First off, as with all kinds of fantasy sports, daily fantasy hockey requires a pretty good knowledge of the sport and the match-ups for the day. Just like any other sport, you should be drafting players that are facing weak competition or weak defenses. You also want to draft players that are “hot” and have been putting up solid numbers over the past few games.
Daily fantasy hockey gets unique in some of its scoring rules. The two most important are:
1. A Goalie Scores 20 for a Win
While hockey goalies do not usually score much more points than top skaters, they do get 20 huge fantasy bonus points for a win. Therefore, it’s rather important to have a goalie in your team that can get a win. This is like fantasy baseball wherein the pitcher also gets a bonus when he wins it for his team. However, with daily fantasy hockey, it is not always obvious who the starter for the game will be. So the key strategy is to have a goalie that is likely to get the win, and even more important, one who is very likely to start. For the likely winner, you can check online sportsbooks to find which teams are heavily favored. For the likely starter, this is a bit tougher. Obviously, teams who rarely rotate goalies are safer than teams with two strong goalies. Sometimes you will just need to do some research and find out who the planned starter is for the day. The bottom line is the 20 points are going to be important to your fantasy team’s success, so choose your goalie wisely, and don’t be afraid to spend a few bucks here.
2. +/- Statistics Count as 5 Points
This is a very unique scoring rule for daily fantasy hockey. If your player is on the ice when their team scores, you get 5 points, and if they are on the ice when their opponent scores, you lose 5 points. So, you obviously would want players who do well in +/- situations. Many players do well on +/- situations in general, but that is reflected on their cap value. What you really want to know is how well they’ll do in the next game. Here is where you will want to have players from the day’s winning teams. Since the winning team has scored more goals than the losing team, the winning team will have more “plus” stats than “minus” stats in general. You can again consult an online sportsbook to see who the most heavily favored teams are. And in general, draft players from those teams and not from teams expected to lose. Don’t make the mistake of drafting a good fantasy hockey skater who is facing a tough match-up and whose team will likely lose. Their personal stats may not be able to overcome the minus stats that may come.
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