In Part I of this two-part series, I outlined how the positions on your fantasy league roster have an incredible impact to the value of the players within that league.  Today, I am going to take you through a second critical variable in your league set-up: Scoring Categories.


Probably the single most important factor affecting the value of players in your fantasy hockey league is the categories which your league measures. 

This is yet another point that seems very obvious but is actually very difficult to quantify.  We all know that in a league that counts hits, guys who hit are worth more.  The question is: how much more?  How much does a guy have to hit - to justify 10 fewer points of offensive production?  Questions like this are extremely difficult to quantify and answer.  Again, Fantasy Hockey Geek does the math for you and helps you to understand how changes to categories affect players’ values.

For my example below I took 4 scenarios, all are for a 12 team league using actual stats from the 2011-12 season.  The first scenario is the Yahoo! standard league listed above (G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG).  For a second scenario I swapped out PIMs and added Hits, to illustrate what was done in the Dobber Pro league.  For the third scenario I left PIMs out, added Hits and Blocked Shots.  For a fourth scenario, I just used five offensive skater categories (G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG).  Take a look at the effect of category changes on the rankings of a few of the players in these scenarios:

(Players 2011-12 overall rakings in a 12 team Yahoo! standard league with different category scenarios)

Standard Hits not PIMs Hits & BS no PIMs 5 Cats
Dan Girardi 143 55 25 109
Ray Whitney 37 53 66 28
Dustin Brown 83 19 21 87
Corey Perry 31 104 103




These are just four examples of players whose value range widely based on the settings of the league in which you are playing.  Take a look at the disparity in the value of the same player in the same roster setup with a couple of minor category adjustments!  All four of these guys had top 3 round value in at least one scenario and 6+ round value in other category scenarios, showing just how drastically the category settings in your league can affect the value of some players.  I’ll take a look at two of them in more detail:

Dan Girardi is a prime example of how some peripheral categories can really change a guy’s value.  The key with Girardi is that he has decent, but not overwhelming offensive stats.  His 5G, 24A and 122SOG last year were all not bad results but in a standard league, or the league with five offense based stats Girardi was barely worth owning – he is just a guy.  If you swap out PIMs (which Girardi is low on) and add Hits (where Girardi is a monster) there is suddenly some great value there (55th most valuable in the league).  If you add BS to the equation Girardi is an absolute dynamo and becomes the 25th most valuable player in the entire league!

As leagues continue to add peripheral stats such as hits and blocked shots, I continually see managers under value the impact.  I often hear (and see) managers take the stance of “Oh this league includes hits, I’ll bump a Girardi up a round or two”.  They are smart enough to realize that the inclusion of hits matters but they are undervaluing the extent to which it matters.  The custom rankings at Fantasy Hockey Geek really help you to understand the value of all types of players in your league based on the categories that your league measures.  If you are in a league where Girardi has top-25 value and you know that he isn’t being drafted by anybody else in the first 10 rounds then you can keep an absolute steal in your back pocket and gain an advantage on the rest of your league with a stellar 9th round pick.

Corey Perry is another example of how important it is to understand the categories in your league.  Perry has long been thought of as a fantasy hockey stud because of his multi-cat abilities.  This is certainly true in a Yahoo! standard league where he was the 31st most valuable player in what was actually a down year for Perry.  A standard league includes PIMs though and if you were to take out the PIMs and add Hits, Perry’s value drops significantly.  He would have been the 104th most valuable player in a league of that format last year.  

I can pretty much guarantee that he was drafted higher than 104 in all leagues last year.  Even in the “five offensive categories” league, Perry’s value was low last year.  Taking PIMs out of your league significantly hurts Perry’s value.   A note on Perry: I do recognize that last year was a down year for Perry and he is likely to out-perform all of the above rankings next year, but the principle still stands.  If Perry improves next year then maybe he will be a top 10 fantasy own in a Yahoo! standard league but his value in a league with hits instead of PIMs will certainly be lower.  The point of this article isn’t to focus on the actual rankings from last year; it is to understand the difference in a player’s value when you change the category settings in your league.

Anybody who is reading this article right now probablyy understands in general terms that different categories matter more to different players and that you need to draft accordingly.  What I am demonstrating above is how to understand the exact impact your league settings have on players’ values.  Using the tools at Fantasy Hockey Geek  will give you a detailed understanding of value in your league; a step above the understanding that the rest of the GMs in your league have.


Disclaimer on FHG

I am just going to add one little blurb here on understanding how to use the awesome information that you can be mined from FHG.  A wise man once said “with great power comes great responsibility”.  The information that FHG provides you on your league and its players’ values is absolute gold but you need to use it wisely.  Understanding the true value of the players in your league is one of the most important keys to winning your pool but it is only one part of the equation.  People read my articles and say things like “pfft, you want me to draft Girardi ahead of Brad Richards?  You are nuts!”  No, I do not want you to draft Girardi ahead of Richards.  I want you to understand Girardi’s value relative to that of Richards and I want you to use it to your advantage when drafting and trading.  Go ahead and draft Richards before Girardi; just make sure that you also get Girardi a couple rounds before somebody else would have.   If you happen to miss on Girardi then maybe try offering Richards for Girardi and Ribeiro or something to that effect. 

Your better understanding of the true value of the players in the league put you at an advantage when trading and drafting.  The knowledge to be gained from FHG is invaluable, how you use it is up to you.  I would never say that you need to use the FHG player ranker as a draft list.  There are so many other considerations in a draft (what do other managers value, what positions are drying up quickly etc).  You need to understand the perceived value of players as much as you understand the actual value of players.  Armed with the FHG analytics though, you will have a leg up on your competition because of your thorough understanding of your league, its settings and the impact to the value of all the players in the league.  FHG will tell you that you want Girardi on your roster.  How you get him there is up to you. 

Understanding your league may very well be the single biggest key to winning at fantasy hockey.  You want to look at the number of teams in your league, the position breakdown of your league and the categories that your league measures.  Things like weekly vs. daily rosters, max GPs, BN slots etc. all matters too.  Understanding all of these factors and using it to quantify the value of players in your league is paramount.  All successful GMs need to prepare for their drafts by considering all of these factors.  Fantasy Hockey Geek is a great resource that can help you through the process, particularly in this shortened season where we all probably only have about 5-10 days to prepare for our drafts!  Sign up today and enter the settings for your league to find which players are most valuable in your setup!


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Wrist_Shot said:

Good stuff FHG "People read my articles and say things like “pfft, you want me to draft Girardi ahead of Brad Richards? You are nuts!” No, I do not want you to draft Girardi ahead of Richards."

I would add to the last sentence, "...because you will probably be able to draft Girardi later than Richards even though Girardi is more valuable in your particular league format."

That's where people get confused with these rankings...I was one of them.
January 13, 2013
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