I won my (our) fantasy championship last year after years of disappointment and frustration. It took a lot of effort and time and was completely unfulfilling. However, if anyone out there is still trying to win their fantasy league, here are some tips I wrote last season and would like to pass on to you for the upcoming season:
Fantasy Hockey: Let’s talk about it. I won last year’s league which pretty much makes me a fantasy expert. I thought that I could shed some pearls of wisdom which should keep me from discussing the state of hockey on Long Island.
One: Divorce your wife, break up with your girlfriend(s), and disown your children. Quit your job, sell your home, move in with a family member.
Two: Do some research. You want to get the most points you can get out of every draft pick. F-ing duh, right? Well, you’ve got to get equal or more value compared to the other players being drafted and name recognition can really cloud your judgment. I used to be tempted by people who were good in EA Sports’ NHL 95 too, but last year I hadn’t even heard of most of my players before I did some reading. It’s all about trying to find breakout years. In short, don’t draft Rangers.
Three: Don’t sit on your laurels. And I’m going to skip the obvious “I don’t even know what a laurel is” joke. People seem to go with the “don’t fix what’s not broken” approach which is wrong. There’s no way to check, but I’m positive that point production from all the teams increases over the course of the season so a good team at the beginning of the year may not actually fall in production, but as everyone else trims the fat, the pack catches up. Just make sure that if you’re going to pickup, drop, then pickup the same player, don’t do it all in one night. HOO! Lookout, inside joke coming through…
Four: If your goalie wasn’t drafted by the New York Islanders, than there’s no guarantees. If you think I’m being too kind to the Islander’s, read my other blog entries. Goalies are temperamental and I can’t think of a funny simile, but they are. Plan on picking up a good goaltender off the FA list in the first month. Osgood, Leclaire, Thomas, and Gerber were all sitting on the FA at the start of the season last year . Draft picks are valuable so you’re better off going after skaters who are much more reliable season to season even if it means you struggle for a few weeks with a crappy second goalie. And for feck’s sake, don’t draft more goalies than you can start at one time.
Five: No extra points for being a defenseman. Nick Lidstrom is a god. A hockey god. There’s rarely a ‘god’ category, though, so if he scores 60 points a season, you get 60 points. Draft a forward who scores 80 unless you get wet for plus/minus like I do.
Six: And now watch as I contradict myself; Go for the name recognition off the FA list. If you need some goals and everyone on the FA list sucks, pickup someone who’s been to an all-star game even if it was a hundred years ago. I fell for some rookies who had a hot month and ended up dropping them faster than Matt gave up on this blog. Hejduk had a slow start and I picked him in time to benefit from a six-point night. Bertuzzi was a similar story. I missed grabbing Recchi who got hotter than my sack in August.
Well, that’s it. My team should be vying for last place by the end of October. “Fenian Brotherhood, 2003 Champions” shirts still available.