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Fantasy EPL Community Special: The Trade-Maker

Ah, the trade. Like a goal from John Arne Riise, they are often too rare for one’s liking, but spectacular when they do happen. My league has had 8 so far this season – that’s just 1 per gameweek! It’s not that people are inactive, or that individuals are happy with their teams, or even that negotiations just naturally drift away unsettled. The scarcity comes down to fear. The fear of being mugged off. And I would put money on it that the same is true for most managers in most leagues.

But no more. We at Fantrax are here to help. The Inner Geek has taken the Community Special to the trade table and will analyze your league’s rosters to find deals that work for both parties. A fair, honest, and impartial third party, think of the Inner Geek as everything that Mina Raiola is not. This week our winner was Abdi Kizildag. Congratulations Abdi – now get your league to read this and let the trading commence!

Even if your league hasn’t been chosen this week, there is guaranteed to be some useful insights for you below!

Note: Player positions, FP/G’s, and FPTS are based on Abdi’s league, which uses a scoring system very close, but not quite, the same as the Fantrax scoring system.

The Rosters

Trade Maker with Abdi - 1

Trade Maker with Abdi - 2

Trade Maker with Abdi - 3

Trade Maker with Abdi - 4

Trade Maker with Abdi - 5


The Trades…

  1. Kroos Control swap Reece James (12.3 FP/G, 86.00 FPTS) for Aleksandar Mitrovic (9.7 FP/G, 77.50 FPTS) of Rainbow Rovers

Kroos Control has six defenders. Never own six defenders. The ideal tactic is one premium defender (your TAA, Digne, Robertson, Riccy P, Chilwell) and stream two others. If you happen to fall into some non-droppable options – like Kroos may have done here with James, Masuaku, Cancelo, and Mee – then that’s all well and good, but the aim shouldn’t be to find a way to acquire them. Indeed, stumbling into a good defense offers great trade opportunities, such as letting Reece James depart in order to strengthen the forward line.

With all that said, why would Rainbow want a defender and James in particular? Well, Vestergaard won’t continue to perform as he is, and Justin will be very vulnerable to seeing the bench in 2021, once Riccy P and Castagne are fully fit. I like Targett (as a fantasy option…IRL he is woeful beyond words), but Tierney continues to defy logic as an unproductive defender. So help would be nice here, and James – as the 6th highest scoring defender in the league – fits the bill.

Giving away Mitrovic wouldn’t be the worst thing either. Rainbow already have Fulham’s best-attacking option in Lookman, despite that penalty, and whilst stacking can be a nice strategy, it is generally better when it’s from a team who average more than a goal a game! They also have Benrahma and Raphinha – two players that there is still a lot of (probably justifiable) excitement about, even if they haven’t exactly hit the ground running. Mitrovic then slots straight into Kroos Control’s forward line as a huge upgrade on Karlan ‘should be a free agent’ Grant. This trade improves both teams. Make it happen.

Follow up moves? With this move, Rainbow should then try and offload Justin and/or Vestergaard whilst their value is (probably) as high as it will go.

  1. DonSimmon Dons swap Matty Cash (11.1 FP/G, 78.00 FPTS) for Stuart Dallas (10.3 FP/G, 82.50 FPTS) of Jesus Walks FC

As a Villa fan, I’d love to think that Cash will continue the form that has seen him have four double-digit returns in seven games, including three monster performances where he scored 18.50, 20.25, and 25.00. Unfortunately, this is probably as good as it gets for him. Sell high and strengthen elsewhere. Elsewhere being a midfield that has literally zero guaranteed starters. It’s not a bad midfield at all, but it sure as hell is a frustrating one, and finding someone to rely on would be very nice. The top names that come to mind are JWP and Grealish but they’re a little out of the Dons price range (not that that would stop many people…God, the frustration when you receive a ridiculous trade like that…anyway, moving on). A more appropriate name is that of Stuart Dallas – a man who has played all but 9 minutes of Leeds’ 8 games, and whose lowest score is a 5.50.

Dallas belongs to Jesus Walks FC, who might have the strangest roster I’ve seen, and it may explain why they sit 13th in the table. Four defenders, NINE midfielders, and ONE forward is about as balanced as this guy (what a classic clip). Okay, they may not need a defender, given that Ayling, Boly, and Fofana provide a very serviceable trio, but they might have to play the long game here. Let Dallas depart, bring in Cash, then move on the most wanted defender – probably Boly – for a forward. You’d get better value doing that than a straight-up Dallas for Forward trade and end up no weaker in defense.

“I thought you said Cash had peaked? Why would Jesus want him?”, I hear you say. Well, yes, he probably has. But a look at his numbers also suggests that he – like Villa in general – might be a bit of an all-or-nothing option this season; capable of huge games and capable of nightmare games. With Ayling, Fofana, and (if he can’t be traded) Boly, you have enough to sit Cash in those matchups that don’t look so enticing, but play him – to your profit – in the other matches.

The Dons improve their midfield at no real loss to the defense (indeed, when Riccy P is back, this unit is going to be loaded!), and Jesus creates increased bargaining power to engineer a move for a much-needed forward. Win-Win.

Follow up moves? As mentioned, if this deal went ahead, Jesus could then try and ship Boly (or if there’s a Leeds/Leicester fan in love with Ayling/Fofana) for a forward.

  1. Oliver Beerhoff’s Allstar XI swap Sergio Aguero (3.0 FP/G, 6.00 FPTS) for James Maddison (5.4 FP/G, 38.00 FPTS) of Murder on Zidane’s Floor

The first two trades I think are bang on 50-50 in terms of equality. This one, though, is probably 55-45 in favor of Oliver Beerhoffs. But that’s okay. Sometimes the other person can get the better end of the deal, and at the same time, your team still improve. And even if not, sometimes it’s just nice to take the risk!

Beerhoff’s may have six midfielders, but what they have in quantity, they lack in quality. It is a dire situation and one that needs addressing. Hence, Maddison. Yes, losing Aguero would hurt – particularly as it would leave just Maupay and an injured Callum Wilson as the only forwards – but 1) forwards, in my opinion, are slightly easier to stream than midfielders, and 2) Maupay and Wilson would still be a stronger unit, relatively, than Jorginho and co in midfield.

Would you prefer Maddison over Aguero for the rest of the season? Yes, almost certainly. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to like in this deal for Murder on Zidane’s Floor. First, Maddison may be a 1st/2nd rounder, but he hasn’t done anything this season – so (psychologically) it’s not like you are necessarily losing anything. Second, this midfield has names that have “Under” performed (pun intended). Leicester’s new Turkish addition, Moutinho, and McNeil have not lived up to expectations yet, but you’d be a brave manager to not back these guys to come good. Combine this with a resurgent Andros Townsend, and you could easily make the case that the team would cope with Maddison’s exit.

And in return, you’d be getting a Sergio Aguero that might be back next gameweek. Until proven otherwise, Aguero is still the man at City. Jesus flashes moments of brilliance, but if you’re Pep, and you need a win, you turn to the Argentinian legend, not the Brazilian with promise. The man has not had an FP/G below 12.0 since the 2012-13 season. I briefly mentioned stacks earlier…well, bringing in Aguero would provide a potentially mouth-watering City stack up top alongside Sterling. A comfortable City win with those two playing could bring in 50+ points alone.

Follow up moves? Beerhoff’s would need to find a forward…there aren’t a lot of trade-worthy candidates for this, but perhaps the owner of Wolves’ Kilman could be tempted to bring in the valuable-but-currently-benched Romain Saiss.


  1. Flash Raiders swap Ferran Torres (4.1 FP/G, 20.50 FPTS) for Lucas Moura (3.7 FP/G, 26.00 FPTS) of Asstown Jesus

John Arne Riise did score the occasional scrappy goal, and this trade here is the equivalent of that. Torres for Moura isn’t going to set off any fireworks in the group chat, but it’s another win-win situation for the two teams involved.

In real life, both players are bench-warmers, but with considerable potential when given a start. The same is true in the world of Fantrax Fantasy football. As such, there’s very minimal risk here. Flash Raiders have five forwards (admittedly Fabio Silva is probably a waste of a squad space, but still), whilst Asstown Jesus has five midfielders, three of whom are “first name on the teamsheet” players. Likewise, Flash could do with bolstering their midfield, whilst Asstown could do with adding to their forward line – even if in both cases it is more backup depth.

I don’t have much more to say about this one, to be honest – it’s as straightforward a trade as you’ll see. The only people losing out in this are the other 12 teams in the league.

Follow up moves? Flash’s midfield is still a weakness. Moving Thiago Silva on whilst he’s in the middle of his purple patch makes a lot of sense, if you can find a sucker to take him.

