Learning the Game of Fantasy Hockey
Daily fantasy hockey leagues are surprisingly complex, but that isn’t something that should keep you from playing. If anything, it gives you an area of weakness to exploit when competing against others. After all, winning is part of what makes competition so much fun!
Let’s take a look at some of the basics of daily fantasy hockey, and then explore what you can do to improve your odds of winning money playing.
First – How to Play?
The rules and the scoring process will be slightly different from site to site, but whether you are playing fantasy hockey at FanDuel or at DraftKings, the basic premise is the same. You have a limited amount of money to work with in your salary, and your goal is to use that money to select the best players possible. You need to fill up your roster and not go over the salary cap, all the while trying to pick the players that will give you the highest point total. It doesn’t matter if another player chooses someone that you want, in fact, every single roster could theoretically look exactly the same. But because of the huge number of choices, this will never happen. However, that shouldn’t stop you from trying to figure out what your opponent will be thinking, and how you can outsmart them.
There are a lot of things that influence the score of a fantasy hockey team. You want players that can rack up both offensive and defensive numbers, and this is part of what makes the game so tough to master. However there are little things that you can learn that will make the game a lot easier to win.
Winning Daily Fantasy Hockey
#1: Watch and enjoy the sport You don’t have to be a hockey fan to play fantasy hockey. But, if you’ve ever played before, you know that having an intimate knowledge of the game is never going to hurt you and will only help you to beat the competition. Being a fan and knowing the sport are two different things, though. You want to be able to watch a game, but also pick up on the little things that make each layer thrive in certain situations. This is all knowledge that you can apply to drafting a better team, and it’s something that the casual fan will never be able to learn just by looking at stats.
#2: Figure out who’s the best at scoring fantasy points, not who’s the best There’s a difference in who is the better hockey player and who is the better fantasy hockey point scorer. The difference here is more pronounced than in other sports. It’s easy to watch a baseball game and see that Clayton Kershaw is a dominant pitcher, draft him onto your team, and then start scoring points. In hockey, sometimes the unsung heroes are the best. You can rack up points for little things like shots on goal, passing, and assists, and you will sometimes find that the top scorers in your fantasy league are not the top players on the ice. Once you are able to make this distinction, you will find your league rankings begin to shoot up.
#3: Don’t let your favorite team get in the way If you’re a huge New York Islanders fan, but they are having a bad year, drafting your favorites from this team will have a negative impact on your fantasy performance if they are underperforming. Even if you hate the Boston Bruins, if they have the best players for your draft, you need to grab them. It can feel like you’re betraying your favorite team at times, but this has nothing to do with your fandom, and everything to do with winning your own competitions.
#4: Learn how to scout out value Value is the key to spreading your money out and putting it in only the right places. If there are two players at center, and both are valued at $6,000, how do you know which one is better? If you have to choose between a player that typically scores 12 points per game, and one that scores 14, the 14 point player is usually the best. You are paying the same for them, but giving yourself a project extra 2 points. You are getting better value with the higher point scorer because your salary is generating more points for you. Everyone has the same amount of salary to work with, but the person who can squeeze the most out of each player on their roster within that salary will win. That’s what value will do for you.
#5: Make exceptions Sometimes the player that will get you the most amount of points overall is the most expensive, and sometimes they are worth every penny. In this case, they have value, even though they are expensive. The value isn’t in how much they cost, remember, but how well they help your team to win. You can always find value in the rest of your team, but if you don’t make this exception here, you won’t be in the running. It’s a judgment call, but you should be able it make it when you need to.
The Bottom Line
If you are playing daily fantasy hockey to win–and who isn’t?– then you need to approach it with the right mindset. You need to be able to dissect stats and apply their value to fantasy points, and you need to be able to have an open mind so that you can keep learning as you go. Hockey is fun to watch; it’s fast paced and exciting. Having an increased amount of interest in it because of your fantasy teams will only make the game that much more exciting to watch on TV. The better you get at predicting players’ performances, the more fun this game will become for you, and the better your chances of winning money will become.