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STOCKY HOCKEY 101: STARTING YOUR WEEK OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT

Posted by ray on Sun, 2015-10-18 18:55


MONDAY, MONDAY (STARTING YOUR WEEK OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT)

Now that we are well into the start of the NHL season, all fantasy poolies are anxious to make sure their starting lineups for the upcoming week are just about perfect.  Most fantasy pools are weekly with starting lineups due by opening faceoff Monday night (or afternoon if it’s a holiday).  Some leagues give the owner the option of making nightly changes but most of the ones I am in concentrate just on weekly lineup changes, so that;s where  iwill focus on in this article. 

First thing I look at when going my team before Monday’s deadline is to look over my team and see if I have any injuries.  Some are minor while others could be a little more serious.  All depending on the nature of the injury, or if the player is an injury prone one will influence my decision on either just benching said injured player or scanning the waiver wire and see if there is a suitable replacement.

Regardless if I have an injured player or not, I always browse through the league transactions first to see if any of my opponents dropped a nice morsel of talent onto the wire.  As is the case this week, Patrick Sharp is sitting out there but right now I sit in 6th position on the waiver wire so my chances of getting him are slim.  But you never know, so regardless of how low your chances of landing a solid forward such as Sharp, you have to put a claim in if you have a marginal player on your roster you can drop.  Even if you have no use for Sharp in your starting lineup, building up your assets with more valuable assets will only give you more firepower to pull off a trade for a player who could put your team over the top later on. 

After making a note of acceptable players on the waiver wire, the next step is to look at the weekly number of games each player has on your roster.  Players with 4 games are so tempting to put in your lineup but it’s all a matter of what teams they are playing.  It also depends on the caliber of player that you may be starting.  If you have elite players on your roster, they should be in your starting lineup even if they have 2 games that week.  The only exception is one game weekly schedule. If it came down to Tyler Seguin with 2 games versus Derek Stepan with 4, I would go with Seguin because the young talent could net you significant points in just those two games whereas Stepan may give you probably the same amount of points in his four games but the potential from Seguin is greater than Stepan’s.  If all your players have the same amount of games and you don’t know who to leave out and who to keep in, it will all depend on the strength of schedule of both player’s teams.  Even well-conditioned hockey players get tired, so having 4 games in a week’s time is not necessarily a good thing, but having your elite forwards with 4 games in a week will definitely give you a charge.

One tactic that I have used in the past in leagues with weekly lineup changes that use 6 forwards is to draft 5 really good scoring forwards and then alternate my 6th depending on the strength of schedule.  In leagues that allow add/drops, this strategy can work to your advantage by picking up players who are in the beginning of hot streaks that don’t necessarily warrant an immovable roster position.  Or the player could be filling in a top line spot for a forward that will be out due to injury for a week or so.  Sometimes those players give you a tremendous boost in weekly points while some of your regular forwards are slumping or lukewarm during that stretch.

Another good check is to make a list of hometown newspaper links in your FAVORITES section on your taskbar and quickly go through each team’s write-ups to find some information like possible line changes or ideas that the team may try. You can also get a good feel on how your player is feeling or how confident they are.