(Ed. Note: "I Hate My [expletive deleted] Fantasy Team!" is a weekly feature on Puck Daddy in which we vicariously live through two Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey GMs as they provide snarky advice and tales of woe. This week's author is Hextall454 of Melt Your Face Off. Enjoy.)
When I'm not on the Internets waxing comedic about hockey, I pay the bills in the wide world of finance. Now before you click away, keep in mind I'm not the Wall Street guy that has altered your retirement funds from Lecavalier money down to the league minimum. I find that New York tends to attract the biggest of tools in my discipline. But as a professional analyst of numbers, I know one thing:
The numbers don't add up.
Anytime I've published my roster in this column, the commentariat is quick to wonder how the hell my friends have allowed me to assemble such a sick roster of the gods. Crosby. Hossa. Richards. Vanek. Marleau. The quintet of forwards have all been ranked in our league's top 10 for long stretches, only to have recent injuries and ailments slow them down. I don't have a single member of our league's Blackmail Team, either.
What's a Blackmail Team, you say?
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Why that's a great question, rhetorical plot device!
A Blackmail Team is a starting roster (three forwards, two d-men, one goalie) of taken players that have the absolute lowest ranks of all players at their position. The assumption is that while there are scores of replacement players with better numbers available, these guys keep their roster spots and fantasy paychecks because they presumably have some incriminating photos of their fantasy general manager. You can get this list of shame by sorting by rank after filtering down to All-Taken Players.
Here's the ShaWMee BT Starting 6:
Goalie - Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings - Team: Claimed Off Waivers
Ozzie's an interesting fantasy case, considering he plays for a Wins juggernaut and has only lost in regulation 4 times. But with a man of the wilderness with a GAA a goal lower and six shutouts sharing the crease, isn't a matter of time before Mr. Softie is a free agent?
Defense: Matt Niskanen, Dallas Stars - Team: DC Russians United; Ryan Whitney, Pittsburgh Penguins - Team: Outlaws
Look, I know not every blue liner can be a scoring machine like Mike Green or Sheldon Souray, but to fill out one's roster, there's a simple strategy: Don't Screw Up the +/-. Once all the lamp-lighting has been drafted, make sure you've got guys that aren't ruiners: low point totals but play for good teams that score goals. These two have 5 goals and are a combined minus-18 (with Whitney doing most of the heavy lifting there.)
Center: Nathan Horton, Florida Panthers - Team: Outlaws
It's no coincidence that you can't spell Florida without FAIL.
Right Wing: Marek Svatos, Colorado Avalanche - Team: DC Russians United
I'll give Svatos credit for something: he's managed to stay even on his +/- on a team who apparently donated their defense to the "Get Well Soon, Joe!" collection. Nonetheless, as he is only 10% owned across Yahoo!, Marek DEFINITELY must have figured out something scandalous on old DCRU. If he hears a mumble about being cut, I can guarantee a barrage of unsavory Facebook photos will soon follow.
Left Wing: Cory Stillman, Florida Panthers - Team: Skateaway
Stillman's your classic case of a 2G, 1A day-after pickup in hopes that a streak will develop, only to go 0G, 2A, -5 over his next 12 games. I guess Skateaway's a more patient man than me.
So there you go. Would you rather have this half-dozen, or our league's Best Available Team: Pekka Rinne, Stephane Robidas, Steve Montador, Mike Knuble, Jarret Stoll, and Chris Kunitz? Hell, I may take a long look at these guys, even though my team is devoid of Extortion Cases like the ones I outlined above.
And yet, I'm in last place, some 30 points outside of the last playoff spot. You want an underdog story to root for the last five weeks of the regular season? You've got it. Just let me know how many Salsa Shark jerseys I can put you down for.
I need some cash to bribe Christian Ehrhoff to go peacefully into the night.