Kukla's Korner

Bloggers Invitational Fantasy Hockey Draft

It’s been a long 2.5 hours, but the draft is complete for James Mirtle’s 2008-09 Blogger Invitational Fantasy Hockey league, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out this season.  A number of well-known bloggers are ready to put their NHL savvy to the test, including P.J. Swenson of Sharkspage, Greg Wyshynski (Yahoo’s Puck Daddy), Battle of California‘s Earl Sleek, and many, many more.  It’s an 18-team field that should be quite competitive as we wend our way through the long grind of the upcoming NHL regular season.  Sure, we did have one unfortunate soul stuck on auto-draft (he ended up with Alexander Radulov and Erik Johnson, ouch), but by and large these managers were on their toes.

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, let’s meet your 2008-09 Fab Forecheckers…

 Pos Forwards/Defensemen RoundOverall
 C Rod Brind’Amour (Car - C)8144
 C Michael Nylander (Was - C)9145
 C Robert Lang (Mon - C)10180
 LW Alexander Ovechkin (Was - LW)11
 LW Andrew Brunette (Min - LW)11181
 RW Alexei Kovalev (Mon - RW)472
 RW J.P. Dumont (Nsh - RW)6108
 F Brian Gionta (NJ - RW)7109
 F Jamie Langenbrunner (NJ - RW)12216
 D Bryan McCabe (Fla - D)573
 D Rob Blake (SJ - D)13217
 D Jaroslav Spacek (Buf - D)14252
 D Ville Koistinen (Nsh - D)15253
 Util Mike Sillinger (NYI - C)16288
 BN Sami Salo (Van - D)17289
 BN Jordin Tootoo (Nsh - RW)18324
 BN Francois Beauchemin (Anh - D)19325
 Pos Goaltenders   
 G Tomas Vokoun (Fla - G)236
 G Dan Ellis (Nsh - G)337
 BN Craig Anderson (Fla - G)20360

Skater Scoring Categories: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPG, PPA, GWG, SOG
Goaltender Scoring Categories: W, GAA, SV, SV%, SHO

My basic approach, as outlined in an earlier post, was to provide rankings within each of our league’s scoring criteria, and use this properly weighted total to guide my choices.  One refinement I made was to use a value-based scoring system rather than pure ranking*, which made for a much more satisfactory layout of the talent available.

With the first overall pick (lucky me!) I took Alex Ovechkin; from a fantasy hockey perspective the guy stands head & shoulders above his peers, and I couldn’t give up that marginal value.  With 18 teams and 2 starting goalie slots apiece, having two #1 guys can pretty much ensure victory in some matchups, so I snagged Tomas Vokoun and Dan Ellis next.  Yes, Ellis was a bit of a reach there (who knows if he’ll flame out like Chris Mason did last year), but the goaltender pickings would have become mighty slim.  From there I was able to snag Alexei Kovalev at #72, and things proceeded pretty well from there.

While I can’t say I’m in love with absolutely every pick, I’m really satisfied with the lineup as a whole.  With 90 seconds for each selection, it was often difficult to keep my spreadsheet updated when it came to my turn.  Along the way during the draft I’d delete the lines for players drafted, which allowed my ranking system to dynamically reflect the changing nature of the available talent remaining.  At times it became apparent that only a few relatively elite performers remained in a given position, and that helped inform my choices during the middle rounds.

Last season, my squad dominated the regular season but came up short in the playoffs.  The long march to redemption starts now, so watch out, Mirtle’s Merry Men, the Fab Forecheckers are coming on strong!

*Instead of RANK(C2,C:C), for example, I would use (C2-MIN(C:C))/(MAX(C:C)-MIN(C:C)).  This reflected where a player’s particular value fit in within the overall range of that stat.  For example, if you had 10 guys tightly bunched together at the top of the goal projections, that 10th guy would look pretty lousy using a plain RANK function.  That second function, however, more properly reflects the the small difference in production you’ll get from such players.

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey, | On the Forecheck | Permalink


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