  1. Jesus Walks FC swap James Rodriguez (16.6 FP/G, 116.50 FPTS) for Raul Jimenez (10.1 FP/G, 80.50 FPTS) of FC Ladelaide

We return to Jesus Walks FC because let’s be honest, there’s a potential trade for them with pretty much every team in this league, such is the state of their squad and their season. This time, though, we’ll pair them up with FC Ladelaide, who has the abundance of forwards that Jesus craves.

But which one to let go (or from Jesus’ perspective, “target”)? All – of course – could be traded at the right price, so it’s a case of finding the appropriate match. Ladelaide could do with a defender, but I’ve suggested too many trades involving defenders for my liking already, so we’ll look at the midfielders. A Leeds or Everton one would reduce Jesus’ reliance on these two decent-but-not-decent-enough-to-put-all-your-eggs-in-their-basket teams. Granted, that still leaves SIX (!) midfielders, so let’s go big: James Rodriguez for Raul Jimenez.

“Hamez” has had an incredible start to his Premier League career – surpassing all (especially my own) expectations. But the concerns were never about quality, they were about longevity. Could he stay fit for enough games to warrant a 1st/2nd round status – a status that someone like Raul Jimenez occupies. Hamez is the ultimate high risk-high reward player, and Jesus Walks may fancy allowing someone else to take on this risk, as it’s not exactly paid off so far for them (at least in terms of wins). In their place they get probably the most “plug-in” forward in the league. No forward has played more minutes this season than Raul Jimenez, and the Mexican has now started 81 of Wolves’ 84 league games since their promotion. As fragile as Hamez is, Jimenez is sturdy.

Losing Jimenez would hurt Ladelaide, no doubt, but given that they’d still have Podence, McBurnie, Gabriel Jesus, and Martial, this hurt would subside once Rodriguez brings home a 20+ pointer. Granted, that might have to be on an every-other-week basis if Ancelotti needs to manage his minutes carefully, but it’s still probably worth it.

Follow up moves? Even after this move, Jesus is still overloaded in midfield and in need up top. Offering up Bernardo Silva and hoping someone bites on his reputation could bring in a serviceable forward. It might need to be someone of similar game time (a Greenwood perhaps?) but it’s worth a shot.

  1. Tap and Scandal FC swap Roberto Firmino (7.4 FP/G, 59.00 FPTS) for Adama Traore (5.8 FP/G, 46.50 FPTS) of Go Ahead Bugles

Between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons, Bobby Firms had FP/G’s of 14.2, 17.2, and 13.8. Last season Traore had an FP/G of 12.9. If you were taking part in a draft today, neither would likely go in the first three rounds. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

The big names are polar opposites in that one is a world-class player who has just become awfully unproductive in the fantasy world, whilst the other is an awful player who has a skill set that makes him world-class in the land of Fantrax. Okay, “awful” is taking it too far, but I said it even in the height of the Adama-craze last season that this guy is not a good footballer. This, of course, doesn’t matter necessarily, unless he gets dropped from the starting 11…which he has. Fingers crossed that this is Nuno protecting that glass shoulder of his.

This trade is the only like-for-like position trade I’ve proposed, and there’s a reason for that. In like-for-like trades, it’s harder for both teams to gain something…though not impossible. For example, here, Go Ahead Bugles end up owning both Jota and Firmino – a nice potential handcuff when Klopp isn’t going gung-ho with team selection. Tap and Scandal, on the other hand, have swapped high floor/low ceiling, with low floor/high ceiling – a move that could pay off nicely when you already have a midfield consisting of ‘steady-Eddie’s’ such as JWP, Klich, Ceballos, and Saka.

Like an up-market version of the Torres for Moura trade I proposed earlier, this one is fairly risk-free. The Bugles might kick themselves if Traore gets back in the starting 11, but five consecutive games on the bench and no signs from Nuno of change suggest that he could be there for the long haul. And whilst Tap and Scandal may miss the reliability that Firmino brings – 42 starts from Liverpool’s last 46 league games – that guaranteed starting spot is beginning to look threatened. And even if not, this is a guy who has scored fewer points this season than Daniel Podence, despite playing over 100 minutes more.

Make. The. Trade.

Follow up moves? If Bale doesn’t win the starting spot at Spurs soon, then this trade would leave Tap and Scandal a little shaky up top – at least in terms of guaranteed minutes. Trading out Nketiah for McGoldrick (whose owner also owns Lacazette) might help solve that.


