The time is right to... ( November edition)
The time is right to... (November Pt.1)
Like in all parts of our lives, fantasy hockey in my eyes is a lot of picking the right timing on doing moves or not doing them. To be successful you need to find the right balance between being patient and being active.
In this column I want to focus on very deep fantasy pools with 24 up to 30 teams and show you what kind of options you have by utilizing timing in those leagues to your advantage.
In most of those deep pools you basically got two types of GMs around.
Type 1: The “Stick to your gun type“. Those are usually very good at drafting and very hard to convince to do a trade after they drafted “their team“.
Type 2: “The trigger happy always trading maniac.“
Sure there are some in-betweeners but to have a kind of discussion platform we will stick to those two stereotypes in this article, because most owners tend to one of the two directions anyway.
I’m personally guilty of being one of those Maniacs and one of the worst types you can fetch in a league, always bugging you with trade offers and never stopping to shuffle up their rosters. No player is ever safe from being acquired and shipped away the next day, not even my favorites players! I see fantasy hockey as a kind of stock exchange, in which you need to be active to climb up the ladder. It is buy and sell all season long.
The downside of being like that is usually that you can get your feet in dogshit way more often and need to make up for your loses by potentially even executing more trades.
But like every good poker player will tell you; to reach the top it’s only about the amount of deals you do. You might lose here and there, but as long as you win more than you lose you always end up with the money.
What you need to succeed playing this style is good knowledge about the NHL, especially the prospects, as well as knowing your opponent GMs and their tendencies.
Lot’s of this relies big time on the timing of executing those numerous trades I’m talking about. Most individuals are similar - they either tend to only see what happened in the last weeks of the NHL or they never erase what was done years ago.
WARNING: If you are in a position to win now you need to be a little more quiet than usual and lots of those options might not be good ones for you!
That doesn’t mean you should stop trading at all but Trigger Happies usually end up losing out the occasional deal right when it was their time to win and fully screw up a full season. Be aware of that!
Doing a ton of trades is usually a way better option if you are a middle of the pack team or rebuilding team that doesn´t need to win now and can immolate a full season to win it the next year.
Learn to stay patience when you are already on top!
So when is the perfect timing to sell high or buy low? When are the times when you need to make a move or a player will be untouchable later on? When do you need to cut bait or the players will be without any value?
There is no all-embracing abstract answer to this, so I try to give you some example of players that in my opinion fit the different categories. I will try to come up with such a list with 5 players per category at least one time per month, hopefully once every two weeks.
To those of you in smaller leagues some of those names might be uninteresting because it’s way to small fishes but like stated above I’d like to focus on the deeper pools.
So the time is right to....
The toughest decision was to put this guy in this category this month. Phil might be the next true superstar out there, but so far in his career he has been streaky and a pest to own each and every season. There might be leagues with fellow TML fans you can get a true superstar that is proven and more reliable right now for Kessel. Under those circumstances he is a perfect sell high.
Jason has surprisingly found the way on the scoreboards a lot early on. While I like him as a cheap option and own him in several leagues he is very hyped right now. So it’s time to cash in, every reliable option that has been there for more than two season you can get in a trade involving him is a win in my books. Yes you might miss out on surprise season but overall he is no safe bet to continue that pace.
Right now the guy is my favorite player and I still recommend selling him now. The chemistry on the “Lunch-Line“ is purely awesome but they will slow down a little for sure. Versteeg is a 55-point player without a doubt to me and he might hit 65 this season. But the top line spots are not safe bets at all after next season with the arrival of Jonathan Huberdeau and the promised elite winger Dale Tallon wants to bring in. If you get a safer option that is more proven and has a top line spot locked up you should add to Versteeg to make it happen!
Ryan Nugent Hopkins:
Hell I know the kid seems special and he is a prime piece in all keepers, but the value is so brutally high right now that there are several deals out there we you can get your hands on a guy that isn’t old but has proven what RNH´s upside is multiple times. There will be guys overpaying for him especially cause he plays for the beloved Oilers. Shop him around and if there is a chance that someone overpays take it without hesitation.
