Completed my Yahoo fantasy hockey draft Sunday afternoon, now ready to set everything up for the first week of the season! Week 1 will start with the first games on Wednesday, October 2 until the final games on Sunday October 13th.
I already knew going in to the draft that I would be relying on the Yahoo rankings, and they definitely came in handy! I had the 8th pick out of 12, so the top stars were already gone but getting Brad Marchand from Boston worked out nicely. I knew a quality goalie would be necessary to have any kind of success so I grabbed Ben Bishop from the Dallas Stars with my second pick.
As I stated last week, I like having players that can be used in multiple positions so you have more flexibility when setting up lineups, especially when injuries occur. The next couple of picks reflected this, grabbing Claude Giroux and Jamie Benn, who are both available to put in a starting Center position or left/right wing slot.
By the 8th round, I realized I had not drafted a defenseman yet, which may come back to haunt me during the season. It appears the upper level defenseman were already taken, so I chose the best available at that time Shea Weber from the Montreal Canadiens. By this point the rest of my lineup was basically set with forwards, but I still needed 3 more defense man and another starting goalie.
Of course, when in the middle of a draft sometimes you change strategies. I noticed the remaining defenseman were ranked much farther down, so the next 2 picks I decided to pick up more right wing players to bolster my bench, thinking that I could still get the people I was targeting in a few rounds.
I think this was the point in the draft that I realized that I should have gotten a second goalie much earlier. I ended up with Robin Lehner, who as of now is the back up goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks but looks as though he will eventually take over the starting job. As I look over other teams, most had at least 2 goalies by the time I had drafted my second, but I guess this is something I will remember for next season! For now, I will be looking over the wavier wire for a possible replacement/upgrade for my current players.
After getting my goalie situation somewhat taken care of, I finished getting the defensemen needed to fill out my starting lineup then picked a couple more forwards to place on the bench for backups. Overall I am happy with my players, considering this is my first time in a fantasy hockey league. We will see how this plays out over the season.
Week One Opponent – Ruff Life
So for the first week of the fantasy hockey season my players will be putting up points against the players from a Ruff Life. Looking at his profile, he has been playing fantasy hockey since 2006, so this may be a “ruff” first week for me! However, it may also be a good learning experience to see how a veteran player sets up their team. I have no expectations to win every week this year, but it would be nice right?
I also noticed it shows how many games left for you players are listed at the top of the match up page. As of right now, I have 61 games to play, whereas my opponent has 64 available. I will have to keep an eye on that and change my players in and out from the bench in order to maximize my potential points.
You are also required to make sure that your goalies have played at least 3 games every week. If you do not reach the minimum, you will lose all games, and subsequently all points earned, from you goalies that week. Should not be a problem, with most teams typically playing 2-3 games per week and 2 goalies starting on my lineup.
Waiver Wire Pick ups
After the draft is over, now is a good time to look over the waiver wire to see if maybe somebody slipped through the cracks. Obviously you are not going to find Sidney Crosby here, but you never know if maybe you can find somebody worth stashing on you bench to see if they eventually break out. Remember that Yahoo has changed the waiver system, combined the rolling system with the FAAB (Free agent acquisition budget). I am number 5 in the waiver order, but more importantly I have $100 to use throughout the season for these free agents.
Since I am thin at the goalie position, I put in a waiver request for a goalie that is battling for the starting position on his team. Can’t tell you who yet, but that information will be told in next week’s post :-). I figure that since no games have been played yet, there will not be a lot of competition for the free agents, so I put in a waiver with $0 from my budget. Once again this could be a bad idea, but this is a learning process so we will see how it plays out. The waiver system runs October 2nd, and players will be available on October 3rd.
Setting Line Ups
I am much more comfortable playing fantasy football, having played it a large part of my life. With having games set on certain nights you really only have to check your team a few times during the week. With hockey (and other sports) there are multiple games each day throughout the week, so I will need to check in on a daily basis to make sure my players are in if they have a game. Although not as many games as say baseball, there are still many opportunities to miss a player that is on the bench and lose those points gained by that player.
Let the Puck Drop!
As I have stated before, I have been a hockey fan for a very long time, but this is my first journey into fantasy hockey. I am excited to play and learn how it goes! Once again, I will have weekly posts so you can accompany me along this trip, so please leave comments and any advice you can give me! Happy hockey season!