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NCAA Fantasy Hockey Week 19: Housekeeping and Trade Tips

Still enough time for a well-considered trade to make a difference

City of Toronto Archives Fonds 1244, Item 475

Hello everyone!

Since we last spoke, the Beanpot consolation game and final took place. BU beat Harvard 3-2 13 minutes into overtime with a power play goal to take their first Beanpot as a varsity program; BC quietly stifled Northeastern to roll away with the consolation game 4-1. BU’s game wasn’t quite enough to get Jesse Compher (BU, $59.2, 54.3 SP, 4 WP, 11 picks) into the team of the week, and BC’s wasn’t quite enough to get Megan Keller (BC, $64.3, 56 SP, 8 WP, 11 picks) what would be a record player of the week score... but BC have a game against Maine tonight, Thursday, that will probably make everyone who didn’t pick Keller regret their life choices.

BU’s games led to good weeks for Compher’s linemate Sammy Davis (BU, $44.4, 41.6 SP, 3.6 WP, 6 picks) and for star offensive defender Reagan Rust (BU, $24.6, 19.8 SP, 3.5 WP, 0 picks), who had scored the shootout winner in the Beanpot elimination round. Meanwhile, BC’s runners-up in points were Cayla Barnes (BC, $33.9, 25.6 SP, 4.6 WP, 4 picks) and a Daryl Watts (BC, $48, 33.3 SP, 3.2 WP, 11 picks) who seems, by the eye test at least, to finally be getting her groove back.

But getting your groove back only matters if you have the games to groove in, and BC are very short of games in the regular season — only two to go after tonight’s trade, one each weekend. So, with 11th through 16th in the standings still as tight as can be and less than two points separating first and second place, how can you trade tactically and increase your chances of success?

Everything is complicated

Trading is different in the postseason

The regular season goes to Feb. 23, or March 2 in the CHA. The weekend of Fri., March 1 sees the quarterfinals for every conference except the CHA, with each conference using a best-of-three format hosted by the higher seed. The next weekend sees the entire CHA tournament, and the semi-finals and finals of all the other conferences. Obviously, a difference in the postseason is once you’re out you’re out, so the trading rules are changing a bit to accommodate that and not have you accidentally win the league because you lucked out and Quinnipiac beat Clarkson twice.

What are the trade rules in the postseason?

For the trade with deadline March 7, you can trade TWO players. This is the trade before the conference semi-finals and finals.

The field for the NCAA tournament will be announced on March 10. For the trade with deadline March 14th, you can trade TWO players and you can have up to FOUR players from a single school. This will affect your points for the NCAA quarterfinals, which are single game elimination held at the higher seed’s site on March 15 or 16.

The Frozen Four takes place at Quinnipiac on March 22 (semi-finals) and March 24 (finals) and you should be there if you can. For the trade with deadline March 21, the final trade of the season, you can trade THREE players and you can have up to FOUR players from a single school.

On March 25 or 26, there will be an emotional post from me, written while drunk, saying who the champion was and going on in a slightly maudlin way about how much fun this has been. You will be EMBARRASSED but it will be TOO LATE because NO FURTHER TRADES WILL BE POSSIBLE.

When is the postseason happening? Because that affects my trades, because I am obsessed with the beautiful mechanism you have built for this fantasy league, it is beautiful

Good question.

For the non-CHA quarterfinals, the weekend of Friday March 1-Sunday March 3:

  • The WCHA and the ECAC have committed to March 1-3 for the games
  • Hockey East has vaguely said “the weekend of March 1”, so they retain the flexibility to have a game on Thursday if it’s necessary due to other commitments the building might have. In 2017, both the WCHA and Hockey East had one quarter-final game on Thursday, so, although the WCHA seem to have ruled it out, it’s conceivable that Hockey East will do it if necessary. (In 2017, the game was Merrimack at BC, but BC seem to have building availability Fri/Sat/Sun this year, so hopefully that won’t happen). This matters, of course, because our trade deadline is on a Thursday, so a Thursday quarter-final comes before, not after, the trades.

