That's right, Maniacs - the World Cup has ended and the NHL pre-season is underway, so it's time to launch Year 8 (!!!) of...
MANIAC FANTASY HOCKEY!
This year, like last year, we will be playing head-to-head instead of rotisserie style. Roster and scoring settings will be entirely the same as last year, and we will still have a 10-team maximum.
Still, even if you are a returning manager, I encourage you to read through all of this so you know all of the important dates and whatnot...
HOW TO REGISTER:
[As of now, I expect most of last season's managers to return. These instructions will only apply if a slot is open.]
The league is on Yahoo, so you must have a Yahoo account to play...
1. Go to the League Registration Page (link will only work if we have a vacancy)
2. Create your team name and follow the instructions
3. Once registered, bookmark the league homepage: Maniac Fantasy Hockey
4. At some point before the draft, pre-rank players if you so desire
TEAM ROSTERS & STAT CATEGORIES:
Each team will start 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 2 goalies. We will also have 4 bench spots, plus up to 5 IR
slots (for players who go on the real-life IR) and 5 IR+ slots (for
players who are on IR or officially designated as Day-To-Day), as well
as 5 NA slots (for players who are suspended or sent to the minors). So
mathematically-challenged, that means rosters will start with 16 total
players, since IR/IR+ and NA slots are only used on an as-needed basis.
Rosters will be edited on a daily basis, so you can rotate players in and out of starting spots each day to maximize scoring. (Remember, players on your bench on any given day do not earn points for your team.)
The following statistical categories will be counted in our league:
Forwards & Defensemen: Goals, Assists, Plus/Minus, and Power-Play Points
Goaltenders: Wins, Goals-Against Average, and Save Percentage
Until last season, our
league had always been rotisserie style, which I enjoy quite a bit. The
format rewards consistency and staying active in managing your team,
which I think is quite fair. The problem is, we often had far too few
managers remain active for the duration - by season's end, there were
usually only 3 or 4 players who were still actively participating. That might be partly because the rotisserie point system can make sizable
leads seem insurmountable before we even get through the holidays. Folks
want to play, but if they feel like they have no chance of winning and
it's only Thanksgiving, they just drop off the radar for the rest of the
season. So since we clearly had a problem with players going MIA, we tried changing from rotisserie to head-to-head last year - and I think it went very well, so we're doing it again this year.
One of the big advantages of head-to-head is that it keeps players engaged throughout the season. Just like in fantasy football (and sports in general), anything can happen once the playoffs begin. In rotisserie fantasy hockey, there are no playoffs, and you can find yourself out of reach of the leader in short order. But in head-to-head fantasy hockey, more teams stay in the mix longer, and it's easier to gain ground in the standings by making the right mid-season moves. Instead of having one leader with perhaps one or two legit contenders in close pursuit (and the rest of the league feeling SOL), you can have 4 managers holding down playoff spots with 2-4 others in contention - and once those 4 playoff spots are locked up, the slate is wiped clean and it's a trophy dash for the championship.
So how does head-to-head work? Well,
there are a few different variations, but we'll be playing what's
commonly known as the "each category" version. Each week, you will
square off against a different opponent, playing one "game" per stat
category. (So since we use 7 stat categories, you will play 7 "games"
each week.) To win a "game," you must beat your opponent's weekly total
in the given stat - so, to provide a partial example, if your team
scores 13 goals and 17 assists and has a 2.41 GAA while your opponent's
team scores 13 goals and 14 assists and has a 2.26 GAA, you earn a Tie
in goals, a Win in assists, and a Loss in GAA. This method is applied to
all 7 stat categories each week, and at the end of each week, your
weekly record is added to your overall season record. So if you go 5-1-1
in Week 1 and 2-4-1 in Week 2, your season record after 2 weeks will be
The league standings are determined by season-long
winning percentage. Given a 22-week regular season (more on that in a
minute) and 7 "games" per week, that means your final regular-season
record will be based on the results of 154 "games." If you end up tied
with another team in the standings, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head
"game" wins (but not necessarily "week" wins). So if the two tied teams
met 3 times during the regular season and your team went 5-2-0, 2-3-2,
and 3-4-0, your team would win the tiebreaker (10 "game" wins versus 9
for your opponent) even though your opponent "won" 2 of the 3 weeks.
interesting wrinkle is that in any given week, your goaltenders must
combine to make a minimum of 3 appearances. This is a Yahoo default
setting aimed at ensuring that each weekly matchup is settled based on
goalie stats accumulated over multiple games, thus preventing someone
from "cashing out" after an early-week shutout. Both starts and relief
appearances count toward the minimum, even if a relief appearance is so
brief that it does not produce any measurable stats beyond minutes
played. Your current-week goaltender appearances total (through the
previous day) is always available at the bottom of your team page, with
the weekly total first appearing in red and then changing to green once
you've reached the weekly minimum. If a week ends and you have not
reached the minimum, you will be tagged with an automatic loss in all 3 goalie stats.
