Let’s reboot this.
That is correct. Fantasy Hockey will make a comeback sometime within the next month or so. As platforms begin to scramble and try to figure out what formats to craft, we at FPC will try and speculate some strategies.
This is going to be an inexact science. It is time to talk about some of the variables involved here.
Likely “Training Camp” and “restart” date.
It seems July 13th is the day to be circled on the hockey calendar. Barring any more setbacks, this is the date the NHL will start training camps. Their Phase 3/Phase 4 part of their restart is expected to start then and no sooner.
After that, debate exists on the how long question. What do we mean? Simply, how many weeks will it take for these players to get something close to NHL shape? Reality dictates the round-robin/play-in round will see considerable rust. From a fantasy hockey standpoint, this favors the underdogs on the surface.
There will be some kind of exhibition game(s) as well. If one goes by a two to three-week window, the restart of the 2019-20 season projects to be somewhere between July 30th and August 7th.
The NHL is rightfully monitoring the other sports — especially the MLB and NBA. These two dates above hinge on how the hub cities handle their bubble. Currently, the infection rate among a sample of players stands at just under 6%. The NBA rates in at just the same. As for baseball, those percentages are unknown at this time.
In order to have fantasy hockey pools, obviously, there can be no more significant setbacks. The CBA extension and start of a training camp will be huge steps in the process but far from the only hurdles to come.
The important thing for fantasy hockey pool players will be monitoring these camps for injuries and recoveries. Now, the usual groin injuries expect to get mixed in with a variety of ailments including maladies stemming from out of shape players.
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What Do We Expect?
Candidly, we do not know. There are only educated guesses but look to playoff pools of the past for a guide as far as scoring. Over on the Fantasy Hockey X podcast, the idea will be to explore which matchups are there for exploring. After that, it is about stringing along some of those players into the “actual playoffs”. This is to maximize and accumulate as many points as possible.
Looking at series like Montreal-Pittsburgh, Carolina-New York, and Edmonton-Chicago are prudent. However, do not sleep on Columbus and Toronto. Toronto has been guilty of playing a leaky defense all season. If the Blue Jackets can strike fast early, that will put the Maple Leafs on their heels. Do not expect Columbus players to be heavily owned.
That becomes the gamble. Looking at what could be lowered owned in this play-in round could pay dividends later. This depends on the format as far as the platforms. What will pool organizers do? Will the play-in round be separate from the playoff rounds? Will they be combined? Check each platform to see what they will do. Yahoo may be different from Office Pools for example.
Then, there are the daily fantasy formats that should remain mostly the same. That will be addressed much closer to the start of this restart.
Again, here at Full Press Coverage, we have all your fantasy hockey needs fully covered. Finally, there will even be a playoff pool to examine. In this unprecedented time, the continuation of the hockey season will be very much welcomed despite many apprehensions.
As always, we will take all of your questions via Twitter. Just ask @ChrisWasselDFS anything and everything hockey.
NHL Leading Scorers – 2019/20