It’s almost here! The 2009-10 NHL season is almost upon us. (Can I have a ‘Hell Yeah!”?)But with the new season comes the game within the game, Fantasy Hockey.
Ah, the chance to be a GM and wheel and deal without the thought that your next action may be your last...
Don’t get me wrong – there’s still the pressure of getting out, and staying out, in front of your fellow poolies to cross the finish line as the victor. And there might be some consternation if ‘a little wager’ is involved. So this is important stuff of which we speak (blog) today.
I know lots of folks are writing about your next year’s fantasy team. We are no exception here at On Goal Analysis (OGA), especially when you consider our own draft is coming up in September and we are finalizing details to make it all happen. In this blog, we aim to give you a few hints and the top pick for each team in our humble opinion (IOHO) to make your pool experience come out better. Today we will post the Hints and ask you to comment on yours. On Monday, we will post our top players from each time for your drafting consideration.
Hint #1 (H1). We like Microsoft Excel. It lets you copy and paste the stats right off of a web page into sortable columns that aid in your drafting activities. We like it so much, we have produced a spreadsheet for all of the OGA poolies for our draft. For a simple instructions on how to put Excel to work for you in your draft(s), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you our Excel hints.
H2. Do not discount ALL of the stats on your favorite reference page. While we recommend and are using H1 above, we have more stats on or spreadsheet than we calculate pool points for. That is because such subtleties as TOI (Time On The Ice) and Faceoff % can tell you who is likely on the Power Play, Penalty Kill, and on the ice for the last few draws when a game is on the line.
H3. If you have to pick a rookie on your team, here are a couple of guiding factors:
a. The first 15 selections of the 2009 Entry Draft’s first round are potential starters on their teams this season. These are players with real-time talent who will likely play this season unless the team’s cast of veterans is so stacked there is no room for them. Keeping an eye on the blogs/reports from training camp will confirm or deny this theory. But if you draft before the opening of camps, stick with the ‘Top 15’ rule of thumb.
b. OGA did a study and found that players in their first NHL season are good for less than what you see them score/do in other leagues – have a quick read and keep this in mind if you are drafting based on their stats.
c. Think of looking at players still considered a ‘Rookie’ who have some NHL experience but are projected to play all year long this season. Here is your guiding text for determining who falls in this category from the NHL Rule Book: “…To be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in 25 or more NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie….”
H4. Given a 10-Team Pool, the best position to pick your fantasy team from is... THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK. What? Not Number 1? Depending on your pool rules, this is true based on three, basic types of draft ordering:
a. Straight numbering. That means if you draft Number 1, then you are the lucky person at the top of each order. This is the only time it pays to be the highest person on the totem pole.
b. Alternating order. This means the person that was Number 1 in Round 1 is the last pick in Round 2 and the first again in Round 3. If you are number five in this pool, you are always the fifth pick in each round. When you do the math on this method, then you draft before the original Number 1 poolie in every even-numbered round. This method is more fair than the above, but less common.
c. Snake order. This is how OGA’s pool will run this season. Number 1 drafts 1st in Round 1, 10th in Round 2 and then in a sliding order of 5, 6, 7, 8, etc. in subsequent rounds. The true advantage here is to draft in the Number 2 – 5 positions because after the 1st Round, these poolies will draft ahead of the original Number 1 pick all the way up until the 9th Round. So if you are in a modified snake draft, do not fret if you get a middle-round start in Round 1.
There are other Hints to help out poolies – what are your favorites? Just add them in the comments section to this post.
This is the shorter of the two fantasy blogs. Tomorrow will be “Hints And Thirty (Or So) Players For Your Fantasy NHL Team, Part II” right here at www.ongoalanalysis.com . Don’t forget if you need some specifics on H1 above, drop us a line at email@example.com. We will see you back here tomorrow...