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NCAA Fantasy Hockey Week 17: Trade Tips

Seems like the best players just keep getting better

Happy Thursday everyone! Warning: this post has a lot of tables and will look a lot better on a tablet or PC than on your phone.

Standings update

The Tuesday games resulted in points for a lot of teams, but the only change in standings was that Michelle’s Team Watt’s Up! nosed ahead of Mokas Gals for 11th place. Given that, I won’t take space in this post with the table, but you can find the up-to-date standings here, and today’s standings preserved forever here.

And those aren’t even necessarily the final standings for the week. There’s an unusual Thursday game between Mercyhurst and RIT tonight, which could nudge Peaky Grinders from 15th to 14th place if Emma Nuutinen scores more than 0.1 points (!), or nudge Team Bewareful from 5th to 4th if Nuutinen scores three or more. If there’s a change in the standings, or if I just feel like it, I’ll do a quick update post tomorrow.

(2019-01-31 UPDATE: The Mercyhurst-RIT game was postponed to Saturday, February 2nd.)

What happened in those games?

The two CHA-v-ECAC games that we had on Tuesday saw similar results obtained in very different ways.

Princeton led Penn State 4-0, but Penn State pulled it back to 4-2 final with two goals in the last four minutes. Penn State actually outshot Princeton, but had enormous trouble with special teams – three of Princeton’s goals came on their five power plays, and Penn State didn’t get a single power play goal on its three attempts.

Over at the game the CHA team was hosting, Syracuse led Cornell 2-0 after eight and a bit minutes, but Cornell scored five unanswered goals to take the game 5-2.

Meanwhile, RPI and Union played a postponed game which RPI took 2-1 despite being outshot 30-25 (and 17-5 in the final period!). That boosted Lovisa Selander’s (RPI, $46.8, 37.45 SP, 6.7 WP, 1 pick) points to 6.7 for the week. Her score smashes the record for goalie points in a week, which was 5.45 set by Maddie Rooney all the way back in week 4, and provided a nice boost to Team Bewareful.

What’s happening this weekend?

The entire CHA (Lindenwood, Mercyhurst, Penn State, RIT, Robert Morris, Syracuse) is off this weekend, presumably for the CHA All-Star Game. Other than that, everyone has two games, except that:

  • Harvard plays a normal weekend against Brown and Yale and then has its first Beanpot game, against BC, on Tuesday;
  • St. Cloud has two against Ohio State at the weekend and then a midweek against Minnesota State;
  • Minnesota State has an exhibition against the Whitecaps but only one game that counts for our purposes, the midweek against St. Cloud;
  • Merrimack just has one game, against Providence.

Looking at the KRACH predictions, we have the following likely blowouts (reminder, the number is the probability predicted by KRACH that the first named team will win):

  • Cornell v Union: 0.969
  • Boston College v Holy Cross: 0.961
  • Wisconsin @ Bemidji State (two games): 0.946
  • Colgate v Union: 0.945

And then two much more interesting series:

  • Minnesota v Minnesota Duluth (two games): 0.878
  • Northeastern @ Connecticut: 0.857

Maddie Rooney (Minnesota-Duluth, $43.8, 31.25 SP, 2.5 WP, 11 picks) saved Minnesota-Duluth against Ohio State and was let down by her offence against Quinnipiac: can she keep Minnesota-Duluth in it against a Gophers team that keeps on scoring? Over in the east, can Morgan Fisher at the back and Natalie Snodgrass at the front find what it takes to make Connecticut competitive with a Northeastern team that’s seeing Chloé Aurard (Northeastern, $28.7, 23.3 SP, 0 WP, 8 picks) return to full strength?

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the KRACH table where the most even matchups live, we have perhaps the most interesting game since Northeastern took on Clarkson in Belfast:

  • Princeton v Clarkson: 0.548

KRACH thinks Princeton has the edge here, but KRACH hasn’t tried to stop Clarkson’s top line. This should be a thriller. The game’s at 6 pm on Friday and you can watch on ESPN+.

