Ottoneu 101: Trade Deadline

“The trade deadline is fast approaching.” – Hard to believe that time is here.  This season has flown by, hasn’t it? With just one week before rosters solidify for the final stretch, now is as good a time as ever to ensure new Ottoneu owners are fully prepared for the future, which is now fast becoming the off-season.  Joe recently outlined the mindset that’s needed to approach the trade deadline strategically, depending on your place in the standings, but since it’s also my job to cover Ottoneu on these pages, I’ll take a more mechanical look at what happens at this critical point in the season.

On the surface, the Ottoneu trade deadline (11:59 EDT August 31st) is no different than what you can expect in most standard fantasy baseball formats: it’s the final opportunity to swap players with your leaguemates.  In short, it’s the last moment you can click “Accept”.

Trade Deadline Offer

This is basic stuff, but for Ottoneu owners it’s important to remember that August 31st also represents your last opportunity trade players before arbitration, which starts October 15th and lasts for thirty days.  Arbitration is a fantastic feature of the game, and once you grasp how it works it’s pretty obvious why rosters must be frozen before it takes place.  But for someone new to the game it can be a bit of a wake up call to realize as the deadline looms that your roster is about to be locked down (with the exception of add/drops) for the next three months.

A common question arises this time of year as new owners start planning for the off-season: how should I use the trade deadline to setup my roster for upcoming arbitration?

In fact, this question came up yesterday from Hart in the Ottoneu community:

Curious to get the group’s take on a strategy question from an Ottoneu rookie. I am playing for 2017. I have Dahl at $1. He is surely the most likely target on my team for allocation in October. Knowing that, is it better to deal him now for multiple parts, or hold him and hope that his ultimate price isn’t too crazy? I’m anticipating that he’ll climb to $15-20. 5×5 league.

As usual, the Ottoneu community did a great job offering some helpful opinions on Hart’s important question, so you can read the full text here, but the short version is that attracting arbitration allocations in Ottoneu is an inevitable part of the game that shouldn’t play a central role in your trade deadline negotiations.  Not only is arbitration impossible to avoid, it’s also nearly impossible to plan for, so don’t let this economic hammer shake your strategy over the next few days as you put the finishing touches on last minute deals.

So with one week left, good luck in your negotiations.  Next Wednesday (8/31) we’ll post a Trade Deadline version of “All Questions Asked” so you can have one last opportunity to gather the feedback you need to talk you in or out of that deadline blockbuster.

We hoped you liked reading Ottoneu 101: Trade Deadline by Trey Baughn!

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Trey is a 20 year fantasy veteran and a five time Ottoneu champion, including the 2015 winner of the Ottoneu Champions League. He currently administers the Ottoneu community, a network of ~1,000 fantasy baseball and football fans. More resources here:

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Brad Johnson

The key part to a successful rebuild is to screen at least some of your top performers. If you know $1 Dahl is going to draw all the fire, you better have $20 Matt Carpeneter, $15 George Springer, and $10 Charlie Blackmon ready to be overlooked. In this case, Dahl is your sacrifice. You WANT your opponents to put every penny in him.


“The key part to a successful rebuild is to have lots of great pieces.”


I’ve tried to do that in my 5×5 rebuild, but it’s all batters. $17 Matt Carpenter, $3 Profar, $4 Devon Travis, $1 Hernan Perez and $19 Springer will hopefully shield my $2 Mazara, $2 Judge, $1 AJ Reed, $3 Gary Sanchez. I also have a bunch of other somewhat expensive (still in) MiLB prospects that should be shielded by all of the MLB players.