League Scoring and Settings, Price Check
If you haven’t already, have a listen to the latest Keeping Karlsson podcast. Elan and Brian’s topic this week is fantasy hockey architecture, where they discuss and debate a wide variety of topics related to league rules and formats. I thought I would weigh in with some of my own opinions related to this subject.
Head-to-head vs. rotisserie
If you are assembling a dozen or so of the most passionate fantasy hockey players and you want to crown the greatest fantasy hockey mind of the bunch as the unquestioned champion, then you go roto. But if you have a first timer or two in your league and you don’t want anyone to bail if their team falls to the bottom, then H2H is the way to go. I can remember constructing one of my fantasy hockey leagues and asking which format everyone wanted, and the overwhelming majority chose head-to-head. In spite of the randomness of one week to the next, H2H seems to do a better job at forming rivalries or just plain keeping everyone involved.
I would personally like to play in more roto leagues (I play in two H2H leagues and just one roto league – but that is enough leagues for me right now, so I’d graciously decline any more league invites). I can say that the bounces have gone both ways for me in the H2H leagues. In one league, I have yet to win a championship even though I’ve played in the league for a decade. Yet in the other league, I’ve won the championship four out of the past five seasons. I don’t think my teams in that league have been that dominant since I haven’t been the regular-season winner that many times, yet in the other league I consistently make the playoffs with nothing to show for it. In fact, I’d trade one of my championships in the one league for just one in the other.
You do what you like and what everybody likes, speaking from a commish point of view (I’m the commish in both my H2H leagues). Get rid of plus/minus and penalty minutes only if the majority of league owners seem to want to. I count plus/minus in both my H2H leagues and no one really says anything about it. I know there’s many that say plus/minus is the most misleading stat out there, but in both leagues it doesn’t affect league scoring by more than about 10 percent, so I’m not all that bothered by its presence.
The stats I will say you shouldn’t use, though, are the random ones, even though they can be fun at times. Yahoo used to use game-winning goals as a default stat but got rid of it, which I’m glad they did. I don’t know how you can use hat tricks as a stat, since they happen so infrequently. Same with something like shorthanded goals. I mean, are you going to add Austin Watson to your team because he finished tied for second in the league with four shorthanded goals?
I’ve asked the owners in one of my leagues if they wish to replace penalty minutes with hits. I’ve played in leagues with penalty minutes ever since I first started playing in Yahoo leagues, but I’ve always struggled with the idea that penalty minutes are good. Shouldn’t it be the reverse and your team is hurt by a player taking a penalty? That type of league would reduce Tom Wilson’s fantasy value to zero. Now that we have other measures of toughness in hits and blocked shots, maybe it’s time to remove penalty minutes.
In one league I’ve set the limit to five per week and 50 for the entire season, which doesn’t mean you can make five waiver-wire adds every week, even though some new to the league thought it did (a side note – always do your homework and read the rules – can’t stress that enough). I put the rule in because I received some complaints about streaming, which if I remember correctly was someone dipping into the waiver wire over 100 times while others were struggling just to make 10 transactions because they had very little free time.
I have no issue with taking advantage of exploiting games played to your advantage, but I also don’t want someone to be at a clear disadvantage because they’re not around a computer enough to be able to pick up a team’s backup goalie five minutes after the starter gets injured. So there has to be a measure of quality in terms of in-season pickups, not just quantity. Processing transactions at a set time once a week might be the answer. I play in both a fantasy hockey and fantasy baseball league that uses FAAB (free agent auction bidding), and it seems to work great.
Agree with the KK guys here. Lots of IR slots. Even IR+ slots, which are for the perpetual day-to-day injuries. You shouldn’t have to suffer because a team doesn’t bother placing an injured player on real-life IR. For example, I got killed one year because of a day-to-day Dominik Hasek groin injury. Just the same, your team shouldn’t be decimated because you have multiple top players sidelined. You should have enough room on your team to find a stopgap option without having to sacrifice a top player to the waiver wire simply because you’ve run out of space.
Yahoo Fantasy Hockey is open for business, so get in there and form your league or ask your commissioner to do so. Then of course, dive into the rankings and critique them.
Yesterday on Twitter I noted that former career backup Wade Dubielewicz made a completely surprise appearance in the Yahoo fantasy rankings. This has since been fixed. In the meantime, the thread turned into another discussion (like a lot of things on the internet where people can respond) where I was told I was giving Carey Price too much credit. So I’ll expand a bit on my thoughts on his ranking.
— Ian Gooding (@Ian_Gooding) August 18, 2018
Back when the regular season was winding down, I attempted to predict where Price would be drafted in a Ramblings. At the time I predicted something just outside of the top 50. So I was close with Yahoo, who ranked him at 49 (the 10th goalie on their list). Price, meanwhile, was ranked at 111 by ESPN (the 14th goalie on their list). So where should you draft Price then? Somewhere in the middle?
Here’s the thing: I do think Yahoo’s ranking was a bit too high. I agree with the responder on Twitter in that Price won’t get to 30 wins. In fact, the Habs as a team might have difficulty getting to 30 wins. That matters because 12 goalies posted at least 30 wins last season and 14 did so the season before. However, throw out last season and Price hasn’t had a save percentage lower than .923 or a goals-against average higher than 2.32 over the previous four seasons. The GAA might be a reach given the team in front of him, but you also have to give credit where credit is due and go back beyond one season in your projections.
In Yahoo there are a few goalies ranked below Price that I might move ahead of him. Devan Dubnyk and John Gibson for sure. Maybe Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray. I kind of like ratio king Antti Raanta too, although you definitely won’t need to draft him in that group. For argument’s sake I’ll keep all the goalies ahead of Price there. So that would reshuffle the deck a bit and place Price where I think he should go.
This all depends on your league settings, of course, but if Price is still around at about pick 70 or 80 in a Yahoo draft and you need a goalie, I say go ahead and grab him. The thing is, though, I don’t think he will be. If you’re reading this you’ve probably lived through a live draft or two. And if you have, you’ve probably experienced a goalie run. Many owners don’t want to be left in the cold when that happens, so I think he will be drafted by pick 60 and maybe even pick 50 because someone will see the name. By that logic, you probably want to avoid Price if his ADP is about where Yahoo has ranked him.
In an ESPN league, where Price is ranked at 111, I’d be okay with letting him drop a little further. But I am also not backing down from my claim that he’s not as bad as what you saw last season, even if the team in front of him is going to be a disaster again.
Cam Robinson checked in for another interview on Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver on Saturday. In case you’re wondering, his focus was on rookies and young players. Some of the names discussed include Evan Bouchard, Olli Juolevi, Kailer Yamamoto, and some WHL names to pay attention to for the 2019 draft. I can’t argue about any of the points he made.
For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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