Fantasy Hoops, Keys to Victory (Part Two: Trades)


Here's Part Two of My Three-Part Series on the Keys to Victory in Fantasy Hoops. Part One focused on the draft (click here), showing that getting fantasy value relative to the round or pick in which the player is picked is a strong indicator of fantasy success (and probably the strongest). Part two focuses on trades. Generally, trades occur when one team feels he has a better chance at success with the players he receiving for the rest of the year relative to the players he is giving up. Otherwise, there is no motivation to do the deal (unless you just want to see the other guy win).

Similar to the draft analysis, we can use my Fantasy Contribution (FC) stat to analyze the impact of trades. For simple 1-to-1, 2-to-2, etc. trades, we can simply analyze the stats for the players involved for the remaining season after the trade was executed. For unbalanced trades, I also looked at who was dropped and added on the respective rosters to get to an apples-to-apples comparison. In unbalanced trades, you could have a trade the has a positive impact for both teams, whereas the balanced trades are a zero-sum game.

The trade analysis assumes that the players are held for the remainder of the season, which obviously isn't the case. The impact of any subsequent moves will be picked up in the third part of my analysis -- Roster and Line-up Management, which is fitting since it is clearly a future roster decision. Also, teams may make trades knowingly giving up more raw value (leaving value on the table), in order to get the deal done. You see this more as the season wears on as teams isolate and overweight/underweight certain categories depending on where they stand and where they are headed. I hope to pick this up by comparing overall pts or standings versus the cumulative FC at the end of Part Three.

For each of my leagues, I show the top 3 deals based on average incremental FC per remaining week. I also show any other deals that I was involved in. For reference, LeBron James had an average FC of 3.95/game. So if you see a trade with +3.95 FC per week, the impact of that deal is roughly equivalent to getting a bonus game from LeBron added to your roster every week for the rest of the year (3.00 = Vince Carter/Joe Johnson; 2.00 = Loul Deng; 1.00 = Ike Diogu).

Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
11 SlackerS #: +50.53 +3.37 DavisAggie: -50.53 -3.37
Arenas,Gilbert Billups,Chauncey
Wallace,Rasheed Jefferson,Richard
7 EZ Winner: +52.14 +2.74 Spencers 1: -52.14 -2.74
Bibby,Mike Marshall,Donyell
Pachulia,Zaza Ming,Yao
13 KOB Dunker: +33.91 +2.61 platinum D: -33.91 -2.61
Paul,Chris Bosh,Chris
12 Spencers 1: +34.62 +2.47 full court: -34.62 -2.47
Battier,Shane Nelson,Jameer
3 Spencers 1: +4.98 +0.22 SlackerS #: -4.98 -0.22
Jones,James Jefferson,Richard
Kirilenko,Andrei Prince,Tayshaun
14 pickup gam: +12.99 +1.08 Spencers 1: -12.99 -1.08
Jackson,Stephen West,Delonte

COMMENT: Not many lopsided deals in this league, although most of my deals would've looked a lot better without injuries to Yao and Kirilenko (sprained his ankle the night I dealt for him...and I was at the game when it happened).

Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
10 Instant Mo: +136.95 +8.56 Easy$$: -136.95 -8.56
Jamison,Antawn Hill,Grant
8 Spencers 2: +86.14 +4.79 Easy$$: -86.14 -4.79
Lafrentz,Raef Lewis,Rashard
Marion,Shawn Dalembert,Samuel
14 Easy$$: +37.06 +3.09 CRARHOPE#2: -37.06 -3.09
Haslem,Udonis Dalembert,Samuel
Wade,Dwyane Lewis,Rashard

COMMENT: Lowest trade activity in this league, with only 6 trades all year. Looking at Jamison for Grant Hill explains a lot of why Instant Money was the front runner down the stretch. Easy Money got abused on the top 2 trades, probably explaining his 10th place finish, although he did manage to flip the Lewis/Dalembert combo that he received from me and turn it into Wade.

Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
16 G Strings: +74.32 +7.43 Buggy Ball: -74.32 -7.43
Jamison,Antawn Bosh,Chris
Peterson,Morris Haslem,Udonis
13 Buggy Ball: +92.56 +7.12 IH8DUKE: -92.56 -7.12
Jamison,Antawn Duncan,Tim
Nash,Steve Pierce,Paul
Kirilenko,Andrei Hamilton,Richard
15 G Strings: +53.81 +4.89 Basketball: -53.81 -4.89
Butler,Caron Curry,Eddy
4 Spencers 3: +57.77 +2.63 fargin ice: +34.19 +1.55
Nowitzki,Dirk Camby,Marcus
add: Parker,Smush Redd,Michael
  dr: Swift,Stromile
8 Spencers 3: +30.41 +1.69 KOB Dunker: -30.41 -1.69
Kidd,Jason Bibby,Mike
Marion,Shawn Nowitzki,Dirk
Murphy,Troy Szczerbiak,Wally

COMMENT: Given Antawn Jamison's feast-or-famine season, I guess it's not surprising to see him pop up multiple times on this list. G-Strings did really well to land Jamison/Peterson/Butler in exchange for Bosh/Haslem/Curry over two separate deals. My Nowitzi for Redd/Camby deal is an example of an unbalanced deal that helped both teams. That deal, combined with later flipping Dirk/Bibby for Marion/Kidd pretty much locked up this league by Week 8.

Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
8 TOPH: +173.60 +9.64 Spencers 4: -115.93 -6.44
Lewis,Rashard Gooden,Drew
add: Bell,Raja Maggette,Corey
  dr: Barbosa,Leandro
9 Spencers 4: +69.58 +4.09 P.Galore: -34.45 -2.03
Paul,Chris Mobley,Cuttino
add: Posey,James Przybilla,Joel
  drop: Van Horn,Keith
2 Cape Cods: +140.08 +5.84 platinum B: -140.08 -5.84
Ford,T.j. Anderson,Derek
Peterson,Morris Murphy,Troy
6 Spencers 4: +63.00 +3.15 P.Galore: -63.00 -3.15
Battier,Shane Mourning,Alonzo

COMMENT: I knew that Lewis for Gooden/Maggette deal was a bad one the second it was accepted. I had made the offers a few weeks earlier when Maggette was healthy and I needed forwards. Oh well. I guess it shows you the importance of being diligent with your trade offers. Thankfully, I followed it up with landing Chris Paul for a song. My Battier trade worked out great as was right before Shaq was due back from injury and I was going to dump Zo anyways (he only started 4 more games after I dealt him). A classic sell-high move.

Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
6 eearl1: +215.26 +10.76 ceematics: -174.80 -8.74
Ford,T.j. Okafor,Emeka
Peterson,Morris add: Howard,Juwan
dr: Najera,Eduardo  
8 Run an Gun: +191.50 +10.64 eearl1: -191.50 -10.64
Bryant,Kobe Bosh,Chris
Jamison,Antawn Davis,Baron
7 ROCKA FELL: +110.16 +5.80 THE PUNISH: -110.16 -5.80
Ilgauskas,Zydrunas Brown,P.j.
Okur,Mehmet Camby,Marcus
4 Spencers 5: +16.22 +0.74 ceematics: -16.22 -0.74
Kidd,Jason Jefferson,Richard
Korver,Kyle Peterson,Morris
6 Run an Gun: +19.42 +0.97 Spencers 5: -19.42 -0.97
Bosh,Chris Ming,Yao
6 Spencers 5: +60.49 +3.02 platinum B: -60.49 -3.02
Smith,Josh Pachulia,Zaza
7 Spencers 5: +16.45 +0.87 platinum B: -16.45 -0.87
Ridnour,Luke Mobley,Cuttino
18 Spencers 5: +18.57 +2.32 Cape Beach: -18.57 -2.32
Garnett,Kevin Pierce,Paul

COMMENT: By far the most active trading of any of my leagues, with 24 deals total. Ceematics just loved to wheel-and-deal, with 10 deals total. Unfortunately, he was on the losing end of the most lopsided deal on this page, trading Emeka Okafor for TJ Ford AND Morris Peterson. Trading Ford for either one of those guys would've been bad enough. Ceematics got a whole games out of Okafor before he went down with the world's worst ankle sprain.

