A look at 10 signs your fantasy game could use some work... 



Fantasy Sports have taken off at an exponential rate in recent years. It seems that everyone and their sister and their sister’s dog has at some point had a fantasy team of some sort. Some of us take it more seriously than others though: It’s our passion. It’s our obsession. I am certainly not going to judge those who aren’t as obsessed about Fantasy Hockey as I am (my wife would probably attest that THEY are the normal ones). There is definitely a place in the world for the more casual Fantasy Hockey enthusiast. That place just isn’t in one of my leagues.



Personally, I want to be in Fantasy Hockey leagues with other top notch GMs who have the same obsession as I do, the people who live and breathe this stuff in their spare time. If you are reading this right now then there is a good chance you are one of these people. There’s nothing worse than adding a GM to your league who isn’t operating at the same level as the rest of you though. In order to avoid this issue from coming up in the future, I have compiled a list of the top 10 signs that you aren’t ready to be in my Fantasy Hockey League:



1.Your team name is “The Toronto Maple Leafs” (or “The New York Rangers” or any other NHL team name)


Let’s show some creativity here guys! Your team is Not the Toronto Maple Leafs. In all likelihood, your fantasy team likely has one or less Leaf players on its roster so let’s mix it up a bit. A couple of strategies that I have seen in leagues I am in are plays on common hockey terms or player names such as “Easton Fection”, “Mo-dano Mo-problems”, “Hejda’s gonna hate” or “Everyday I’m Byfuglien”. The way we do it in my keeper is that you have to utilize your last name in the team (I am the Campkin Cartel, another guy is the Sore Luther’s etc).  Whatever naming convention you decide to go with, the point is the same: if you can’t even put in the time to think of a creative name then you probably aren’t into Fantasy Hockey as much as I am and you aren’t ready to be in my Fantasy Hockey League.



2.You send trade offers where you are giving up two 20 goal scorers and you expect a 40 goal scorer in return.


20 + 20 = 40, right?? This is the tell-tale sign of a rookie GM: “I’ll trade you my two decent guys, for your amazing guy”. You know what, rook? You aren’t the first person to think of that….EVERYBODY wants to be on the “giving 2” end of a 2-for-1. Seasoned GMs know that in a 2 for 1 deal, the GM giving up the best player almost always loses, but they are sometimes doable. You need to understand though that a 2-for-1 offer should be more along the lines of Perry and Getzlaf for Malkin and less along the lines of Bozak and Koivu for Malkin. If you don’t get this concept, then you are not ready for my Fantasy Hockey League.



3.You don’t pay your “league dues” on time


I am not here to judge anyone’s financial position or credit rating, but for me it comes down to this: If you aren’t serious enough to pony up on time, then you aren’t serious enough to be in my league. I would also hazard a guess that the schlob in your league who doesn’t pay on time has never taken down a championship because if he had then he would know how important it is for people to pay in a timely manner when he tried to cash out in a timely manner. Pay your dues, kids…you should be expecting to win it all back anyway. If you aren’t, then you definitely aren’t ready to be in my Fantasy Hockey League.



4.You show up to the draft with a blank piece of paper and a pencil


I get it: you’re smart, you know hockey and you will be fine if you just “wing it”.  Look…I didn’t need to take notes in University either, but this is serious business now. Draft prep is probably the single most important thing to your fantasy hockey success. At my drafts, every guy shows up with their own laptop loaded with their lists, targets and in some cases instant chat to consummate trades during said draft. There is a fairly sizeable difference between “knowing hockey” and “knowing fantasy hockey”. If you think you can show up to my draft and win just because you remember who the scoring champ was in 2003, then I really hope you don’t fall into category 3 above because I am already planning how I am going to spend your money.



5.You don’t buy Dobber’s Annual Fantasy Guide


(Shameless plug portion of the article) but seriously, this ties into my last point as well. No matter how well you know hockey – you don’t know it all. I am a contributor to Dobber’s guide and I still couldn’t survive without it myself. Dobber has an army of writers spending hours watching hockey and combing through numbers. There is just no way any single human being could amass this much information themselves. You need to get the guide. There are other great publications out there as well and if you really don’t want to get Dobber’s guide for whatever reason, then at least make sure you get one of those. Dobber is the best in the business though and he updates his guide all summer long with all the latest information.  Do it.



6.You veto trades.


This one may be a bit controversial, but in my mind the only trades that should ever be vetoed are ones that are definitely collusion and if this is the case offending parties should be kicked out of the league entirely. Vetoing a trade because it is one sided is bush league. If there is a less adept GM in your league who is ready to sell a player under value, then you need to be the first to recognize the opportunity and take advantage of them. If you aren’t the one to take advantage then shame on you. Bad trades happen but that’s life in the big city. This rule goes both ways for me: if you are a GM who likes to veto trades then you aren’t ready for my fantasy hockey league but conversely if you run a league where trades are regularly vetoed then I am not ready to be in your fantasy hockey league.



