Over the course of the last few weekends I participated in a few Yahoo! mock drafts to gain a better grasp of what’s been going on in the “real” fantasy hockey world. I thought I’d pass my findings onto you Dobberities. I participated in random drafts ranging from eight to 14 teams from H2H to Roto leagues with standard settings. This is what I have concluded.


Contrary to the past couple of season, quality right wingers, on a whole, are less prevalent than their left winger counter parts.

These are the examples of the typical** player you can draft at each winger position.


10th RW: Jarome Iginla, David Backes or Marty St. Louis

20th RW: Alex Burrows, Johan Franzen, or Dany Heatley

30th RW: Joffrey Lupul, Alex Semin or Teemu Selanne

10th LW: Henrik Zetterberg, Bobby Ryan, or Patrick Marleau

20th LW: Jamie Benn, Johan Franzen or Evander Kane

30th LW: Ray Whitney, Patrick Elias or Ryane Clowe


Advice: Opposite to the past, don’t overreach for a LW. If you have the opportunity to draft a RW ahead of a LW, DO SO! I’d recommend you draft at least a top-10 RW within your first three picks and probably two RW by your first six picks. What I found in my mock drafts (12-14 teamers) was that when I avoided the RW early, it became very slim pickings trying to fill out my roster at the end of the draft.  


Center, as always, is as deep as ever!

10th C: Tyler Seguin, Anze Kopitar or Eric Staal

20th C: Jeff Skinner, Logan Couture or Mike Richards

30th C: Daniel Briere, Jordan Staal or Patrice Bergeron


Advice: Pretty much ditto with centers. If there is a comparable RW sitting right in front of you, go after him before taking the C. If you look above, there isn’t a large noticeable difference between the 15th to 30th drafted centermen. What I also found with in my mock drafts (12 and 14 teamers) is that there were always plenty of decent C options available late in drafts. There were numerous drafts where quality fantasy options like Stephen Weiss, Vinny Lecavalier and Tomas Plekanec were all left undrafted.  


Much like last year, the goalie hype seems to have died down a bit, as draftees are holding off on picking up goalies early and electing to wait into the mid-rounds, (rounds four, five and six), to draft their first goalie.



# of goalies


# of goalies

< 1.75




1.75 - 2.00


.930 - .934


2.00 – 2.25


.920 - .929


2.26 – 2.50


.910 - .919


2.51 – 2.75


.900 - .909


2.76 – 3.00


< .900




Advice: Generally speaking, poolies have probably caught on that selecting mid-ranged goalies won’t make too much of an impact in fantasy leagues these days. If you compare the stats of Henrik Lundqvist to Ondrej Pavelec, then yes there’s a huge discrepancy, but if you’re comparing mid-ranged goalies the variance is minor. The above table indicates that out of the top 45 goalies in the league, over half of them sat between the range of 2.26 and 2.75 in terms of GAA and 0.900 to .919 in terms of SP. So if you missed out on the top tier of netminders, you could safely wait a round or two before selecting the goalie of your choice and it probably wouldn’t make too much of a difference.


Players like Cam Atkinson, Cody Eakin have been left largely undrafted or were drafted very late in many mock drafts, so there are plenty of late round steals available.


Nicklas Backstrom – C- Washington Capitals

Average: 48.3

Yahoo O-Rank: 41


On average, Backstrom’s currently the 16th center selected in Yahoo! leagues, which has caused him to be hugely under-rated heading into this campaign. I understand that he did battle concussion issues last year, which caused him to miss nearly half of the season, add that to the fact that the Caps reverted to a “defense first” system over the past few seasons, it’s not surprising to see him drop this far down the standings. One thing that you do need to consider is that it’s still pretty hard to argue against his accolades or offensive potential of Backstrom. At the end of the day he is a career point-per-gamer (367 points in 365 contests) and isn’t shy of shooting the puck (2.32 career SOG per game average), which is generally a large downside for centermen, plus he’ll spend plenty of time alongside superstar Alex Ovechkin. If you can manage to snag him at his current draft position, that could be the edge that just gets you over the line come April.


