Friday, September 28, 2007

This Month in Fantasy Hockey - September

Just this year, my camp friends and I, started our very own Fantasy Hockey Pool and we just completed our draft today. So to celebrate that I will be offering my thoughts on my pool and maybe some other suggestions for any would be fantasy hockey players out there.

To start with there are 11 people in our pool and everyone was given 3 each of Centres, Left Wingers, Right Wingers, and Goaltenders, with 4 Defensemen, 2 Forwards (of any positions) and 3 Bench players. It was an auto draft, so we had to rank all of the players and the league randomly decided the draft order and it just drafted the highest ranked player left.

Anyway, through the random selection I ended up with the last (11th) pick. Fortunately for me the rounds followed a reverse order, giving me the first pick of the 2nd round, then the last pick of the 3rd round and so on. Through the magic of the random draft here is who I ended up with. The first number is the round they were chosen in and the number in brackets is their overall rank in the draft...

The G-Unit
1. (11) Jaromir Jagr - RW
2. (12) Vincent Lecavalier - C
3. (33) Evgeni Nabokov - G
4. (34) Olli Jokinen - C
5. (55) Eric Staal - C
6. (56) Brian Rafalski - D
7. (77) Scott Gomez - C
8. (78) Mathieu Schneider - D
9. (99) Brian Campbell - D
10. (100) Wade Redden - D
11. (121) Peter Budaj - G
12. (122) Bill Guerin - RW
13. (143) Alexander Radulov - RW
14. (144) Mike Knuble - RW
15. (165) Tomas Holmstrom - LW
16. (166) Dustin Brown - LW
17. (187) Jason Chimera - LW
18. (188) Wade Dubielewicz - G
19. (209) Vaclav Prospal - C
20. (210) Nathan Horton - C
21. (231) Radim Vrbata - RW

Now I have never done an auto draft before, so I have some pretty mixed results on this one. First off, I am really happy with my top four picks. I don't know how Jagr was still available in the 11th spot, since I think he will have another monster year, with an even better forward cast, and Lecavalier is always a strong pick. I think that the Sharks are going to rack up the wins and Nabokov is probably the best goalie that is not named Luongo, Brodeur, or Kiprusoff to take (all where taken in the first round). Lastly Jokinen is a solid player to add points and penalty minutes, and hopefully he'll end up in the plus side of things.

After that, I'm really happy with my Defense, as I am certain that I have the best D-Men in my fantasy league. All of these guys should produce big points for me, especially Rafalski, who should be able to get a ton of points playing on Detroit this year.

Three of my picks stand out to me in particular, Scott Gomez, Peter Budaj and Vaclav Prospal. I am certain that all three of them should put up good numbers this year. Gomez will be among the league leaders in assists this year and should have a strong plus/minus playing for the offensive New York Rangers. Budaj really broke out last year and the Avalanche are going to be an even stronger team this year so he should have some pretty big numbers in the wins column. Lastly Prospal is one of those players who seems to alternate between good year and bad year, and well he had a bad year last year plus his contract is coming up so I think that he will be a solid point producer, especially playing for the offensive Lightning.

What I'm not happy with is how week my Left and Right Wingers are. I had a ton of players on those positions ranked high on my list but there were all taken first. Now if this had have been a live draft and I was so short on wingers I would have bumped one of them up even higher. Instead I'm stuck with some week Left Wingers, but I hope to be able to swing a trade to help that category out. So I guess that's my advice to any poolies out there, pay attention to your wingers. It's easy to keep drafting high scoring centres but you need wingers as well. If this had have been a live draft I never would have taken Staal at that spot, instead focusing on an available winger. Ahh well, live and learn I guess...

Anyway, my plan for this feature is to outline any changes I have made and pooling lessons I have learned to pass on to everyone. I hope you enjoy the ride, and until then, happy pooling.

Until next time,


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