With the fantasy hockey season winding down, it's time for managers to pull any-and-every trick out of their hat to win their league. Today's post covers a trick that can be used right at the end of the season by the diligent manager. At Left Wing Lock, we call this the squeeze play. This particular trick only works in leagues which put a cap on the number of games played a manager can employ at each roster position. If this applies to you, read on to learn how this trick can help you win your league.
The squeeze play, in a few words, allows a manager to play more games at every roster position than the Yahoo caps suggest. In one of the leagues I'm involved with this season, the league settings allow for the following number of games played:
- C: 164
- LW: 164
- RW: 164
- D: 328
- G: 164
Also in this particular league, we have starting roster slots for 2 centers, 2 left wings, 2 right wings, 4 defensemen, and 2 goalies.
One example of how to make the squeeze play happened to me recently at the position of right wing. I had already used 163 games at the right wing position and therefore had one game remaining. I then waited for a night when I had two of my right wings playing on the same night. I played both of the right wings that night and I earned points from both, despite only have one game left according to Yahoo. This happened for me on April 2, using Dany Heatley and Corey Perry. I was able to earn 12 total fantasy points instead of the 4 ( or 8 ) I would have earned by only starting one of those players.
This works for all of the positions. In my particular league, I should be able to pick up 3 extra forward games (one at C, LW, RW), as many as 3 extra defensemen games (to max this out, I'd wait until I had only 1 game remaining and then pick a night when all 4 of my defensemen were starting), and 1 extra goalie game. Thus, it is possible for my team to earn points for 7 extra games played - a total that can make the difference between a 1st and 2nd place finish. Think about that - 7 extra games played is the equivalent of extending your fantasy hockey season by a full day.
Lest you think this strategy is unethical or against the rules, have a look at Yahoo Fantasy Hockey's own rulebook:
What Does the Games Played Table Show Me?
Don't expect the ideal scenario I described above to just fall into your lap. You're going to have to plan and prepare to have any shot of making this method succeed. But, if you're willing to put in a 20 minute effort into analyzing your roster with some 3rd grade level mathematics, you can find the squeeze points that most fantasy hockey managers don't know about. Good luck!