seven deadly sins


Avoid these seven deadly sins at all costs in order to greatly improve the probability of success in your fantasy pool.


Sloth or Apathy

We’re all busy and it’s far too easy to be lazy when you are preparing for your draft. If you only rely on published lists (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), then you are leaving your fate to a list that may not accurately reflect the scoring system used in your pool. Using published lists should be used in conjunction with your own assessment of each player and their situation. Don’t be lazy, do your homework!

Pay attention to early season trends and try to identify whether or not to make a free agent pick up or trade if your league allows. Players like Paul Stastny (two years ago) and Mike Green (last year) were likely taken in many keeper leagues with a simple free agent pick up or waiver wire selection.

Winning a hockey pool requires more than just showing up on draft day. You need to follow up your draft by being aware of who’s performing up to expectations and who is not.  Should you trade or drop a player who is off to a slow start or should you be patient?  

Making good early season decisions could be the difference between winning your pool and finishing second.


A strong desire to win your hockey pool can lead you to do some things that in hindsight, you are not very proud of. Trading a veteran after a slow start for the flavor of the week or shady dealings with a buddy in order to help you win the pool are examples of desperate dealings.

Resist the temptation to give in to these desires, especially if they make you look bad to the rest of your pool. The stink of desperation will betray you and be remembered by fellow poolies more often than you want to believe.


Avoid over-indulgences.  If you have too many good players at a certain position and you just can’t use them all, then maybe it would be a fine time to make a goodwill gesture and swing a deal with one of the teams at the bottom of the standings. That will also pave the way for future dealings with that owner.

Another take is that you should limit the number of fantasy pools you are in. Too much of a good thing can split your attention and mean an unhappy ending for all your teams.

Greed or Avarice

Never get greedy in trade discussions. If you fleece someone in your pool, others will take notice. When you do this, you are effectively telling all the other owners in your pool that you are a ruthless shark and will eat them alive with no regard for their needs.

Making fair trades may not pay immediate dividends, but will ensure that you will have viable trading partners for years to come. Your reputation is essential to future fantasy hockey success.


Control that disappointment at not sitting atop your pool standings. Direct your anger in ways that will benefit your team. Don’t trade players to a buddy in order to bring down the guy you just can’t seem to beat.

That’s not the right way to do it. People will see right through that and you will lose their respect. Take anger management classes if necessary.


Don’t envy the winning team, learn from it. Study the rosters of winning fantasy teams with the same format as yours and use that as a blueprint to guide your future success.

Identify what they have that no one else seems to have or try to figure out what the key is to their winning ways and try to emulate that.

It may not happen overnight, but a winning formula is definitely something to model your strategy after. The goal here is for your fantasy team to be the envy of the league.


Generally considered the most serious of sins, once you start believing that you are better than your opponents, you are destined to lose. Pride is what ultimately caused Lucifer to plummet from the Heavens and it can cause you to get complacent and fall in the standings.

Never be completely satisfied with your fantasy team’s performance. Always look to make changes with an eye to the future. Don’t sit back and admire your team, because there will always be someone out there looking to bring you down.

Final Thoughts

Don’t get caught up in these “sins” of fantasy hockey. Always focus on winning strategies, pay attention and work hard. Doing the necessary research and respecting your fellow fantasy owners will help you to win your league time and again.

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