The following weekend:

  • The ECAC, Hockey East, and WCHA semi-finals and finals are played on Saturday March 9th (afternoon and evening) and Sunday March 10th at lunchtime. The finals are at lunchtime and the announcement of the NCAA tournament field is typically at 7 pm to give the selection committee time to come up with a justification for having BC and Northeastern play each other.
  • The CHA tournament is being played on, wait for it, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — 3/6, 3/7, and 3/8. The format is seeds 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 on Wednesday, the semifinals on Thursday, and the final on Friday, all one-game win-or-go-home. This means that if you have a CHA player after the trade deadline on February 28th, and if she plays for any team other than the top two in the CHA, you could get four games out of her — the two regular season games on 3/1 and 3/2, and then the first two games of the tournament, so long as she wins her first tournament game. Unfortunately it is currently literally impossible to tell who those teams might be because at the moment five of the six CHA teams could end up in first place and all six of them could end up fifth or lower. (Not at the same time, obviously). But this could make a CHA player worth a flutter — Emily Curlett (Robert Morris, $37.6, 32.8 SP, 5 WP, 0 picks) and Jaycee Gebhard (Robert Morris, $47.1, 41.6 SP, 3 WP, 3 picks) are currently scoring at more than 1.5 points a game, good for the top fifteen nationally, so a chance to get a couple of extra games out of them seems worth considering. And Jenna Brenneman (Penn State, $30.1, 29.5 SP, 1.3 WP, 0 picks) isn’t scoring at the rate she used to, but even at just north of a point per game, four games from her is worth more than two games from any other goalie.

So who gets into the postseason? Except in the CHA, which obviously stands for Come Here Andgetyourparticipationmedal

Here’s where you should all be following Nate Vaughan’s NCAA by the Numbers series.

  • In Hockey East, the top eight of the ten teams get to the conference tournament. Holy Cross are out already. Maine and Vermont are eighth and ninth, with Maine three points ahead. But Maine’s remaining schedule is BC, BC and Vermont, and Vermont’s remaining schedule is Holy Cross, Holy Cross and Maine. Vermont just need to beat Holy Cross once for that last Vermont-Maine game to determine whose season continues and whose ends. The previous weekend between the two was split, 2-1 Maine and 3-2 Vermont. Our managers have nine Maine players and six Vermont players between them. Are you sure you want to hold onto them?
  • In the ECAC, the top eight of the twelve teams get to the tournament. Brown, Union and Dartmouth are out already, but Harvard, Quinnipiac and Yale are on the bubble, with Yale currently on the outside looking in. In the next two weeks:
    - Harvard play St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Brown and Yale
    - Yale play Colgate, Cornell, Harvard and Dartmouth
    - Quinnipiac play RPI, Union, St. Lawrence and Clarkson
    Yale are in a tough spot here. Quinnipiac owns the head-to-head with a 2-0 win and 2-2 tie earlier in the season, so Yale needs to get at least a win and a draw more than Quinnipiac does and on a schedule that’s about the same level of toughness. You have to assume that Yale are out too. Our managers have picked no-one from Brown or Dartmouth; Coco Francis (two picks) and Katelynn Russ (one pick) from Union; and Emma Seitz (one pick) from Yale.
  • In the WCHA, all the teams make the tournament, but, since North Dakota shamefully cut its team, the top seed gets a bye to the semi finals. That might be good for the top seed, but it’s bad for managers who’ve picked players on that team, because that team will miss out on two and possibly three quarter-final games.

    Right now the top of the WCHA looks like this:
    - Wisconsin are on 48 points and play Minnesota-Duluth x2 and Ohio State x2 to finish off their season.
    - Minnesota are on 46 points and play Minnesota State x2 and Bemidji x2 to finish theirs.
    Remember that the WCHA uses shootouts in its standings, so a win is 3 points and a shootout win is 2. This means that if Minnesota get one more “real” win than Wisconsin, they top the WCHA and sit out the weekend of March 1st. If they don’t, Wisconsin gets the bye. (If it’s a tie for points, Wisconsin ends up first based on the fourth tie-break condition). You have to say that Wisconsin’s four games are a lot tougher than Minnesota’s, even though both Bemidji and Minnesota State have been good at different times this season. So if you have Wisconsin or Minnesota players, you’re weirdly cheering for one loss for your team. The question you have to ask yourself is: are you feeling unlucky?

What this means is that our best guess at games to be played in the next three weekends is as follows. This is assuming that the bottom team goes out and that Wisconsin gets the bye. A “+1?” means that the games include a quarter-final series that will definitely be two games and may be three. Teams in italics are on the bubble for their tournament: Vermont and Yale may have more games, while Maine, Harvard and Quinnipiac may have fewer.

