The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 04/02/12 at 03:04 AM ET
If you play in fantasy hockey head-to-head leagues, you probably already know that a top-notch win-loss record doesn’t always promise the number one finish in the league.
All it takes is for one poor fantasy playoff week – an injury or two, or substandard play from otherwise solid performers – to end the season without the first-place trophy you were actively seeking all season. So with luck being an increased factor in the fantasy hockey playoffs, why bother checking your team at all during the regular season?
Because first of all, you’ll need to make the playoffs. Then of course, you’ll need to identify any areas of weakness on your team (positional, statistical, otherwise) so that you are prepared for the fantasy playoffs.
Yet you can prepare and overprepare and it won’t matter when the head-to-head matchup matters most. Two of my head-to-head teams put up solid numbers last week, but both lost because they faced teams that were slightly better that particular week. I won’t say that these teams were necessarily better than mine (both were slightly lower in the overall standings), but they both happened to be stronger in more statistical categories than my teams were last week. Maybe it was matchups, maybe it was number of games played, or maybe they were just plain better - I’ll opt for the final reason without reservation. With that in mind, I couldn’t win a title in any of my head-to-head leagues, but I am about to win a title in the only rotisserie league that I competed in this season.
Since many of this site’s visitors are Red Wings fans, I’ll describe my theory using the model that has made Detroit the most successful NHL club over the past 20 years: You won’t win a championship every year, but by actively scouting available players and making the most of what you’re given, you’ll put yourself in a position to compete for the title just about every time.
On that note, I am wrapping up the Pick Six for the season using a slightly different format. Many leagues have ended already, so this article probably already has only a fraction of the visitors that it had at the start of the season. In addition, a justifiable reason can be made to add or drop just about any player with so few games left in the season.
I’ll use some Canucks as an example. Is Daniel Sedin worth keeping around, considering the odds of the Canucks bringing him back early from a concussion if they can finish no lower than second in the Western Conference? If you are a roto leaguer who is in a position to make up ground in goals but not assists, is Henrik Sedin worth keeping on your roster, since he has scored just three goals since the calendar turned to 2012? If Roberto Luongo starts Game 1 of the playoffs for the Canucks, how much do you think he plays during the final week with the Canucks playing meaningless games (unless you believe they are in it to win the President’s Trophy again) against lottery-bound Anaheim, Calgary, and Edmonton? Of course, if you’re in a keeper league, you hang onto all three players regardless of your team’s situation.
Are you in a roto league and need instant penalty minutes? Derek Dorsett, who leads the NHL with 218, is your man. With 12 goals on the season, there’s a chance that he may even score a goal for you next week. How about hits? Matt Martin is the league’s runaway winner in that category, as his 360 leads the second-place finisher by almost 100. Blocked shots? That leader with 243 is Josh Gorges, another defenseman who is on very few fantasy teams.
I hope the Pick Six was useful to you this season, and I hope your fantasy hockey season was successful – or at least enjoyable.
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Tags: daniel+sedin, derek+dorsett, detroit+red+wings, fantasy+hockey, henrik+sedin, ian+gooding, josh+gorges, matt+martin, pick+six, roberto+luongo, the+goods, vancouver+canucks
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About The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
My name is Ian Gooding, and this is The Goods on Fantasy Hockey. Given my ability to understand numbers, write sentences, and follow hockey, it’s not a surprise to those who know me that I became a fantasy hockey writer. I started writing about fantasy hockey in 2006 for fantasyhockey.com and became the site’s content editor in 2007. Looking to expand my audience, I joined Kukla’s Korner in the summer of 2011 to create the site’s first fantasy hockey blog.
A few times each week, I’ll provide an article called “Pick Six” where I will write about six players that should either be in your fantasy team’s starting lineup or bench for the upcoming game. As well, I’ll provide the fantasy takes on important hockey developments. You can also email me your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter.