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The Contrarian is out to prove that Brandon Dubinsky is not a sleeper.


Last week, fellow Dobber writer, Terry Campkin highlighted Brandon Dubinsky as his Geek of the Week stating that he is a good sleeper candidate.


I will look at his arguments and explain why Dubinsky is not a sleeper to most people.

Yahoo Numbers


Terry states, “Currently in Yahoo! pools, Dubinsky is being drafted 160th overall on average, which is towards the end of the 14th round in a 12 team league. As of last Friday, Dubinsky was only 26% owned across all Yahoo! leagues.”


Assumption: All pools are roto style


- Dubinsky has value in deep points only pools as well but not nearly as much as in a roto pool. This skews the calculation of his average overall pick.

- Traditionally hockey pools have been points only or formula based. I know that roto style has become more popular over the seasons but it isn’t the norm.


Assumption: All participants are drafting in person or using a customized draft list instead of the pre-ordered Yahoo Recommended list.


- There are many fun pools and the owners in those pools don’t make many adjustments at all. They also let the autodraft option do their work for them.

- Yahoo’s pre-draft rankings have him at the 224 spot. They also rank based on six stat categories, Goals, Assists, Plus/Minus, Penalty Minutes, Power Play Points and Shots on Goal. To be fair, Terry does talk about other stat categories in his column and does understand that roto leagues are not all the same.

- Not all leagues have the forwards broken down into Left Wing, Center and Right Wing. Some simply indicate that a certain number of Forwards must be drafted and others don’t have any limitations at all. In these cases his positional duality doesn’t help his overall draft ranking.


With all these assumptions why isn’t Dubinsky’s draft ranking worse than 160th and not closer to 224th overall?


Fantasy Awareness


With guides and sites like Dobber’s, poolies have more resources than ever before for draft assistance. Only the very novice or lazy owner gets caught with their jersey tucked into their pants.


The Top 100 Fantasy Forwards has Dubinsky rated 84th.


Even better than that list is Austin Wallace’s Dobber Top 100 Roto Players (September 2013 edition) where he has Dubinsky rated 27th. This includes a seventh stat category of Hits. Those owners who research and create their own custom draft lists will be picking Dubinsky a lot earlier than the 160th pick and if you are not careful you will lose your opportunity.


Preseason Stats and Line Combinations


Oh Terry, why do you ignore sound advice when you say, “Those who are a bit more plugged in have likely started to hear about his strong preseason and he may be starting to climb some draft boards, but he is still going largely unnoticed” and “You never want to rely too heavily on preseason performance to predict what kind of a season a player will have but there are some really encouraging signs coming from Dubinsky this fall that show he may be primed to put together a solid year”.


The preseason means so little other than knowing the contract, heath or injury status of players. Games are played using half line ups or split squads even third string goalies are used. The stats from the pre-season are at best unreliable.

In the Hockey News Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide 2013-14, Matt Larkin writes with regards to line combinations, “Never chase a scrub just because he’s slated to open the season on the top forward unit. Coaches make changes in a hurry and the more talented players rise up the depth chart”.


Murray Townsend offers in the 2011-12 guide, “Fantasy leaguers are also keen on who a particular player is playing with. Sure it’s important, but it’s more important to know if he’s a top six or a bottom six. There is a definite division between the two”. Similar advice has been given on this site over the years too.


What happens to Dubinsky when Nathan Horton comes back or if Ryan Johansen is given more of an offensive role?


Don’t forget that Artem Anisimov played with the Rangers at the same time Marian Gaborik was there. Anisimov is more talented than Dubinsky and he plays center too.


So take this as the proverbial pinch of salt.


Opportunity Lost


Which brings me to another statement in the article, “In the first couple rounds of a draft, there really aren’t many “bad” picks and most manager’s strategies are similar: we focus on top end talent that provide elite levels of the more scarce statistics, usually goals and assists. Where I find that most leagues are won, however, is in the mid to late rounds of a draft when you are selecting guys to round out your team and contribute to some of the other categories that less experienced GMs tend to ignored”. I disagree and will instead say that most leagues are lost in the first couple of rounds.


We all assume, especially in a deep draft, that everything averages out and each owner has an equal opportunity to win.


The reality is that the person with first pick has the best chance to win. It is all because of the point differential between the owner with the first pick and the owner of the last pick in a round. The differential is at its greatest in the first round. Other rounds do not have as wide a margin and it keeps on decreasing as the draft goes deeper. (Assumption: no positional requirements).


In a perfect world, if there was one pool guide (*ahem Dobber’s*) which predicted everything correctly and each and every owner picked the player with the most points available, the owner who had first pick is almost always the winner. (Assumption: snake draft).


For example, using the points only stats from the 1970-71 season: (Green = Winner)


10 owners contrarian


12 owners contrarian


In that season Phil Esposito got 152 points. Jean Beliveau, ranked 10th overall, only got 76 points. Half of what Esposito got. There is no way that the 10th place guy could make up this difference unless every owner made mistakes later on in the draft or there are positional requirements that generate more differential gaps.


Yes, I reference such an old season mostly due to time issues but the basics are the same now as they were then.


No draft is ever perfect and that is my basis for saying that most drafts are lost in the first rounds. This is contrary to Terry’s assertion.


Because of lost opportunities, this allows owners drafting in weaker spots a chance to win. This is why advice like “Don’t pick a guy in the 1st round if he’s going to be available in the 5th round” is offered up on this site. It is suggested in Terry’s article that you should be aware of Dubinsky’s value but wait until later in the draft because he is a sleeper.


If Dubinsky is rated by Fantasy Hockey Geek as 22nd overall, Austin’s Top 100 Roto players has him at 27th and you believe in those evaluations then I suggest that you don’t wait too long because it may be you that will lose the opportunity to another owner that has taken the time to research and educate themselves.


Be sure as to why you want to take him, know when you want to take him and indubitably you will win your pool.


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