Jsuites here, writing from historic Steveston BC. I've been a regular FHS reader for some time now. I got to talking to Cam about contributing to the site, which sounded like a good idea until the scotch and Xanax wore off.
I am by no means a fantasy genius (or a writer by any common measure of legitimacy) but what I can offer is some general advice based on my past hits and misses. I've been in dozens of different types of leagues over the years, but my main obsession lies with standard category roto keeper leagues, preferably with deep farm systems.
Since this is my first (and perhaps last) piece for FHS, I thought I'd lay out some of my personal fantasy guidelines, so you can get a better sense of where I'm coming from. Here's a top 7, in no particular order:
1. Make your final decisions while sober. I mean it, and I've been known to enjoy a few drinks now and then (mostly now). That's fine, but when it comes to trades, drafting. and even waiver wire pickups, don't pull the trigger if you're shitfaced. Trust me. Wait until the next morning, have a coffee, and reevaluate.
2. Be an NHL fan. Forget about your home team. Objectivity is key. Don't draft Ryan Smyth because you live in Edmonton and '06 feels like it was yesterday. Don't think Jannik Hansen is going to sneak on to L2 because the Province did a three page spread on his work ethic and another two pager on his favorite salads. And just because your girlfriend bought you a Glencross jersey, it does not mean you should pick him up. In short, don't be a homer.
3. Choose to do nothing, often. Knowing what to do can be easy. Knowing what not to do takes a lot more finesse.
4. This sounds really obvious, but jump on hot streaks. Don't waste time second-guessing the numbers, or someone will beat you to the punch. I plucked Hejduk and Williams off the wire in late October last year. Hejduk didn't start sucking for a couple of months after that, and Williams is now my final keeper. Well hoo-fucking-ray for me, you say? Fine, but you get my point. Don't wait or you'll be passed.
5. Get the NHL Center Ice package. Watch tons of games and do your research in real time. After I subscribed to CI, my overall quality of life improved by a quantifiable 20%. True!
6. Know your online resources. Seriously, put down that three pound glossy McKeen's magazine. It was published in May. You look like an ass. You do have the internet, right? Yes you do.
7. Lastly, don't forget to try. A friend once gave me that advice on the golf course, and it has never left me. Not sure exactly how it applies to fantasy hockey, but then again this isn't a fucking thesis, now is it. Just don't forget to try. Harder than it sounds.
Stay tuned for next time, where I'm aiming to break down the pros and cons of various online pool resources, or why I think Chris Nichols is indispensable, while Dobber is...not.