  • 3 games: Holy Cross, Vermont
  • 4 games:
    - ECAC: Brown, Dartmouth, Union, Yale
    - WCHA: Wisconsin (probably!)
  • 4 games +1?
    - Hockey East: BC, Maine
    - WCHA: Ohio State, St. Cloud
  • 5 games +1?:
    - Hockey East: UConn, UNH
  • 6 games:
    - CHA: Lindenwood, Mercyhurst, Penn State, RIT, Robert Morris, Syracuse
  • 6 games +1?:
    - ECAC: Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Quinnipiac, RPI, St. Lawrence,
    - Hockey East: BU, Merrimack, Northeastern, Providence
    - WCHA: Bemidji, Minnesota (probably!), Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State

If only there was some place where all the games remaining for each team were conveniently set up on a single tab

To make this easier to follow, I’ve set up all the games remaining for each team on a single tab, the Last 10 tab of the sheet. This records the likely games, counting a “+1?” as .3 of a game, and then projects the likely point scores for every player through the next three weekends. Are you ready to discover that Sarah Fillier is overwhelmingly likely to be the highest scorer?

Sarah Fillier: we’re not worthy

Player School Points in last ten Cost Expected points
Player School Points in last ten Cost Expected points
Sarah Fillier Princeton 27.5 48.30 17.33
Maggie Connors Princeton 22.1 38.70 13.92
Elizabeth Giguère Clarkson 21.6 77.20 13.61
Loren Gabel Clarkson 21.4 73.70 13.48
Jesse Compher BU 18.2 59.20 11.47
Lovisa Selander RPI 18 49.20 11.34
Sammy Davis BU 17.8 44.40 11.21
Mikyla Grant-Mentis Merrimack 17.2 30.60 10.84
Jessie Eldridge Colgate 17 59.00 10.71
Megan Keller BC 24.7 64.30 10.62
Michaela Pejzlová Clarkson 16.5 60.90 10.4
Terra Lanteigne RIT 16.4 49.20 9.84
Emily Curlett Robert Morris 16.4 37.60 9.84
Skylar Fontaine Northeastern 15.3 39.90 9.64
Kassidy Sauvé Clarkson 14.85 52.50 9.36

And here’s the list of best value players at a given price point, i.e. the players such that no player at a lower price scores more than her:

Best value players, 2019-02-14

Skater School Cost Predicted points
Skater School Cost Predicted points
Sarah Fillier Princeton 48.30 17.33
Maggie Connors Princeton 38.70 13.92
Mikyla Grant-Mentis Merrimack 30.60 10.84
Naomi Rogge Minnesota-Duluth 27.30 8.88
Reagan Rust BU 24.60 7.75
Nadine Edney SLU 19.60 6.8
Breanna Scarpaci BU 16.70 6.05
Deziray De Sousa BU 12.80 5.92
Nikki Friesen Lindenwood 8.60 4.92
Kendra Farole RPI 6.40 4.35

Of the players in the first table, Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Merrimack, $30.6, 28.6 SP, 2.3 WP, 0 picks) clearly stands out as the cheapest. Of course, you have to ask if her late-season flurry of points was an actual step up or just a statistical clustering. There’s reason to believe it’s real: she’s scored points in eight of her last ten games, including points against legit opponents like Princeton, Northeastern and BU. Merrimack’s regular season ends with two games each against Connecticut and Northeastern, followed by a Hockey East quarterfinal against probably Providence: not cupcakes but not significantly stronger opposition than they’ve faced recently. She’s worth your consideration if you want a pick that might separate you from the pack.

I’m sure this has clarified things, Vox Media-style

So everything’s clear now. Really, all of this was just a build-up to that last table, though you can also see the full set of players sorted by expected points in the next three weeks here on the Last 10 tab, and sorted by cost here on the Last 10 tab. Remember that BC and Maine players’ costs will change after the 7 pm game tonight, so if you want to trade one of them, wait till an hour after the game so the sheet has had a chance to update.

Trades (just one trade this week) to tigFantasyHockey@gmail.com by 11:59 pm Eastern on Thursday February 14th. Here’s to an exciting few weeks of hockey!