Ramblings: Borrowing Fantasy Football Draft Strategies; New Parent Production (Sept 15)

Alexander MacLean


My fantasy sports passion is largely focused on fantasy hockey, but I do partake in the occasional league for other sports. I play in one league each year for fantasy football, and it's one that I have found a fair degree of success in having finished no lower than fourth in the last four years, with a pair of second place finishes as my ceiling. In those four years, I have watched a total of three games (all Superbowls) and not done much research at all. In fantasy football, more than most fantasy sports, it's not about knowing more, it's about a bit of strategy and a whole lot of luck.

I want to borrow a few fantasy football strategies and see how they can be applied to hockey.

Eschewing the deepest position

In fantasy football, all of the top point scorers are quarterbacks, yet they don't start going off the board in earnest until around round four at the earliest. Their stats are also very projectable, unlike NHL goalies, and yet they don't command nearly the draft capital that you would expect had you never played fantasy football before. The reason is that ALL of the quarterbacks put up solid point numbers, so there isn't the same scarcity that you see with the top end players at other positions.

There isn't a direct comparison in hockey, as goalies can be voodoo and also have very broad tiers, but they are also generally worth fading in my opinion because of the inconsistencies and the fact you can usually get better value earlier in the draft with the surer things as your skaters. Breaking up the skaters into positions though, centres tend to be plentiful, and you can typically find value on them later than wingers, and especially later than defencemen (who are more the like RBs in that the good ones go early and there is more of a drop off).

Loading up on prime pieces and their handcuffs

In football, with the big producers being those key volume RBs, when those players go down with an injury, often the entire role is assumed by the backup RB. Now, the backup isn't usually quite as talented as the incumbent, but given the same opportunity they can put up close to similar numbers. What this means is that even the backup RBs are owned for most teams, and their stock can go through the roof at the twist of an ankle.

In hockey, roles aren't quite as defined, and even taking over a wing spot with Connor McDavid or becoming the defenceman running the powerplay for a team with a load of firepower up front doesn't guarantee success. Oftentimes injuries for hockey teams are filled in with more of a committee approach (except for goalies of course). That being said, paying attention to roles, and who is coming into opportunity is important in hockey as well, but usually more so in the offseason. Who went in or out from a specific team that will drastically change a role is a key thing to review before your drafts. Luckily, we have you covered there too with the Offseason Fantasy Grades articles. Here's the link to the first one: Anaheim Ducks.

Making your own luck (And Playing the Schedule)</