Frozen Notes Fantasy Draft Analysis
Recently the Frozen Notes Fantasy Hockey league held its draft. There was a solid showing, with just a handful of managers unable to make an appearance. Now that the draft is in the books it’s time to take a quick look at which strategies different people employed and which players were either taken too high or too low.
First off, it’s important to know this league is purely for fun and should be viewed as such. There is a small prize or two on the line but it’s not like there are hundreds of dollars at stake. There also is a wide range of experience in this year’s league, from the seasoned veteran to the player that is trying out fantasy hockey for the first time.
Best Representation of the Home Team
One of the best aspects of fantasy hockey is that everyone is free to run their team as they see fit. They can focus on muscle, they can focus on one specific category or they can simply choose the players that they want to choose.
Seeing as this is a St. Louis Blues site and the league is mostly made up of fans of the Note, it’s not surprising that certain skaters from the STL were a hot commodity.
One manager took her team in the direction she saw fit and that was loading up with each and every member of the Blues she could get her hands on.
Team “Halak Down 4 a Knock Down” employs nearly as many skaters from the Blues as the Blues do themselves, drafting David Perron, Matt D’Agostini, Kevin Shattenkirk, Nikita Nikitin, Vladimir Sobotka and, as the team name may suggest, Jaroslav Halak. This might be a bit too many Blues skaters for some folks and might be tough to win with, but this team certainly wins in the category of best home town pride.
When you are in a league that counts both penalty minutes and hits it’s important to have a fair amount of grit and muscle in your lineup. Most teams during the draft tried to assemble a squad that could contribute equally across the categories in order to field a competitive team that isn’t overly lopsided.
Then there was team “StlBluzFan” that tossed the above strategy aside and took on the strategy of assembling a team that you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. If there’s one certainty from the Frozen Notes draft it’s that this squad should never lose the “Hits” statistic in a given week. With David Backes, Steve Ott, Cal Clutterbuck and Dustin Brown in the mix, this squad will bring the pain.
Draft the Enemy vs. Not Drafting the Enemy
From a neutral view, fantasy hockey is all about assembling the very best team you can from around the hockey universe – a practice I adhere to. In serious leagues across the industry, you must place all bias aside and pick up a player you may despise if it increases your chances of winning.
In a fairly laid back league such as the one I’m hosting, there really isn’t much pressure to be successful. Sure, you may get made fun of by all of us on Twitter but once again, it’s not like there’s huge money on the line. This led to a few managers completely avoiding players from teams like Chicago and Detroit – regardless of talent. A bold strategy, and one I wouldn’t follow myself, but it definitely added some fun and flavor to the draft’s chat room.
Slim Pickings in Net
In a 16-team league that starts two goaltenders, the position became pretty scarce in a hurry. Some managers, including yours truly, might have waited a bit too long to fill the position and as a result might have some serious issues between the pipes. I walked away with Ilya Bryzgalov and Kari Lehtonen as my two starters in net which carries a pretty large amount of risk. Backing them is … Johan Hedberg. Uh oh.
Thankfully, most other managers are in the same boat I am in, with no one special backing up their top two options. This should lead to a mad scramble to the free agent pool if any unknown or overlooked goaltender makes it in a big way at the professional level.