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Trade by Numbers

3/04/2008
Sorry for the lack of blog updates lately. I've been swamped with real world demands on top of trying to manage through a mess of injuries on my 52 fantasy squads (Caron Butler, Kevin Garnett, Gerald Wallace, Mike Miller and now Yao). The fantasy trade deadline was last Monday, and I spent a good chunk of time trying to position my team's well for the home stretch.

Unfortunately, I was on a family vacation starting three days before the deadline, so I didn't get to dedicate as much time as needed for my fantasy teams. Prior to leaving, I isolated the teams that had the most category inbalances (opportunity to trade) in the most competitive leagues (opportunity to change a loss into a win) and sent out trade offers for the guys that were the best fit for each team. I wouldn't be able to do a lot of back and forth, so with the trade deadline looming I had to simply put my best foot forward and hope for the best.

One of the best series of moves I made was in one of my big money leagues ($1,600 to the winner). I had the best team overall, but was extremely unbalanced with big leads in FTP, STL and AST. 3PM and BLK were going to be fiercely competitive. Despite being in first place for most of the season, I was projecting that I'd end up losing by 8 pts if I didn't make some kind of deal. I had a solid deal of Chris Paul, Caron Butler and Hakim Warrick for Steve Nash, Josh Smith and Josh Howard that was accepted but voted against by 9 of a possible 10 people in the league, by far the most votes I've ever seen a deal get. Amazingly, the overall fantasy contribution I was getting was within 0.3% of each other before and after, it was essentially just shifting steals that I had for blocks that I needed. Just add up Nash/Smith/Howard's stats and subtract Paul/Butler's and it doesn't take much for Warrick to make this perfectly even, something Warrick has been doing easily lately.

The guy that I was battling against was adamant against the deal, despite the fact that he'd likely gain 2 points if it went through. Even with the deal, it wasn't going to be enough to put me over the top. Not surprisingly, the deal was vetoed by CBS and I had to go back to the drawing board. With a week left to the deadline, I had to do something.

Amazingly, I was able to give my team a complete makeover with three separate deals. Each deal taken individually looks like I'm coming out on the short end, and overall I'm probably giving up more value than I'm getting in return. But near the deadline you can't putz around trying to fleece a guy. Sometimes you have to incent the guy to click 'accept'. Trade #2 is to a guy in a bunch of my leagues. Over three years he's only accepted one of my trade offers, simply because he knows that I know what I'm doing. But after the deal he commented to me that the deal was too good to refuse (of course, that was before Yao went down for the season.)

Trade #1: Boozer,Carlos, Udrih,Beno and Williams,Deron for Camby,Marcus, Dunleavy,Mike and Gomes,Ryan
Trade #2: Ming,Yao and Bogut,Andrew for Duncan,Tim and Chandler,Tyson
Trade #3: Paul,Chris and Conley,Mike for Childress,Josh and Nash,Steve

I traded over my half my roster in one day and transformed my team into one that is going to be big in FGP, 3PM, REB and BLK, all the categories that I need. The scary part was if I didn't do all three deals, I probably would've lost the league. The first deal left me with three centers - Camby, Yao, Bogut -- you can only start two each week. Without a second deal, I would've had Bogut wasting away on my bench every week. So instead of having the best team on paper and losing by 8 pts, these three trades put me over the top. I'm not projecting a comfortable 90-70 victory.

[Speaking of Udrih, I basically have a monopoly on the guy in my leagues. The Bibby trade news came on Saturday afternoon of the All-Star break weekend. I'm guessing there weren't a whole lot of people keeping tabs on fantasy news at that time. I just happened to be at my computer and saw the news, jumped on the opportunity and picked up Udrih on 43 of my 52 leagues. As you'll see below, I used him as a trading chip in quite a few leagues, as I didn't really want to own him on that many teams. Plus I figured if I did end up giving up too much in a deal because he performed well, overall I would be a lot better off. Right now, I own the guy on 36 teams and his Week 18 performance single-handedly got my team's back on track after a few less-than-stellar weeks. First John Salmons, now Beno. I owe a lot to the back-ups in Sacramento.]