Where/What would I select him: Round 3-4 (pick 35 - 45), number one C.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: After Anze Kopitar and Eric Staal


Marty St. Louis – RW- Tampa Bay Lightning

Average: 48.9

Yahoo O-Rank: 47


Make sure you pay attention to my comment about RWs earlier in the column! In many of my mock drafts, I found it very difficult to fill out the RW positions with quality fantasy-worthy players near the end of the draft, which is why selecting “fallen” premium RW at a discounted rate is vital to success in fantasy hockey this campaign. If you read my projections column in the Dobber Guide, then you probably would have read my blurb on MSL and why he struggled last campaign. Since the lockout, he has posted 20, 30, 29, 25, 37, 41 and 16 PPP points per season, which kind of explains the drop off in overall points that he tallied last season. If he bounces back towards the 30 PPP mark, he should see himself getting back towards the point-per-game (or 90+) point range once again.   


Where/What would I select him: Round 3-4 (pick 35 - 45), number one RW


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Before Patrick Kane and Jordan Eberle


Shea Weber – D- Nashville Predators

Average: 50.8

Yahoo O-Rank: 73


Blue-liners in 2012-13 are very similar to goalies heading into this campaign. If you can manage to snag a top-tiered one, it could prove to be a huge boost over the rest of your competition, but if you’re after the mid-ranged players then there isn’t going to be much variance, which just highlights the difference why owning a Weber could be a massive difference maker. If you break down the stats, there have only been two defensemen who have registered 40 points along with 200 SOG in each of their last four seasons. They are Zdeno Chara and Weber. If consistency is what you’re after, then both are certainly quality owns for fantasy purposes. Weber is being drafted about 10 spots lower than Chara which makes him a better value pick given the draft position.      


Where/What would I select him: Round 4 (pick 40 - 45), number one D.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Before/After Chara


Joe Thornton – C- San Jose Sharks

Average: 63.2

Yahoo O-Rank: 60


Year after year, it’s funny how Thornton’s consistently being undervalued at the draft table. He’s currently the 23rd center being drafted in Yahoo! drafts, but is that really justified if you look at the following table of three-year averages?




















E. Staal




























From the results of the table, you could argue that all of the players above could justifiably be grouped relatively close amongst each other, but if you look at average draft positions Kopitar (27.0), Staal (27.9), Toews (38.5) and Thornton (63.4), this is certainly not the case. I can understand why poolies would shy away from him because of the lack of G and SOG stats support, but if you consider the other areas of fantasy hockey, he could provide you with a huge leg up in the A and PPP categories. I’m not saying go out and select Thornton where you could be selecting Kops, Staal or Toews, what I am saying is why not wait 30 picks later in selecting your number one or two C than to spend your early picks in a position that’s easily fillable two or three rounds later.


Where/What would I select him: Round 5-6 (pick 50 - 60), number one or two C.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Between Kopitar, Staal and Toews.


Mark Streit – D- New York Islanders

Average: 97.9

Yahoo O-Rank: 102


Streit is a very interesting case because he doesn’t get a lot of press coverage playing out on Long Island, but he has quietly posted brilliant numbers under the radar. If you look at his average stat-line from the last four campaigns, he’s posted an average of 53.5 points, along with 27 PPP and 162.8 SOG. Those are quality fantasy numbers that could help you win your fantasy leagues.  


Where/What would I select him: Round 8-9 (pick 80-90), number two/three D.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Before P.K. Subban and Alex Edler and after Alex Pietrangelo probably even with Ryan Suter.


Ryan Getzlaf – C- Anaheim Ducks  

Average: 107.1

Yahoo O-Rank: 95


See Joe Thornton above.





















If it wasn’t for the health issues, you could essentially consider Getzlaf as the poor man’s version of Thornton. If you pro-rated his numbers using Thornton’s GP, they’re pretty close to identical. What is mind boggling is why Yahoo! would have him slotted nearly 80 picks behind the rest of the pack. Either way he’s a steal at his draft position. Given that it’s also a contract year, I wouldn’t even mind over-reaching in order to land him on my fantasy squad.  


Where/What would I select him: Round 7-9 (pick 70-90), number two C.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Between Kopitar, Staal and Toews.


Mike Green – D- Washington Capitals

Average: 107.8

Yahoo O-Rank: 158


Yes, I understand that he is a band-aid boy and that he has missed significant time during the last two seasons, but you also have to consider his offensive upside. As discussed previously, there isn’t a large discrepancy in stats between the mid-ranged blue-liners, which makes Green a great swing for the fences pick. Remember he’s only two seasons removed from being a point-per-game defenseman who also registered 205 SOG. Great buy-low candidate to invest in on draft day.  


