I am in a 13 team points league (skater categories: G(5), A(3), PPP(1), +/-(1), SHG(5), SHA(2.5), GWG(3), SOG(.5), HITS(.25), BKS(.25)) with 5 keepers.
There are 19 roster spots and we can dress 13 players on a given night: 2 C, 2 LW, 2 RW, 1 F, 4 D, 1 Utl, 1 G, 6 Bench.
Four of my five keepers are a lock--Crosby, Sharp, Neal, Lundqvist. To give you a sense of our particular scoring system in avg. fantasy points per game Crosby, Sharp, and Neal all finished in the top six amongst all skaters in the league (along with Malkin, Giroux and Stamkos)! Perhaps needless to say, with a Lunqvist in net and when Crosby is playing I have very strong keepers under our system.
I am having trouble deciding on my 5th and final keeper. The choice is between Backes and Chara, who finished with 434 and 400 fantasy points respectively.
• Backes finished 23rd overall in total fantasy points amongst skaters, which—if he can do the same this year—is outstanding for a 5th keeper
• Chara finished third amongst defensemen in total points, behind only Karlsson and Weber. 400 is excellent for a defensemen in our league. In each of the last three years there has only been 3 or 4 defense to finish at or above 400 fantasy points. Chara is the only one to have been in that group every year. I should also mention that while there are 84 forward that finish with more than 300 fantasy points, there are only 12 defense. So defense is thin, and I have been very successful each year rolling with a well above average group on the back end.
I have kept Chara each year of this pool, because I like to enter the draft with a positionally well-rounded roster . This year, however, I am questioning who to keep as both are strong options.
A big part of my indecision is that I don’t have a good strategy for valuing forwards vs. defense. While forwards get more points, there are far fewer good D. If anyone has a good system for this I would be eager to hear it.
A few other facts that weigh into this:
1) I won the league last year so I have the last overall pick in each round. But I also traded Bobby Ryan early in the season, and have the third pick in the first and third rounds. Given the available players and other teams’ roster needs, if I drop Backes I suspect he will go 2nd overall, while there is a good chance Chara would still be around by my second pick (13th overall) in the first round.
2) Beside Marleau, (and backes, if I drop him), I feel like the other players likely to go in the first round are a wash. If I go strickly by my LWL rankings the order is: Alfredsson, Heatly, Pavelski, Lecavalier, Cole, Bergeron, Selanne, Pominville, Kunitz, Thornton, Koivu. None of these players standout to me for the 3rd overall pick. I feel as though there is a chance any one of them could still be on the board when I draft last in the first round. Because of this, I am actually trying to trade the third overall pick (plus a much later pick) for two picks somewhere in the 2-4 rounds. I have had a couple good nibbles on trade offers, and would bet I will move this pick before the draft).
3) Before we declare our keepers in two weeks, we are allowed to trade players that are on our rosters from the previous year. I am actively shopping either Backes or Chara to teams with weak keepers. Ideally I could move one of them for a pick somewhere in rounds 3-6--which is obviously better than dropping one for nothing--I would then be happy to keep the other. Historically, though, it has been tough to get a deal done in the offseason. There is a good chance I will be force to make the choice and drop one.
Assuming I can’t trade either… I am interested to know what this community thinks: Backes or Chara?