One Month Review of NHL Fantasy Start / Sit

We are now one month into the season, and one month into the daily start / sit recommendations here on DSE.

My goal when I began the recommendations was to provide “bargain” starts – guys that could likely be available in your league, or have been trending upward after a slump – while placing players in the sit column that might normally be a start, but have been struggling.

The first two weeks of the season were pretty hit-or-miss, with the short preseason providing lots of guessing games when it came to certain players.

The last two weeks have been a bit easier to read, with the numbers finally starting to fall more in line with what I was hoping to get.

For the forwards, I’m using a baseline of .50 points per player game – above that for start recommendations, below that for sits. I figured since the sits are “better” players, and the starts are “value” picks, numbers just slightly better on the start side would come with added value.

The rest of the baseline numbers I’m using for forwards is .25 goals per player game (above for starts, below for sits), .25 for assists, and two+ shots per game. The blocked shots and hits numbers for forwards are bonuses, as far as I’m concerned.

As you can see below, the numbers so far (with help from better averages the last two weeks) are right around where I wanted them to be.


G A Pts +/- PIM SOG Bk Sht Hits ATOI
(150 Player Games)
37 46 83 -6 84 318 68 134 17:17
Per Game: 0.25 0.31 0.55 0.56 2.12 0.45 0.89
(123 Player Games)
24 35 59 14 48 186 37 109 19:10
Per Game: 0.20 0.28 0.48 0.39 1.51 0.30 0.89


The assist numbers for the sits are a bit higher then what I’m shooting for, but everything else is shaping up pretty well, with the start players putting up better numbers.

The plus/minus numbers are the reverse of what I’d like, but that category is impossible to predict using recent stats/trends.

For defensemen, I weigh blocked shots and hits a little more. If your league counts those and a player isn’t putting up points, there are some defensemen that can still be pretty valuable.

For the d-men, I’m using a baseline of .40 points per player game (above for starts, below for sits), .15 goals per player game, .25 for assists, and 1.5+ shots per game. I’m also shooting for right around 1.5 hits and blocked shots per game.


G A Pts +/- PIM SOG Bk Sht Hits ATOI
(151 Player Games)
14 47 61 19 89 254 215 196 19:29
Per Game: 0.09 0.31 0.40 0.59 1.68 1.42 1.30
(122 Player Games)
13 32 45 20 96 180 171 147 20:26
Per Game: 0.11 0.26 0.37 0.79 1.48 1.40 1.20


The defense numbers aren’t as high above the base numbers for starts as I’d like, but they’ve been better the last 10 days or so.

As you can see from the ATOI numbers, from both the forwards and defensemen, the starts are producing a bit more with a little less time on ice, which comes from those players being “value” picks.

And now, the goalies…

With goalies, a solid matchup means a possible win, and that’s always a good start recommendation. However, if wins were that easy to predict, I’d probably have a little extra cash laying around. They aren’t, so other things come into play.

There are times where I’ll list both goalies in a certain game as starts or sits. Taking into consideration things like how teams are playing, or how a goalie looks coming into the game, there are times where a possible win still isn’t enough for a start recommendation.

For goalies, I weigh the possibility of a win, how many shots he’ll likely face, and the likelihood that he’ll stop a majority of those shots, as my basis for putting him in the start or sit column.


Starts (97 Player Games):  54 42 10  2.36 .915
Sits (92 Player Games):  42 48 5  2.48 .912


As you can see, the start numbers are better overall than the sits, and that’s basically what I’m shooting for.

One month in, and I like how the numbers are shaping up.

Of course, there have been some hits and misses when it comes to individual recommendations. When a good player is on a prolonged cold streak and I recommend he be a sit, it turns out that about 50% of the time, he snaps out of it. Not a bad thing, but it’s going to bring the overall sit stat numbers up a bit.

What I’m showing here is that if you followed the recommendations, the numbers would work out for the better overall.  If you pick and choose the where you use some start players, and go with your gut (as I always suggest), you’ll be in good shape.

Hopefully, with numbers a little easier to read now that we’re a month into the NHL season, they’ll continue to improve going forward.

As always, if you have any questions about your fantasy lineup, don’t hesitate to ask.

Good Luck!

Carlos Figueiredo
NHL Rankings & Content Editor
Dynasty Sports Empire


About This Empire Soldier: Carlos is the NHL Rankings and Content Editor for Dynasty Sports Empire. He has been a hockey fan for as long as he can remember, and has been writing about hockey for over five years. He is the owner / writer / editor for and has also contributed work for various other hockey websites. He has been playing fantasy sports since the days when you had to pull stats from USA Today the morning after games were played.

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