This article is part of our The Long Game series.
Two-plus months are now in the books, and things haven't gone your way. The team that you thought looked like a contender in March has limped out to a second-division finish and the standings hole you're in seems to get deeper every day. Your stars aren't starring, your gambles haven't paid off, and no matter how hard you squint, you can't see a path to a money finish even if everybody on your roster turns things around tomorrow.
Yup, it's time to dump.
Dumping, of course, is the time-honored tradition in keeper and dynasty leagues where you trade away all your expensive players, veterans with limited futures and expiring contracts for younger, cheaper and hungrier players who can help you down the road. When done well, dump deals can transform your roster from bloated and underperforming to lean, mean and built for future success. Executing a good dump deal can be tricky, however. Your league might have rules to restrict them, but even if it doesn't, other owners aren't simply going to hand over their best keepers because you asked nicely. There are principles and guidelines I use to try and ensure I get, if not a perfectly optimal return on my assets, at least one that can set me up for my next title run.
Talent trumps need
The most important goal you should have when rebuilding is simply the acquisition of as much talent as possible. Don't worry about positions or categories. If you end up with a