Updated team of the week

Some significant changes thanks to the Tuesday games.

Jaime Bourbonnais (Cornell, $37.3, 26.9 SP, 5.5 WP, 4 picks) and Micah Zandee-Hart (Cornell, $30.1, 15.6 SP, 4.8 WP, 1 pick) enter with very strong scores, and the RPI-Union game pushes Union goalie Amelia Murray (Union, $20.1, 18.1 SP, 4 WP, 0 picks) in too. Stick tap also to Union skater Katie Sonntag (Union, $5.6, 2.1 SP, 4.1 WP, 0 picks), who is just squeezed out of team of the week due to alphabetical order or something, but who scored a goal in all three Union games this week having never previously scored a goal in her college career.

Murray displaces RIT goalie Terra Lanteigne (RIT, $46.4, 39 SP, 3.55 WP, 1 pick), who will almost certainly make it back in to the team of the week after tonight’s RIT-Mercyhurst game. On the Mercyhurst side, Summer-Rae Dobson (Mercyhurst, $10.8, 7 SP, 3.6 WP, 0 picks) has a good chance of making her first appearance in the Team of the Week if she can pick up a point tonight.

Roster: Loren Gabel (Clarkson, F, 7.2), Lovisa Selander (RPI, G, 6.7), Megan Keller (BC, D, 6.6), Emily Curlett (Robert Morris, D, 6.4), Ella Shelton (Clarkson, D, 6.), Jaime Bourbonnais (Cornell, D, 5.5), Lenka Serdar (Cornell, F, 5.2), Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Merrimack, F, 4.9), Micah Zandee-Hart (Cornell, D, 4.8), Skylar Fontaine (Northeastern, D, 4.5), Tera Hofmann (Yale, G, 4.35), Emily Oden (Minnesota, F, 4.2), Taylor Williamson (Minnesota, F, 4.1), Brooke Hobson (Northeastern, D, 4.1), Amelia Murray (Union, G, 4)

Score: 78.55

Cost: 552.20

Trade tips

As a reminder, costs are on the costs tab, and the Mercyhurst and RIT costs will change before the next trade happens.

Because I literally can’t stop tweaking things, I’ve made a new “For your consideration: Scoring” tab in the sheet. This contains:

  • The top ten players by predicted points for the rest of the season, based on the whole season, and
  • The top ten players by predicted points for the rest of the season, based on the last ten team games,

sorted by predicted points based on the last ten.

Here’s the current table – it’ll update in the sheet but not in this post. All these players are worth your consideration. (Sorry about the blank rows at the bottom, it’s a Chorus thing).

Top prospects for the rest of the season

Player School Cost Last 10 expected points Whole season expected points Difference
Player School Cost Last 10 expected points Whole season expected points Difference
Megan Keller BC 61.00 25.08 12.44 12.64
Sarah Fillier Princeton 41.30 24.86 9.34 15.52
Elizabeth Giguère Clarkson 76.50 23.04 16 7.04
Jessie Eldridge Colgate 55.70 22.56 11.91 10.65
Loren Gabel Clarkson 74.10 22.44 14.77 7.67
Lindsay Reed Harvard 32.10 18.55 13.82 4.73
Lovisa Selander RPI 46.80 18.15 8.64 9.51
Skylar Fontaine Northeastern 35.00 18.12 8.99 9.13
Maggie Connors Princeton 32.80 17.93 6.91 11.02
Maddie Mills Cornell 40.60 17.52 10.74 6.78
Mikyla Grant-Mentis Merrimack 30.20 17.49 6.92 10.57
Jaime Bourbonnais Cornell 37.30 17.4 10.25 7.15
Michaela Pejzlová Clarkson 62.20 16.44 13.08 3.36
Jesse Compher BU 52.80 14.88 13.88 1
Alina Mueller Northeastern 43.00 12.72 10.88 1.84
Abigail Levy Minnesota State 41.00 10.45 10.1 0.35

