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It’s year 4 of the Bottom of the Pacific Fantasy League, and I’m stoked to bring you this year’s info. Let’s get to it.
11 of the 12 managers from last season are returning this year. Brett R has decided to bow out, and I want to take a quick second to thank him for being such an integral part of the league. Brett has been around for several years, and we’ll miss him.
Taking over his team is our first duo, Kyle and John. They are the Sales team at my company, and it took them all of eight seconds to start trash talking me. I think they’ll be a formidable team.
As you know, we’ve bumped the number of keepers to 8 this year. I was interested to see how the free agent pool would look with the increase, but it’s actually pretty stocked. There’s a lot of pretty great players available in the first couple rounds, including a couple of “wait, how was that guy not a keeper?” options.
We are keeping the same playoff format with six teams making the playoffs, and the top team in each division getting a bye through the first round. The next four teams are seeded and play each other, with the winners moving on to play the division winners, followed by the championship round.
As you can see, there’s been some roster changes. Let’s go through them:
5 D (was 6)
4 BN (was 6)
23 total non-IR slots (was 26)
We’ve decided to add a third IR slot because a number of use ran into situations where there were more than two valuable players that were injured on our roster, and ultimately we don’t think that we should be penalized for injuries happening in real life. We have reduced the number of defenseman slots because, frankly, there’s just not enough valuable defensemen in the league, especially once injuries start happening.
Finally, we are reducing the bench slots from 6 to 4 for two major reasons. First, it releases 24 additional players into free agency which has been pretty slim pickings lately. And secondly, we hope this will spur on trades a bit more because you won’t be able to stash as many players on your bench.
As established last season, all trades must be approved in the system by the Commissioner or a member of the Executive Committee before they go through. Draft picks can be traded at any time, but they are kept track of outside the ESPN platform. You can trade any combination of picks and players, with the only stipulation that there must be an equal number of picks going both ways.
Goal: +3.5 (was +3)
Assist: +2.5 (was +2)
Faceoff Won: +0.1
Faceoff Lost: -0.1
Shot on Goal: +0.2
Short Handed Point: +1
So the big deal here is that we’ve eliminated the Power Play Point and Penalty Minute categories. Penalties are pretty obvious – no one likes them, and they’re pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But the Power Play Point was hotly debated in the Committee, and eventually we came to consensus: it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to give a bonus point on a goal or an assist that is scored 5v4 or 5v3, which is much easier than scoring 5v5. The best players will still tend to get power play time anyway, which increases their chances of scoring goals and assists.
The Short Handed Point bonus remains though, since it’s harder to score 4v5 than it is at full strength or on the power play.
To balance out the points lost by removing the PPP, we’ve increased both goals and assists by half a point each.
Game Started: +1
Win: +1 (was +3)
Goal Against: -1.5 (was -1)
Save: +0.2 (was +0.1)
All five categories for Goaltenders remain, but they’ve been rebalanced to reflect better on how goalies actually are performing. The biggest change is that we’ve reduced the value of a Win from 3 to 1. Why? Wins are more of a team stat, because it relies on the skaters scoring goals. We’ve also increased the value of Saves from .1 to .2, and Goals Against from -1 to -1.5. This actually makes it easier for our goalies to catch up, as it takes 7.5 saves to negate a goal allowed compared to 10 saves this season.
This will help good goalies that are stuck behind bad teams most of all. Take a guy like Robin Lehner, who is a career .917 goalie but because he’s in Buffalo, he can’t get a win to save his life. Under the new system, his points earned will be much more reflective of his actual skill.
Despite all the changes, the breakdown of points earned by Skaters/Goalies remains pretty close to the 90/10 split that we currently have. My estimation has goalies worth slightly more currently, closer to 10.5-11, but not so much it throws our balance out of whack.
See you at the Draft!