I don't know about most of you but I'm finding I trade only twice a year. Now, I should edit that... I don't trade just two times in a year, I really only make deals or talk deals at two junctures in the season. My favorite time is in the pre-season when a lot of people are guessing at player values. Its also when people tend to be the most excited about the upcoming baseball season. Now, the obvious difference is, I only play in keeper leagues. Other than that its this time of year... I usually end up caving and having to make a deal in August.
By caving I really mean I hate making trades but in some cases its pretty much a necessity. When you play in a deep league its almost impossible to get what you want off the wire. This brings me to the newest craze which some sites have been doing for years but one notable site just started called 'draft pick trading'. Now in a deep league these 'picks' becomes truly valuable but impossible to gauge. Most fantasy leagues I'm in allow for the pick trading but most don't even bother to use it or at least use it correctly.
For me, if I'm in a top 4 or 5 position in the standings, I'm trading draft picks like they're going out of style. Why? Well, most of the players left in the draft are generally speaking, non-elite or riskier types. Gambles. I usually spend the latter half of my draft, or the re-draft since all I play in is keeper leagues taking chances. I have a list of guys I like for various reasons that could easily be jettisoned for the hot pick up of April if they don't pan out. In other words, I don't see a ton of value in loading up on draft picks.
That being said, I'm a guy who (arrogantly apparently) steps into a draft prepared. I'm ridiculously meticulous about making a long list of useful players, players who will get regular at bats or prospects who have a strong chance at making the big club. In my experience, most fantasy players don't bother to do this, so they spend the last few rounds looking for names they know or using all of the draft clock while the research on the fly. I'm not suggesting the 'list' method is foolproof but it saves me a lot of stress. That and it affords me some flexibility at this time of year to pillage other teams using draft picks as bait.
I think the 1st round draft pick seems to be the most in demand but it should be taken in context. If you're in a 10 team league who keeps 6 players each, you're talking about a 61 to 70 ranked player at best. Generally speaking these aren't studs you're giving away.
Anyway, just some food for thought during the trade season... enjoy.