Where/What would I select him: Round 7-9 (pick 70-90), number two D.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Between Brian Campbell, Dan Boyle and Ryan Suter.


Kevin Shattenkirk – D- St. Louis Blues

Average: 114.3

Yahoo O-Rank: 165


It’s a very interesting battle between a couple of young defenseman in St. Louis with Shattenkirk battling it out with AP for the number one gig. It’s certainly interesting to see each of their stat lines juxtaposed against each other. AP posted a stat line of, 81 GP, 51 points, +16, 36 PIM, 24 PPP and 202 SOG, while Shatty posted 81 GP, 43 points, +20, 60 PIM, 18 PPP and 178 SOG. Now the interesting thing is that AP is being drafted nearly 40 spots (three to four rounds) earlier than Shatty. You could justify it because AP does have the fancier points and SOG totals, but the million dollar question is will he keep it up over Shatty in 2012-13? If you compare PP TOI during these past playoffs, it wasn’t AP (2:28) that garnered the bulk of the PP TOI, it was actually Shatty (3:20) who garnered the most. I wonder what would happen if this was the case during the regular season?   


Where/What would I select him: Round 9-10 (pick 90-100), number three D.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Alongside Michael Del Zotto and Tobias Enstrom.


Jonas Hiller – G- Anaheim Ducks

Average: 116.7

Yahoo O-Rank: 125


Last season was a bit of a rollercoaster season for Hiller. Under Randy Carlyle, Hiller struggled while posting a 5-10-4 record along with a 2.53 GAA and a dismal .897 SP. Under new coach Bruce Boudreau it was a completely different Hiller, as he posted a 24-20-8 record, along with a 2.58 GAA and a remarkable .915 SP. If you also consider his career numbers 2.53 GAA and .918 SP, those are decent numbers who could easily fill a fantasy roster as a number two goalie. He’s great value at his current draft slot.  


Where/What would I select him: Round 9-10 (pick 90-100), number two G.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Alongside Ryan Miller and Kari Lehtonen.


Antti Niemi – G- Anaheim Ducks

Average: 120.8

Yahoo O-Rank: 161


Niemi is another great undervalued goalie at the moment. If you look at the stats from last campaign, he ranked ninth amongst all goaltenders in wins, 17th in GAA, 23rd in terms of SP and tied for fifth in SO with six. Considering that he also plays a team that hasn’t missed the post-season for six consecutive seasons. If you take all of that under consideration, how the hell does Yahoo! have him ranked the 24th netminder?  


Where/What would I select him: Round 9-10 (pick 90-100), number two G.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Alongside Ryan Miller and Kari Lehtonen.


Patrick Elias – C/LW- New Jersey Devils

Average: 121.8

Yahoo O-Rank: 108


What do you get from Yahoo! for finishing tied for 10th in league scoring? You get a congratulatory ranking of 121st! They’ve left me scratching my head on this one. I’ll give them the fact that Elias wasn’t great on the plus/minus or PIM front, even the 164 SOG (tied for 134th) is a bit ordinary, but 78 points and being tied with Ilya Kovalchuk for fifth overallin terms of PPP production surely should earn him a ranking amongst the top-100, should it not? Also given the fact that he has dual C and LW eligibility makes him that much more valuable.   


Where/What would I select him: Round 10-11 (pick 100-110), number three LW.


Where should you slot him in Yahoo! draft lists: Before Brad Marchand, Max Pacioretty, Jordan Staal.


Other notables:






David Krejci (146.7)

Jakub Voracek (156.1)

James Van Riemsdyk (158.8)

Alex Goligoski (129.1)

Corey Crawford (153.4)

Paul Stastny (157.5)

Martin Havlat (157.4)

Andy McDonald (C) (159.8)

Sheldon Souray (153.2)

Michal Neuvirth (159.3)

Mikko Koivu (158.9)

Shane Doan (LW) (160.0)

Brendan Morrow (176.4)

Sami Salo (161.3)

Anders Lindback (174.2)

Vinny Lecavalier (160.3)

Nathan Horton (170.1)

Erik Johnson (162.5)

Evgeni Nabokov (178.2)

Tomas Plekanec (173.3)

Jake Gardiner (164.1)

Jose Theodore (182.7)


Are there any that I might have overlooked? Questions or comments? As always I’ll discuss them in the section below.


