First off I would like to state that I am no expert when it comes to the Fantasy sports world. After taking part in a Fantasy Hockey League for roughly five seasons now I've come to learn however some of the ins and outs of drafting and lineup editing. Hopefully this helps for anyone who could be interested in taking part in one themself this year.
First off when it comes to the draft whether it be a live draft or automated draft where you set your order of importance (of the players prior to the draft) you want to work out who is most important to you when building a team. Whether it be through Offense, Defense or Goaltending it's always good to do a little homework on who you could potentially make your #1 selection. Also keep in mind that if you don't have the #1 overall pick there is always a chance your selection could be gone by the time it's your pick so always have a backup!
For the most part in leagues the top 3 choices are always the same, in no particular order Stamkos, Ovechkin and Crosby are all usually gone by the end of the 3rd choice. By then it's in some senses preference on who gets picked from then on, either of the Sedin twins can be a safe pick in this spot but if you were to pick one of them think of your next picks, do you intend on getting a setup guy? Then Daniel Sedin would be your choice as he has the potential to score more goals judging from past seasons, possible goal scorer you think will be available? Then by all means go with Henrik as your choice as he is sure to pile up the assists.
Keep in mind also that goaltending is a big factor in leagues so that may be the route you want to take. A good choice obviously would be someone who plays often as you have a higher opertunity to win in the GP W and S% categories. The thing that could end up biting you in the end in retrospect would be the GA they may give up having played in more games, it's really a tossup depending on how you look at it, but typically the top pick goaltenders would be Luongo, Brodeur and Thomas. If these guys are taken by the time it's your pick and you were expecting to take a goaltender then take a look at either Carey Price or Vokoun, Price over the past few years has been SOLID and always seems to do well in the fantasy leagues. While Vokoun has always been solid he never had the team in front of him to help him carry a fantasy team, Washington can easily change that and make him a steal behind the big 3.
Defensively as fantasy leagues go you want to look at the same stats as you would for the forwards. Weber, Lidstrom and Green are typically top defenseman taken in drafts due to their offensive ability. Should you happen to land Weber your next defensive selection you may want to look into a Campbell or kaberle if they happen to be available as they're more of setup guys. On top of that Campbell typically will have a high +/- which also transitions into the Fantasy world as a category you want to try to win. Schenn has never put up the numbers in the league that some Fantasy owners may like to have transition over but typically ends up being a high pick as well, personally however I'd let him slide a bit.
Typically from roughly the 4th round on you want to try to look at the best available for the position you need most, I say the 4th round because usually you can get a good idea after the first 3 what players will fall where. You're obviously not going to take a Sean Bergenheim over a Nathan Horton if you're given the chance, there's no loyalties when it comes to Fantasy leagues unless you're just playing for complete fun. By no means am I saying there's anything wrong with that either, I myself have found myself a few years ago selecting Bates Battaglia simply because I was a fan when I could have had a Thomas Vanek, I had fun with it and so should you.
Lastly, be sure to check your lineups! Cannot stress this enough! There will be some nights when your typical starting lineup will have the night off because their team isn't playing, this is where the reserves come in! It's better to play a guy who may not score and having him record a hattrick then to play a guy who would score 50 in the season who isn't even playing that given night. every bit counts!
Hopefully some of this may have helped any of you looking to jump into the Fantasy mix, as I said I'm no expert and critique is welcome. Any hints you guys could pass along to me as well as others is always a plus.