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Thread: Extracting Value in Fantasy Hockey: Timing Differences

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    Default Extracting Value in Fantasy Hockey: Timing Differences

    Welcome to another edition of Extracting Value in Fantasy Hockey. The previously-written Overview articles outlined three basic principles of player valuation and also touched on some cognitive biases that we all fall victim to from time to time. Moving right along, now let’s take a look at four different ways that you can actually extract value from players and General Managers in your league.

    1. Value from Timing Differences (This Article)
    2. Value from Diversifying your Stats (Coming Soon)
    3. Value from Older Players (Coming Soon)
    4. Value from Better Information (Coming Soon)


    Extracting Value from Timing Differences

    Extracting value from timing differences is one of the best ways you can be successful in keeper and dynasty leagues because this method has one of the highest probabilities for win-win situations. A timing difference occurs when you and your trading partner are looking to push for a championship in different years. For example, if you are making a push to win a championship this year, then you will tend to care more about what a player can do this year versus what he can do next year. If you are in the middle of a rebuild and are stocking assets for the future, you don’t really care so much what a player is capable of this year, or perhaps even next year. Your priority could be 3 years from now, when some of your younger players have gained some much-needed experience and start producing at a first-line rate for you. To illustrate the value in trading under a timing difference, consider this example:

    Player A is projected to have an average output this year, increasing yearly to reach a superb output in 3 years.

    Player B is on the last legs of his career, but is still putting up strong enough numbers that he has a productive, yet diminishing value for the next 3 years.

    If you own Player A and want to win this year, you would likely be interested in trading him away to acquire Player B, who can help you now. If there is a timing difference between you and your trading partner, you will both likely be willing to make this deal. This is a classic win-win scenario where both parties can walk away from this deal feeling like they have improved their teams.

    Another reason that these trades make both teams happy is that the perceived benefits are significantly higher under a timing difference. Consider the trade above from the perspective of both teams. If you are looking to win now, then as long as Player B performs at a half-decent rate for the remainder of the year, you will be happy. The range of production that Player B can float in is fairly wide, because as long as he performs marginally better than Player A (who you got rid of) then you will (or should) consider your team to be better off. Naturally, the more production Player A puts up, the more excited you will get, but as long as the difference in production is significant enough, you will walk away feeling like the trade was beneficial for your team.

    Now consider the trade as if you were the rebuilding team. Sure, Player B (who you are trading away) still has some gas in the tank. Maybe he can even hit a hot streak or two, who knows? What we do know for certain is that Player B is closer to his last game than his first, and one of these years the production and ice time are going to fall off the face of the earth. By getting rid of him right now, you are definitely missing out on some short-term production, but the guy you are getting in return has the potential to produce some high output for you in a few years when you are looking to make a push to immortalize your own name on what is probably a trophy that doesn’t physically exist… unless your league has a “Miley Cyrus Wrecking Bowl Trophy” (Oh, you don’t? I’d say you’re missing out, but you’re really not). Regardless, as long as Player A becomes even a little bit worthy of the first line on some NHL team, you too will consider your team to be better off for making the trade.

    So there you have it: a win-win scenario. This trade may not appeal to the alpha males out there (“win-win” probably isn’t in your dictionary) but it is a great way to improve your team and also build some rapport with another GM for a possible trade in the future. In fact, now that you have earned the trust of a trading partner, you can exploit their willingness to deal with you and really stick it to them in a second trade that screws them over (I had to make the alphas feel included)! No matter what situation your team is in, it is in your best interest to consider a trade where timing differences exist. There is much value to be extracted if you look for it.


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    Default Re: Extracting Value in Fantasy Hockey: Timing Differences

    Great article. I've used this philosophy recently on a fantasy hockey keeper team (winning now) and a fantasy baseball keeper team (winning in the future). It's a sound strategy as long as you know what your team's focus is.

    On the fantasy baseball team, players can be signed on your team for a maximum of three years once they reach the majors. So although I am dumping for the future this season, I have a two-year window after this one where I can keep my team built around three core up-and-coming players on inexpensive salaries - Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and Miguel Sano.

    The challenge here is sometimes it's hard to predict when that veteran will start falling off the map. With Martin St. Louis, it seemed to happen fairly quickly after some great seasons beyond age 35. With other players (eg. Chris Chelios), this can seem like it goes on forever.

    Back to the fantasy hockey team: I was in contention last season and managed to trade Evander Kane this way. I also nearly traded Olli Maatta. Both players were out for the season by the time I made my trade offers, but the other owner would get to use them next season. The rentals I received in return (Keith Yandle, Steve Mason) on the final year of their contracts helped me win another championship, even though Kane may very well have a great season in Buffalo in 2015-16.
    PM Pucks Salary Cap Keeper League (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 champion)
    Start 3 C, 3 LW, 3 RW, 5 D, 2 G, plus 4 bench slots. 3 levels of minor league teams.
    Skaters: G, A, TOI, +/-, (bonuses for d-men)
    Goalies: S, SO, W, negative points for GA and L

    C: Barkov, Carter, Duchene, Reinhart, Patrick,
    Zacha, Jost, Suzuki
    LW: Huberdeau, Hoffman, Lehkonen, Vanek, Greenway, Vesalainen, Farabee
    RW: Stone, Gallagher,
    Pastrnak, Labanc, Tolvanen
    D: Letang, Gostisbehere, Byfuglien, Ellis, Schultz,
    Chabot, Morrissey, Grzelcyk, Jokiharju, Valimaki, Braun, Heed
    G: Andersen, Varlamov,
    Reimer, Sparks

    Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding

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