Friday, September 20, 2019

Fantasy Hockey: players to avoid

Anze Kopitar

Anze Kopitar had a subpar year on his standard last season putting up only 22 G and 60 pts along with 19 PPP but he was also a -20
Kopitar is ranked 122nd overall, ahead of players like Evander Kane, Kyle Palmieri, William Karlsson, Dylan Strome, Max Domi, TJ Oshie, Anthony Mantha
The Kings aren't expected to be very good this season, so i would avoid any LA Kings players including Kopitar

Jaden Schwartz

Jaden Schwartz is a player who plays better in the playoffs than in the regular season
Schwartz had an up and down year last season as he put up just 11G 36 pts along with 5 PPP
Jaden Schwartz is ranked 166th overall, ahead of players like Ryan Getzlaf, Nino Neiderreiter, Zach Parise, Nikolaj Ehlers, Alex Galchenyuk
Schwartz is player who will get around 50 points a season, but you can get a player like that much later in the draft

Sam Reinhart

Sam Reinhart would have solid fantasy value if he were playing with Jack Eichel however there is a chance that he plays on a different line
If Reinhart does indeed play on a different line, then his fantasy value will greatly diminish
Reinhart is ranked 189th overall right now, ahead of players such as Andreas Athanasiou, Jake DeBrusk, Yanni Gourde and Kevin Lebanc
Avoid drafting Sam Reinhart if he isn't playing on the Sabres top line because he will have a bad +/- and he won't be putting up eye popping stats

Erik Gustafsson

Erik Gustafsson had a phenominal year last season putting up 17 G and 60 points along with 18 PPP, hence why he is ranked so high in fantasy this year
Gustafsson is ranked 84th overall in fantasy hockey this season, ahead of players like Rasmus Dahlin, Keith Yandle, Alex Pietrangelo, Thomas Chabot, Oliver Ekman Larsson
Gustafsson may still have a great year, put its too much a risk to pick him over Dahlin, Chabot, Pietrangelo or OEL

Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton should not be drafted as high as he is ranked because ther are players ranked after him that are better
Hamilton is ranked 107th overall in Fantasy Hockey, ahead of Defenseman like Jacob Trouba, Zach Werenski, Cale Makar, Quinton Hughes
Even though Hamilton should still put up the same numbers as he did last year, Hamilton can be quite streaky, which is not good for head to head leagues

John Gibson

John Gibson has already established himself as one of the premier goalies in the NHL however it may be a risk to draft him in Fantasy Hockey
The Anaheim Ducks are in a bit of a transition phase and are not likely going to be a playoff team this year
Gibson is ranked 51st overall in Fantasy hockey, which is ahead of Goalies like Braden Holtby, Jordan Binnington, Matt Murray and Martin Jones.
While Gibson will have a good individual season, he isn't going to get enough Wins to justify drafting him that high.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Fantasy Hockey: Breakout Players and Sleepers

Breakout Players

Nico Hishier

Nico Hishier is a great two way center but hasn't put up eye popping stats thus far in his career.
With all the attention surround Taylor Hall, Jack Hughes and PK Subban, Nico Hishier becomes the forgotten player. Now entering his third season in the league, Hishier is due for a breakout playing alongside Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri. You can expect Hishier to get around 60-70 points this season.

Andrei Svechnikov

Andrei Svechnikov went through some growing pains in his rookie year but make now mistake about it, he is a special player. Svechnikov is expected to play on the Hurricanes 2nd line with Jordan Staal and Ryan Dzingel and the Canes 1st pp unit. I expect Svechnikov to score at least 20 goals this season and have more than 200 SOG.

Kevin Lebanc

With the departure of Joe Pavelski, Lebanc be playing the Sharks 1st line with Logan Couture and Timo Meier, he will also be playing the Sharks 1st pp unit. Lebanc only signed a 1 yr deal deal worth $1 million, so if he wants to get paid, he needs to prove himself this year.
Lebanc has all the opportunity in the world to have a breakout season, the fact he is in a contract year gives him added incentive to perform well. 

