Greetings! The exchange rate is now open for 2021. In the first installment we will go over some draft tips along with some playoff scheduling notes. This season we will focus on Fantrax leagues (I am not an employee or affiliated with Fantrax in any manner). I am not playing on Yahoo any longer due to the following issues. Last year, I finished second place in my league, earned a first round bye, and was winning my playoff match when the NHL season came to an abrupt halt. I was given my entry fee back, same as every other coach in my league. Not fair. Also, I tried to sign up for a Yahoo pay league this year and could not join until I verified my identity. I have played in Yahoo pay leagues in hockey and football for over 20 years. They needed my social security number AND wanted me to scan and provide a copy of my driver’s license. Not cool. So no more Yahoo for obvious reasons. Fantrax has an entirely different set of rules and strategies involved, so that will be my exchange rate focus this year. That will conclude my venting against Yahoo, although they have helpful Mock Drafts available.
The main differences are: Fantrax public pay leagues are plentiful with lots of draft dates and times at a wide range of entry fee levels. All are weekly formats with no trades allowed to avoid collusion. Fantrax active lineups in the classic draft format all consist of 5 forwards, 3 defense, and 2 goalies, with 6 bench spots in a 16-round draft. 6 of 12 teams qualify for the playoffs that run two weeks in the finals. I can attest they pay out quickly and claim to have the largest percent of prizes in the industry. You do not have to worry about position eligibility, a forward is a forward. You do, however, have to watch upcoming NHL weekly schedules very closely every week to maximize your scoring.
Fantrax pre-draft tip: Check and note the NHL schedules during your playoff periods. During the 2-week finals, some teams play 8 games while others as few as 5 or 6. In the regular season, some weeks teams play only 2 games while others are slated for 4 games. Know this going into your draft, especially if you have equally talented players to choose from. With only once a week changes to lineups, draft accordingly when practical as this can make a big difference, with as many as 4 games of extra scoring for each player with a favorable schedule during the playoffs.
Round 1 playoff week April 5-11
12 teams have 4 games while Anaheim and San Jose only have 2
Round 2 playoff weeks April 12-25
Buffalo, San Jose and Toronto 8 games, 16 teams play 7
Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, Nashville and St. Louis play 5 games
Best 3 week playoff schedules
12 games: Buffalo
11 games: Boston, Montreal, Islanders, Rangers, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Toronto
This is merely something to keep in mind when making those tough draft decisions. Of course you would not totally rely on this strategy but we are assuming you make it to the playoffs. Remember, 6 of 12 teams in Fantrax leagues have a chance to take it all! See you next week with my regular version of the exchange rate with player pickup suggestions and current NHL scheduling.