Top 10 Fantasy Hockey Lessons Learned This Year

Tom Collins

2021-06-21

They say you're never too old to learn, and that holds in fantasy hockey as well.

Fantasy general managers who are still clinging to the old ways will find themselves struggling each season but will chalk up the lack of success to luck. These are the GMs who consistently draft over-the-hill players believing they are still as good as when they were in their prime. These GMs overrate players that have never had success in the NHL. These GMs still draft players based on who the players line up with (two years ago, a buddy of mine who is a Leafs fan drafted Cody Ceci in a points-only pool because Ceci was going to play alongside Morgan Rielly).

Of course, those fantasy GMs are never successful as they choose not to learn from how fantasy hockey has changed over the years.

Below are 10 lessons one can learn from this fantasy season. Some will be repeat lessons for fantasy GMs who have been involved in fantasy hockey for years and have chosen to adapt how they view fantasy hockey. Those newer to the fantasy game may have learned some of the lessons the hard way.

10. Don't overrate one big season

Oftentimes, a fantasy general manager will see a player have a huge surprising campaign, and then overreach for that player in drafts the next season. Some of the top surprises in 2019-20 included Tony DeAngelo, Bryan Rust, Travis Konecny, Mika Zibanejad and J.T. Miller. They all took a step back this season for various reasons. Not every player will step back, but the ones who continue to build on their surprising season are in the minority. Keep this in mind next season when debating when to draft Mackenzie Weegar, Kevin Lankinen, Carter Verhaeghe and Mike Smith.

9. Be wary of using any stat referring to per 60 minutes

I know people who trust per 60 minutes to show why a certain player is much better than his statistics indicate, but I'm always wary of those numbers. If the player could be more productive, then why isn't the coach giving that player more ice time? And if the coach won't give the player more ice time, then how can the player become more productive? Sure, maybe Jakub Vrana's points-per-60 indicates he should be given more ice time, but you could argue the same thing about Jason Spezza, Marcus Foligno and Daniel Sprong (all among the top 25 in points/60). The top 10 in goals/60 (minimum 20 games) were Auston Matthews, Sprong, Vrana, Ross Colton, Br