Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Draft like the pros, part II

For the second year in a row, I took part in Mirtle's name-dropping fantasy league, which had its live draft this past weekend. There's a lot of big-name participants: Mirtle, BoA's Matt, CiO's Chris!, Spector, PJ, JJ, PPP, David Johnson, Forechecker, and more--it's certainly an intimidating group! In all it comes to 20 teams, head-to-head, as follows:

Positions: C x3, LW x2, RW x2, F x2, D x4, Util, BN x4, IR x3
Categories: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPG, PPA, GWG, SOG, W, GAA, SV, SV%, SHO

So basically, it was two-plus hours of us drafting 400 players--the deepest draft I've ever been a part of. Anyway, without any further excuses, here's how I did.

Rd – Pick – Player
1 – 15 – E. Nabokov, G SJS
2 – 26 – J. Cheechoo, RW SJS
3 – 55 – L. Visnovsky, D LAK
4 – 66 – R. Smyth, LW COL
5 – 95 – A. Kopitar, C LAK
6 – 106 – P. Sykora, C PIT
7 – 135 – A. Hemsky, RW EDM
8 – 146 – T. Bertuzzi, RW ANA
9 – 175 – A. Raycroft, G TOR
10 – 186 – M. Handzus, C LAK
11 – 215 – S. Bernier, RW SJS
12 – 226 – C. Ehrhoff, D SJS
13 – 255 – R. Clowe, LW SJS
14 – 266 – J. Johnson, D LAK
15 – 295 – M. Garon, G EDM
16 – 306 – C. Rivet, D SJS
17 – 335 – R. Fedotenko, LW NYI
18 – 346 – R. Ivanans, LW LAK
19 – 375 – M. Stajan, C TOR
20 – 386 – B. Radivojevic, RW MIN

C – Kopitar, Sykora, Handzus, Stajan
LW – Smyth, Clowe, Fedotenko, Ivanans
RW – Cheechoo, Hemsky, Bertuzzi, Bernier, Radivojevic
D – Visnovsky, Ehrhoff, Johnson, Rivet
G – Nabokov, Raycroft, Garon
So all in all, 12 BoC players drafted on my 20-man roster (6 Sharks, 5 Kings, and a Duck named Bertuzzi), plus this morning I dropped Radivojevic for Jonas Hiller in an attempt to pick up some goaltending stats from England.

If you recall last year, I drafted even more BoC-heavy in this league, getting 13 BoC players in a 19-player draft (7 Ducks, 4 Kings, and 2 Sharks), and then immediately traded away Kiprusoff and Sykora for Niedermayer and Pronger. That worked out well enough; I got a fourth place finish (out of 20), with a claim-to-fame that I played Dan Cloutier every game he was eligible. Now you may be wondering, "Sleek, why the change in strategy? Given up on the Ducks this year?"

To tell the truth, this year's not the fantasy draft anomaly--really, last year was. Last year, I consciously decided to break Fantasy Hockey Rule #1: Never draft with your heart. It's kind of like putting all your eggs in one basket (though this saying has never made complete sense to me--who really wants multiple baskets of eggs?). Had the Ducks suffered last year, I would have been hurting on two fronts: reality and fantasy. Fortunately, they didn't, but I'm not one to keep the same heavy gamble going year after year.

Instead, this year I went with a much more emotionally safe fantasy team--one that offsets my actual desires. That way, if the Ducks score and win a bunch, I might suffer on the fantasy front but I can at least take heart in actual results. If, on the other hand, the Ducks get pummeled in the BoC this year, I'll take a lot of heat on this blog for real-life results but damn--I'll probably be kicking ass in the Mirtle League! Besides, I think it would be nice to experience how the Sharks and Kings fans feel each year after being disappointed by their players' lackluster efforts.

Anyways, I know it's not that helpful just seeing my picks without any context, but if anybody has any comments, advice, or trade offers, the Sleek-store is now open for business.

Go me.


Anonymous said...

Earl, you're CRAZY. Now, in order to have a successful fantasy season you have to cheer for SHARKS. Don't you feel dirty already? I can't support this whorish strategy.

Earl Sleek said...

Don't you feel dirty already?

Yeah, there are definitely drawbacks. Maybe I'll ask Mirtle for a redraft.

Anonymous said...

....I heard Mirtle is a tyrannical commissioner. I doubt he'll go for a redraft.

No, you've made your bed, Earl. Now you have to sleep with the Sharks (and the Kings).

Mike said...

Pretty decent draft, but I'm wondering why you would draft a D in the 3rd round. Too high a round to get that few points. In fact, a friend of mine only had 3 D on the roster in favor of switching out forwards every day, and he did quite well.

