Part II of DobberHockey's own Dallas Guzzwell's journey to the Draft Street Hockey Championship
As we all know, fantasy hockey can be an emotional rollercoaster, and for me this week has had its share of ups and downs. Fantasy hockey is a rush with so many swings. One night you are on top of the world. The next night you are over analyzing every one of your roster moves. We follow our guts, go with our hearts, and tap into every piece of knowledge possible. My journey to the Draft Street Hockey Championship Final had every swing you could imagine and then some.
It began two months ago when I made a decision to try and qualify for the Draft Street finals, and as mentioned in part one of my journey - somehow I was lucky enough to win two of the twenty seats to the Championship event. In my first satellite win I finished 1st out of 150 people. In my second satellite win (the 19th satellite), lightning struck twice and I finished 1st out of 70 participants. Duplicating this accomplishment will be tough to repeat next year but I plan to try again.
The Championship was structured as a two day preliminary event with the top 10 teams advancing to the Final. Below is a snapshot of the standings after the two day preliminary.
Going into the two day preliminary I went with a strategy that was suggested by a number of Dobberites in the comments section of my first article and rostered two very different teams in an attempt to give myself the best possible chance to advance at least one entry to the final 10 showdown. The strategy paid off and I ended up advancing with a fifth place team that was heavy with Blues (Oshie, Steen, Backes) while also benefitting from a solid Mike Smith performance. My entry that finished 13th in the preliminary was loaded with Capitals and Islanders (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Tavares, Visnovsky, Vanek). Unfortunately what was supposed to be a high scoring game between Washington and Long Island finished in a 1-0 shocker - icing half of my roster. I was disappointed, but that entry still won me a cool $750.00. I was pretty happy with the overall result and was pumped for Thursday’s Final, where all team rosters would be reset to zero in a one day winner take all.
I spent my Wednesday night like a classic fantasy hockey nut, combing over statistics and analyzing every possible player combination while deciding on my final line up. In the end I went with the final roster that you see below. On paper it looks great but unfortunately it didn’t fare that well that night. To be honest, I felt like the Denver Broncos. Everything that could go wrong seemed to as my roster of Vanek, Tavares, Carter, Bobby Ryan, Datsyuk, Nash, Visnovsky, Jovanovski, and the just announced Olympian Marty St. Louis scrounged up a combined zero goals, four assists, 21 shots, and a minus four. Doesn’t Alexander Ovechkin have nights bigger than that all by himself?
Looking at my roster you will see that the lone bright spot was a solid Jonathan Quick win in overtime, but it was not enough. In the end I finished in ninth place and pocketed another $900 for a total windfall of $1650 for the entire championship. It wasn’t the cool $12K that first place took home but in the end I have to give credit to all of my competitors for a great run, especially the eventual champion (Yannick8).
I would like to thank the Dobber Community for following along this week. I would have never enjoyed a ride like this if it wasn’t for all of the advice and knowledge received on these forums over the past years. Overall it has been an incredible week and by far the most exciting chapter of my fantasy hockey journey. I had friends and family emailing me and texting me all day as they shared in the excitement. Regardless of the event or sport, competing for a championship is always fun.
For those who have an interest in participating in the Dobber's Draft Street freeroll on Saturday, let me leave you with these words of wisdom.
-Follow your gut when picking your team. There is nothing worse than creating a great team, and then tweaking it only to make it worse in the end. Go with your initial instincts.
-Stay on top of goalie starts through Goalie Post. Your goalie decision is typically the most important factor in your success in a one day fantasy league.
-Remember that these are one day leagues and expect inconsistencies. Recognizing hot streaks and line combinations is very beneficial. My writing of the Forensics Column and weekly use of Frozen Pool was a huge factor in my success. Give the tool a try, it works!
-Most important - If you win enough money, your wife will be supportive of your fantasy hockey addiction ;)
-Seriously, play responsibly and within your limit. Start at small stakes or stakes that you are comfortable with. If you work your way up and make profit – great. If not, then keep stakes low and remember to enjoy the games.