At this time of the year, a fantasy owner needs to look at his or her league standings and see who is languishing at the bottom. By doing this, the owner can get an idea of which teams are more likely to bail on the season. A season of middling performance can be elevated to one of contention with the foresight to approach those likely bailing teams before that team makes its intentions publicly known.
Working in the ambitious team's favor is the well-ingrained adage that fantasy standings do not mean anything until Memorial Day or so. As a result, fantasy owners tend to ignore how bad other teams have been doing in the belief that they too are not considering their poor starts are indicative of a bad team - just one currently a little down on its luck.
The tact in approaching the teams that you've identified as likely to bail is important. Sending an offer of a $1 Josh Phelps and $4 Gerald Laird in return for an out-of-time Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada isn't going to do anything but make the struggling owner upset. A better way would be to ask if the team would like to consider an offer that helps them more in 2008 than it does you in exchange for players who will help you more in 2007 than it does them.
The team may not be game right now, but you've at least approached them in a way that lets them know you are willing to deal your inexpensive 2008+ players for their useless 2008 ones. More importantly, you won't be surprised when you league message board shows a bail trade, and you weren't allowed the chance to get in on the action.
Is it the surprise of seeing a bail deal that you had no chance to compete in that is the source of the bitterness surrounding the bail season or the pure unevenness of the deals that are struck? Personally, I tend towards the former more and more.