I think it would have been better to get a good second goalie there, because goalie stats are over a third of the ones counted. This is one of my beefs with many fantasy hockey leagues - too heavily weighted towards goalie stats.

Earl Sleek said...

I'm wondering why you would draft a D in the 3rd round.

Well, I think Lubo's a defensible pick. He's averaged .84 points-per-game since the lockout, which is higher than Lidstrom, Niedermayer, or Pronger. Plus this league places a premium on power play scoring, where Lubo has been a top-10 fixture over the same timeframe.

I get what you're saying about goaltending, and for sure I didn't come out with the strongest set, but it's a 20-team league. I only need to be better than most in those categories (and there are some truly awful tandems out there).

As for the relative value of defensemen, they generally will score less than forwards, but considering that we have four d-man spots to fill, I think Lubo gives an edge over what other guys are playing in those slots (or else they used good picks to fill them too).

It's all a little philosophical, but I don't think it was my weakest pick (depends on how they play Bernier in SJ, I think). That said, Mirtle (who won last year) hasn't drafted 4 defensemen either year and has strong results, and if you look last year I didn't draft four either (though I quickly filled open spots with Niedermayer & Pronger).

You're probably right, but I'm glad to have Lubo on board. That way I won't curse so loud when he goes apeshit on the Anaheim PK.

VeryProudofYa said...

My philosophy is always draft d. As long as there are even 4 spots, you want your defensemen. In the format I most recently used (G,A,PPP,SHP,+/-,GWG) The best ranked forward was worth 60 more than the 25th best forward, and that's with serious seperation from the pack by Lecav, Heater, and Crosby.

Meanwhile, the best defenseman clocked in at 70 better than the 25th.

I pretty much live fantasy hockey, and I always go defense, and I usually win.

Now, earl, I really don't like your team much. But considering how deep your league is, it's a pretty attractive group. Decent collection of goaltenders given how deep it is, but whomever picked up two top quality starters in the first 4 rounds will likely win the day.

The best selection you made was getting hemsky where you did.

The worst was getting smyth. No 40 goal years ever, no point per game years ever. bleh.

Earl Sleek said...

The best selection you made was getting hemsky where you did.

Yeah, I like that pick and also where I got Clowe.

The worst was getting smyth. No 40 goal years ever, no point per game years ever. bleh.

Fuck. Heart isn't a category?

RudyKelly said...

Heart isn't a category, but maybe there's a category for flak jackets worn so people think you're tough when you're really a huge pussy. (I hate Ryan Smyth.)

Earl Sleek said...

(I hate Ryan Smyth.)

That's fair, but I think I like the fantasy implications. If he's in front of the net on a very good PP, I'll take the dirty points.

Kent W. said...

Damn you for leaving me off the list and therefore implying I'm meaningless...

I'll be looking for you during the haed-to-head match-ups now.

Kent W. said...

Damn my shoddy typing skills.

Earl Sleek said...

Oh whoops! I was only listing the people I thought I had a chance of beating this year!

Yeah, that's it!

James Mirtle said...

I only lost one week all year last time around, and I'm pretty sure it was to Earl, so take that for what it's worth.

This is going to be an extremely difficult pool this time around, especially with the goalies so fragmented.

James Mirtle said...

While I'm at it, here's my team:

C - Lecavalier, E. Staal, Modano, J.Carter, Stumpel
LW - Gagne, Kariya, Hlinka
RW - Gionta, Zubrus, Kovalev, Stafford, Samuelsson, Vrbata
D - F. Kaberle, Paetsch, Stuart
G - Backstrom, Gerber, Harding

Earl Sleek said...

I only lost one week all year last time around, and I'm pretty sure it was to Earl, so take that for what it's worth.

Yeah, I definitely beat you one week, but I wasn't really aware that was the only week you got beat.

Good work, Cloutier!

Anonymous said...

Showing up to the draft helps, too....

Also, drafting with a focus on defence would be a sure fire ticket to mediocrity. Anyone who didn't get a goalie in their top two picks is fooked I suspect.

PJ Swenson said...

Yahoo picked my team, and like their media strategy the last 5 years it was DIVE...DIVE...DIVE.

C - Alexander steen
C - Peter Mueller
C - Matt Cullen
LW - Kristian Huselius
LW - Slava Kozlov
RW - Jarome Iginla
RW - Corey Perry
F - Jamie Langenbrunner
F - Teemu Selanne
D - Nicklas Lidstrom
D - Brian Campbell
D - Ron Hainsey
D - Anton Volchenkov
UT - Fredrick Modin
BN - Bobby Holik
BN - Patrick Sharp
BN - Jeff Halpern

G - Dominik Hasek
G - Olaf Kolzig
G - Dany Sabourin

But actually, besides the goaltending, which isn't even that bad, Yahoo might have done better than I thought.