Fantasy Stud or Fantasy Dud? A Guide to Acquiring Top-Five Fantasy Draft Picks

John TamelCorrespondent INovember 19, 2008

In almost every NBA fantasy league I've played in, there always seems to be an owner who will trade away a top-five draft pick.

This year, there appears to be no exception on owners willing to trade. Already, I have traded for Chris Paul in one league and Lebron James in the other.


Top-five draft picks in NBA fantasy leagues should be regarded as precious metals.

Do not trade these players away unless there are unusual circumstances regarding injury and you have no other choice.

These five individuals usually put up the stats of two average players. If you want to win in NBA fantasy, acquire as many top-five draft picks as possible without severely weakening the other areas of your squad.

Arguably, this would include players like Lebron James, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard. The more top-five picks that you acquire, the better chances you have of winning, if you're good at acquiring waiver-wire talent.

Trading for these picks usually involves finesse and the ability to convince your opponent that the trade is in their best interests.

If you're going to attempt a trade for a top-five draft pick, the players that you are willing to give up should be putting up good stats at the time of your proposal. This will give the appearance that your trade proposal is legit, even though it may not be.

For example, lets take my aforementioned acquisition of Chris Paul. Before I made the trade, I already had a surplus of guards and this owner needed guards badly. 

The bottom line—I gave up Kevin Martin and Chauncey Billups for Paul. Some would say I got the worse of the deal, but I disagree. 

Paul will put up stats that is near the value of both players, in one guard spot. With the other spot available, I managed to plug in Randy Foye and move Greg Oden in from my reserve roster. This resulted in a considerable point advantage to my team.

In order to win in competitive NBA fantasy leagues, you often have to give up something good to get something great.

Kevin Martin is a good player and I hated giving him up, but to get Paul, it was necessary.

When Billups got traded to the Denver Nuggets, he delivered stats like a stud. In his second game with his new team, he scored 16 points, dished 10 assists, and had six boards.

Although I thought he might do better statistically in Denver, I knew he couldn't sustain that level of play for an entire season. At his current age, 32, and all the talent that Denver has on its roster, I figured that it just wasn't likely.

But, it was the perfect time to try to offload him while he was temporarily thriving. Now that the trade is complete, I am an instant contender to win the league with two top-five draft picks in Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.

Here is my current roster in my H2H CBS Sportsline, 10 player league:


G - Chris Paul             G - Kevin Durant

G - Derrick Rose          G - Randy Foye

F - Elton Brand           F - Jeff Green

F - Matt Barnes          F - Jason Thompson

C - Dwight Howard     

Util - Greg Oden

Reserves - Al Harrington, Leandro Barbosa & Aaron Brooks


Again, every team needs a fantasy superstar to bring home the bacon. The more superstars that you can acquire without considerably damaging your core group of players, the better chances you have of taking home the fantasy gold.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.