If both teams fail to meet the minimum, both will receive ties in all
3 goalie stats. [Please note that the weekly minimum is not enforced if a
week does not include at least 5 days with NHL games scheduled. Continue reading for more info about this season's schedule.]
SEASON SCHEDULE & PLAYOFF FORMAT:
All weeks consist of 7 calendar days (Monday through Sunday), unless otherwise noted...
Week 1: 10/12 to 10/23 [12 DAYS - Start of Season]
Week 2: 10/24 to 10/30
Week 3: 10/31 to 11/6 [7 DAYS but only 6 with games scheduled due to Halloween]
Week 4: 11/7 to 11/13
Week 5: 11/14 to 11/20
Week 6: 11/21 to 11/27
Week 7: 11/28 to 12/4
Week 8: 12/5 to 12/11
Week 9: 12/12 to 12/18
Week 10: 12/19 to 12/25 [7 DAYS but only 5 with games scheduled due to Christmas Break]
Week 11: 12/26 to 1/1 [7 DAYS but only 6 with games scheduled due to Christmas Break]
Week 12: 1/2 to 1/8
Week 13: 1/9 to 1/15
Week 14: 1/16 to 1/22
Week 15: 1/23 to 2/5 [14 DAYS but only 10 with games scheduled due to the All-Star Break]
Week 16: 2/6 to 2/12
Week 17: 2/13 to 2/19
Week 18: 2/20 to 2/26
Week 19: 2/27 to 3/5
Week 20: 3/6 to 3/12
Week 21: 3/13 to 3/19
Week 22: 3/20 to 3/26
Week 23: 3/27 to 4/2
Week 24: 4/3 to 4/9 [7 DAYS - End of Season]
regular season will consist of Weeks 1-22. You will play your 4
divisional rivals 3 times each (12 games) and your 5 non-division
opponents 2 times each (10 games).
Four teams will qualify for
the playoffs - the 2 division winners will automatically be seeded #1
and #2, with the 2 next-best teams (regardless of division) seeded #3
and #4 as wild cards.
The first round of the playoffs will be
Week 23. The top division winner will play the lower wild-card team, and
the other division winner will play the top wild-card team.
The championship round will be Week 24, ending on the final day of the NHL regular season (Sunday 4/9).
[Note: Last season, Yahoo initially said that they would be adding an option to use a 2-week championship. I planned on using that format whenever they made it available. Then mid-season, they announced that, for unspecified reasons, the 2-week option would not be available for the 2015-16 season. I assumed that meant they would just hold off and make it an option for 2016-17. But now it's 2016-17 and there's no mention of it anywhere. So apparently, they've shelved the idea altogether.]
The live draft will be at 8:00 PM CT on Tuesday, October 11. If you plan to actively take part in the live draft, please arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start time, so we'll all be ready to start on time. The draft will will likely take around an hour or so, depending on how many people join in, so be prepared to stick around for a while. If you are unable to participate (or if you just don't wish to), your team will be automatically picked by Yahoo as if it were an autopick draft - based on your pre-rankings or (if you don't pre-rank) the default Yahoo rankings. Note that you can only edit your pre-rankings up until 45 minutes prior to the draft.
Once our list of participants is finalized , I'll tell Yahoo to determine the draft order. The draft will be 16 rounds long. In the odd-numbered rounds, the randomized order will apply; in the even-numbered rounds, the order will be reversed.
2009-10: Shockers (Michael)
2010-11: Shadow's Snipers (Mike)
2011-12: Shockers (Michael)
2012-13: Shockers (Michael) & Shadow's Snipers (Mike) [TIE]
2013-14: Shockers (Michael)
2014-15: Wildcat (Riley)
2015-16: Amanda's Team (Amanda)
I think that's about it. If you have any questions, just reply
to this thread and I'll do my best to help you out.
Again, the draft will be at 8:00 PM CT on Tuesday, October 11. The NHL regular season begins on Wednesday, October 12.
Thanks for reading, and good luck this season!