|Hangin’ with the Yahoo Crew||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 29 September 2009 14:14|
Monday night, Dobber passed up the opportunity to participate in the Y! Friends and Family draft, so I had the privilege in taking Dobber’s spot in the league. I’ll recap the draft along with my overall thoughts about how the draft went round-by-round and hopefully take on some opinions as to what you think I can do to better represent our DobberNation community. WARNING: This is quite a long read, so if you just want to view the team just fast forward to the last page of the column.
12- team Rotisserie
G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG, W, GAA, SV% and SO
3 C, 3 LW, 3 RW, 5 D, 2 G, 4 BN and 1 IR slot
Participants in draft order
Matt Buser (busersports.com)
DobberHockey (yours truly)
Rotowire (Mike McLarney)
Fantasy Hockey Cafe (Tony)
My Pick: Malkin, pretty much no brainer here. I initially wanted a later spot on the draft to get set up with goalies, but with the amount of goalies flying off the boards in the first round I wouldn’t have landed the combo that I would have wanted anyways, so I’m pretty content with Malkin.
Value Pick: Nothing out of the ordinary here as you would suspect with the first round in an Expert’s draft.
Questionable Pick: The only questionable one that I would make is Carter going at 12, he’s not a bad option by any means, but just someone I wouldn’t have picked if I had the 12th overall pick.
My Pick: Mason, heading into the draft I wanted to establish my goalies early, with six goalies gone before my second pick, it was a no-brainer for me to pick up the best goalie available. With 40 percent of our stats dedicated to two goalie spots, I had to take the statistically best goalie, which was Mason.
Value Pick: Once again nothing much out of the ordinary, Pianowski already had Nabby, so he added another top-tiered player in Mike Green, which was a steal at 18, to his squad. Parise was also a bit of a surprise considering he’s ranked fourth overall according to Yahoo rankings, but fell 20th overall.
Questionable Pick: Nothing really questionable in this round, a lot of the Yahoo Crew commented that Thomas is going to experience a dip in numbers and at 13 it was a bit high for him.
My Pick: Lundy, following along my strategy heading into the draft. I wanted to cement goalie stats early, and did so with a combo of Lundy/Mason.
Value Pick: If Lecavalier can get back towards the century plateau, he could be a great steal at 32. Vanek probably might not have survived till the next round, so even though it was a bit of a reach, it made sense for Tony.
Questionable Pick: A few questionable picks in this round as there were a few reaches. Gagne’s injury history doesn’t bode well for this season, so the Eagle snatching him at 33 is a bit of a reach. Vokoun, over Miller and Turco could be called questionable, considering his inconsistent play in the last few seasons.
My Pick: Spezza, I don’t like drafting centers early because there’s always a plethora of quality centers available late in fantasy drafts, but I just couldn’t pass up Spez. He’s still top-dog in Ottawa, although losing Heatley hurts, he still has plenty of offensive potential to hit 90 points this season. Also with a combo of Malkin/Spez I should be firmly set for centers moving forward.
Value Pick: Staal, I debated between Spezza and Staal for about five minutes before my pick. I went with Spez, but Staal could easily out produce Spez this season by being alongside Erik Cole full-time.
Questionable Pick: LW was running very thin early, but I thought Hartnell at 41 is a reach, especially before Marleau and my pick in the seventh round. Don’t get me wrong he’s a great across-the-board producer, but at 41 too much of a reach for me.
My Pick: Elias, after watching all the LW drop like flies, I had to do something to make up ground, so I took a chance on Elias. I quickly popped on the Rotoworld.com, and found the latest news on Elias, which was that he’s only out till mid-October, which would really only set his production back just a few points. That plus the league is Roto, which counts production/game over a course of the year, so if he stumbles out of the blocks I could just utilize one of my bench players while keeping Elias benched until he heats up again.
Value Pick: Savard was ranked ninth overall in Yahoo settings last year but fell to 52nd in our draft. Losing Kessel hurts, but he’s still one of the most under rated passers in the game. Gonchar has also flown under the radar in many drafts this season, I thought I probably could have waited another round to snag him, but was beaten to the line by Kat from McKeen’s.
Questionable Pick: No big questionable picks in this round. I’m not a big fan of Ryan as you all know, so if I had the 59th pick I would have passed on Ryan.
My Pick: Streit, similar with LW earlier in the draft, I fell behind compared to the rest of the competition, so I had to make up for it. Streit was the only remaining potential 60-point D available, so I plucked him up.
Value Pick: Rafalski, I had him queued up right before Maingot snatched him up three picks before mine. He’ll put up a great across-the-board performance this season.
Questionable Pick: Nothing really majorly questionable this round. My pick was sandwiched between four goalie picks all of which could be considered marginally questionable. Rinne hasn’t had a great pre-season, Varly has big competition with Theodore and Khabibulin is nowhere near safe street in Edmonton.
My Pick: Morrow, quality LWers were getting desperately thin, so I figured I might as well pull out the trump card early. I probably could have gotten away waiting another round, but thought about my left over alternatives in David Booth and Ray Whitney and thought better of it.
