I’ll get to my full fantasy team later, but first I want to give you rookies out there a tip on drafting in case you’re looking for some help.
If you’re using Yahoo fantasy hockey, arrive at least 15 minutes before your draft is supposed to start and enter the draft room. Once the draft room loads you will see the player rankings, and off to the right of that is your player queue. In that queue is where you want to put all the sleepers, so with the extra 15 minutes you have before the draft starts that’s what you’ll be doing.
First scroll down beyond the top 150 player rankings and pick out all your sleepers and drag them over to your queue, as well as what I like to call the Yahoo forgottens, you know players that missed games last season and all the sudden get throw to the bottom by yahoo rankings. For example Brad Richards was down there in the rubble.
You will then want to fill up your queue with about 10-12 players at least, and these are the players you should have targeted to take to fill out your utility and bench spots later in the draft, and maybe even your starting roster spots depending on how your draft goes. You have to use your judgment on when you think it’s a good time to take one of your sleepers or else you’ll find yourself waiting to long to draft next and certain players will wind up gone.
Also, make sure to draft any players not on your queue before 90 seconds or else the first player in your queue will be drafted. Don’t worry, 90 seconds is enough time if you have a cheat-sheet by your side, even if you have back to back picks.
By doing all of this you will see how much deeper your fantasy team becomes. It also makes the draft so much easier in the second half while other managers scramble around trying to find the right pick. And with that extra time you have you can add more sleepers if need be.
When you’re done with the draft, this doesn’t mean all the sleepers are gone. Go to your waiver wire and go through the available players. Find the players you like and mark the blue flag by their name, this puts them on your watch list, so it will be easier for you to track them down the road.
One of the most underrated aspects of fantasy sports is your player depth. Between injuries and inconsistency through the season, it can help you so much to have good available players right on your bench because you never know if your team is the one that will be hit with the injury bug. It’s really the difference between 2-3 spots in the end, which could mean championship or third place, or playoffs or no playoffs depending on your style of league.
Some of my notable bench players last season that I drafted were Martin Havlat, Jiri Hudler, Sheldon Souray and Bobby Ryan (Sheldon Souray and Martin Havlat fell under the Yahoo forgottens category). I also had Tim Connolly and Dave Bolland on my watch list before the season started. With my last roster spot I went with Tim and used him on fill-in nights. He was nearly a point per game player and good on faceoffs for me. I won the league with ease, and with ease because of my depth.
My team this season. YFS = Yahoo forgottens and sleepers (some of the players on my queue card before the draft).
C – Sidney Crosby
C – Eric Staal
C – Brad Richards (YFS)
LW – Patrick Marleau
LW – Alexander Frolov
RW – Brad Boyes
RW – Ales Hemsky
D – Dan Boyle
D – Tomas Kaberle (YFS)
D – Lubomir Visnovsky (YFS)
Utility – Paul Stastny (YFS)
Utility – T.J. Oshie
Goalie – Tim Thomas
Goalie – Chris Mason
Bench – Drew Doughty (YFS)
Bench – Ryan Whitney (YFS)
Bench – Drew Stafford
Bench – Steve Sullivan (YFS)
Bench – Kyle Turris (YFS)
Bench – Craig Anderson (G)
I had second overall pick in my draft. I knew Ovechkin was going first. Matter of fact the manager (my friend) even told me in the chat room he was taking Ovechkin. Now it was my choice of either Crosby or Malkin, because I was definitely taking one of the two. I projected Crosby to have the better season this year, but his injuries from recent seasons played a small part in me thinking I should take Malkin because he never misses games. I said screw it, Crosby is my guy and I’m sticking with him so I took him second overall with my first pick.
From there things went smoothly. I wanted at least one grade A player at all positions. I was able to achieve that plus one. I also wanted to be deep at center because in my leagues we count faceoff wins for points. It’s also good to be deep at center to fill out your utility spots on most nights.
On my wings I tried to go for strictly goals scorers. I think I made out good enough with three potential 30+ goal scorers. I wanted defenseman who rack up the assists. I think I did good there as well, and it helped balanced my team out.
I’m hoping I have a few breakout candidates on my bench in Kyle Turris, Drew Doughty and Drew Stafford. And I’m hoping I have two comeback players in Sullivan and Whitney. I think I’m in good shape overall.