One crazy thing to notice is that every single player in here is playing stronger as the season goes on – i.e., every player’s projected points score based on the last ten games is more than their projected points score based on the whole season. You’d maybe expect this for Megan Keller and Sarah Fillier, who missed games due to international obligations and injury, but for players like Jessie Eldridge, Maggie Connors, and Mikyla Grant-Mentis, it seems to be the case that they’re simply playing better. Of the skaters, Jesse Compher (BU, $52.8, 45.1 SP, 2.7 WP, 11 picks) is the one who’s getting stronger most slowly, and that’s not because BU’s opposition has improved significantly; at the same time, BU’s non-Beanpot games over the next week are against Vermont and Holy Cross, so Compher should be able to pick up the pace too.

(Note that Grant-Mentis has only one game this weekend, so it might be worth seeing if her strong play continues through that before taking a flutter on her.)

We can also consider the table of who gives you the best expected points at a given price. Here are the top ten skaters by that criterion:

Best skaters at a given price point

Skater School Cost Predicted points
Skater School Cost Predicted points
Megan Keller BC 61.00 25.08
Sarah Fillier Princeton 41.30 24.86
Skylar Fontaine Northeastern 35.00 18.12
Maggie Connors Princeton 32.80 17.93
Mikyla Grant-Mentis Merrimack 30.20 17.49
Emma Keenan Clarkson 24.50 14.76
Rebecca Vanstone Yale 20.20 12.72
Charlotte Welch Yale 20.20 11.88
Emma Seitz Yale 15.50 11.64
Sam Isbell Mercyhurst 15.20 9.6

And here are the top ten goalies:

Best goalies at a given price point

Goalie School Cost Predicted points
Goalie School Cost Predicted points
Lindsay Reed Harvard 32.10 18.55
Kyra Smith UNH 29.40 17.49
Tera Hofmann Yale 27.90 13.02
Amelia Murray Union 20.10 11.7
Sophie Wolf Lindenwood 17.40 9.55
Steph Neatby Princeton 17.40 6.22
Hayley Kliczko Brown 14.90 4.18
Blanka Škodová Vermont 11.60 3.36
Kate Stuart BU 10.00 2.94
Emma Söderberg Minnesota-Duluth 7.90 2.53

My one note of caution about Lindsay Reed is that her starting position is not as certain as it was two weeks ago. She was pulled from the Cornell game two weekends ago, and didn’t start against St. Lawrence, and in both cases Beth Larcom did a fine job. Goalie scores are very dependent on actually playing, obviously, so if Reed misses a few more starts that could have a significant impact on her score for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Northeastern’s alternating-goalie strategy seems to have been for the fall only, as Aerin Frankel (Northeastern, $36.3, 26.5 SP, 1.9 WP, 9 picks) has had the last nine starts. Her stats don’t look amazing over that time because they include the Great BC Goalsplosion of 2019, but if she’s going to be starting every game going forward, she may currently be a bargain.

What about the playoffs?

I’ve had a few emails asking about the playoffs. The fantasy league will of course continue all the way to the national championship. Obviously, a significant feature of the playoffs is that each weekend could be a given team’s last one, and unexpected eliminations could have a real randomizing effect on the fantasy league. I don’t want to stop all the randomization, because that’s part of the fun, but I also feel like managers should have a chance to recover from losing a clutch of important players.

So my current plan is to allow two trades per week once the playoffs start. That’ll be after March 1st for ECAC, Hockey East, and WCHA teams, and after March 8th for the CHA bloodbath. If anyone has an alternative approach, feel free to let me know by email: tigFantasyHockey@gmail.com.

(I considered allowing one trade, plus an extra one if you have two or more players eliminated, but having the same rule for everyone is simply less work for me, regardless of any argument about the rule itself. So if you have an idea for an alternate rule, please think about how easy it’ll be to implement in practice.)

That’s it!

Trades to tigFantasyHockey@gmail.com by 11:59 pm on Thursday January 31st, please! Costs are on the costs tab, and the Mercyhurst and RIT costs will change before the next trade happens.