The Journey: The One-Year Fantasy Rebuild

Brayden Olafson


The one-year fantasy rebuild… is it, itself a fantasy? Well, that depends on a few factors. I had a discussion with my brother-in-law this week, which prompted me to write about this topic. He’s a sophomore member of the league that I commission and obtained his current roster by way of an expansion draft. The draft, which was held last fall, left him with a roster which, in the opinion of some of our more senior members was a sure-shot last-place finisher.

A year later, The Bleacher Creatures managed a 10th place finish in the 12-team league – at times it looked like he could’ve even pushed for eighth. After another five rounds of entry-drafting, I have my money on him finishing in the top half of the league. Now, of course, the roster that he finished his inaugural year with is not the same team that he originally drafted. Through trades as well as savvy waiver and draft selections, he acquired players like Oliver Kylington, Vitali Kravtsov, Pavel Buchnevich, Bowen Byram, Nikita Gusev, and more. His vision for these players wasn't for last year’s campaign, but rather looking to the future – one to two years out to be specific.

While I don’t believe he’s got the grandest of chances to finish in the top-three of the league, I don’t think he’s that far off. In my opinion, he’s well on his way to completing what I would consider being a successful rebuild… with the bulk of the lifting done over the course of one year. 

Now, if you’re a fantasy owner who’s currently in a similar position to where The Bleacher Creatures were a year ago, what advice can I give you?

  1.  Don’t waste your time acquiring safe players – if your league is anything like the ones that I’m in, middle roster players are near worthless in trades and will not win you a championship. The ones who you have on your roster might have some value this year, but it’s likely as an injury crutch for competing teams – trade them for late picks, now! Players who have boom/bust potential are right in your wheelhouse. 
  2.  Don’t let emotions get in the way – you’ve got to sacrifice to have success. This should be relatively easy to do in fantasy hockey. Don’t hold on to the fan favorite in his mid-30s who will score 60 points this year – he’s worth more to a competitive team, squeeze him for all he’s worth!