realized my magazine was from 2002.
A strong draft can give you an enormous advantage in your league, one that could translate into a spot in the winner's circle at the end of the season. The key is to be prepared, and to go into your draft with a focused strategy.
Here are some fantasy draft tips that will help you dominate your league this year.
- Remember that a new coach can have a big influence on a team's offensive output. So make sure to factor in the impact of Tom Renney in Edmonton, John Maclean in New Jersey, and whoever will be coaching the Rangers by mid-December.
- Instead of using traditional categories like goals and assists, suggest that your pool move to more advanced stats like Corsi and Delta SOT that do a better job of measuring a player's true value. This will give you an advantage during the draft, since your opponents will be distracted thinking about how much they'd like to punch you.
- If you're lucky enough to get the first overall pick in your draft, be sure to take Alexander Ovechkin. Because if you don't and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis finds out about it, uh oh, here come the blog posts.
- Be sure to come to your draft with a nice thick magazine. This will give you something to hit your laptop with in case your wireless connection keeps cutting out.
- Make sure to move Carey Price up your rankings if you play in a league that awards points for bitter, bitter tears.
- Every year there are a few players who greatly exceed even the most optimistic projections, and who can almost single-handedly determine the winner of a pool. You should probably try to figure out who those guys are going to be this year and then draft a whole bunch of them.
- As of this week, Vesa Toskala had yet to sign with an NHL team. Until he does, don't forget to reduce your scoring projections for every player in the league by about 25%.
- Consider using a late pick on Wade Redden if you're looking for a sleeper on the blueline who can quarterback a powerplay and put up decent point totals. You did say you're doing an AHL pool, right?
- It's always a good strategy to load up on players from teams like the Maple Leafs and Senators, who should finish the season strong since they won't have to save up their energy for the playoffs.
- Don't be "that guy" who goes to a hockey game and yells at the players to let them know they're on your fantasy team. To really get their attention, you'll need to whisper it from under their bed just as they're falling asleep.
- Don't forget, before spending a first round pick on Ilya Kovalchuk always check with Gary Bettman first to find out if it's OK.
- Be aware of your league's roster rules and the potential consequences of not following them. For example, failing to have two NHL goaltenders on your roster can result in invalid lineups, forfeited matchups, and a front office job offer from the Flyers.
- If you had Olli Jokinen on your team last year and were constantly disappointed by his lacklustre performance, for God's sakes don't go out and reacquire him for this season.
- Sure, it's always more fun to play in a pool with an "easy money" guy who puts together a terrible team that finishes dead last every year. But John Ferguson Jr. already told you that he's busy this week, so stop calling him.