This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
We've now reached the one-quarter mark of the 2021 season, with the majority of the teams having played at least 40 games. Our natural human preference for round numbers and clean cutoff points might imbue that mark with more significance than it truly deserves, but it certainly seems as though we're at a point where we can more accurately assess where our fantasy teams sit, as the standings are starting to look much more real.
I've seen that in my own leagues, with trade offers starting to pick up across the board over the last week or so. That's especially true in dynasty leagues, where people likely had something of an idea where they stood in the competitiveness cycle heading into the year. If your team's performance has matched your preseason expectations, it's very easy to believe that your spot in the standings is real, meaning it's time to think about buying or selling. If you have a team that's underperforming lofty expectations or is surprisingly competitive, it might also be time to think about buying.
If you're looking to buy in a dynasty league, there's strong incentive to buy as early in the season as possible. Getting, say, two years and 120 games of Mookie Betts is meaningfully more valuable than getting two years and 80 games, especially when considering just this season, when you'll get 50 percent more production out of him than if you wait until the midpoint of the season to make a move. Selling teams