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Thread: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

  1. #1
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    Default How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    Last night was an example:

    The goalie choices for me were:
    - Helle vs PIT
    - Vasi vs CBJ
    - Bob vs COL


    I was trying to decide between Vasi and Bob for the bench and I picked Vasi because CBJ is the weaker opponent even though Bob is having a much better season. My gut feeling was picking Bob but then Colorado is an offensive powerhouse compared to CBJ so I talked myself into Vasi.


    Bob proceeded to get a 35 save shutout and Vasi let in 2 late goals but still a respective 0.943 sv%. Benching Bob almost cost me the matchup this week (thank god Skinner laid an egg on Saturday vs the Kings).

    Edit: it's not just a question about goalies.
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    Dobber Sports Blue-Chipper

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    If you have a scheduling conflict, always play your best goalie you have. If you don’t, why bother having him? Trade him for a haul and a “zero-g” goalie.

    Star goalies get up for big games. They actually tend to play worse statistically against weak opponents as the whole team lets up.

    Play your studs. Every time…now in your case, you have 3 studs so I would done Vasi or Helle. Whoever played at home.
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    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSport View Post
    Star goalies get up for big games. They actually tend to play worse statistically against weak opponents as the whole team lets up.
    This seems like something that feels true, but probably doesn't hold up to statistical scrutiny. Just sticking with Bob as an example:

    2022-23
    Vs. Playoff Teams: 8-11-3, .900, 3.33
    Vs. Nonplayoff Teams: 16-9, .903, 2.83

    2021-22
    Vs. Playoff Teams: 15-6-3, .907, 2.96
    Vs. Nonplayoff Teams: 24-1, .918, .239

    Over two seasons, that's half a goal worse per game against stronger opponents and a 45% chance of earning a win vs. 75% against weaker ones.

    So I do think it's important to factor in matchups (mostly for goalies, skaters I think you always play your best guys). OP, your thinking on Bob vs. Vasi seems pretty sound and I might've done the same thing. You have to give yourself the best odds, it just won't always work out.

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    Dobber Sports Wizard

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    every tine i try to match i get burned, i been selecting best goalies lately unless they go against very top teams

    other positions, it does not matter who they play imo and you always go with best player
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    The Magnificent One

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    Personally, this is why I steer towards roto, not H2H. That and the trend of resting stars the last week of the season, when you need them most. But I realize H2H is very popular and I'm not against it. I just can't stomach the added guesswork.
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    Dobber Sports Sage

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belexus75 View Post
    every tine i try to match i get burned, i been selecting best goalies lately unless they go against very top teams

    other positions, it does not matter who they play imo and you always go with best player
    I get burned all the time. I am in a roto with an 82 game goalie start limit. I run Swayman and Markstrom but I also have Woll, UPL, and Koch in the minors. I try to go with good matchups only but so often I get burned. While roto is much better than H2H, H2H makes it so much easier for goalie starts. In H2H about the only time I sit a player is if he's in a slump. I always start a good goalie against a good team. It's just a decision I made a long time ago. When in doubt I always start the player unless it is Sunday and I can guarantee a win in certain categories by sitting players.
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    Dobber Sports Demi-God

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    For goalies:

    I firmly believe that you just reference a betting line for Win% of the team and go with that goalie - assuming the league is mostly "Win-Centric" and the stats that fall in-step from winning a game.
    Statistically/NHL-event logic: Teams that are winning are typically seeing an increase in shots against and, importantly, an increase in weak-shots as the trailing team throws shots on net hoping one goes in.
    Think about this - teams buckle down defensively with a 2-goal lead, tightening up their defense.
    But the other team is still throwing trash at net from bad angles or long distance... if you are losing, you HAVE to shoot.
    In most leagues, this helps UP goalie SV and goalie SV%.

    So... checking a betting line for the best odds-on TeamWin% for the game is a smart play.
    The betting agencies are also, already, factoring in the starting goalies for each team.

    This one is a K.I.S.S.
    We aren't smarter than the betting professionals.



    Speaking towards those that say "Go with your gut" or "I get it wrong"... hold up, please don't.
    The NHL is actually a very competitive league with great competitive balance.
    On any given night, yes, San Jose could beat Colorado.
    In fact, they probably will on 3/10 nights.
    So 30% of the time, you get a match-up that *SHOULD* go a certain way... and doesn't.
    And it makes us feel absolutely silly - and question our theories on SIT/START.
    We remember the logic that fell apart on us.
    We rarely bank the logic that works for us in the long haul.

    Don't revisit the 30%.
    Be aware of the 70%.
    Keep playing it.


