Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Playing in a fantasy hockey league can be great fun and it is a terrific way to keep up-to-date with the news and learn a lot about the sport as well. Having fun and learning at the same time – who could ask for more?
First you have to sign up somewhere. If you are reading this I’ll take it for granted that you found a place to play. Yahoo fantasy games are probably the most popular on the Internet and their games are free.
Once you are in a league, you will need to get players for your team. This may be through a live online draft or an auto-pick draft. Either way, you will need players for each position and a few spares to sit on your bench. The scoring categories will determine the type of players you will want to select. For example, if plus/minus is a factor in your league you will want to try and get players from winning teams where the skaters will be more inclined to score higher with this statistic.
Another thing to take note of is the emphasis on goaltending. There may be a total of ten statistical categories for your fantasy league, but four of those ten may be for goalies. In this example, there is more emphasis on scoring, so you won’t want to have too many goaltenders on your team.
Now that you have a team with players you will want to make certain you check up on your team daily. This way you will be able to put players that may be on the bench, where they will not earn you any points, into the game. You will also be able to keep track of incidents such as injuries and stay on top of them.
You will want to keep an eye on the free agent pool too. This encompasses all the players that were not drafted, were dropped by other teams or rookies that were not available at draft time. You may need goal scoring, so by seeing if there is a hot free agent who is scoring goals you will be able to snatch him up and utilize him on your team. You will have to drop one of your current players to make room for him though. The only exception would be if you have an injured player and your league allows for the injured reserve (IR). Then you could place the injured player in the IR spot and grab another player from the free agent pool.
This provides the very basic things you need to know to start playing fantasy hockey. You will learn a lot more as the season progresses. By staying active in a fantasy hockey league you will learn about the players, the teams and the sport in general. As an added bonus, you may get to boast about how you finished first.