Being a real-life NHL general manager is something sports fans can only dream of. Luckily, there’s fantasy hockey betting — which not only allows you to operate a team much like an NHL general manager would, but also gives you the opportunity to win cash at the same time. The options are unlimited when it comes to online fantasy hockey betting with websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings also offering contests for weekly cash prizes.
The free signup process for both online betting sites is seamless, as all that is required is a login username as well as a password. From there, you can set up your free league and invite friends in minutes.
Best Online Fantasy Hockey Leagues
For those bettors looking for a short-term commitment, DraftKings offers weekly leagues that you can access from your desktop, tablet or smartphone. FanDuel also gives its customers the option of playing weekly contests without a season-long commitment. Customers can also enter a lineup within minutes using the website’s salary cap format.
Many online fantasy sites also offer the option of playing dynasty league format, which gives bettors the opportunity to draft a team and carry it over from year to year and run it like a real-life general manager would. There are also different drafting types on websites such as Fantrax, which is growing in popularity with its auction draft format.
Even old-school bettors have been breaking away from traditional hockey wagers to test the fantasy betting waters.
How To Win Fantasy Hockey
There’s definitely a strategy when drafting your fantasy hockey team. While stockpiling goals and assists categories early on can be beneficial short term, there are advanced stats being introduced in fantasy hockey that requires a little bit more homework.
Gone are the days of straight goals, assists and plus-minus stats. In today’s hockey analytics world, fantasy gurus are opting for complex stats such as shots on goal, blocked shots or hits — making players from Sidney Crosby to Matt Martin valuable in any league.
Several online fantasy hockey websites offer different scoring formats from head-to-head to rotisserie, giving bettors the option that suits best.
One can make the argument on which player is most valuable when it comes to fantasy hockey. Some will say Alexander Ovechkin while others will vouch four the reigning Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane.
Another key ingredient to a championship fantasy hockey team is having a strong defensive core — notably blue-liners that can put up points as well. Ottawa Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson is always a player that will be grabbed early in any draft as the blue-liner consistently puts up 70-plus seasons.
Of course, like any sport, you’ll have to prepare for injuries during the long hockey season. Whether you lose your top scorer or No. 1 goaltender, being swift on the waiver wire to pick up the hottest available replacement is crucial in order to stay competitive.
If you’re setting your lineups on a weekly basis, don’t make your selections based solely on who is playing the most games. Take the time to view the matchups and how your players have performed against their upcoming opponents.
While traditional hockey betting — whether it’s puck line, point spread or over/under — remains the preferred choice of wagering, bettors are slowly transitioning to fantasy hockey websites to switch things up.