There might be others disagreeing here, but as good as Slava is his value right now is at an all time high. There are leagues where you can get a Stefan Elliot type for him who is considered a prospect a step above Slava easily. Whenever you can get a guy with a higher pedigree that might be a year away from Slava and you can wait on him for that year I’d go for it. Prime example as a target might be Dougie Hamilton. Voynov has been patient. However Los Angeles has a logjam of young defensive prospects and Voynov up to now has been the odd man out back to Russia some day.
buy while you can still pay the price:
Alex Burmistrov: Alex is having his coming out party earlier than expected. Some Dobber writers have compared his game to fellow countryman Datsyuk. While I don’t see the same upside here, this might be the only time you can get the guy to a fair price before he continues his pace and ends up a 60 points guy year in and out.
Raphael Diaz: All I read about Diaz is big. Tremendous work ethic alongside steady development since years is making him one of the most interesting newcomers on the market. He already proved his level of play in a league with men in the Swiss national league and so far he has shown nothing but that he is ready to be a contributor in the NHL. He will be a very solid choice for a cheap d-men for years to come.
Nick will skyrocket his value at the WJC out of reach without a single doubt to me. He is one of the most overlooked prospects, simply for he fact that he plays in the NCAA and on top of that is a Florida Panthers prospect. But he has dominated so far this season and shows no signs of a letting down. His body is gigantic and he already knows how to use it.
Another one of those under the radar prospects. Charlie is not the prototypical power forward and a big reason why the Wild have done the Brent Burns trade. Again being a prospect of the Wild makes him going unnoticed too often. But he will arrive in the NHL next season and prove very fast that he can stick and can do that with producing. You won’t be able to get your hands on him next season, so better buy now!
DSP might not have the same upside as Coyle but in all multi-cat leagues the guy will be a stud for years to come. The Ducks coaching staff have stated multiple times how high they are on the young gun and have shown that they trust him throughout the season already. The moment he starts scoring his value will climb to way higher levels. Buy as long as you can!
sell while the price is still there:
Yeah this sounds tough, you might have thought he would be in the Buy Low category, but I think he belongs in this one. His shooting percentage has dropped for years now and the age seems to get his former all-star level down to that of a good player. As long as Henrik is still valued as that elite star, he should be a guy you should get rid of and replace with some fresher faces as long as you can.
A good prospect to name in this category has for a long time been Bowman. He got surpassed on the depth charts by a lot of guys and might never find his way to more than a 3rd to 4th liner with the strong possibility of completely missing the NHL. If you can get a 2nd round pick in a very deep 2012 draft for Bowman do it!
Another Canes prospect on this list. Somehow he has found his way to the top of Dobber’s prospect list year after year. But the Canes own a boatload of young promising d-men and Sangs is the odd man out. Whatever worthy picks or other prospects you can get for the guy. Take it!
Steve is on his way out. Curtis freaking Sanford has beaten him to the starting job, but there will stills be GMs in your league that see a potential average starter in Mason and usually each and every starter is worth a ton in deep leagues. I’d sell for whatever value I can get and move on.
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to buy low:
The crowded defensive situation in Carolina hurt McBain´s value a lot. He might need a trade to finally fulfill his potential but overall the talent most have seen in his brilliant stints in 2009-2010 is still there. He hasn’t shown it for a long time so you could potentially buy very low here. If you can take a gamble for cheap I’d do it.
Blake’s value has dropped since the season has started. In most drafts he was looked at as a very solid option and cheap option. So far he struggled to keep up with the pace he had last season. No matter what, the guy has great work ethic and good bloodlines. If you can get him cheap, he has a nose for the net that will reward you sooner or later.
Yes Green might be the worst guy to own for the last two seasons, but right now his value has dropped to the bottom. He isn’t considered the absolute top-notch guy he once was. He now is the guy that is always injured and doesn’t pick up his game on a struggling Caps team.
Again if you can wait on him you should get him at a price that was never there the last few seasons.
Value has hit an all time low for Andrei. His value is close to negative in some leagues with the huge salary attached. If you have the cap room and the asking price is very low I’d take my change to buy him low and immediately sell him when he is back and somehow producing.
The obvious number one buy low target at the moment is most definitely Eric Staal. As a usual second half producer, plus the return of his brother that is due midway this season that seems to hamper him all season he is simply the ideal target to rebound.
That’s it for now. Hope you are not scared away by the length of the article and will read the new list in two weeks. I promise that it will only be the list then.
Member of the UHL,SCFHL2,Kings of Hockey and Commish of UNFFHL
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