Capped: Cap League Strategy During the Olympic Break

Eric Daoust

2014-02-13

SheaWeber

 

Three strategies to take help take advantage of the Olympic break in your cap league.

 

The Olympic break represents an unusual time in fantasy hockey. For more than two weeks the NHL shuts its doors which means your fantasy league also ceases operations during this time. Think of it as a short offseason that happens to be in the middle of an ongoing season. Even though there are no NHL games at the moment this is still a very important time in your quest for a championship.

 

The timing of the break is very interesting. All teams have played between 57 and 60 games so far. If your league has a trade deadline it is probably in the not-too-distant future. While your mind is not caught up in the chaos of setting daily lineups, this is a great time to start planning ahead.  In cap leagues, the financial aspect adds a thick layer of complexity both in player evaluation but also in the bigger picture of building a winning team.

 

Talking Trade

 

One thing you have probably noticed in your own league is that many of your rivals are more eager than ever to talk trade. Meanwhile, others are more or less checked out at this point and appreciating some time away from fantasy hockey. This can help you in two ways: some of the more active GMs can be too eager and make poor decisions and the absence of a portion of your league means that you have fewer owners bidding against you on the trade market.

 

When you talk trade with your rivals, play to your strengths and to your weaknesses. If you have cap space and someone else needs to shed some salary, take advantage of the situation. The player he is giving up may not mean much to him if the finances are the dominating factor. But that does not mean that the player is not a highly-effective fantasy contributor. The outcome could be a perfect rental obtained at a minimal price.

 

Likewise, if a rival is looking to add immediate producers, it might be a good time to dangle one of your least efficient players. You may not get much in return, but the cap space that you save can perhaps be used more efficiently moving forward.

 

If your available cap space became free due to a major injury, the only danger in acquiring salary is having your ailing player return before the season ends. This especially holds true if your league has buyout penalties for dropping someone. Just be sure to get a feel for the recovery time of the injury before taking action.

 

Planning Ahead

 

In keeper leagues, this is a great time to look at your team’s finances for next year. Keep a spreadsheet with your main roster along with each player’s cap hit for the next few years. Here is an example using the NHL’s projected salary cap ceiling of $71.1 million next year:

 

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