April 05, 2004

Fantasy Hockey Wrapup

The season is over and I finished a respectable 6th out of twenty teams. Not too shabby, considering I had no idea what I was doing when the season started and had to learn the rules as I went.

Highlights for the year for me were one glorious day when I stood alone in first place. I was fighting for third as recently as three weeks ago. Third through sixth were closely contested.

Offensively, I was in the top five for goals scored, power play points, short handed points, game winning goals and shots on goal. I also finished on the plus side for the +/- stat. I consider that a victory because I spent much of the season in the negative and made several trades specifically to improve in that area.

For goaltending, I was in the top half for wins and shutouts, but only because I had three goalies that played a lot. They weren’t very good, but enough mediocre adds up. Everyone ahead of me was significantly better in net.

Early on I talked about some things I’d noticed in our league, and now that it’s over I think those observations held up pretty well.

Lessons learned: Play lots of games. Get starters for every slot on your roster. A lot of teams fall behind because they have marginal players on the fourth line. They don’t play often, and when they do they don’t get many minutes.

Manage injuries. I was lucky, and only suffered four major injuries to my team all year. Three I was able to put on IR and wait for their return, and the fourth player returned to the ice sooner than anyone expected. Move those injured players and pick up replacements as soon as possible. When the injured players return, cut loose your least-productive players. Which brings us to…

Don’t be sentimental. If your favorite player is having a lousy year, trade for value or otherwise get rid of him. Same thing if you stock your team with your favorite team’s players. Diversify, and don’t get too attached.

Consider trades early. By this I mean trading hot players while they’re still hot, when they’re worth maximum value. The perfect example of this for me was Atlanta Thrashers goalie Pasi Numinem. He was insanely hot for the first third of the season, and I should have realized that he (and the entire Atlanta team) couldn’t keep the pace up. He faded badly, and I should’ve traded him before the all-star break for another scorer or solid everyday goalie.

So I had fun, and I'll probably play again next year. Any fellow Munuvians interested, start thinking about it and we might get enough for a "fun" league amongst ourselves. You too Nic, you're an honorary Munuvian as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Ted at April 5, 2004 06:21 AM
Category: Square Pegs

Honorary Munuvian? I'm...well, honored. And I'll be sure to hold down last place, because I can't bring myself to follow the "Don’t be sentimental" rule. The last time I played fantasy hockey I had the most aged team this side of an old-timer reunion game.

Posted by: nic at April 5, 2004 04:35 PM
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