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Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:38 pm
by BigAhnold
Taking up hockey this year 'cause I'm betting the NBA season is toast.

Never played fantasy hockey before. Very familiar with fantasy baseball, football, and basketball. But I'm confused about stats that count (plus minus, goalie stats, etc.), positions (Yahoo requires LW, ESPN seems to allow any offensive player), drafting strategies (when to take a goalie? Defenseman?), benefits of different scoring systems (e.g. scoring based solely on points) and cheat sheets, rankings, etc.

As with other fantasy sports, I understand that, say, Eric Staal is a good player, but is he better than Pavel Datsyuk? Kovalchuk? Lundqvist? I am confused about how the differences between players apply to standard Yahoo, ESPN leagues and where such players should be taken. In football, for example, RBs are valuable, and QBs less so because the difference between QBs is less - the #12 QB is not that much worse than the #7 QB - with RBs, the best ones are much better than the lower ones.

Psyched that Razzball is addressing hockey. If it is 1/10 as good as baseball, it will be great. I see the rankings up already - fantastic!.

But can anyone point me to some alternatives for figuring out what it takes to win, depending on choice of scoring categories? Have looked at Dobber Hockey, Land Shark Hockey, CBS Sportsline, Yahoo. Any other sources would be appreciated.


Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:20 pm
by chlenko
Dobber is who I read and trust. I find that Yahoo is hit and miss and often targeted to shallow leagues.

Its tough to offer any useful advice without knowing what kind of league you are in but in general elite goalies are highly sought after and I tend to not take D until later in drafts as the difference between the #15 D and the #30 D can often be not much. D is also a position that I like to try to address certain categories (PIM, +/-)

Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:33 pm
by HldOnMgnolia
Here's how I've translated fantasy baseball to fantasy hockey...

D-men are like closers or catchers. You need a few but should avoid drafting them early as there's bound to be plenty available after the season starts and rosters/lines are shaken up.

Centers are a lot like outfielders or DH's. Their #'s are sexy but they're bountiful and it hurts their overall value. On second thought, OF was pretty shallow this year, but I digress... Unless you're getting Ryan Braun (Steven Stamkos, [healthy] Crosby, Henrik Sedin), it's best to pass in favor of a winger.

Wingers might be your middle infielders or Cy Young-caliber starting pitchers. The elite are few and this makes them extremely valuable. In most leagues every team's gotta start 2 LW and 2 RW and the truth is that there just aren't enough good ones to go around. You don't wanna be stuck with Yuniesky Betancourt and Randy Wolf while your opponent is trotting out Robbie Cano and Justin Verlander.

Goalies don't really have a baseball equivalent. Maybe first basemen, but not really. In most leagues the 2 goalies you roster will make up anywhere from 33-50% of your team's scoring. You do not want to be caught mid-draft with your pants down and no goalie. This can ruin your season. You probably won't be able to find a desirable backstop during the course of the year (or two of them, for that matter) and you'll be left praying for an injury to a vet or an unlikely breakout from an unproven commodity. You'd rather not have to blow a 1st round pick here but I don't think it's ever too early to solidify this position. It's critical.

Couple notes:

Seek out guys who play on the power play. These are your 2-3-4 hitters who see good pitches and have plenty of RBI opportunities.

Also, don't forget to draft for penalty minutes. This is easy to overlook because it seems like an odd stat but it's important. Goons generally don't offer much other than PIM so the ones who can score (Milan Lucic, Ryan Clowe, and Scott Hartnell) are especially valuable.

Multiple position eligibility adds a lot of value to a player. Most nights only a few teams will be playing so it's important to be able to skate everyone who's on the ice. This is made a lot easier when you can slot a C into a winger position or vice versa. Kovalchuck, Nash, Heatley and Jeff Carter are a few examples of guys who can add some flexibility to your team.

Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:43 am
by Dan
HldonMgnolia (the response right above me) is great advice. Alot of exactly what I would say. In general I like to wait on Goalies and Defenseman and Left/Right Wingers are more valuable than Center's because there are just fewer good ones available.

As far as places to go for advice, Dobber Hockey is really good so is hockey scouts and the Goalie Guild. Oh, and of course

Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:21 pm
by BigAhnold
Thanks guys - this has been VERY helpful.

HldonMgnolia, your post was outstanding - the analogies to baseball were very well thought out and very much appreciated.

One thing I find funny is that penalty minutes are viewed as a positive. I think of Turnovers in basketball - a negative statistic (the fewer turnovers, the more points you score). One would think that penalty minutes in hockey would be a negative, but it seems as if the hockey founding fathers wanted the goons to get their due.

Still figuring out the categories, but have more confidence overall. Again, many thanks.


Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:58 pm
by HldOnMgnolia
Thanks. Really glad you got something out of it.

It ain't baseball but it's a lot of fun.

Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:32 am
by Dan
Yeah there are alot of analogies to fantasy baseball with fantasy hockey.. And as a game itself I like fantasy hockey more than fantasy football (fantasy baseball is King IMO).

Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:54 am
by BigAhnold
Fantasy football is too dependent on injuries, and you only have 17 data points. Heck, anything can happen with a sample size of 17.

Fantasy baseball - 162 games. Lots of data points. A weeklong slump will not kill you - but you can still have your Ryan Raburns, AJ Burnetts, and Tsuyoshi Nishiokas. The king of fantasy sports. Injuries hurt, but are not as prevalent as football. In sum - The best, Jerry - the best!

Fantasy basketball (and apparently hockey) about 80-85 games, middling risk of injury. Solid games.

#1 baseball
#2 basketball and hockey (tie)
#3 football


Re: Where can a noob find the basics?

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:19 pm
by thorbs
Personally I'd compare goalies to pitchers...different set of categories for scoring, and beyond the absolute elite there's always a bunch that come out of nowhere (Halladay - Thomas, Price - Lincecum, etc.), rookies that impress (Brandon Beachy).

Great comp between wingers and MI, very apt as well. Equating C to 1B/DH works well too, as well as the PP = heart of the order hitters.