Value Pick: Emery, there are a lot of doubters out there on Emery, but he’ll be solid.
Questionable Pick: Burrows this early was really questionable. With the way Sergei Shirokov has been playing with the Sedins in the pre-season, it looks like Burrows will be dropped down to the second line.
My Pick: Hossa, the great thing about Roto is that a lot of the results are based on production-per-game numbers. Since we were allocated 82 games per position, if a player plays 50 games, you can always use your bench slots to fill in the remaining 32. Hossa’s numbers-per-contest look pretty darn good, picking him up in the eighth round is a steal as long as you can find a solid 30 game complement (which I have).
Value Pick: JBo was probably the last of the “big named” potential 50 point D-men available in the draft, so Behrens snagging him at 85 was great value.
Questionable Pick: There were still a few quality RW still available out there, so I thought the Backes selection by Tony was a bit of a reach. He also justified it by saying that he didn’t think Paul Kariya or Keith Tkachuk would survive the season, so he didn’t see Backes’ lowly ranking on the depth chart as a major problem. Overall not a bad pick, but if I were in his position I wouldn’t have gone with Backes.
My Pick: Kopitar, once again I looked through the rankings and there just wasn’t anyone there that tickled my fancy. Kops was the best player available so I jumped on him right away. With Malkin/Spezza/Kopitar, I should have a solid set of centers moving forward.
Value Pick: A few value picks in this round, Briere could have a very nice bounce back season in Philly, as well as Richards in Dallas, both very solid fantasy contributors up the middle.
Questionable Pick: I was a big fan of Edler after last post-season, but with all the off-season moves that the Canucks made, Edler has drawn the short end of the stick. With Sami Salo, Christian Ehrhoff, Kevin Bieksa, Mathieu Schneider and Willie Mitchell all in line to compete in playing time with Edler, you would have to think how productive is he going to be as a fifth or sixth defender in Vancouver?
My Pick: Hemsky, with my initial risk of drafting Hossa as my number one RW, I needed to have support for him, so I went with one of my favourite late round steals in Hemmer. With 58, 40, 51, and 43 assists in his past four seasons, I’m banking on him continuing the trend and returning back to 50+ assists form this season.
Value Pick: Quite a few value picks this round as pretty much half of the players taken were in my queue. Brassard could very well center Nash and Huselius on Columbus’ top-line. Horton is a great steal at 114th. Burns should get a new life in Minnesota. Brown should continue his bomb-launching ways in LA and the real dagger to my heart was Suter snatched two picks before mine (Tony did that constantly throughout the night...).
Questionable Pick: Considering all the big names that went this round, I don’t think Ruutu fits well in this round. He’s buried behind Ray Whitney, Sergei Samsonov and possibly Jussi Jokinen in Carolina, so I highly doubt that he returns back to 54 point form this season.
My Pick: McCabe, after my heartbreak of losing Suter, I needed to redeem myself. I was only carrying one defensemen at the time, so I desperately needed to fix that up ASAP. McCabe is one of the best across-the-board producers amongst defensemen, when he’s healthy**. Since the remaining D column is looking pretty bare, I took a chance on McCabe.
Value Pick: Johnson was also on my radar, but he was quickly snatched after I took McCabe, he could very well return to 40 point form this season. Selanne has a .82 point-per-game average in the past three years, if he can maintain that average and play in 70-75 games, 60-65 points from a 126th pick will certainly be a bargain.
Questionable Pick: No questionable picks in this round.
My Pick: Hejduk, throughout this draft I’ve gone after guys who will maintain a bulk of the ice-time on their team’s top-line. I continued the trend with Hejduk as he should receive ample ice-time playing on an offensively shallow Avs squad. That plus he’s having stellar pre-season scoring playing alongside Stastny.
Value Pick: I also had Whitney on my radar as a late-round steal, but they were getting sniped left and right. Tony got me again with Tanguay as I had him all highlighted and ready to click before seeing his name fly off the board two picks before mine.
Questionable Pick: The Gionta pick was a questionable one, as I don’t really see the upside in him. His production in the last three seasons has been 45, 53, and 60, perhaps getting out of Jersey may help his numbers but once again, if I were given that slot I wouldn’t have gone with Gionta.
My Pick: O’Sullivan, for those of you who have followed my columns during the summer would realize that I’m a big supporter of O’Sullivan. I just think he has the pedigree (CHL player of the year, CHL rookie of the year, AHL rookie of the year) to not only succeed in the NHL, but to break out in a huge way this season. He is currently on a line with Mike Comrie and Ryan Stone, but I think during the season he finds his way onto Hemsky’s line, which should be summarized with two words “CHA-CHING!”
Value Pick: Lupul, I’m not a big believer in Ryan, because of this guy. Yes Ryan has talent, but so does Lupul, and if there is one person on the Ducks squad that could possibly unseat Ryan from the much acclaimed top-line it’s Lupul.
Questionable Pick: It could be a boom or bust season for Perron, but with the depth on Blues squad I just don’t know if he has enough upside to own as a third LW. Visnovksy also has great potential, but with the recent reports coming out of Edmonton about his current status it doesn’t bode well for the oft-injured band-aid boy. The Oilers have ample blue-line talent in Denis Grebeshkov and Tom Gilbert to hold the fort, which probably isn’t good news to Visnovsky owners.
