Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

NHL Fantasy Hockey Guide

Are you tired of never winning your fantasy hockey draft? Ever wondered what you’re doing wrong? With NHL training camps opening in two weeks, fantasy hockey drafts are coming up fast. Whether you are a seasoned NHL fantasy hockey vet or a first-time drafter, here are some tips for taking home your league championship.

How To Win Your NHL Fantasy Hockey League

Draft Preparation

Winning your fantasy league will require you to do your homework before the draft. Once your draft date is set, you need to develop your draft plan. Regardless of what type of league you are in, without proper draft preparation, you will be left in the dust.

Build yourself a draft list of players you want to draft. Refer to many of the NHL fantasy hockey player rankings however, don’t build your draft list based on one source of player rankings. ESPN recently released their 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey player rankings. The Hockey News, TSN, and Sportsnet also will all have their own player rankings. When making your own draft list be sure to compare these rankings.

Now that you are making your own draft list, you need to draft your team according to what type of fantasy league you’re in. A straight points league being the most straightforward, solely draft around the best available offensive producers. If you are in a head-to-head, dynasty/keeper league you will want to know each scoring category and draft accordingly. This will change the value of the players you are drafting as they should ideally check off all of the scoring categories of your league.

While you should always try to take the best possible player available, you also need to share the wealth between positions. Don’t underestimate how valuable defencemen are when building your team. Definitely don’t sleep on your goaltending either. Waiting too long to draft goalies can single-handedly cost you a chance of winning.

Play the Waiver Wire

Now that you’ve selected your team and your league draft is complete, check out the waiver wire. You’ll be surprised by some players who wound up going undrafted. When making your waiver claims, you’ll want to know how many games they have during the week. Watch for players who are seeing more ice time or elevated production levels perhaps due to an injury or poor play of another teammate.

Don’t be afraid to drop a player from your roster to add a waiver wire player. Some fantasy owners wait too long hoping for a player’s production to come around. You should have at least two spots on your roster used for adding from the waiver wire. Don’t hold onto your players just because you drafted them and are hoping they can get it going.

Use these two roster spots to give you a scheduling advantage when looking at your week ahead.

Trade Your Way to Winning

Pulling off a big trade is hard to do. Knowing your league competitors makes a difference. If you have a player from someone else’s favourite team you can get a higher value of return in a trade with them.

Every league has that one person who will make bad trades. Make yourself the beneficiary of making a trade with this person. However, chances are if the trade is too one-sided your league commissioner won’t allow it.

You can have a player who is overachieving and riding a hot streak. This will allow you to get extra value in a return for potentially a superstar who is going through a cold streak. If you are in a keeper league and are stuck somewhere at the bottom of the standings don’t be afraid to blow it up. While you won’t reap the benefits immediately stocking up on draft picks will give you a better chance of winning your NHL fantasy hockey league down the road.

Building Around Playoff Schedule

Knowing your schedule ahead of time is another key. Find out your league’s playoff weeks and try to maximize your games during those weeks. Build your team with that in the back of your mind.

Load your team with players who have a heavy schedule in the playoffs. This way it doesn’t really matter what place you finish the regular season. You have a good chance of knocking off any team if your scheduling is optimized.

Injured Players

Injured players can also play a big role in winning an NHL fantasy hockey league. Most leagues have at least one of two injured reserve spots allowed on a roster. Be aware of injuries coming into the season. An example would be Brad Marchand who is expected to miss time until December this season. His value will drop during the draft and you can store him on IR until he is healthy.

Pay attention to injury timelines throughout your season as fantasy owners will jump on an injured player as they near their return.

In Closing

At the end of the day just have fun. You can’t win your NHL fantasy hockey league every year but following these tips can sure be a step in the right direction.


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