Fantasy football has been one of America’s greatest past times over the last decade. Something about strategically drafting a team of professional football players and facing off against 8-12 of your closest friends, brings massive amounts of energy. They have crazy winning and losing traditions, trophies, big money prizes, the whole nine yards. It has become a religion for some people, football fans have transferred their emotions cheering for their favourite teams to instead their fantasy players. They have literally created the NFL Red Zone channel specifically for fantasy football owners that shows every single scoring play from every game that is on, in real time. I respect the effort put in by the people who compete in these leagues. I have never personally been apart of a fantasy football league but I would be very interested in joining one if given the opportunity; seems like a total blast. Although fantasy football is extremely competitive, I believe fantasy hockey has the ability to compete with it as the most competitive fantasy sports league. As Canadians, I think we owe the sport of hockey this kind of respect.
My fantasy hockey league is actually ruthless. I have never seen a group of friends talk so much trash to each other over a manually drafted team of NHL hockey players. We don’t even have money on the line and we treat every week like a do or die situation. Everyone of us has a “guy” that we drafted who has stayed on our teams all year that we treat with the utmost respect. Weekly posts to Facebook after a monstrous win or a crushing defeat have become a very common occurrence. Played a little bit differently than fantasy football, we use 11 stat categories to decide each persons weekly fate instead of using the points system. With a mix of categories from hits to defensive points to goalie stats, a lot of strategy has to be put in to the constant picking up and dropping of players to and from free agency. How well you use free agency can be the make or break of your week and sometimes can have long term affects for your team as well. Picking up players on hot streaks or players who specialize in certain statistical categories helps determine how well your team does on a week to week basis. Some notable players that are statistical monsters would be guys like: Alex Ovechkin, Jamie Benn, Milan Lucic and Victor Hedman.
https://www.dailyfaceoff.com is a key website for us fantasy hockey hardos. They supply a list of team line combinations, starting goalies and a weekly schedule for the NHL to help players strategize who to look for when hunting in their free agency. If you have the time and an interest in hockey I would highly suggest starting a fantasy league of your own with some of your friends. It also gives you something to do once fantasy football season is over, you can control that trash talking itch and continue it on into April. I am telling you, its an absolute game changer that takes a lot of research, interest and maybe even some luck as well.