Rasmus Dahlin

Yes Rasmus Dahlin had a good rookie year, but he has the potential to be even better. For Dahlin, he has the potential to be one of the best defenseman in the league and you saw a glimpse of that towards the end of last season. Dahlin will be the no.1 defenseman for the Sabres this year and has the potential to score at least 50 points this season. You will want to snag Dahlin now, especially if you are in a keeper league.

Cale Makar

Cale Makar is going to have a huge year this season playing for the Colorado Avalanche. The reason Tyson Barrie was traded was because the Avs wanted Cale Makar to play on the 1st pp unit.
Playing on that deadly Colorado powerplay, you can expect Makar to get at least 40 points this season.

Phillipp Grubauer

Phillipp Grubauer is going to be the number 1 goalie for the Avalanche this season. With the Avalanche team on the rise, Grubauer should have a breakout year; it isn't unrealistic to expect Grubauer to get at least 30 wins this season.


David Krejci

David Krejci is can still be  a very productive player in fantasy hockey this season especially if you count FW. Last season, Krejci had 20 G and 73 Pts along with 16 PPP and 530 FW; while he might not get 70+ points this season, i think he should still get at least 55 points. Krejci is ranked 222nd overall right now, so you should be able to get him in the 17th or 18th round depending on how many teams there are in your league.

Anders Lee

Anders Lee is always a reliable fantasy player yet he is always undervalued in drafts; right now,
he is ranked 333rd overall but realistically he should go in the 150-170 range. If you are able Anders Lee this late in the draft, i say its a win for your team.

Wayne Simmonds

Wayne Simmonds should be on track for a bounceback year because he is expected to play on the much improved 1st pp unit of the Devils. Simmonds' 2018-19 campaign was derailed by injuries but he is back and fully healthy this year so he should have a bounceback year. While it is unknown if he will stick on the line with Jack Hughes, he will have fantasy value because he will get PPG, PIM and Hits.

Shayne Gostisbehere

Shayne Gostisbehere is the definition of a PP specialist, but that is great in Fantasy Hockey;
his plus minus could be bad but his production on the PP could make owners overlook his bad +/-.
Gostisbehere should be motivated to have a bouceback year after subpar season, which is another reason to consider drafting him.

Justin Faulk

While Justin Faulk's future with the Carolina Hurricanes is uncertain, Faulk will definately be a player to watch this year in Fantasy Hockey. Faulk has been in the center of trade talks but i don't think he will get moved before the season Regardless of where Faulk plays, he will have something to prove because he is on his contract year.

David Rittich

David Rittich will likely be the number 1 goalie for the Calagry Flames this year. Calgary basically has the same team as they did last year when they won the division, so there is no reason to think they couldn't win it again. If you want a goalie for good value, David Rittich is your guy.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Fantasy Hockey Draft Advice

Drafting in Fantasy Hockey is quite easy if you are prepared for the draft. Thats why you should do as many mock drafts as possible before your actual draft to practice your draft strategy.

Before the Draft, it is always a good thing to Pre-rank your players. You should pre-rank your plays in case you can't make the draft or something goes wrong with your computer.

The most important thing to know about drafting in fantasy hockey is to know the scoring format you league uses. There are 3 main scoring formats, Head to head, Rotisserie, Points leagues. Your Draft strategies will vary depending on your leagues scoring format and the number of players you need to draft

If you are drafting in a 16 or 20 team league, your draft strategy will differ than if your in a 10 or 12 team league

First you need to be aware of the positional needs for your league.

For example if your league requires 4 C, 3 LW, 3 RW, 2 W, 1 Util, 6 D, 2 G, 4 BN, you should draft a center with your 1st round pick. Centers have more value in most leagues especially in leagues where you count faceoff wins.

