Trading Season Officially Open

I guess it must take about five weeks for the dust to settle in fantasy basketball. It seems like all of a sudden somebody flipped a switch and turned on the trade button. The deals have been flying fast and furious recently. I made a total of 20 deals for Week 6 and have another 15 either set for Week 7 and pending for Week 8. For the season, I've made a total of 59 trades. Of course, the number would've been more if it weren't for a few silly CBS vetoes...but more on that in a minute.

I guess the open trading season timing makes sense. After about 15 games, the numbers become real. Guys that have emerged like Chris Paul, Manu Ginobili, Andrei Kirilenko and Hedo Turkoglu look like safe bets to perform much higher than where they were drafted. Guys like Kirk Hinrich, Zach Randolph, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol have owners wishing they had picked someone else. So it follows that the fantasy teams have become real as well. The good teams have emerged. Other teams are officially in panic mode. And category strengths and weaknesses have emerged. Of course, all of this creates trade opportunities.

I'm not breaking any new ground on telling you to buy low and sell high. For the week 6 deals, I was selling Stephen Jackson left and right. Last week, I was buying Dirk Nowitzki. One of the nice things about having so many teams is I keep tabs on the general pulse of the fantasy hoops market. I can test out certain deals to see what the going rate is, and when I see some trend emerging, I can try to capitalize across the board. For example, last week I managed to trade Josh Howard for Jason Kidd. I didn't even expect this one to get accepted, but when it did, it got me thinking. Who else might be willing to give me a 2nd rounder for Josh Howard? I own him on 13 teams. After his 47-point performance the other night, I blanketed the fantasy leagues with trade offers.

The other nice thing about having so many teams, is you can be buyers and sellers of the same guy, depending on the specific team's needs. Howard, Andrei Kirilenko and Dirk Nowitzki are examples of guys that I have both bought and sold recently. Essentially it's like trading with myself, swapping the player on a team where he's not needed for another one of my teams that could really use him. If only it were that easy.

I've also noticed that trading seems to create more trading. Some owners care about maintaining balance. I don't mind if a deal causes my team to be temporarily out-of-whack. In fact, I welcome it. I'm confident that I can sort it out later. For example, last week I traded Nowitzki for Dwyane Wade in one league, a nice deal but one that left me with only three startable forwards (you have to start at least 4). Well a couple days later I traded Ronnie Brewer for Danny Granger (pending CBS approval). Dirk/Brewer for Wade/Granger. Not bad.

Improving your team incrementally is a good way to get a middle-of-the-road team back into title contention. Go ahead and take a risk and throw your team out of whack. Sometimes that's what it takes to get a deal done. You've still got the rest of the season to sort it out.

The whole reason that blogs exist is not to provide information, but to provide the author the sense that someone actually cares for what they have to say. I'll take it a step further and assume that you actually care about the deals that I've made. So I'll post the accepted deals here on a weekly basis. It's hard to evaluate without the context of the teams, but I'd love to hear your comments. If nothing else, you can get a chuckle over the perfectly fair deals vetoed by CBS Ron.

Trades Effective Week 6
SP03: Williams,Louis for Childress,Josh
SP05: Jackson,Stephen for Maggette,Corey
SP10: Jefferson,Richard for Smith,Josh
SP10: Howard,Josh and Jackson,Stephen for Garnett,Kevin
SP13: Aldridge,Lamarcus, Dalembert,Samuel and Johnson,Joe for Marion,Shawn and Williams,Maurice
SP18: Aldridge,Lamarcus for Jefferson,Richard
SP22: Turkoglu,Hedo for Howard,Josh
SP23: Durant,Kevin for Chandler,Tyson and Dunleavy,Mike
SP27: Garnett,Kevin and Childress,Josh for Butler,Caron and Nash, Steve
SP28: Pierce,Paul for Billups,Chauncey
SP35: Jackson,Stephen and Daniels,Antonio for Allen,Ray
SP44: Jackson,Stephen and Barbosa,Leandro for Paul,Chris
SP45: Jamison,Antawn for Pierce,Paul
SP45: Pierce,Paul for Billups,Chauncey
SP46: Wade,Dwyane for Nash,Steve
SP48: Camby,Marcus, Deng,Luol and Richardson,Jason for Garnett,Kevin and Ellis,Monta
SP51: Roy,Brandon for Kirilenko,Andrei
SP51: Jefferson,Al and Gay,Rudy for Marion,Shawn
SP51: Harris,Devin and Wilcox,Chris for Gordon,Ben and Odom,Lamar

Comments: Turkoglu for Howard was a major steal, especially because Orlando had played two more games that everyone else through the first five weeks. Might not seem like a big deal, but I'll take 65 games from Josh Howard over 63 from TurkeyGlue anyday.

