You may not draft the best team. You may not dress the right players. But there are many ways to make sure you don't finish dead last in your hockey pool. This has never happened to me before, but from experiences it usually results in the last place finisher being relentlessly chirped and sometimes not being invited back next year. Here are five simple tips to make sure you don't suck this fantasy hockey season:
Fantasy hockey makes for some pretty good bar conversation with your buddies, and there will no doubt be some trade banter going on after a few wobbly pops. Just make sure that when you come home at 3AM you don't propose or accept any trades. You may not be yourself at the time and regret that decision when you wake up 12 hours later. This message was brought to you by Bloggers Against Drunk Trading.
Don't Give Up
So you're team is doing poorly and you think there's no point in checking anymore because you're not going to win - well suck it up. People in the league are depending on you to dress players and compete. You giving up can make or break someone winning the championship as your stats still count to something. Another thing, have some pride and if you're ship is sinking, at least go down with a fight.
Set Your Roster
Most pools allow you to set your lineup days and weeks in advance. While you won't be able to predict goalie starts or injuries, you can make sure that you have a majority of your team playing their games. Updating daily can be painstaking if you're in more than one pool, so just get it over with and set your roster for the following week and make any changes as you see fit. You don't want to be that guy who sits down to watch the game and realizes he forgot to start the Sedin's against the Oilers.
Look For Trends
Just like the stock exchange, players have trends. Hot and cold streaks need to be observed and noted. If you notice a player who has a 4 game point streak going and his next opponents include EDM, NYI and CBJ, you should probably pick them up. When we used to do the old Sporting News Hockey Fantasy they had a Price Movers in which players values were determined. Guys on hot streaks would be bought up and their stock increased, or players would be dumped and their price would plummet. Try and imagine this scenario when looking at Free Agents or Waivers as those bubble players on your roster could propel you to victory.
Know the Rules
Don't go into a draft or league blind of the rules. There are various rules that could derail your season that you need to be aware of. What are the maximum number of games to be played per position? Is there a minimum number of games your goalies have to start? Is there a limit on the number of transactions you can make? One of our favourite things is seeing a GM jump out to a massive lead because they're overplaying their games, and then begin the slow descent down when their players no longer record them points.
Do you have any fantasy hockey tips of your own?