I have played many fantasy sports in my life, however I have never participated in a fantasy hockey league. So I have decided to remedy this, and joined a Yahoo Fantasy Hockey League. They have both free version and paid leagues, but since this is my first venture into the world of fantasy hockey I decided to go the free route. I am sure my wife will be happy with that! While going through this journey I will write weekly updates so you all can follow with me.
First step – set up the draft date and time
Since I am off on Sundays, it made since to set up my draft for then. The regular season begins next week so this Sunday was perfect. 1 pm was available, so I picked that time. I noticed these were 12 teams total in the league, not all taken yet but I am sure they will be by Sunday. The default name for my team is Travis’s team, which will be fine until I can think of a cool name to replace it. If you have any suggestions, please leave it in the comments section at the end of this post!
Now that I am set up in the league, time to look over the website. First thing I see is a notice at the top of the page saying the waiver system has been changed, and will be continuous waivers with the FAAB (free agent acquisition budget). Very interesting, I have never seen both systems used simultaneously.
Time to look over the Settings
Next I am looking for the settings tab, so I can become familiar with the rules. Pretty standard stuff here, tells how many teams are in the league, when the draft is, scoring type (head-to-head) and the amount of time I have to make a pick during the draft, which is set at 1 minute. Guess that means I need to study a little before the draft so I have a little idea of how I want my team to look.
A few other things to note, the trade deadline is set for February 19, 2020. There is a maximum of 4 acquisitions per week, and a minimum of 3 goalie appearances. The playoffs consist of 6 teams, and will last 3 weeks ending on April 4, with the last week actually lasting 13 days from March 23rd til April 4th.
There’s a lot of spots on these rosters!
The starting roster consists of 2 centers, 2 left wing, 2 right wing, 4 defensemen and 2 goalies. Along with this there are 4 bench spots and one spot for injured reserve. The goalies get points for wins, goals against average (GAA), Save percentage (SV%) and shutouts (SHO). The rest get points for goals (G), assists (A), plus/minus (+/-), power play points (PPP), shots on goal (SOG), and hits (HIT).
I will be leaning heavily on the Yahoo fantasy hockey rankings since this is my first time through. I spent many summers in my childhood with my grandmother in Calgary, Alberta. She taught me a lot about the sport of hockey, but I am sure just like other fantasy sports that just because a player is good in real life it doesn’t mean they are good for a fantasy team.
Time for a mock draft
My first mock draft I am second, which is a good spot to start. I will not know my actual draft position until Sunday afternoon, so I will be doing multiple mock drafts throughout the order just to get a feel for how the draft will play out at those different positions. These are just practice, so all of the results will be discarded at the end.
Doesn’t seem like I could mess up my first pick, with lots of superstars still available. I went with Alex Ovechkin, since he has been putting up great numbers for quite some time now. One of the things that I love about Yahoo draft rooms, is that it shows you where your next pick is if everybody picks the next best player (according to rank). That way I am able to see realistically what players I will have to choose from when my next turn.
One minute is not a lot of time, so I am glad this is just a mock draft! Throughout the next few days I will do a few more of these, trying different strategies. I noticed early on that some players have multiple positions, similar to baseball, and I like to have some of them on my team to give me a little more flexibility when putting in my team. At the end I will get an email telling me how good of a draft I had, at least according to the Yahoo rankings.
Well now I have done my first mock draft, familiarized myself with the league’s setting and have a general idea of how things are going to go Sunday in my actual draft. This will be a fun season, I am looking forward to it! I will be back after the draft to tell you how it goes. As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below, and any team name suggestions are more than helpful!