Bart Calendar spent 10 years as a journalist for Gannett covering murder trials and rock and roll.
Since then he has traveled the Earth gambled in the best casinos in the world.
Fantasy hockey can be immensely fun, especially when played with friends or coworkers. Being a part of a fantasy hockey league gives fans another reason to pay attention throughout the season, watch games they normally might not and just generally enjoy the NHL even more.
However, those who want to do well in their fantasy drafts will want to use some solid fantasy hockey draft strategy to make sure they are set for the entire season. On this page, we examine some basic strategies one should keep in mind during the draft in order to have a good chance of going strong throughout the season.
Basic Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy
Make sure you know the format of the competition
Know your opponents and their preferences
Look for strong underrated players
Learn about points categories and keep goaltending in mind
Fantasy hockey is quite a complex game and the fact is that every league out there has a different set of rules and requirements one should keep an eye on. While this is generally the case, there are some strategies that can be applied to pretty much every draft and that team owners should keep in mind going into a draft every time.
Without any further ado, we take a look at the top 10 tips that should be kept in mind in order to get the best possible results from your hockey fantasy draft.
1. Know your league:
Understanding the rules, the points system and the other intricacies of the league you are entering is one of the key elements of doing well in a draft. Since every league has different rules, owners who don’t fully understand the league they are playing can fall into the trap of picking players based on different expectations. Talk to the league owner, read the rules over if they are in written form and make sure you come ready for the draft.
2. Know the other owners:
It is not just the format of the league that can give you the advantage; it is also knowing your opponents. The fact is that many people are biased towards certain teams and players and they may be very likely to try to get those players at all costs. If you can know this beforehand, this can help you with planning your own draft picks.
3. Consider the player positions:
If fantasy hockey was just about getting the best performing players on your team, everyone would simply be picking the superstars in order. However, in order to actually stand a chance in a fantasy hockey league, one must have good players in every particular position, with all solid leagues forcing owners to play centers, right wingers, left wingers, defense men and goaltenders in their teams. This is why drafts can get quite complex and why one must go in with a proper strategy for fantasy hockey draft.
4. Consider the player rankings:
Fantasy hockey draft rankings are never perfect. At the end of the season, it always become apparent that some players were significantly under or overvalued. This is why taking a look at the player rankings beforehand and doing the right preparations is key to doing well in a draft. Leave your undervalued picks for later, as they may not be on other people’s radars and compete early for players that others might also want on their teams.
5. Take part in mock drafts:
There is no better way to do well in a final fantasy draft than taking part in mock drafts beforehand and getting a good feel for where people stand in terms of preferences and what players are valued highly by others. This way, you can prepare your strategy and know which players to go after hard and which ones are hardly on the map for most owners.
6. Understand the categories:
In every fantasy league, there is a number of categories that are being rated. These can include scoring, assists and goaltending among others. In order to be able to make the right picks, you will need to understand the importance and weight of each category and be able to pick based on this key element of the NHL fantasy hockey strategy.
7. Don’t underestimate goaltending:
Goaltending can be a very key category in a fantasy hockey league, even if many owners don’t fully understand this. All league rate wins and many also rate save percentages. This makes the importance of having at least one solid goaltender who starts in most matches extremely important, so make sure you pick one relatively early in the draft.
8. Look for sleepers:
The one thing that all fantasy champions have in common is that they are good at finding underrated players who end up scoring a lot of points, the so called sleepers. Make sure to do your research into the players who are not superstars but may end up blossoming throughout the season and pick a few of those into your squad so you can use them in the later rounds of the NHL.
9. Forget your preferences:
Everyone who plays fantasy hockey is a hockey fan and everyone has a favorite team and favorite players. However, when preparing for a fantasy draft, forget all of your personal biases and remember that it’s all about the stats and the sheer overall quality of your team. Don’t just pick players because you like them or because they play on your favorite team. This is a losing strategy bound to cost you money.
10. Keep it fun:
If there is one thing that fantasy hockey is supposed to be, it is fun. Make sure you enter a league that is not too expensive for you and that allows you to simply have fun with it week in and week out. Don’t let fantasy become too important or interfere with your daily life, make sure it can be a hobby that you don’t find stressful and that is always fun to come back to.
Set Up Your Own Fantasy Hockey Draft
Fantasy hockey is all about fun among friends and colleagues, which is why so many people organize drafts at the start of the season to keep the year entertaining and competitive. If you aren’t already a part of a draft, it may be time to think about starting a fantasy hockey draft yourself.
Many people seem to believe that throwing a fantasy draft is too hard to do, but it is actually a super fun a fairly easy thing to do. All you need to start one if a fantasy hockey draft kit, which can be made or bought and a group of friends interested in having a draft with you.
Once you talk to your friends about it, you will quickly realize how many people are down with the idea. Starting a season long contest with a reasonable buyin can be extremely fun for you and everyone involved, so treat your friends to a fantasy hockey draft and show them who knows the game the best. A fantasy hockey app helps to stay up to date and allows you to make your move where ever you are.
We hope that the tips and tricks we showed you in this short guide will help you make better decisions in your next draft and all the drafts to come, and will help you win some major bragging rights and some cash in the process. We know how much everyone loves to win, which is why we will keep coming at you with tips like these to help you come out on top, every time.
Enjoy Fantasy Hockey the Right Way
Fantasy hockey is one of the most entertaining fantasy sports around and people all across America are throwing drafts for the upcoming season. The next time you join a draft yourself, we hope our tips & tricks will prove to be a valuable tool in getting you the best possible fantasy draft results. In the meantime, we suggest checking out our list of the top online fantasy sports sites and signing up for the daily fantasy sports experience which will help you get a better understanding of fantasy sports in general and surely give you an upper hand at the next fantasy hockey draft.
Conclusion: Fantasy Hockey Can Be Fun
Fantasy hockey drafts put together the companionship and fun with competition and make for the best party events. The next time you are at one, you should have an advantage over most your friends based on the advice we just shared with you. Keep it all in the back of your head and get yourself ready for the draft the right way.