Chris' league is a points league and i'm going to say right up front, like always, i hate points leagues. a points league gives an arbitrary value to every counting stat in the game. they're harder to evaluate since the league pumps up value in arbitrary players where it isn't necessarily reflected in the NHL game or the rotisserie fantasy game. for example, let's say you're a BIG Sheldon Souray fan and you want to inflate his value. make yourself a points league that rewards for G from a defenseman while minimizing +/-. Souray may just jump to the top of draft lists.
well, that's an extreme example but i'm hoping you get my drift.
the points league that Chris is in rewards points this way: +/- (1), G(3), A(2), DefG(2), DefA(1), Hat Trick (5), PPG(2), SHG(2), SOG(.2), OTG(2), Penalty Shot G(2), Shootout G(1), Major (2), Misconduct (-2), Minor (1), W(5), OTL (2), Saves (.25), GA(-1), Shutout(5), Shootout L(2). this is a goal scorers league. if Alexander Ovechkin is pulled down on a breakaway in OT while he's on the power play and then scores on the penalty shot, he's just earned 10.2 points (10.4 if he gets the initial shot off), at least that's what i see. and it appears to be even more points awarded if it's the aforementioned Sheldon Souray. you should definitely set your draft list to take advantage of the system in a league like this. bump up all goal scorers and really bump up all goal scoring D on your list since they're so rare. we'll see below that you did yourself just fine with D.
when you look for a trade sort by goals scored per games played, do it by hand if you have to. there are particular guys that you want to go after, particularly on D. a guy like Philippe Boucher stays healthy every season and come close to 20 goals. if Souray is healthy, like he was last year, then he's a monster in this league since he gets so many goals with the extra man. underrated goal scoring D to look out for (or slightly underrated in some cases) are Filip Kuba, MA Bergeron, and Sami Salo. underrated forwards are going to be harder to find but perhaps someone like Jordan Staal is sitting around, Lee Stempniak scored 27 times last year and Mike Sillinger potted 26. maybe there's something there but nevertheless let's move on to look at your roster, you start 9 forwards, 4 defensemen, and 2 goalie tandems (meaning you start whatever goalie is in net for the certain team on your roster).
Let's take a look at the Eltingville Express.
it's a 14 team H2H points league and the Express had the 6th pick in the draft. i've graded your players for you and have tried to keep the grade in terms of value to your league given your points system.
F - Ilya Kovalchuk ATL - A- the man has the ability to become a real game breaker. there are parts of his game that remind me of Pavol Bure. last year was a down year and i probably wouldn't have taken him 6th overall like you did but still, huge upside, particularly in a league like this that focuses on pure goal scoring.
F - Marian Gaborik MIN - A- - another gamebreaker. when he's on there's no stopping him but when he's off it's because of injury crap that has dogged him for a good chunk of his career. if he's healthy and with this scoring system you have a decent shot at having your league's best fantasy performer (yes even ahead of Sid the kid in this scoring system).
F - Ryan Getzlaf ANA - B - i'd love to rank him higher but i wonder how much of the love for him is due to seeing the Ducks run last year. there is an offensive void to be filled in Anaheim, at least until Selanne re-signs, and that void will have to be met by young "captains in waiting" like Getzlaf. his grade is going to go a LOT higher as the season progresses, that's my bet anyway.
F - Maxim Afinogenov BUF - B+ - 61 pts in 58 games last year and 73 pts in 77 games the year before. nice, steady pt/game production is hard to find. if he's healthy he can break the 80 pt barrier.
F - Niklas Backstrom WAS - C - i want to grade him higher, but he's still a rook. there's loads of promise and i still pick him for RoY next spring but there's so much unknown here too. he'll get to play alongside quality linemates all season, whether it's Semin or eventually Ovechkin so the production should be there. this is another grade that should go through the roof when more information is in on this guy.
F - Brad Boyes STL - B - he looks poised to set career highs, and i think he will. he'll get to line up with Kariya or Tkachuk and he'll do fine. there is some risk attached since he does have an inconsistent history.
F - Corey Perry ANA -B - a lot of guys are pretty high on this kid and i think he'll be decent but not the game breaker that others are expecting. as far as goals are concerned though he's worth starting in a fantasy lineup.
F - Sean Avery NYR - B+ - in roto this @$$ has extra value but in a H2H points league like yours he's slightly above average. you give extra points for for major and minor penalties but it's the fact that he'll score goals that helps his value more than PIMs. still, he's worth starting in this system.
F - Martin Erat NAS - B- - he doesn't score enough and isn't likely to increase that. he'll get assists and get plenty of opportunity but his value is downgraded a bit because of his lack of goal scoring history.
