Welcome once again to “An Expert’s Audit”. This audit will also be posted here as well as on my fantasy hockey blog at www.fantasyhockey.hockeyanalysis.com . I also do weekly reviews of teams for people who email in to me for a look-see. These audits will continue to appear here monthly and if you’re interested in having your keeper team “worked over” then you can begin by emailing Dobber about it.
This is part two of an article in for An Expert’s Audit. My hope is that you can glean something beneficial out of this, particularly you folks in salary leagues.
Protecting the right guys
It is a common misconception that you just keep the best players. Well I suppose it is true that in a straight draft keeper league you do indeed keep the best players, but in a salary league you don’t protect the best players you protect the best value. There’s a big difference between spending a fifth of your cap on Sidney Crosby and having a minimal FA protection on Jonathan Toews.
Many leagues mix salaries and/or draft picks into the setup and your auction/draft strategy has to change from your standard redraft league. Should you use 1/5th of your cap to protect Sidney Crosby or do you protect Peter Mueller, Kyle Okposo, and Patrick O’Sullivan for the same price? You protect the kids and then you use the extra space in your cap to try and resign Sid for as close to the same price as last year. Protection in salary leagues isn’t about talent, it’s about value and it’s always better to have your cake and eat it too.
I got to auctioneer for a league last year and my jaw literally dropped as a buddy nominated and got his backup goalie for the minimum FA bid. Now he sits with Miikka Kiprusoff and Carey Price and it baffles me that nobody bid him up at that auction. He didn’t win the league this year but he’s got himself a cornerstone on the cheap for years to come. Obviously he’s going to keep Price and let inflation slowly raise his salary over the next decade. I mention this because keeping players is all about value and not about talent.
Learn about inflation
If you’ve never considered the concept of inflation in your salary league then I’d be betting that you’ve never won your salary league too. Inflation helps you in two ways in a salary league; economically, and scarcity-based.
Scarcity is easier to explain so I’ll briefly look at that. The principle is simple, if everybody is loading up on their goalies then you better be sure to get yours too. That’ll mean paying more than you projected to ensure you get what you need to compete in your league. It’ll also mean that you should be tiering every player you have interest in during your draft so that you don’t miss out on the any option you have listed at a higher tier.
It’s also a lot of fun to track where everyone has the holes in their lineup and then bid the exact amount they have left on their cap just to ensure that the other guy doesn’t get a bargain when he’s struggling to fill his lineup. It&