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Friday, June 26, 2020

Stacks on Deck

      Evaluating Hockey's Best Lines - Where Do Bertuzzi-Larkin-Mantha ...

              Every profitable DFS player will tell you that stacks are important, and the right one can either make or break your night.  Everyone has their own system for how they pick their stacks and what they look for, as you can imagine each sport requires a different strategy. For those that are new let me just start by saying what a stack is and why it is important. A stack is a combination of players that have been selected to work together in tandem to maximize points. A simple example of this is picking Julien Edelman when we pick Tom Brady…. before 2020 of course lol. We pick them together because he is one of Tom’s top targets which means that there is a good chance Tom will look to him. Every time that this sequence is completed you earn double points because you get points for the production of both players. This immediately propels you past a player that only has one of the two in this pair, and as we all know one point can make all the difference. This is just one type of stack; this example is not made to say just randomly pick two teammates and you will win. You must also look at other contributing factors, like what if the patriots go in with a run strategy the above-mentioned stack could fail to produce. Now that I have made enough football analogies here is how I pick my hockey stacks; I have to say this is not the only way this is just a glimpse at my way.

              If you have not already, I would recommend reading the blog post on how I pick goalies because these processes play off each other. As with football, there is a version of stacks that would have us put teammates together, these are the first stacks I look at. From my goalie selection process, I have already narrowed down the 2-3 teams that I believe are going to have strong performances. When we know what goalies are in a bad matchup, we can then find the shooters that we believe will have a strong performance. To further confirm this it is important to look at the defense of the opposing team, just because the goalie is struggling it does not mean his team will not pick him up. I will go further into this stat in a later post, as it requires its own explanation. With that in mind do not know matter what the defense matchup is I do not recommend a stack against your goalie.

After I have identified the team in the best position, I take the top scorers from those teams and look at what line they are on. For stacking I focus on the players in the top 2 lines and see what power-play line they are on. More often than not there will be at least one person that is also on both of these lines. The reason this is huge is that the powerplay by nature should be the player's best chance to score, due to the man advantage. If you have a scorer on the ice you get the points for the goal and you also have the chance to get assist points if you have the passer.

 In hockey, you are awarded an assist if you either pass to the scorer or if you pass to the person that passed to the scorer. With only 6 people on the ice that could earn an assist and 3 people can get an assist having two of the people gives you a high percentage to earn points. To take it one step further the goalie does not come down the ice with the skaters, so it really lowers it to 5 people. So you have a 40% chance to have a player that scores points in DFS when you have a goal-scoring lineup.  

              This is how I start my stacking and team selection process once I figure out my stacks, I use my stat page to weed out other top players. Once I identify who I believe will have a good game I bring them in. As you do this keep in mind that various contests have rules of how many people from the same team you can use. This keeps people from grabbing everyone on a team that is projected to have a strong showing. Be sure to check out the site, and when the season starts get your fact sheet until then follow us on twitter for more updates.



Fire Goon signing out!                                                                  

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Who's Your Goalie

 Looking at the Colorado Avalanche Goaltending Depth

DFS allows us to play against the world in fantasy sports without having to compete with each other for draft spots. With everyone having access to every player it all comes down to differentiation of lineup. Having the best player is not an automatic win since there is a good chance that a high percentage of people also have that player. Whomever you surround them with is going to be the real difference-maker in your quest to take the pot. I will talk about my choice of stacks and how I use them in my next post, today I want to talk about goalies. I want to talk goalies because this is where I start with my selection process. I try to ensure that I never punt on the position to make sure that I get a good goalie, with a high percentage chance to win.

              You may have heard the adage in hockey that “you can’t win if your goalie does not win!” The addition of the winning goalie and the points associated with the win can be the difference that pushes you into the win column. The winning goalie gets 6 points in the DraftKings points system, and this can be very enticing to any player. So, it makes sense to search out the team with the best percentage chance to win. Personally, I use a combination of metrics to decide who has the best chance to win. Obviously, this is not an exact statement, or I would be a rich man in Vegas.

