Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Art of the Fantasy Basketball Trade


Chapter 3 – Upgrading Your Starting Lineup

The Art of the Fantasy Basketball Trade seems like an appropriate title for any trading article because trading involves much more than sending a simple offer.  If you haven’t read The Fantasy Basketball Trading Bible or Chapter 2, I cover most of the nuances of this rarely covered subject.  Chapter 3 will conclude our basic lessons on trading.

How often do you play your backup/reserve players?  Have you ever given that a single thought or applied any statistical analysis?

If you play 6 players or less per night, you must strengthen your starting lineup to have a chance at winning your league because you do not play your backups nearly as much as you think you do.  On the other hand, if you play 8 players or more per night, there is no such thing as a backup.  Practically everyone on your team can be referred to as a starter.

This aspect of fantasy basketball is highly affected by the NBA schedule as I illustrated here.  As a simple rule of thumb, you ideally want at least 2 productive players at each position.  When your 3rd string player is almost interchangeable with your 2nd stringer, it is time to make a trade.  If your 2nd stringer is comparable to your starter, the same logic applies.  You must be constantly on the hunt to improve your team.  If you do not remain active, the better league members will fly by you quicker than Eric Bledsoe.  If you are in a high-dollar league that is largely inactive, keep dominating, and do not let them discover this website.

Here is an example from my current team.

I have Kawhi Leonard, Andre Iguodala, Jimmy Butler, and DeMarre Carroll that are SF eligible.  I believe that Butler will be more valuable than Iguodala this year, so this makes Andre very expendable.  I offered Kevin Love and Iguodala for Kevin Durant, and I made the same offer for LeBron James.  Both offers were rejected, but you get the idea.  If you can transform your depth into stars, you will greatly improve your chances of winning throughout the year.  There is one major concern using this strategy.  An injury to a starter impacts your team more than it typically would.  Fantasy sports involve risk and luck, so place your bets.  Just bet on the stars over mediocrity, and you will win more than you lose.

This article concludes our basic lessons on trading.  More advanced techniques are in the works.  If you have any trading questions, send me an email at [email protected].

Tags: Andre Iguodala Fantasy Basketball Jimmy Butler Kawhi Leonard Kevin Durant Kevin Love Lebron James NBA Popular Trade