Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 08/02/11 at 11:02 AM ET
We’re still dealing with hot weather and barbecues, but I’m already into my first Fantasy Hockey Mailbag article for Kukla’s Korner. If you already have a burning question about fantasy hockey, send your question to gooding74 at shaw.ca.
I am glad that there are some hockey crazies out there like me! This will be my fourth year in fantasy hockey and we have recently increased the buy in. So guys are going to start getting pretty serious. I am the commissioner of this league and we have a lot of diverse scoring.
What are your thoughts on having all of these categories? No one in my league wants to change, but I would just like to receive some honest feedback. It is a H2H format with weekly lineup settings. Here are the categories we use. G, A, PTS, +/-, PPG, PPP, SHP, SOG, PIM, HITS, BLKS, GWG, Hatricks, FOW, FOL
W, L, GAA, SV%, OTL (ESPN does not count any overtime loss as a loss unless you have this), SV, SO.
As you can see, it is important to have a well-rounded team. Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?
On another note, what website do you use? ESPN is good because it is free and the live scoring is really good, but I’m just curious if there is a better one out there.
Thanks, and I look forward to reading your blog.
I enjoy playing in leagues that have more than the usual categories. Increased categories, especially non-scoring categories, increase the number of possible players that you can use. Plus, the league is more likely to be competitive, which is often an issue with owners who give up on their teams partway through the season because they are so far behind.
When reading fantasy hockey advice columns (like mine), you have to take into account the fact that the articles are written based on standard (usual) scoring categories. So what works for standard leagues may not always work for your league. However, a category like hat tricks seems to be completely random with very few instances of one occurring, but typically the top goal scorers are the ones most likely to earn the hatties (although Drew Stafford was a hat trick wizard last season).
I have used ESPN before for leagues and have found it to be a solid fantasy hockey website. The first website that I used when I first dabbled in online fantasy hockey was Yahoo, and I still use it for a lot of leagues today. I also use CBS for a salary cap league and it also seems to do the job. All of these sites have free fantasy hockey leagues.
I saw that you’re writing the new fantasy hockey blog at KK. Not sure when your next post will be, but I am in need of advice. I am in a keeper league where the champion (me) can pick 8 players (any position) to keep. I have narrowed my options to the following. What would you do? (I’ve included the stats in our league below as well).
Skater Stats: G, A, +/-. PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG
Goalie Stats: W, GAA, SPCT, SO
We use a daily format and have the following roster spots:
3 C, 3 LW, 3 RW, 4 D, 2 Util, 2 G, 6 BN, 2 IR.
I usually carry 3-4 goalies since their stats have such a significant impact.
In keeper leagues, I usually have two major objectives: 1) “Keep” (no pun intended) my team competitive for the upcoming season, and 2) Keep my team sustainable for future seasons. Since you’re the defending champion in your league, I’d have to assume that you have as good a chance as anyone at winning in 2011-12. That is why the focus should be on the players who will be the best this season, while ensuring they have at least several more years of similar stats.
I’m sure these picks will be subject to lots of debate. However, something I don’t believe that is up for debate here is that these choices are by no means easy. The picks I would make are Sedin, Thornton, Lecavalier, Sharp, Hossa, Boyle, Luongo, and Crawford. I know that four of these players are centers, but the fact that you use 3 C and 2 Util should mean that you’ll never need to bench any of your keepers. However, I believe that these are your most established players, and the ones that will give you the best chance as repeating as champion. Their numbers year after year should speak for themselves. The only real non-established player on that list is Crawford, but I truly believe after last season that he will be the Hawks’ long-term starting goalie.
Selanne and Roloson certainly offer the kind of numbers of the keepers listed above, but there is no guarantee that Selanne will even play this season and that Roloson will play beyond this season. Couture, Eberle, and Grabner are great options for a keeper team normally, but there’s always the possibility that these players could fall into the dreaded sophomore slump and possibly not even materialize as the players they are projected to be. In addition, two of the three (Eberle, Grabner) are playing for rebuilding teams and could be plus/minus liabilities. All of the eight keepers listed above player for teams that should finish in the top 10 in the league standings next season. Clowe is a great penalty minutes option, but I’m not as sold on him being a scorer as the other players. In addition, you should easily be able to find penalty minutes in the later rounds of your draft. Schneider is also a great keeper option, but he will probably be limited to around 25 games again this season, and his long-term status beyond this season is unknown. As well, since you only have two goalie slots, you can probably pick up a third goalie during the draft.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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