Thursday, 6 October 2011

NHL Season

Besides being overly excited at not having any chance of actually going to a Jets games in the next 3 years unless I win what I expect to be 1 of 1000 tickets with ~800,000 people trying to win the right to buy them and having to watch games on TSN, I picked a rather exciting (eccentric?) team for my fantasy hockey league.

It's a rotisserie league, which means that you get points towards your overall score based on how you do in different stat categories. We use the standard Goals, Assists, +/-, Penalty Minutes, Shots and Time On Ice, Goalie Wins, Goals Against and Save % along with a few role player categories like Hits and Blocked Shots to keep it interesting.

I got crushed in last years league. So I re-thought the strategy behind trying to win multiple stat categories and came up with the conclusion that it's fairly useless to aquire all the "best" players and crush the Goals and Assists categories and fail miserably at the other 8 or so categories. Case in point: Stamkos. Nets a lot of points, doesn't do a damn thing besides that. He's about number 4-5 on most peoples' lists. He's 30th on mine.

So being the HUD-bot that I am, I grabbed the top 400 ranked players and their projected 2012 stats, threw the whole mess into Excel, figured out the average for each stat and then gave each player a relative ranking for each stat and summed them up for an overall relative rank. The result: I have a bunch of guys that are either extremely good in one category (Downie's PIM) and will nearly crush that category by themselves or are above average and very well rounded. I am going to look like a genius if my theory pans out or an idiot if it doesn't since the majority of my players were listed by ESPN rankings as 100+ on the draft list. According to my calculations I have a 20% edge over the field of 9 other teams at this point.

Besides the few top scorers who are the most valueable for being able to win the scoring categories outright (Ovechkin, Sedin's), there is a very fast drop off in relative value for forwards while defenceman become important quickly, especially the ones that can contribute a ton offesively due to their high value in Blocked Shots, ATOI, Hits, and PIM. I consider goalies to be on the lower value end since they're only participating in 3 categories so the fact that the rest of my league picked goalies in the first 3 rounds helped a lot in getting me Sedin along with stat monsters Lucic, Hossa and Chara.

When it was all finished I was pleasantly surprised to find the majority of my team coming from Boston, Vancouver, Chicago and Detriot. I thought I might as well continue with this HUD-bot strategy and I'm going to be tracking Power Rankings trends to decide which players I want to play against which teams. For example, if I have 2 starting goalies and the teams they're facing Ottawa, Edmonton and Tampa Bay, clearly it doesn't matter so much which of my 3 goalies is best compared to which team they're playing against. Vice versa for which goalies / team defence my skaters are going to be playing against.

Should be fun.

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