Right now is a big time for 50% of fantasy hockey players out there. If you are in the bottom half of your standings and you hope to make a serious push for the title, it needs to start now. The season is well past the halfway mark and those currently on the outside of the top spots need to make changes now to save their season.
For those of you in head-to-head leagues this is easier said than done. It's tough to predict just how things will work out on a weekly basis, but there are still ways you can improve your chances at advancing to your fantasy playoffs. If you are in a roto league it is (for my money at least) easier to get back into the thick of things. The only problem there is that there are no playoffs in a roto league, so for those of you playing for keeps it's first place or nothing!
If you want to make a big move in the roto format you need to do 2 things;
- Know where you can improve the most.
- Know where the teams ahead of you are most vulnerable.
One of the best ways to make up ground is in PIMs. If you are not near the top of your league in PIMs then the first thing you need to do is replace your worst defenseman with one who will get you plenty of PIMs. This is a pretty low risk move since you probably aren't getting much production from that spot anyway. If you can, try to add someone with a decent +/- rating as well.
With that move out of the way it simply boils down to determining which categories you can make up the most ground in and getting to work. If you are near the bottom in assists and holding your own in goals then don't be afraid to drop or trade a goal scorer for a quality setup man. If your win total is low, pick up and extra goalie or two. It's all about taking risks and maximizing the possible return you will get on them. The good news is that you're already at the bottom of the standings so you really don't have anything to lose.
Now for a bit of official business... I had hoped to make Fantasy Focus a regular Monday fixture here at TOFTT. Something has come up though that is going to impact that. Starting Friday Feb. 1st I will have a weekly fantasy hockey article running on RotoTimes.com through the end of the Stanley Cup Finals. I will be breaking down which players are hot and cold in the NHL for RotoTimes. I don't foresee this cutting into the amount of posting I do here, but I do think it will reduce how much I write about fantasy hockey on a regular basis. At least for the remainder of this season.