While I am not a rich man in Vegas, I do use their odds to help with a goalie. A safe selection for a goalie is to go for the team with a Vegas advantage of -150 and better.  It also pays to pair those odds with a goalie playing at home to give him a comfort advantage. While every arena may seem the same, they all have little subtleties to them that can affect a goalie. An example being the boards may sound different in various arenas, the home goalie is better equipped to know the sounds. With better knowledge of the puck's location, it can give the home goalie a better chance to react to a situation.

              So, I guess that means as long as you pick the winning goalie your all set right…. Wrong! We have more metrics to look into to help us secure the pot. On any given day we could have anywhere from 1 to 10 games on the slate, meaning up to 5 goalies have to win. If you pick the winner you want to also pick the highest scoring goalie, and there are several items to look at. The goalies earn points for each saves made, as well as bonus points after 35 saves. For those that use the sports-wise guy hot sheets will be able to see our metrics for high shot games. Picking the goalie with more saves will allow you to overcome the other winners. It can go as far as to propel a losing goalie past a winning goalie every 9 saves made your goalie cancels out the win bonus. This of course would only happen if they do not lose by a large amount as every goal given up loses points. I could go on and on with the stats, but we will need the stat sheets for that. Once the season starts make sure you get your copy and follow us on twitter for more updates.



Fire Goon signing out!


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Home Ice Hockey


            Let me start by saying a resounding hockey is back! Well, it sort of is at least the talks are looking like early June with some key changes to the game. While these changes will affect the players, it will also affect those looking to take down the first big DFS tournament. The current format is set for teams to play in specific arenas as opposed to their own home arenas. This is being done to minimize the player's exposure to the virus while traveling and staying in various hotels. Home ice is important in hockey and not having it should be a factor in how you make your selections in DFS this playoff period. This will be one of many factors that are used for both shooters and goalies.

              Hockey has both measurable factors and those that you cannot physically measure, but we still recognize them. Let us start with what we can see that will affect the game and its home advantages built into the rules. The home team gets last shift after a stoppage, during a faceoff the visiting center must place his stick first, and if we go to a shootout the home team gets to pick what team shoots first. For the purpose of these games that won't affect us since playoff games don't end with a shootout. Lineups are critical for making our pics and deciding our stacks for the day. If you are not calculating DVP for the players, you are doing a disservice to your bottom line. The best shooter is worthless if he cannot shoot, so lets up the odds. A home ice shooter with a good DVP has a better chance to score points, and this is someone that we want to earmark for our lineups. This is just one way we can use home ice to make our picks there are many others that we will get into as we analyze the playoffs.

              As I mentioned there are also advantages that we cannot measure on the stat sheets, but we recognize them. The single most important being the power of fans, they affect the game in ways that we might not see in the stats. It is proven that the fans can make an impact on the decisions that the officials make, especially if it is a close call. To take it one step further the closer the fans are to the official the more power they can have over the choice. We see this in basketball with the courtside seat basketball has one of the highest home-court advantages in all sports. Does this mean pick the home team every single time no it instead means that we need to consider the home advantage in our projections? To take it one step further what if it is an away team that travels well such as the Patriots, Cowboys, or any SEC football team. Now we have a chance to see the home advantage shift with fan attendance. With the new NHL format, the lack of fans negates the entire fan boost to the calls. Perhaps we will see a more even called games which can mean a lot in the world of DFS hockey.

              Hockey is one of few sports that when a penalty is called the violating team loses a player for a certain amount of time. The man advantage can be a great opportunity for the other team to either score or at the bare minimum ware out the goalie and skaters. With that in mind, hockey has many players that are known, agitators, and bruisers. A bruiser being someone that lays big hits and picks fights, with the goal of removing the other team’s top player from the ice. With the home fan advantage, a bruiser can sometimes get away with hits that an away player might not. This can set off a chain reaction that almost always leads to a fight or at least some type of frustration penalty by an away team skater. It is for this reason that I like to play these games that look like they could be chippy for the chance at more power-play opportunities. It may take a few games to see how the officials call these games for us to determine if this metric is still valid.

              These highlight just a couple of the advantages and disadvantages that are worked into the new proposed rule changes. As we lead up to the restart of the NHL season, or I guess the playoffs is a better term. I will give my take on how I will be playing these games and rules changes, I hope that I can leave you all with something to think on. Be on the lookout for my next post on goalies and how I will be picking them.

Fire Goon signing out!