Trades Effective Week 7:
SP03: Nowitzki,Dirk for Wade,Dwyane
SP04: Battier,Shane for Rondo,Rajon
SP09: Aldridge,Lamarcus and Miller,Mike for Nowitzki,Dirk
SP11: Aldridge,Lamarcus and Jackson,Stephen for Nowitzki,Dirk
SP12: Battier,Shane for Bynum,Andrew
SP23: Davis,Ricky for Terry,Jason
SP25: Artest,Ron for Jefferson,Al
SP39: Kirilenko,Andrei and Aldridge,Lamarcus for Lewis,Rashard and Felton,Raymond
SP40: Howard,Josh for Kidd,Jason
SP47: Randolph,Zach, Durant,Kevin and Turkoglu,Hedo for Boozer,Carlos, Gordon,Ben and Azubuike,Kelenna
SP50: Roy,Brandon for Howard,Josh

Trades Pending Week 8:
SP03: Ronnie,Brewer for Granger,Danny
SP24: Kirilenko,Andrei for Billups,Chauncey
SP24: Smith,Josh for Nowitzki,Dirk
SP38: Dalembert,Samuel for Ford,T.J.

Comments: My Dirk deals created quite an uproar in each league, as people were outraged about me landing a first rounder for a couple mid-rounders. One guy in particular has made it his strategy to try to rally others against my deals because he knows that I'll likely end up on top. If this is your main strategy for winning fantasy leagues, then you probably shouldn't be playing. I particularly enjoy the two pending deals in SP24. Most owners would avoid drafting Josh Smith, Andrei Kirilenko AND Marcus Camby, but I knew I would be able to make deals along the way to balance it out. Billups and Dirk is not a bad return. I hope they both get approved, but with CBS you might as well flip a coin. Although it is very likely that Josh Smith will outperform Dirk this season, because of my lead in blocks it's a great deal for me. What's up with Dirk this year anyways?

Vetoed Deals Week 6
SP07: Turkoglu,Hedo and Wallace,Gerald for Jefferson,Al and Williams,Maurice
SP10: Kirilenko,Andrei and Wallace,Rasheed for Duncan,Tim and Odom,Lamar
SP10: Williams,Louis for Arenas,Gilbert
SP39: Jackson,Stephen and Gooden,Drew for Allen,Ray

Vetoed Deals Week 7
SP08: Martin,Kevin, Ellis,Monta and Bargnani,Andrea for Bryant,Kobe
SP29: Iguodala,Andre, Ellis,Monta and Gibson,Daniel for Wade,Dwyane, Odom,Lamar and Smith,J.R.
SP03: Moon,Jamario for Bargnani,Andrea

Comments: In general you should be able to trade a 20th ranked guy (Kirilenko) and 50th ranked guy (Wallace) for the 23rd ranked guy (Duncan) and 107th ranked guy (Odom). But according to Ron, I was getting the better player in each instance. And in the Jackson/Allen deal, apparently I was giving up too much for Allen, when the reason it was voted against was likely for the opposite reason. My team had zero use for Gooden. Finally, CBS has this backwards rule that they kill all deals with injured players, hence the Arenas one on this list. The result of this is it hurts the guy who owns the injured player because they can't get any value for them. The guy ended up dumping Arenas and I picked him up off the waiver wire, two events that never should've had to happen.

Overall, my teams are performing well. I'm currently winning only 15 of my 52 leagues, but I'm on a steady upward trajectory and expect to be at 30-35 by season's end. Week 6 was my best week total fantasy contribution was 19.8% above the average team (an average week for me is around 10-11%), my best week yet. I gained an average of 2 1/2 pts in the standing across the board. I hope the trend continues as these deals start to bear fruit.

PROJECTION UPDATE Although I couldn't have been more wrong about guys like Richard Jefferson, Chris Kaman and Walter Herrmann, my projections are holding up very well against the competition. In fact, it appears that the only real competition is the combined consensus picks. Here are the results after Week 6. Recall that the first ranking measures the improvement in accuracy over simply using the 2006 numbers as a baseline. The second ranking looks at each player and gives 14 points for the closest projection down to 1 point for the worst. IMPROVEMENT VERSUS BASELINE
3 ROTOFREAK 16.62%
4 ESPN/TMR 15.18%
5 NBA.COM 14.05%
10 ROTOWORLD 7.67%
12 CBS SPORTS 5.62%
13 2006 BASELINE 0.00%

3 ESPN/TMR 1802
8 NBA.COM 1606
11 2006 BASELINE 1522
12 ROTOWIRE 1521
13 CBS SPORTS 1520


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