The Impact of Scoring Changes in DFS Hockey

Things are getting down, dirty and exciting; FantasyDraft is making some changes, to their scoring that is. This DFS site has been doing things differently than other sites for a while and the powers that be felt that a change in some of the scoring settings was a good idea. That impacts me because I play DFS hockey and so I have to adapt to the changes and it will help you because I am going to give you some tips on how the changes will impact the way you build your lineups.

Lets start with the changes to Team-G scoring. If you go back and read some of my early season strategy articles you will see how much emphasis I put on Team-G. I compared it to pitchers in daily fantasy baseball. I said many times that you couldn’t win consistently if your best pitcher/Team G doesn’t have a big night and that was pretty close to true about Team-G. The current scoring changes are going to minimize their importance.

The Changes to Team-G Scoring:

Team G Old Scoring New Scoring
Wins 0 Points 5 Points
Saves 1 point per save .5 pts. per Save
Goals Allowed: 0 20 pt Bonus 15 pt Bonus
Goals Allowed: 1 12 pt Bonus 10 pt Bonus
Goals Allowed: 2 8 pt Bonus 5 pt Bonus
Goals Allowed: 3 2 pt Bonus 2 pt Bonus
Goals Allowed: 4 -2 pt Loss -2 pt Loss
Goals Allowed: 5 -4 pt Loss -4 pt Loss
Goals Allowed: 6+ -6 pt Loss -6 pt Loss

I can speak to the direct effect with evidence after the changes went into play on Wednesday night. The leading Team-G scorer Thursday night was the Nashville Predators who scored 34.50 points with a win, 29 saves and zero goals allowed. The Predators scored 19.5 points less on Thursday night than they would have scored with the same performance on Tuesday. Tuesday night the Bruins scored 40 points with 28 saves and one goal allowed. The addition of wins gained the Predators five points, but they lost five points because of the reduction in the bonus for zero goals allowed and they lost 14.5 points because saves went from one point to a .5 point per save.

All of the top 15 scorers on Tuesday, with the old scoring, were Team-G’s, and on Thursday with the new scoring, there were only three and they were ranked fourth, ninth, and fourteenth overall. I don’t expect this to be a fluke.

The reduction in points for saves from one to a half will have the biggest impact on lineups going forward. It will cost the highest scoring Team-G’s 10-15 points per night while the wins bonus, a risky calculation, will only get five of those points back. Then, with the reduction in bonus points for goals allowed, the best Team G’s could also lose an additional 2-5 points, eliminating or reducing the benefit of the Wins bonus.

The addition of five points for a Win will encourage Fantasy players to spend salary on the higher priced Team G’s because they are more likely to get those Wins points, but it is a head fake as far as strategy goes. The change that will have the most significant impact is cutting points for saves in half but chasing wins (a common mistake in yearly Fantasy baseball) is going to cost Fantasy player’s cash. This reduction in points for saves and the added points for scorers is going to increase the value of spending your salary on offensive players, and specifically the high-end players, and reduce the value of Team-G’s. The impact has already catapulted scorers to the top of the nightly scoring lists and it’s only the first few days of the changes.

Lets look at the changes on the offensive side:

Scorers Old Scoring New Scoring
Goals 10 points 12 points
Assists 5 points 6 points
Shots on Goal 1 point 2 points
Shorthanded Goal Bonus 4 points 5 points
Shorthanded Assist Bonus 2 points 3 points
Hat Trick Bonus 5 points 8 points
Blocked Shots 1 points 2 points
Penalty -2 pts lost 0 points lost

On the Team-G side of the ledger saves were cut in half while the offensive side shots on goal were doubled. That’s a juicy swap for the goal scorers, especially the high-end players.

Fantasy players will appreciate the added points, but if you are rostering one player over another based on the assumption that they will hit any bonus on any given night then you have a lot more issues than I can address here today. (Call me; we can get you on the couch and talk through some things). The doubling of the points for blocked shots will increase the appeal of some of the weaker scoring defenseman, but not enough to make a huge impact on strategy.

The increase in points for assists and goals scored will have a nightly impact, but it won’t have as much of an impact or the same kind of impact as the increase for shots on goal or the reduction in points for saves. The increases will raise the total points you will need to cash in contests, but it shouldn’t impact your strategy much.

The best players are still going to score more goals and assist in more and are more reliable when it comes to making those contributions and with the additional value there is more incentive to pay the big salaries than before. The cheaper, less used players will provide more value for scoring and assisting on goals now than before, maybe even more so because the “value per goal/assists” will be higher on a dollar for dollar basis for the more affordable players, but that doesn’t mean you should change your strategy for building a roster.

Where the changes to the scoring offers the most incentive is the increase in shots on goal and that incentive lies with the higher salary players.

One of the great values in DFS hockey before the recent scoring changes was a cheap player scoring goals, that’s common sense. One or two 15 point nights from $6,000 players was able to differentiate between cashing and going home out of the money. Now, while that is still somewhat true, it is less so because of shots on goal. The cheaper players are cheaper because A) they score less but more importantly B) they often get less ice time and C) have fewer opportunities to contribute. By increasing the points for a shot on goal from one to two Fantasy Draft is enhancing the value for all of the players that have more ice time and therefore more opportunities to score, regardless of whether they actually light the lamp or not.

Players like Alex Ovechkin and Tyler Seguin take 6-10 shots on goal per night and at two points per shot that’s 12-20 points without putting a single biscuit in the basket. Those kinds of numbers make them viable even if they don’t score and we know they are going to get those numbers ever night, whereas a lesser player could score a goal on three shots and still score less. A lesser player could have a night with only one or two shots. Add the likelihood that Ovechkin or Seguin score as opposed to Richard Rakell (center for the Anaheim Ducks) for example, and you have more certainty as well as more potential for MUCH more scoring if a star player has a big night.

The increase in shots on goal makes the safer, higher priced salary players even safer while also having more upside potential and it reduces the value of the bargains because even when they score, they don’t maximize their value with a lot of shots on goal. One goal and 2-3 shots is not an uncommon scoring line for a $6,000 bargain basement player and that is a 16-18 point night. Ovechkin whips 10 shots on Tuukka Rask without scoring a goal and he matches that total. Add a goal and an assist and he is scoring more than the best Team G that night.

Then, when you combine that with the reduction in points for saves and Fantasy players are encouraged to take more risks on Team G’s and less risk on offensive scorers, especially if that risk is on a Team G that could get a Win. That is where the biggest impact of the scoring changes is and where you should re-focus your roster strategies. Spend on the high-priced scorers and take more risks at Team G.

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell has been playing Fantasy sports for over twenty years. He contributed to RotoWire.com in their early days before contributing as a writer and doing Fantasy sports Podcasts for Seamheads.com. Three seasons ago he brought his writing and his Fantasy sports Podcast to RotoExperts.com and the Fantasy Sports Television network and this past season he wrote a weekly Fantasy sports column for BaseballAmerica.com. He also writes about Minor League prospects for RotoExperts. Chris has no more access to the site than the typical user. Follow him at Twitter @CJMiitch73.

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