Monday, September 29, 2008

Extended Talk Part 4: Tiers

I'm too cheap to pay for fantasy sports advice. But during searches there was an article that mentioned the word "tiering," which might just be the term for my personal philosophy when making tough decisions.

Sometimes, it's not as simple as looking at a ranking list. (Actually, that probably is the case in at least 20% of your draft)

In this case it's not terrible to be a fan again - or at least go with your gut.

Here's an example:

In the second round of a draft, I had to decide between Dion Phaneuf and Roberto Luongo. For the most part, I agree with sage-like Chris Nichols advice of not taking a goalie too early...but it's also not great to take a defenseman too early.

In my mind, Phaneuf and Lidstrom are delicacies - great, empowering but nut necessary. For me, each group has its "must-haves" but goalies are perhaps most obvious:

Cornerstone Goalies

Martin Brodeur
Roberto Luongo
Henrik Lundqvist
MA Fleury

To be honest, it is a good idea to get one of those guys. For the hell of it, let's look at some cream of the crops.

But first, here's the cardinal rule of the tier system:

Centers are the busty blonde bombshell of fantasy hockey. They're a dime a dozen. So, when in doubt, go for the exotic RW or the burly, nasty LW. Or something.

Anyway, try to get at least one from each group:

C/Blond Bombshells

Sidney Crosby
Joe Thornton
Pavel Datsyuk
Vincent LeCavalier
Evgeni Malkin
Ryan Getzlaf
Olli Jokinen
Jason Spezza
Eric Staal
(really, there's more...again Centers are easy to come by)

LW/super-tanned Brazillian maneaters

Alex Ovechkin
Henrik Zetterberg
Rick Nash
Ilya Kovalchuk
Dany Heatley
Simon Gagne (if healthy)
(I'm probably forgetting some)

RW/Foxy European hoochies

Marian Hossa
Daniel Alfredsson
Patrick Kane
Teemu Selanne
Corey Perry
Shane Doan
Alex Kovalev (he's inconsistent, so be careful)
Ales Hemsky

D/ Pussy or Pancakes...Pancakes or Pussy?*

Nik Lidstrom
Dion Phaneuf
Dan Boyle
Scott Niedermayer
Brian Campbell
Chris Pronger
Zdeno Chara
Lubo V.
Brian Rafalski
Mike Green
Andrei Markov

Again, this is far from a comprehensive list. But if you can mix and match a bunch of those big-ticket guys, you'll either a) be on the road to victory; b) really, really like your team or c) both.

With that, I must end my fantasy hockey blowout. Use this as a staggering, excessive road map to glory.

I will use it as a stark cry for help.

*TM- Chris Rock

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