D - Niklas Lidstrom DET - A- - again he has extra value in roto leagues but in this league he becomes your best trade bait. when you're shopping around look for a D who's going to score goals, if you don't know who that is then sort by D who shoot the puck more.
D - Philippe Boucher DAL - A - i love this guy. yes, in that way, ok maybe not but i do love that he scores goals. he'll get PP time and he'll do a lot with it, particularly since the Stars have a bit of a scoring drought coming up front. i think he was the steal of your draft and you shouldn't let him go.
D - Brian Campbell BUF - B- - sure he gets assists and that'd help but you really should concentrate on shooters. if you can parlay him along with a winger for a goal scoring winger and a shooting (perhaps underrated) D then i think it's a good move.
D - Paul Mara NYR -B - i grade him higher than Campbell because i think he can score more and be more valuable. Mara had a 15 goal campaign in 2005-06 as a Desert Dog. this year he plays in a much better offense in NY, with one of the best talents in the world in Jaromir Jagr, on what is bound to be a great PP. this was a good pick.
BN - Adrian Aucoin CAL - C - well, traditionally he shoots the puck, that's good. some are saying he'll have to take over where Roman Hamrlik left but i'm not at all sure he has the skills to do that. if he scores 10 times for the Flames (possible but a longshot) then what more could you want out of a bench D.
BN - Phil Kessel BOS - C- - this is a bit of a generous grade but i think i do that because i want him to do very well. he had his best month of the season in March last season with 9 pts in 16 games. if he can keep that up then dare i say that 50 pts is possible? i dare.
BN - Jamie Langenbrunner NJ -C+ - dude's traditionally a plumber who has increased his goal potential over the last couple seasons. he'll be shelved for 2 months though with a sports hernia so you might want to be patient with him.
BN - Michal Handzus LA - C+ - i like Handzus for strong two way play and on the Kings i expect him to have a defensive conscience playing with some of their big shooters. he has value since pucks always seem to bounce of the butts of guys with lesser talents as they line up with better players.
G - Nashville - C - i don't trust Chris Mason and there isn't anyone stellar to rely on behind him. last year Nashville fought to be 1st overall in the league, this year they'll fight to make the playoffs. i don't like this option as a goalie tandem.
G - Washington - C - i think that the Caps are poised to pounce a little bit in the weaker Eastern Conference. their offense will be in the upper echelon and if their defense is at all satisfactory then they could surprise. the question is, can they be at all satisfactory defensively?
you mentioned to me that you thought you drafted goalie tandems at the wrong time; Nashville in the 6th round and Washington in the 18th. i would agree with that. you figured that you should've taken a goalie tandem in the rounds that you selected Gaborik (3rd) and Boucher (4th) but i think that you made the right decision getting those guys where you did. your league's rules reward goalscorers and Gaborik is a noted goalscorer while Boucher is a very underrated one amongst the D ranks. you selected Nashville in the 6th round because they were the highest ranked tandem still on the board, unfortunately i don't see them returning to their lofty levels this season, not with all the changes that have been happening there and the fact that they traded away Timonen, Vokoun, Hartnell while letting Kariya walk to free agency.
now what i DO like is the chances you took. Getzlaf in the 5th may just be a stroke of genius, i like Afinogenov in the 8th and Backstrom in the 10th may really work out well while Boyes' final months last season started to show some decent spark to his game. of course there's also a chance that all of those moves blow up in your face. i think you reached a little early on all of those picks, even Getzlaf who i love this season.
i don't like your bench options much at all although i'm more than willing to let Erat, Handzus and Kessel surprise me this year. they should surprise somewhat but it seems like you take some longshots with some guys on your roster. i don't know who was available at the time you drafted them but there may've been more conservative options available.
so ... what now? well, i suggest you start sorting waiver wire options based on the ability to score goals, particularly on the power play since PPG gives you extra bonus in your scoring system. you'll need to upgrade your goaltending but that's not crucial off the top of the season. it could be that Washington's improved offense will provide you with more stats as their goalies win more games so i'd sit and watch that carefully. what you really need to look for now is one more goal scoring D and a pure goal scoring F would be nice too. i suggest you use guys like Lidstrom and Erat or Avery to try and land guys like Ryan Smyth, Simon Gagne, along with a goal scoring D like Sheldon Souray, Shea Weber, Dan Boyle, Lubomir Visnovsky, Dion Phaneuf, or Brian McCabe. the goal scoring D is more important than the F in whatever deal you make. i'd also be on the lookout for underrated goal scoring D like Sami Salo, Filip Kuba, MA Bergeron and others of that ilk.
good luck to the Eltingville Express, and to you Chris. thanks for checking out the blog. feel free to comment and generate discussion, any of you.