Hey look, there's Jamison again. Involved in another hugely lopsided deal. Kobe and Jamison for Bosh and Baron? Ouch!

I was involved in a number of smaller deals that incrementally helped my team out. The Yao deal would've been great if it hadn't been a week before he went down w/ that toe issue (that must've been one nasty looking toe). Getting Josh Smith for Zaza turned out to be a great deal (another one where I was going to dump Zaza anyways), but unfortunately J-Smoove (lame nickname, by the way) didn't last long enough on my roster to provide any benefit.

Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
10 Mad Bomber: +133.83 +8.36 kgticket: -133.83 -8.36
Brand,Elton O'neal,Jermaine
14 Spencers 6: +81.60 +6.80 Invincible: -81.60 -6.80
Blount,Mark Dalembert,Samuel
Gasol,Pau Jaric,Marko
11 argh: +50.42 +3.36 Spencers 6: -50.42 -3.36
Nocioni,Andres Jaric,Marko
9 argh: +17.78 +1.05 Spencers 6: -17.78 -1.05
Johnson,Joe Allen,Ray
Lewis,Rashard Camby,Marcus
11 Spencers 6: +23.19 +1.55 Smush Fan : -23.19 -1.55
James,Lebron Kirilenko,Andrei
Marbury,Stephon Korver,Kyle
Prince,Tayshaun Mcgrady,Tracy

COMMENT: You look at an Elton Brand for Jermaine O'Neal deal and you can't help but wonder what the guy was thinking. Even if JO'N was healthy all year (a major stretch), there's no way you'd do this deal. Brand matches or is superior to O'Neal is nearly almost every category. kgticket lost out on all 4 deals he made, giving away 200 FC in total. Might explain his 9th place finish.

My deals to land LeBron and Gasol helped bring a team that was doomed for mediocrity to the fantasy title. Gasol for Dalembert! Look how their stats compared from Weeks 14 on:

Gasol 37 38.9 15.4 51.6% 0.0 7.7 68.1% 8.7 5.0 0.6 1.8 21.1
Dalembert 35 23.2 4.5 49.7% 0.0 1.7 69.0% 6.5 0.2 0.5 1.6 5.7

Dalembert had a grand total of 8 assists over that time frame.

So, how did the Spencers do overall? Here's my combined performance per team

Team Trades Incr FC Pts
TOPH 3 +201.65 66
Run an Gun 4 +197.23 51
Cape Cods 1 +140.08 57
Spencers 5 5 +92.30 76
Spencers 3 2 +88.18 84
Spencers 2 1 +86.14 69
Spencers 6 4 +36.59 75
Spencers 4 3 +16.65 74.5
Spencers 1 4 -25.53 80
ceematics 10 -176.27 45
Easy$$ 3 -186.04 37
kgticket 4 -200.42 47

I added the top 3 and bottom 3 teams for context. Overall, the Spencers did pretty well. Only one team had negative incremental Fantasy Contribution, and the average of my six teams was +49 FC.

So how does smart trading relate to overall fantasy success? The numbers in my six leagues show an overall correlation of .15, .17 if you look only at teams that actually made a deal. Not nearly as strong as the draft (as expected), but still positive. In many cases, the impact of bad trades can be offset by subsequent roster moves. But a hugely positive move can vault you to a higher level, as strong deals early in the season can set-up more incremental deals down the road.

Next week: Roster and Line-Up Management

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