  1. Locksen When Melmore swap Mason Greenwood (2.9 FP/G, 14.50 FPTS) and Tariq Lamptey (10.19 FP/G, 81.50 FPTS) for Riyad Mahrez (10.5 FP/G, 52.50 FPTS) of My Name Jeff

The only multi-player trade proposed is a 2-for-1 – again, something that I’m not particularly fond of as the “1” in the trade almost inevitably wins (people always seem to forget to acknowledge that it’s never a 2-for-1, it’s a ‘2 for 1 + free agent’). Nevertheless, it can work from time to time, and this one does.

Locksen has a very nice forward quartet. Unfortunately, the best two are injured, and the third-best has lost his place in the team. Now, acquiring Mahrez doesn’t exactly solve these headaches – the man is up there with Adama as the most enigmatic asset in the league – but it’s a damn good upgrade when he does start. So much so, that a kicker would be needed to persuade My Name Jeff, and that kicker comes in the form of Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey.

Lamptey currently has an FP/G of 10.2. He is the 7th highest scoring defender in the league and has started all eight games for Brighton. And there’s good reason to believe he hasn’t peaked yet. Brighton’s underlying numbers are good – way better than their league position suggests. They’ve conceded 14 goals when really, XGA suggests that 9 would have been fairer. Remove those extra five goals and Lamptey’s FP/G is 11.4. It is conceivable, almost likely, that he ends up as a top 10 defender this season.

But Locksen can let him go. They have Lucas Digne as it is. And whilst Zouma will almost certainly come back down to earth very soon, he is still a decent defender two. Stream the third and you’re sorted. Doing this to acquire the PP90 King that is Mahrez (yes, arguably more so than KDB!) would be worth it.

The trade also works for Jeff, primarily because they have Cavani on their roster. This semi-handcuff should pay dividends when United finally give the managerial job to someone who can actually get United-like results (and, remember, results equal fantasy points). Speaking of which, if/when Poch does come in (he is currently 1 to 4 odds on with most bookies), Greenwood could easily regain his spot in the team, given that he fits the former Spurs boss’ footballing philosophy. Post-restart last season, Greenwood returned double-digit points in 5 out of 9 games. If something similar happened this year – added to Lamptey strengthening a currently bang-average defense – and My Name Jeff might be asking; ‘Mahrez Who?’.

Follow up moves? To make space in their squad, Jeff would need to drop someone – PVA the ideal candidate. After this, though, they could still do with moving on a defender. Laporte might have some trade value, and could maybe help acquire some support for the midfield.

  1. Let’s Get Messi swaps David McGoldrick (4.2 FP/G, 33.50 FPTS) for Gylfi Sigurdsson (5.4 FP/G, 43.50 FPTS) of Jesus Walks FC

The higher in the league you are, the more you have to lose, and therefore the riskier the trade becomes. But to win a championship, you need to take risks. Playing it safe will help you challenge, and can keep you very respectable, but as the old saying goes; “if you’re not first, you’re last”. Translation: a trade when sitting 2nd – like Let’s Get Messi – could be the difference between being the bridesmaid or being the bride.

Having said all that…there’s no need to go crazy! Multi-player trades probably would be a little unnecessary. Team evolution, as opposed to team revolution, is the name of the game here. For Let’s Get Messi, this means upgrading the midfield. Yes, they have league MVP challenger Son in there, but other than that it’s not great. It has reliability and a high (ish) floor in the likes of Henderson, Kante, McArthur, and even Kouyate and Thiago. What it’s missing is a bit of boom or bust. Which is where Gylfi Sigurdsson comes in.

Sig has started four games this season and scored 19.5, 2.5, 11, and 4, for an okay FP/G of 9.3. The two poor performances were against Southampton (4th in the league) and Manchester United (still good on their day). Gone are the days when the Icelandic midfielder could lead a team to fantasy glory, but there’s still reason to believe he can contribute to the odd gameweek win.

Sig, being a midfielder, is of course owned by Jesus Walks. And this trade is an easy one to make. Yes, McGoldrick’s name may not be the most fashionable in the fantasy world, but that won’t matter if he has a few more outings like he did in gameweek 8 where he brought in 12 points away at Chelsea. You lose a hit or miss midfielder – I think you’ll cope with the eight you have remaining – and add to a very lonely forward line. This one’s a no-brainer.

Follow up moves? Could someone be tempted by Thiago? It would be worth a try by Let’s Get Messi. Using him to bolster the defense, or bring the forward contingent back up to four, is worth a look.

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