7.You leave trade offers open for days on end


To be considered a legitimate GM, you need to be responsive. Personally, if a GM isn’t responding within 24 hours then I don’t want him in my league. Does that make me harsh? Maybe. Obsessive? Probably. But I don’t care. I play fantasy hockey because I love to do it and if you aren’t looking at trade offers in a timely manner then you clearly don’t love it as much as I do. I have other decisions that I am ready to make in my league depending on the outcome of my trade request to you. You aren’t ready to answer me in a timely manner? You aren’t ready to play in my league.



8.You don’t know who Radko Gudas is


It doesn’t have to be Radko Gudas name above, but I am using the long time Dobber community favorite to make a point here: there are tons of valuable players in fantasy hockey who just aren’t goals and assists guys. Most leagues now include other categories like shots, hits, PIMs, +/-, PPP etc etc. This can have a HUGE impact on who is worthwhile in your league and who isn’t. Gudas was first owned in my main keeper league during the winter of 2013. He played 22 games that year. If you still don’t know who he is (18 months later) then you certainly aren’t ready to be in my Fantasy Hockey League.



9.You draft Frans Nielsen over Shea Weber because “he gets more points”


In almost every Fantasy Hockey League, positions matter. A 50 point defenseman will help your fantasy team far more than a 55 point centre will in almost every league. Tools out there like fantasyhockeygeek.com can help you to figure out which players are worth more based on their positions and category contributions and truly advanced GMs will use tools like this to their full advantage. If you don’t at least get the concept that position eligibility has a big impact on player value though, then you aren’t ready to be in my fantasy hockey league.



10.You will never see this article because it is the Fantasy Hockey “off season”


There is no fantasy hockey offseason. For me, Fantasy Hockey is a cycle: Prepping, Drafting, Managing/Trading, Winning, Learning and then back to prepping.  If you aren’t in one of the stages of that cycle for 10-12 months a year, then you aren’t ready to be in my fantasy hockey league.



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#15 finminer 2014-07-29 01:23
I'm a bit late to the party, but I want to add my opinion that vetoing trades is for losers. If you have to veto trades, you don't have good owners; and if you do allow vetoes, then vetoing for any other reason than collusion is downright immoral.

I agree with all these points, but I will throw in one other thing - not owner specific but league specific. I won't join a league that does not have some sort of mechanism for player turnover. If you don't have this, then savvy owners take advantage of naive owners and teams get stacked. The naive owners inevitably get frustrated because they can't make headway, and they quit. It destroys the competitiveness of the league.
#14 LawMan 2014-07-22 12:24
Great article, nailed all 10 points in my opinion.

rockachop your attitude towards vetoing is terrible, you need to realize it's designed to prevent collusion and is NOT a tool to let you try and prevent others from improving their teams.

With respect to non-payment my league has a great and simple rule. If your league fees are not paid before the draft starts you lose your 2nd round pick. Simple, concise, and a significant deterrent to ensure everyone pays up. It's never had to be enforced because everyone pays the week before the draft.
#13 butch 2014-07-20 15:45
its too bad Gudas disappeared in the playoffs
#12 SteelCity14 2014-07-20 10:28
EXCELLENT article! #7 is SUPER annoying to me. I agree with that totally. Just joined a super active offseason dynasty league 5 months ago and am in love with it! Great article Dobber, kudos!
#11 rockachop 2014-07-19 13:45
Quoting rob2kx:
Rockachop: Your post made me cry a bit inside. That was an awful read.

no need to cry, it's only fantasy hockey. :P
#10 Axeman33 2014-07-19 06:21
LOL! Good stuff right here. Thanks for the saturday morning smile.
#9 patch 2014-07-19 02:22
I know you saw the backlash coming, but I also disagree about vetoing trades. Pengwin7's point is right-on. You gotta differentiate between leagues where all GM's are well-informed and perhaps people you know and random or public leagues. If a GM is the beneficiary of three 2-for-1 trades over the course of a season on the order of Bozak and Koivu for Malkin as provided in the article, he/she can become an almost insurmountable "super-team" compared with the rest of the league. An ability to veto trades is the only recourse you have to preventing this kind of hegemony through unbalanced trades.
-2 #8 rob2kx 2014-07-18 20:05
Rockachop: Your post made me cry a bit inside. That was an awful read.
#7 5hole 2014-07-18 18:55
2 championships in 5 years ( dynasty) while usually always in the top 5 of 14 and I'm the last to pay my dues...lol.

Walked into playoff pool without even pen and paper while everyone had laptops and links to fricken nasa! Took down the 1k pot!

Wish I could be in your pool!
#6 rockachop 2014-07-18 18:27
I disagree somewhat with the vetoing of trades.
Consider this argument when using Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey:

When two GM's make a trade, (usually) they both believe the trade benefits their respective teams. Well, my goal in fantasy hockey is to win, and making opposing teams worse when they try to get better is just another strategy on the road to victory.
The only thing I can do to try to prevent my competition from getting better, is to veto.
In my league though, the veto percentage is pretty high, at 75%, so it makes sense to veto from my perspective.

All this being said, I do agree that rip-off trades are allowed, while collusion is NOT. If you can take advantage, do it, or else someone else will.

Anyone else agree?

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