For many, fantasy hockey drafts are the most fun because you can construct your team the way you want it. But sometimes, you aren’t always happy with the result. Maybe too many players were taken from your queue or you loaded up on one position. Decisions in the draft can definitely give you an advantage or hinder your success during the season.
Busts are almost unavoidable. With 20-plus rounds, you’re bound to get someone who doesn’t have the year that is expected of him. With the proper roster construction, this can be mended. It is definitely attractive to take players who will get your fantasy team points, but most leagues have other categories and ways of winning, whether it be through hits, penalty minutes, blocked shots, etc. This is where defensemen get a lot of their value and why you shouldn’t just draft a bunch of soft-scoring forwards.
How Many Players Do You Draft at Each Position?
A question many ask is how many players you should have at each position. Roster spots aren’t unlimited, and need to be spread out somewhat fairly. You must think about how many players might be sitting on the bench when they have games on busy nights and how many fantasy points you’re losing there. This is why drafting at least one extra forward, defenseman, and goalie is the best move.
Some fantasy owners are happy with two goalies if they drafted them early and they are elite. While this might help them most of the time, sometimes you need more games to elevate your stats or get a win. It’s not easy to find capable streaming options in net late in the week. But too many goalies can also hinder your team. Carrying four or even five goalies in some cases takes away from the forwards or defense that will be padding your fantasy stats. While player stats are more about quantity, goalie stats are about quality. If one of those elite starters were to go out, you need at least a third option you can play more.
Leagues vary from four to six defensemen able to be put in the lineup per night in fantasy. However many spots there are, always draft and roster at least one extra defenseman. It isn’t even a bad idea to carry two extras in some cases if you have drafted players like Erik Karlsson, Cale Makar, or someone of that offensive quality. They will provide scoring stats like a forward and also provide defensive stats. With a more offensive mindset from those defenders, you might need a Luke Schenn or Radko Gudas as an extra.
Now with forwards, sometimes it is split up into centers, left wings, and right wings, or it can just be forwards. Within reason, try to have a fair amount of multi-position players if it is the first option. While there are typically five bench spots, this leaves three spots for extra forwards. As with the other positions, you don’t want five so players are always sitting on the bench and not contributing, but you don’t want too little either.
Related: 2023 Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy
Roster construction starts in the draft, so try to distribute picks evenly to the forwards, defense, and goaltending. It is easier to hold an extra goalie, an extra defenseman, and three extra forwards if you have some solid talent at each position. This will allow for more seamless adding and dropping during the weeks as well. This is a tried and tested method, so good luck and get the most out of your players.