    Shorter Version:
    Vasi vs CBJ was the right call.
    Do. Not. Go. Retrospect.


    For players:

    I believe, statistically, the scoring uptick against weaker opponents is just *slightly* better than against mild & stronger opponents.
    JohnReallyGood vs CBJ, ARI, SJ
    JimReallyGood vs VAN, COL, BOS, FLA

    One might bump the shitty trio of teams up to 1.1x multiplier... let's call that 3.3 for the 3 games.
    One might bump the four good teams to a 0.9x multiplier... so that's still 3.6 for the 4 games.
    You are still riding the 4-game week... comparing two identical players.

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    Dobber Sports Apprentice

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    This is a bit old but I wanted to add with forwards in particular I think there are cases where matchups play into it a bit more. I think there are a couple scenarios where players elevate their game, such as:

    - rival
    - division matchup
    - top team in the league (like was mentioned, star players get up for big games)
    - former team
    - hometown

    I don't have the data to back any of this up, and as was shown in an earlier post here that when looking at numbers it doesn't necessarily agree. Anecdotally though, anyone can come up with a matchup that you might think would be better for your player than other games.

    - Matthews for example has 47 points in 33 games against the Senators. Is that just being fortunate enough to play multiple games a year against an opponent who has generally not been good at keeping pucks out of their net?

    - Nylander putting up five points in two games when he played in Sweden. He was already crazy hot at that time so hard to say if that moved the needle at all.

    - Matt Duchene has a 0.98 pts/g rate this season. But in four games against Nashville, both his former team and a division rival, he has five points in four games.

    Again it's anecdotal and I'm cherry-picking games and players who are already good to elite performers as it is. But sometimes if I'm aware of a scenario where multiple boxes are being checked I might choose to put that player in over another that otherwise, all things being equal, would be the better option.

    Could be something, could be overthinking.
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    Dobber Sports Demi-God

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    ^Hmmm...

    I mean... if you have 1000 people flip 1000 coins on sunny days, rainy days, Tuesday, wedding days, days where they adopt a dog.
    You are going to be able to cherry pick some interesting stats where people are flipping primarily heads on certain event days.
    Generally - generally - you go with the general numbers - and especially don't dwell on small sample sizes.

    That said, I always call "Heads" if it's a Sunday. (this last bit is extreme sarcasm. the previous is not.)



    One example to keep case-in-point:
    Connor McDavid has 1pt in 2gp against SJ this year.
    Connor McDavid had 10pts in 4gp against SJ last year.
    https://www.espn.com/nhl/player/spli...5074/year/2023

    We can't look at this sort of thing and say "Maybe I should bench McDavid in his next game vs SJ".

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    Dobber Sports Apprentice

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pengwin7 View Post
    ^Hmmm...

    I mean... if you have 1000 people flip 1000 coins on sunny days, rainy days, Tuesday, wedding days, days where they adopt a dog.
    You are going to be able to cherry pick some interesting stats where people are flipping primarily heads on certain event days.
    Generally - generally - you go with the general numbers - and especially don't dwell on small sample sizes.

    That said, I always call "Heads" if it's a Sunday. (this last bit is extreme sarcasm. the previous is not.)
    Yep very true!

    My thought process too is like PIMs for example. If you're in a categories, H2H match with PIMs as a stat and you're behind. You can potentially look at the matchups and say: "this one has recently been nasty so I should stream in the goon and I might get lucky".

    When I have more time and less responsibility and I live in a fantasy land, I'll research this and come up with a definitive answer. But you're right Pengwin to just K.I.S.S and not overthink it.

    But if I do overthink it, I wonder if there is something beyond just a top team v. bottom team matchup.
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    Dobber Sports Demi-God

    Default Re: How often do you try to game the matchup vs simply picking the better performing player?

    PIM is definitely one where you can "vibe" the stats.
    Very different animal - because if there is another fighter... or team has been struggling... of fighter hasn't fought in 5-10gp... then one is coming.
    That's the rare case where I would agree with you.


    Skaters are generally going to get their points.
    Yes, upvalue the weak opponents by some amount (I'd say by 1.1 to 1.2)
    Yes, downvalue the tough opponents by some amount (I'd say 0.8 to 0.9)

    You can reference team "shots against" and "goals against"... but, again, the NHL is a competitive league.
    The worst teams are giving up 3.8 goals per game. (SJ has given up 211ga in 55gp).
    The best teams are giving up 2.4 goals per game (WPG has given up 128ga in 54gp).
    The average is probably 3.1 goals against per game.

    If you do the math on those... 0.8-1.2 range of multipliers for opponent-strength is very accurate.
    That's as far as I'd micromanage skater stats.

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