11 August 2009

Competent Competition

Over at the CLS redraft, we are almost through six rounds of re-drafting so far. When the idea was first kicked around, I envisioned something a bit different than what the draft actually became, but one of the most compelling parts of doing this whole exercise was that I thought it would be highly interesting to see how a group of people reacted to the constant changes of a league-wide fantasy draft. Seeing how people originally intended to go before the draft started, how they reacted to what came their way and to position runs, and where their team was completed compared to the intended build was going to be the most interesting part to me.

As I mentioned before, I came into this draft with a basic plan of how I wanted to build my team. I wanted to build a defense-first team, much in the mold of the Detroit Red Wings or the Anaheim Ducks. Instead, Jarome Iginla fell to #16, and I was obligated to take one of my favorite forwards in the game. After that, I went for a franchise D-man with Duncan Keith in the second round. In the third, I felt that most of the top end defensemen were gone, but Brenden Morrow is another favorite of mine, in a similar mold as Iginla, and he wasn't going to last much longer, so I had to jump on that.

One thing I noticed though by this point in the draft was that in a draft of 30 people knowledgeable about the game, while it was possible to still get some relative "steals" close to where people ought to have been taken, there was no way you were going to fill a team with quality players gotten from the bottom rounds of a draft. I wasn't terribly impressed with what was left over for me in rounds 4 and 5, and I was thinking I could nab some steals in rounds 5-10, so I took some opportunities to trade down and collect a bunch of 5-10's, at the expense of some of my much later picks. This way, while everyone else is fighting over nonames to fill their roster, I'll already have my roster filled with higher quality players. It may not be great all the way through, but top to bottom, it should be better than most people.

Part of the problem here though, is that everyone in this league freaked out and took goalies in a big hurry. I refused to get caught in a position run just to get bottom of the barrel goalies, so I just kept on picking. Then everyone started picking up "name" players and bargain contracts, several rounds before they should've gone. I love Milan Lucic, but there's no way he's a top 2 line forward. He went 130th, to a team that had Lecavalier and Hossa for forwards already. Presumably, he plays on a top line, or he was a tremendous reach. But those reaches are happening all over the draft board, so I'm having to reach similarly for any players on bargain contracts. Having 3 picks in the 6th round, I grabbed T. J. Oshie, Jonathan Ericsson, and Alexander Edler. Decent prices for each, which allows me more flexibility later in the draft for grabbing anyone who is a little overpaid (or even paid market value).

In the NHL, cap room is one of the most valuable resources you can have, and in this draft, people are collecting bargain contracts like they're going out of style. Part of the problem with that though, is that this redraft league is set up to run for one year only. There is no dynastic team building here. Having a $5 dollar shake on your team isn't a problem, as you don't have to think about those raises the rookies are due next year. Especially when you're going to be fighting over a bunch of minimum wage players in rounds 18-23 anyways, who cares if you grab the $5 milkshake now? Competent competition is definitely making this draft harder, as everyone else involved certainly knows their stuff, but at the same time, the pack focus on goaltenders all at once, then bargain contracts all at once, etc. is making for some pretty strange results. I'm not really sure how I feel about it, except that it frustrates me to no end that everyone I want to steal is being stolen by everyone else. This must be how Kevin Lowe ends up making stupid decisions.

Its definitely too late to do this now with this CLS redraft league, but I'm a huge dork and really think dynastic team-building, on a model like the NHL, would be pretty sweet. I'm not sure how such a thing would be done or kept ongoing, but I think it could be pretty cool. Doing an online NHL10 league for 30 teams would be similar, but it woul dbe just too long and unwieldy to possibly make into a reality. I guess I'm kind of envisioning something almost on the level of a Dungeons and Dragons thing, but it would be a hockey sim instead. That probably makes me a huge douchebag, but I think that would be pretty cool.

EDIT: I'm not entirely sure why I wrote this. I guess I'm just bitching because my competition is for the most part pretty good. What I want is for everyone else to grab the expensive players now, and fill out the bottom of the roster with minimum wagers, while I grab all the bargain guys and then am free to fill the bottom of my roster with more expensive guys if I want. Unfortunately, everyone else is screwing this up for me.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Joe. Patrice Bergeron might, in fact, be a good example of a "$5 shake."