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Is There a Trade Deadline in Fantasy Football ESPN?

The trade deadline may make or break your championship aspirations as a fantasy football player.

Does your league maintain a trade deadline?

If so, when is it?

The answers to the above questions depend on which of the ESPN fantasy football league formats in which you compete: standard (public) or league manager.

For a quick refresher on both, please review the following post: How Many People Do You Need for ESPN Fantasy Football?

Hello friends. I’m Tracy, and I’ve been an NFL and fantasy football student for years. So I know the rules and available options regarding ESPN fantasy football.

In this post, I’ll discuss trade deadlines in both league formats and if they can be altered. I’ll also discuss the rationale behind trade deadlines and their reasons for existence.

Let’s get smarter!

Key Takeaways

  • All ESPN Standard Public leagues have a trade deadline.
  • In ESPN LM leagues, the trade deadline can be eliminated or changed to any time between weeks 7 and 17.
  • The “trade deadline” marks the end of the period for trading players between teams. 

Is There a Trade Deadline in ESPN Standard Leagues?

All Standard Public leagues have a trade deadline.

For the 2022 fantasy football season, All trades must be accepted before Wednesday, November 30th at 12pm EST.

The trade deadline is only for trade transactions between teams. Team managers can still add and drop players via free agency and waivers throughout the season. [1]

Is There a Trade Deadline in ESPN LM Leagues?

As is the case with all League Manager Settings, there exist two possibilities concerning the trade deadline:

  • No Trade Deadline – Trades are allowed for the duration of the NFL season.
  • Trade deadline may be set anytime between weeks 7-17 – If selected, trades will no longer be accepted or proposed after the specified date. [1]

The below video walks you through player trades on a mobile platform. The trade depicted occurs in ESPN fantasy basketball, but the process is identical for ESPN fantasy football:

What is the Purpose of a Trade Deadline?

Most leagues allow unlimited trades so managers can improve their rosters throughout the season. 

The “trade deadline” setting determines if the league uses a deadline for trading players between teams. 

Including a Trade Deadline is generally a good idea because you don’t want managers who have no chance of making the playoffs in the waning weeks of your regular season making trades with managers deep in a playoff chase. 

You can see how that could mess with the integrity of the league. [2]

Read more:

Closing Thoughts

Yes, there is a trade deadline in ESPN fantasy football; however, it may be moved or even eliminated in league manager leagues.

If creating a league, include a trade deadline and set the date a few weeks earlier than the NFL trade deadline.

Remember, fantasy football playoffs begin in week 15, nearly a month before the NFL playoffs.


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