The Journey: Strategic Overpay & Preseason Standouts (Holmstrom, Simoneau, Kuzmenko)

Benjamin Gehrels

2022-10-01

Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing fantasy predictions and analysis along the way.

The preseason is an excellent time to sell high on prospects who are seeing preferential deployment in the early going. While the odds are that that deployment won't last, poolies are always looking for the next big thing and will likely find it hard not to be swayed at least a bit by the hype.

Before getting to a few players that fit this bill, I want to describe a concept I call Strategic Overpay that can help you win trades in fantasy.

It feels a bit pompous to put a name to something that many poolies do all the time but regardless: Strategic Overpay is when you "overpay" by adding players or prospects to your side of a trade offer so that it looks lopsided in the other manager's favour—but then replace them for free with comparable players off the waiver wire.

Most managers (myself included) love to win trades cleanly and will often reject offers that are thoughtful and balanced because the value gained is too subtle or abstract. The main benefit of appearing to overpay is that you can more likely get deals done that would otherwise fall apart in negotiations. When you factor those free players into the equation, trades can shift from an overpay to a win—or at least a lateral move that nets you a desired player. The key to executing this strategy correctly is carefully mining the wire and keeping your eye on viable replacements as you're sending out trade offers and then including your prospective waiver adds into your mental calculus.

To outline Strategic Overpay, I'l