Should you be so inclined, follow me on Twitter if you think that my article/tweets are useful.

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Comments (13)add comment

Ryan Ma said:

Draft List I have a few drafts of my own coming up so I don't want to reveal my entire draft list. Also it depends on league settings and the draft itself too. With drafts you can't have a set formula A, B, C, and D in which you follow down to a T... you kinda have to adjust on the fly, so it's kinda hard to have a cemented draft list.

What I can do is maybe participate in a mock drafts with you and tell you my thoughts about it all during the process...

PM me Gotlaid on the forums and we can work it out.
September 21, 2012
Votes: -1

TeamFoster4 said:

Draft list Ryan, Would you think to ever post your full draft list on here?
September 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... Ah I get it now thanks for clearing that up temek...

Changed it over to O-rank
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

temek said:

About Yahoo rankings O-rank is how players are ranked to the next season by Yahoo so it's the default order you'll see during the draft. Rank on the other hand is calculated based on current season results or previous one's if it's the off-season. So right now the rank you see is calculated based on 2011-2012 results. You can easily see this by changing the stats to 2010-2011 season and see rank change with O-rank staying the same.

So to sum it up: O-rank is based on projections and rank based on results.

For this article it would have been better to use the O-rank as I assume the meaning of the article was to try to find player that are ranked too low in Yahoo rankings relative to the expected performance.
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... Sorry I probably should clarify... What I mean by after Staal and Kops is right after them... So Staal is 27.6 and Kops is 26.9... So what I would do is slot him in at 28th...

With Thornton/Getz he should be slotted somewhere between Staal/Kops (26-27) and Toews (38.3), so probably 30-35...

What I mean by where they should be slotted means where I would slot them if I were to generate my own rankings list.

The fact that they're ranked much lower works in my advantage cause I know that I can wait 3-4 rounds later and end up snagging a Getzlaf at a discounted rate instead of having to overpay for similar production.

So with my 2-3rd pick instead of drafting Kops/Staal/Toews, I could go after a position that's more scarce, maybe a Sharp, Seguin, Eberle, Bryzgalov, Halak... then in rounds 6-7 come back and grab Getzlaf and be in a better position.
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

BlackGold said:

Backstrom You said Backs is a rd 3-4 guy, but take him AFTER Staal and Kopitar... but then all the other guys that you say are rd 6+, to slot them in between Staal and Kopitar?

I think you meant to say take him BEFORE Staal and Kopitar.
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Yahoo! rankings Peng,

I went with rank instead of o-rank... I still don't know the difference... which is probably where our numbers differ.
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Grapes said:

... Thanks Ryan, when you put your two cents in and eveyone aks a penny for your thoughts, I think somebody is making money smilies/smiley.gif
September 20, 2012
Votes: +1

Ryan Ma said:

Grapes Tough one... I think you have to look at your league and see what's being protected? If there's a lot of goalies available then I'd go with the RW, but if goalies are all being protected and it's slim pickings then go with the G.

With that said, G always tends to be much more scarce than forwards, at the end of the day there's really only about 30-35 G worth owning fantasy-wise... and there's plenty more RW available down the track.

My 2 cents
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Gates/Pengwin Thanks once again!
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

GMGates said:

... One of the best, by one of the best! Thanks as always, Ma!
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Grapes said:

... Keeper 6 draft coming up. I'm set @ LW (Neal, Landeskog)and goal (Rinne)with RNH & Eberle @ C. What I take from here is go after RW before a second goalie ????
Roto, start 2 each position, g,a,ppp, shots, +/-, w, saves, save%, goals against.
September 20, 2012
Votes: -1

Pengwin7 said:

Amazing These are THE best, THE best... so good.
I love the value in:
1. Where Yahoo! ranks him.
2. What is value is.
3. Where you should draft him.

It's perfect!

(one note: Your Yahoo! ranks appear to be from Yahoo!s initial start-of-season, which were horrible. They've since adjusted them and N.Backstrom is at #41, MSL at #47... and Niemi's been mysteriously bumped back to #161 - STEAL!)
September 20, 2012
Votes: +0
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