Lets say you are in a 20 team league, and you have the 16th pick in the draft, your best bet is to try to draft either Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Tyler Seguin. Any of those players would be a great player to build a team around. In the 3rd round there are two players you should target, Claude Giroux and Jack Eichel, both these players are legit go to players on their teams and will get at least 80 points this season.

You can't win without GREAT Goaltending, so i wouldn't hesitate to draft a top tier goalie even if it meant using a 2nd or 3rd rd pick on them. The Top tier goalies include Andrei Vasilevksiy, Sergei Bobrovsky, Ben Bishop, Tuukka Rask and Pekka Rinne; if you get anyone of these stud goalies, you are on the right track. If you can't get these goalies, you can go after Carey Price, Braden Holtby,  Marc Andre-Fleury, Jordan Binnington or Martin Jones.

I suggest getting two number 1 goalies because in most leagues, cause you can't win with bad goaltending.

When your league requires you to have 6 Defenseman, you should have at least two dependable point producing defenseman. I wouldn't recommend using a 2nd round pick or 3rd round pick on players like Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman; however i would target a player like John Klingberg, Morgan Reilly, Kris Letang or Dustin Byfuglien in the 4th round.

Before drafting a winger, i recommend you draft 2 Centers, 1 Defenseman and 2 goalies, this is a good way to start off your team. You can't miss on your first 5 picks, otherwise your team will suck.

In the next four rounds, i suggest drafting goal scoring wingers. Joe Pavelski should still be available in the 6th round, he should be a great pick at that position. In Round 7 and 8, i would draft players such as Jeff Skinner, Mike Hoffman, Rickard Rakell, Brayden Schenn or Clayton Keller, or just any goal scoring wingers with duel elibibilty.

After drafting your goal scorers, you need to turn your attention to the defense.

By the 9th round, your best option is either Aaron Ekblad or Zach Werenski, but Jacob Trouba is also an option as well. In the 10th round, you can draft another defenseman or you can draft the best player available on the board. You must draft 3 defenseman by the 11th round, if you don't, your defense isn't going to be very good.

The first 12 rounds of your fantasy draft are important, but in order to win your league you need to draft well in the latter half of the draft as well, that is why it is important to know the value picks and sleepers.

There is one hidden gem in fantasy hockey this year, that is Anders Lee, who is ranked 331st overall for some reason. Lee should be drafted anywhere from the 170-200 range, which is a steal, considering he is a player who will get you 25+ goals every year and he is even more valuable if your league counts hits.

Another player who should be back on the fantasy radar is Wayne Simmonds, who is expected the play the very talented 1st PP unit of the Devils. Simmonds is a player who gets tons of PPG, hits and PIM which is great for fantasy hockey.

The Breakout player to watch this year is Kevan Lebanc of the San Jose Sharks. With Joe Pavelski gone, he will be playing on the Sharks first line with Logan Couture and Timo Meier; he will also on the Sharks 1st PP Unit.

As a safety net, i always like to get 3 goalies especially in a H2H because if you lose the goalie categories, it will be tougher to win the matchup. The best candidate for a 3rd goalie would be David Rittich or Petr Mrazek  because they aren't ranked too high but they will be starters on the respective clubs.

If you league goes past 16 rounds, my advice would be to draft players for a specific category. In leagues, that count FW, i would strongly advice filling out your centers first because it is a category. In leagues with Hits and Blks, you should try to draft forwards that get tons of hits and defenseman that get a lot of blks.

My draft strategy is way different in my 20 team league than in a 12 team league.

In deep leagues with big rosters, you have to draft a top goalie before the 3rd round otherwise you will have to settle for a 2nd tier goalie. If you are unable to get one of the top goalies,  try to draft a tandem like Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford or Cory Schnieder and MacKenzie Blackwood. Of course if you are to proceed with mediocre goaltending, you better have a really prolific offense. 

In a 20 team league, you can actually do really well if you have a high powered offense and mediocre goaltending; Your goaltending just can't be horrible.

Drafting is easy if you are well prepared, if you do a few mock drafts and practice your draft strategies you should do just fine.