Fantasy hockey is a popular game where participants create their own virtual hockey team by “drafting” real NHL players. The draft is a critical component of the game as it determines the players you will have on your team for the season. Here are five key facts to help you draft successfully in fantasy hockey:
1. Research player rankings: Before the draft, familiarize yourself with player rankings across various positions. By understanding which players are considered the best in the league, you can make informed decisions during the draft. Websites and magazines dedicated to fantasy hockey often provide comprehensive rankings to help you make your choices.
2. Identify team needs: Assess your team’s current strengths and weaknesses to determine which positions you need to prioritize during the draft. By identifying your specific needs, you can focus on selecting players who will contribute significantly to those areas, improving your team’s overall performance.
3. Balance scoring categories: In fantasy hockey, players earn points based on their performance in various statistical categories, such as goals, assists, power play points, and plus/minus rating. Ensure you draft players who can contribute evenly across these categories to maximize your team’s scoring potential. Overemphasizing a single category may leave your team vulnerable in others.
4. Consider injury history: While it’s impossible to predict injuries with certainty, it’s crucial to take into account a player’s injury history when drafting. Research players’ previous injuries and their potential impact on their performance. Drafting players with a clean injury record or players who have fully recovered from previous injuries can reduce the risk of losing valuable points due to player absences.
5. Don’t discount rookies and breakout candidates: While experienced players often dominate fantasy rankings, it’s essential to keep an eye on rookies and potential breakout candidates. Young players with significant potential can outperform expectations and become crucial contributors to your team. Doing some extra research on emerging players can help you identify hidden gems who may provide excellent value in later rounds.
Q1: Should I follow the draft order strictly?
A1: While draft order matters, it’s essential to remain flexible and adapt to the flow of the draft. Don’t get too fixated on sticking to a predetermined draft strategy.
Q2: Is it better to focus on star players?
A2: While star players are regarded as top picks, it’s crucial to balance your team with solid mid-level performers throughout the draft. Building a well-rounded team is key to fantasy hockey success.
Q3: How many goalies should I draft?
A3: It is advisable to draft two starting goalies to ensure you have enough coverage for injuries and rest days. Backup goalies are also valuable as they can contribute to your team’s overall save percentage.
Q4: Should I draft players from my favorite NHL team?
A4: It can be tempting to pick players from your favorite NHL team, but it’s vital to prioritize the best available players rather than personal biases. Remember, fantasy hockey is about optimizing your team’s performance.
Q5: When should I draft rookies?
A5: Drafting rookies can be a risky move since their performance is uncertain. Consider drafting them in later rounds when core positions have already been filled, allowing you to take calculated risks.
Q6: How often should I monitor player news during the draft?
A6: Staying updated with player news and training camp reports can be highly beneficial during the draft. Keep an eye on injuries, lineup changes, or any significant developments that may impact a player’s performance.
Q7: Can I trade players after the draft?
A7: Yes, most fantasy hockey leagues allow trading during the season. Trading can be an effective way to improve your team’s weaknesses or capitalize on players who may be undervalued.
Successfully drafting a fantasy hockey team requires thorough research on player rankings, understanding your team’s needs, balancing scoring categories, considering injury history, and being open to drafting rookies and breakout candidates. By following these guidelines and staying updated with player news, you can assemble a competitive team capable of competing for the fantasy hockey championship.