade immediately before the game.
  • You can trade with items that are not Fantasy Football related! For example, I could try to trade the Patriots D/ST to Jayson for the Bears D/ST and sweeten the pot by buying him a new video game. If you make such a trade, just let me know so I don’t look at it and assume it’s an unbalanced trade.


The are plenty of players who are yet unclaimed. They are called free agents. Are they as good as the players who are already owned? Not likely. They definitely won’t be as good as your studs. But you might need someone to fill in during a bye week or replace someone with an injury. And astute fantasy team owners might even pick up a sleeper or two.

To drop your players for a free agent, start from the “Players” tab. This brings up a list of all free agents with the same stats you would see on your team’s player overview. Again, because the season hasn’t started, the 2012 season stats are up. These will change after the 2013 season begins. Also, you can sort stats in whichever way best helps you make your decision. Just click on the column header you would like to sort. You can filter by position and availability by clicking the links at the top and even search by a player’s name.

If you are deciding between just a few players, you can use the “Compare Players” tool. Simply find the name of the player you want to compare and click the icon that looks like a Pokemon ball underneath the “Action” column. The Pokemon ball should turn black on one side. When you are ready to compare the players, you can either click the “Compare Players” link that comes up when you click the Pokemon ball or use the link at the top right of the page.

This shortens the list to just the players you are considering. You can add or remove players from this list as you decide. You can compare up to eight players at once.

When you decide who you want, click on the green plus sign under the “Action” column. This will pull up your current roster so you can decide who to drop in exchange.

Important: Free agents are automatically added to your bench. If you dropped a starter for a free agent, you must still go to your roster and move the free agent from the bench to the starting line.

The Waiver Wire

The waiver wire is a system of adding and dropping players in a fair way. It removes any favor to people who have more or better internet access, and also allows teams who are behind to get first crack at the better free agents.

Okay, let me explain.

Let us say that Jesus decides that it is time for Tim Tebow to arise in glory. Tom Brady’s formerly injured knee gets hit, so he is out. And Brady’s backup, Ryan Mallett, gets a concussion. With the wings of angels beneath him, Tebow throws a 400 yard game and the media is going crazy.

“Tebow, my son. The time has come for you to be a conduit of my might and glory. I hope you studied your playbook.”

Now let’s say that everyone in the league is watching all of this unfold except for Mike. Mike is working this weekend and has neither television nor Fantasy Football access. Isn’t it a little bit unfair that just because Mike doesn’t have access to these things, he wouldn’t even have a chance to pick up Tebow?

The waiver wire prevents the best pickups from going to the person with the most free time and fastest internet access. When a free agent is locked at the beginning of his game, he is no longer available to be added or dropped. He is then put on waivers and will be designated on the list of free agents as “WA” instead of “FA.” Also their plus sign will change from green to yellow. They will become free agents again sometime around 3 a.m. the following Wednesday. Until then, everyone in the league is welcome to put in a waiver claim. Players who are dropped from a team roster at any time during the week are automatically on waiver for 48 hours to give everyone in the league a chance to put in his/her claim.

You can put in as many waiver claims as you want each week. ESPN will ask you to place them in order of importance. For each claim, you need to list who you on your roster you would be willing to drop. You can select the same player to drop for multiple waiver claims. For example, I want either Jermaine Gresham or Jacoby Jones in exchange for Sidney Rice. I’d prefer Jacoby. This is what my waiver request would look like.

As you can see waiver claims are listed under “Pending Moves” on your team page. Trades will be here, too.

The priority of waiver claims is in reverse order to the current league’s standings and resets every week. Your current will be listed next to your icon on you team page. This ensures that struggling teams get the help they need. If your first waiver claim is no longer available, ESPN will process your next available waiver claim. Once you successfully process a waiver claim, you move to the back of the line until next week.

Is this you right now? That’s okay. I’m about to fix that.

The Waiver Wire – IN ACTION!

Let’s pretend that this is the current list of waivers.

I am first in line, so I get my first priority waiver. I drop Sidney Rice and pick up Jacoby Jones. Sidney Rice goes on waiver and I go to the end of the waiver line.

My claim to Mike Williams is actually not valid because I no longer have Sidney Rice, but I am too lazy to re-screencap. Pretend it’s not there.

Next up is Lauren. She drops Anquan Boldin to get Mike Williams, which cancels out Ashish’s waiver claim to Mike Williams. Lauren moves to the end of the waiver order.

Since Ashish can’t get Mike Williams, it moves to his next priority waiver claim. He drops Randy Bullock and picks up Shayne Graham. This cancels my claim to Shayne Graham. Ashish then moves to the end of the waiver order. However, now that Anquan Boldin is available, both Maria and I decide we want to put out a waiver claim for him.

However, I already made a waiver claim earlier, which put me near the end of the order. So Maria drops Torrey Smith, get Anquan Boldin, cancels out my waiver claim and moves to the end.

Now this makes sense, right?

If it doesn’t, just holler. It’s something easily picked up in practice.

Anyway, the first game of the season is the Thursday after Labor Day. The reigning Superbowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens, will take on the Denver Broncos. Don’t forget to set your line ups and make your player transactions before your players’ games begin. Good luck to all of you.


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