Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Setting a Standard

Just like any other sports know-it-all, I play fantasy sports. Fantasy sports of every fashion and sort. Football has just become a given for every male in the 18 to 35 demographic. And despite the Pirates best efforts to ruin professional baseball for me, I've stumbled through a few fantasy baseball seasons. I've participated in a fantasy golf pool, though I honestly can't say I recommend it. I even made a fantasy Electoral College map last November.

So, of course, with my love of all things puck, I'm an avid fantasy hockey fan. However, as I think anyone with some fantasy hockey experience under their belt will admit, it's got its share of problems. So as I prep for my leagues upcoming draft, I can't help but think that these issues can be addressed. Look, I'm not saying I can fix it, but hell, it's worth a shot. Right?

Part of what makes fantasy football so much fun is the community. Sure, maybe there is even a little too much discussion to the point that there becomes too much of a consensus (try not taking Adrian Peterson with the first overall pick), but it's fun. Try having that kind of discussion about fantasy hockey. Obviously your not going to find it on ESPN, but try just having it with other hockey enthusiasts. You can't. Why? Because unlike fantasy football, there is no standard system for fantasy hockey.

A hundred some odd years ago the states faced this same issue with currency. Delaware wants to make it's own dollar bill? Well, isn't that cute. Louisiana wants to make one of it's own? Way to go Louisiana. But at some point we figured if this whole dollar bill thing was ever going to really strike it big, we had to switch to a nationally accepted standard bill. It sounded like a good idea, so they printed some up, stamped George Washington's face on it, and there you go.

So I humbly offer you this, my custom scoring settings, painstakingly researched and developed. Be kind.

It's a ten team league, with weekly head-to-head match-ups. Each roster has 3 starting centers, right wingers, and left wings; 6 starting defensemen; and one starting goaltender. There's one spot on the IR for any injured player, and 6 bench spots, although I've recently become enamored with the idea of knocking it down to 2 spots.

Skaters get points for the standard stats: goals, assists, powerplay and shorthanded goals and assists, and game winning goals. As well, in an effort to bring more value to defensively minded players, they get points for hits and blocked shots. Face-off victories and losses are worth a fraction of a point, and defenders recieve an additional fraction of a point for each goal or assist they tally.

Goaltender scoring is simply. Throw out victories. Not important. Anyone who has played fantasy baseball has learned this the hard way with pitchers. Wins don't accurately give you the value of a tender. Instead they are awarded points for saves, and deducted for goals allowed. And on the rare instance that they steal the game with a shutout, they are rewarded handsomely. That's it. Simple.

Again, I'm not saying everyone in the world should adopt this particular system, but I believe we have to pick one. And I do believe this is better than most. What do you think, did I get something wrong. Should points really be awarded for a GWG? Are shutouts over valued?

RECAP:

10 Teams - Weekly Head to Head Match-ups

3 C  -  3 RW  -  3 LW  -  6 D  -  1 G  -  6 B  -  1 IR

Skaters
Goal - 5
Assist -3
Plus/Minus - +/-1
Powerplay Goal - 2
Powerplay Assis - 1
Shorthanded Goal - 4
Shorthanded Assist - 3
Game Winning Goal - 2
Faceoff - +/-.2
Hit - .5
Blocked Shot - .5
Defensive Pts - .2

Goaltender
Goal Against - -3.5
Save - .5
Shutout - 10

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