Week 21: Busting The Moves

The Process

O.k, so here’s the idea: use this space as an opportunity to look back at the fantasy hockey week and at the thinking behind the moves I made and the results. I’m not looking to get down on a statistical level because that’s not my wheelhouse. IPP, Corsi For, Expected Goals Per 60? Still an elementary student, but I’m learning and you can too. In the meantime, I listen to what my teachers have to say with respect to those advanced statistics and use their guidance to help me. 

And I think that’s perfectly o.k. 

It doesn’t make my approach nor your approach less valid, but rather learning along the way will help you become better at the game. You know, 2+2. A little combo action. That’s what I’m talking about. 

So instead, I’d like to let you hear what goes into my thinking with respect to my daily and weekly roster decisions. 

Hopefully, you can gain some insight into why I made the moves I did in my leagues and how these moves impacted my matchup, what I learned, and more importantly how you can use these insights + the analytics to help you become more successful in your fantasy hockey leagues.

Please keep in mind that I don’t yet have the format kinks worked out because this is an evolving undertaking. For now, just know that the plan is to make this a regular feature to help you make better fantasy hockey decisions. 

While I do have two leagues, I’m going to focus the first piece of this new venture on my Yahoo Public Categories Team.

These categories are pretty typical for a 12-team league and include: Goals, Assists, +/-, PPP, SOG, and Hits for Skaters and Wins, Goals Against Average (GAA), Save Percentage (SV%), and Shut Outs (SHO) for goalies.

Some Deets:

I think it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not necessarily the specific players that are the key here. 

The point is the thinking process. And while I can’t promise you that it’s rational, I can promise you that I spend a lot of time ruminating over adds and drops in the hopes that you don’t have to do as much. 

As for specific players to add and drop, again, rely on your own research, ask questions, know your team and league settings and needs, and use the analytics from the experts. 

On Repeat

Said it before, I’ll say it again. 

Use resources like Apples and Ginos for their expertise with regard to analytics. Nate and his crew are masters at getting into the weeds and digging up the numbers and rationale to help you with your decision making. 

Ultimately, no one knows your team better than you do and you’re going to have to make the moves that you think will help you best. However, their information and insights can help stack the odds in your favor. They’ve done the heavy lifting, all you have to do is hold the door open.

The Sitch

I entered Week 21 in 3rd Place a few points behind the two leaders, but within serious striking distance for a coveted Week 23 bye which is the first week of my league’s playoffs.

Unfortunately for me, the standard league waiver wire add rules do not allow same day adds (my preference). In other words, I have to make a free agent waiver claim the day before any potential add. If successful, the player is then rostered on my team for the next day. Sort of annoying, but something that I have to keep in mind when contemplating moves. 

The overall objective for me going into Week 21 was (and usually is), to pick up the best players who play the most AND who I can fit into MY roster. Sounds so basic right? And yet, I know many otherwise successful managers who just pick up the best available players without regard to schedule maximization and roster management. 

We’re going to change that though right? Cool. 

Honestly, Week 21 was a challenge for me. I try my hardest to limit the amount of players I have on any given night sitting on my bench. There are few things that churn my stomach more than watching a benched player go bananas while the player I’ve selected to start is busy making donuts. But sometimes having players on your bench cannot be avoided. My goal is to have only one or two guys sitting on any given night. And I’m talking max. Like I said, it’s a goal that’s not always attainable. 

There were some seriously heavy nights and even I had some hair-splitter decisions to make. 

The Adds for Week 21 and The Whys

Mikael Backlund, Calgaryfour games, two off nights, I could fit him for all four games. Love the Monday and Friday night week bookends. Put in a waiver claim for him on the Sunday night before the week started and was able to pick him up on Monday. Week 21 Stats: 1 G, 2 A, -2+/-, 2 PPP, 12 SOG, 5 Hits

Troy Terry, Anaheimfour games, two off nights, good fit. Love the Sunday game too. Always looking for the Sunday games. Underwhelming year so far, imo, but was looking for games played and he was available. Like Backlund, made the waiver claim on the Sunday night before the week and was successful. Week 21 Stats: 1 G, 0 A, 2 +/-, 0 PPP, 5 SOG, 0 Hits

Evan Bouchard, Edmontonthree games, didn’t care about fit because I drafted him as my first d-man selected this year and I’m a sentimentalist. Dropped early on due to Tyson Barrie Syndrome. Picked him up after the trade deadline for his potential on Edmonton’s top PP. Enough said. Fingers crossed that his PP1 deployment was legit and would stick down the stretch. This was a looking-ahead type-of pickup. Same deal as with the others. Made the claim on Sunday night…Week 21 Stats: 1 G, 0 A, 1 +/-, 0 PPP, 6 SOG, 1 Hit

Filip Forsberg, Nashville (IR)a for old-times sake pick up. Drafted him this year, dropped him when he went on IR, picked him back up with my last pick of the week just because. So we’ll see. Nashville has a lot of games in the next two weeks and I’m fighting to get a bye. He was such a beast last year and I didn’t do my homework going into the year so I just sort of expected that the machine would keep rolling. That’s how it works right? Used my last add for the week and did so on the Sunday at the end of Week 21 because I had some extra dough in my pocket. Week 21 Stats: On IR

The Hot Potatoes 

Luke Schenn, Toronto- loved him for being a hit monster when he had better deployment in Vancouver. Now, not so much. Hate to give up the periphs, so I’ll have to make sure I try to balance it out with my future adds. 

Tanner Jeannot, Tampa Baysee above and add the idea that Tampa has a relatively lousy playoff schedule. I mean, I picked him up last week because I needed hits and he does that and there’s an off chance that he gets some points elsewhere. He did help me last week, but this week it’s Streamer City. 

Note: I had one open spot prior to the week’s start and Forsberg was an IR add so I didn’t have to drop anyone else other than Schenn and Jeannot. 

It’s the Little Things

Ended the week in a 5-5 tie which went right down to the wire. In that last game, one of my players, honestly I forget who, got a + which tied the +/- category for me and earned my team the tie. This little stat change coupled with the fact that the previous first place team got housed, moved me into second place in the league and hopefully closer to a first week bye (my league’s playoffs begin in Week 23).

Lesson learned: I went into the week with the goal of doing what I could to overwhelm my opponent with games played. I kind of wanted to retest the strategy of maximizing games played and looked ahead for holes in my lineups that I could fill with adds. Of course the adds have to be legit and not just some random players. And for the most part, the strategy worked. For this week. 

Bottom line: my adds plus the over-performance of my core players helped me tie my weekly matchup. And in the end, that tie was a win because I had been chasing my opponent for most of the week. Now I’m in second place going into my league’s final week before the playoffs.

Thanks for reading and best of luck this week and for the rest of the season. 

Mike@Fantasy Hockey Professor

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