So now that the trade deadline has passed, I finally have time to take a deep breath and relax (a little bit). I went back and looked at some of my trades, offers, vetoes, etc. and came up with some staggering numbers:

4,423 - Number of trade offers that I sent
137 - Number of my trade offers that were accepted (3.1%)
94 - Number of actual deals (approved by the league or commissioner) as a result of my trade offers (47 offers for every one deal)

2,359 - Number of trade offers that I received
99 - Number of those trade offers that I accepted (4.2%)
65 - Number of actual deals as a result of trade offers from others (36 offers for every one deal)

833 - Total numbers of accepted deals by all teams in my leagues
230 - Total numbers of accepted deals that I was involved in (27.6% of all deals)
596 - Total number of actual trades by all teams
159 - Total number of actual trades that I made (26.2% of all trades)
41 - Total number of my trades approved by Commissioners at CBS (CBS Ron)
77 - Total number of my trades vetoed by Commissioners at CBS (CBS Ron)
71.3% - CBS Commissioner Kill Rate

Those are some staggering numbers. The 71.3% Veto Rate is probably the one that sticks out most of all. I realize there's a role for the commissioner and a need for vetoes in extreme cases, but if you surveyed users on what the 'right' number is, I can guarantee you the number is well below 70% (probably 5-10% at most, and that's stretching it). I can assure you that 71.3% is the wrong number, and is likely an indication that the commissioner is either a) on a power trip, b) has no idea what he is doing, or c) all of the above.

Below is a list of just some of the deals that I had vetoed by CBS Ron and company this year. In my opinion, there's absolutely no way that any of these should've been vetoed under any circumstances. When I did get a response from CBS, some of the reasons for the vetoes were even more alarming. I tried to rank order them from most outrageous to least outrageous, although that wasn't very easy to do. Take a look and judge for yourself.

1. Marion,Shawn for Nowitzki,Dirk (the gold standard. 'Was it vetoed by the trade commissioners here at CBSSports?' was the response I got from a non-Ron CBS commish)
2. Turkoglu,Hedo and Wallace,Gerald for Jefferson,Al and Williams,Maurice (because 'Jefferson is better than Wallace, Williams is better than Turkoglu')
3. Iguodala,Andre and Jackson,Stephen for Wallace,Gerald and Calderon,Jose ('Was this trade vetoed?' response from non-Ron CBS commish)
4. Smith,Josh and Roy,Brandon (or Jason Richardson) for Bryant,Kobe (because Richardson is going to much worse on Charlotte than Golden State - despite 5-6 more minutes per game, and Roy had a poor first game of the season)
5. James,Lebron and Dalembert,Samuel for Marion,Shawn and Gasol,Pau
6. Jackson,Stephen for Calderon,Jose
7. Camby,Marcus for Nowitzki,Dirk (to the team last in BLK and REB)
8. Kidd,Jason and Barbosa,Leandro for Billups,Chauncey and Wallace,Rasheed
9. Kirilenko,Andrei and Wallace,Rasheed for Duncan,Tim and Odom,Lamar
10. Marion,Shawn, Iguodala,Andre and Gay,Rudy for Garnett,Kevin and Paul,Chris
11. Smith,Josh for Garnett,Kevin
12. Milicic,Darko and Gay,Rudy for Billups,Chauncey
13. Iverson,Allen, Okur,Mehmet and Barbosa,Leandro for Wade,Dwyane, Gasol,Pau and Aldridge,Lamarcus
14. Iguodala,Andre and Gay,Rudy for Garnett,Kevin
15. Carter,Vince and Gay,Rudy for Bryant,Kobe ('Carter in inconsistent')
16. Camby,Marcus, Nelson,Jameer and Horford,Al for Nash,Steve, Ilgauskas,Zydrunas and McCants,Rashad ('Nash and Duncan are MVP Candidates')
17. Ginobili,Manu for Wade,Dwyane (presumably because Wade is so much better than Ginobili despite Ginobili being ranked 14th and Wade 19th with a huge injury risk) 18. Iguodala,Andre, Ellis,Monta and Miller,Brad for Boozer,Carlos, Kaman,Chris and Calderon,Jose

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