My Pick: Tkachuk, with Elias scheduled to be out for the first couple of weeks of the season, I needed to find a temporary replacement. Tkachuk seems to fit the bill as he started with nine points in his first nine contests last season. I’m hoping that the Blues are keeping Tkachuk as the top-line center for the first ten games, where he can pick up major points playing alongside Brad Boyes and Paul Kariya, then I’ll just gently sneak Elias back into my starting rotation once he gets back into game shape.
Value Pick: Arnott and Dumont are my favourite value picks of this round, most of the top-line players from each team have been snatched up with the exception of those two. The duo has looked impressive with Patric Hornqvist and Steve Sullivan during the pre-season, furthermore both should have a great fantasy season even though they might not play for an offensive juggernaut.
Questionable Pick: I’ve got two questionable picks this round. One is Ehrhoff, similarly with Edler mentioned before with Edler, there’s just too much depth on the Vancouver blue-line to predict who’s going to come out on top of that heap. They’ll just end up taking points away from each other, where no one will have a fantastic fantasy season. The second is JVR, yes Philly is deep offensively, but how much offense is everyone going to muster? The best case scenario I see from JVR is 50 points, and a low of 30, just too much risk without the reward for my liking.
My Pick: Smith, with Lundy and Mason locked up, I really just wanted a third goalie to complement my goalie stats. I didn’t have much faith in Bryzgalov or Quick so I thought I’d go with the next best alternative. I only plan on starting Smith 15-20 times during the season, and mostly only against weaker offensive teams, so I have no problem with Smith in that department.
Value Pick: Nothing really stood out to me, Kariya at 178th is a great pickup.
Questionable Pick: No questionable picks this round.
My Pick: Hedman, with only two defenseman selected, it was an easy choice to decide which my next position to fill was. I’m not a big fan of Hedman, just because I know how long it takes a defenseman to be deemed fantasy-worthy, but with only slim-pickings available I decided to roll the dice on Hedman.
Value Pick: Johnson was also on my radar before he was snatched four picks before mine.
Questionable Pick: None.
My Pick: Robidas, I continued the D trend as I needed to fill out the rest of my roster. Robidas is getting more and more responsibility on the Stars’ squad. He led the Stars in total-ice-time last season, as well as ranking first amongst Stars’ blue-liners in PP ice-time. Big things should be in store for Robidas this season.
Value Pick: After a bit of discussion about Sullivan earlier on in the draft chat, Maingot finally completed the Predator trio by picking up Sully.
Questionable Pick: Buser left the draft early so he left the bottom bit of his team to the auto-pick gods. Laich had a great season last year, but I don’t think he has it in him to repeat a similar performance, especially with the recently signed Brendan Morrison competing for second line minutes.
My Pick: Bergeron, I accidently had Bergeron queued at the top of my list, and when my draft disconnected when it was my pick, the computer auto-drafted Bergeron for me. Overall not a bad pick, but if had a mulligan I probably would have taken it then and there.
Value Pick: Tony sniped me again as I had Dubinsky ripe for the picking, but saw him snatched two picks before mine.
Questionable Pick: Zherdev has been waiting months after the Rangers declined his arbitration award and has still found no takers. His best shot was probably with the Thrashers, but it looks like they’re going with Maxim Afinogenov instead. Hei ho hei ho, off to KHL you go!
My Pick: Mueller, I continued the trend of picking up players who will get top-line ice-time. Wayne Gretzky didn’t fully utilize the players he had properly last season, which is why I think Mueller will regain some of his rookie success under new coach Dave Tippet.
Value Pick: Lehtonen, Tony already had Rinne, Emery and Bryzgalov drafted already, so adding Lehtonen probably only strengthened his goalies. Despite the high gaa (2.87), Lehtonen’s save percentage is relatively stable (.912), and if he spots starts his four goalies against favourable matchups he could build himself some relatively nice goalie stats.
Questionable Pick: Foligno, the recent additions of Cheechoo and Michalek probably put the final nail in the coffin for Foligno’s top-six ice-time chances. With Heatley in the mix Foligno was pretty much guaranteed top-six ice-time, but now he’ll be relegated to the Sens checking line alongside Mike Fisher and Jarkko Ruutu, ouch...
My Pick: Redden, final round of the draft, so there’s not much noise being made. Following my Mueller pick, I had a final decision between Redden and Enstrom for my final D slot. Behrens made my life easier as he snatched up Enstrom with his final pick and I was left with Redden.
Value Pick: No real surprises in the final round of the draft. Sykora with the final pick could prove to be quite the steal if he managed to garner top-line ice-time in Minnesota. Williams is a lock for top-six ice-time in LA and the Eagle snatching him at 232 is a steal.
Questionable Pick: Ericsson could be considered a questionable pick considering players like Adrian Aucoin, Ron Hainsey, Steve Montador, Shane O’Brien, Roman Hamrlik and Johnny Oduya were all still available. It’s really Tony’s sixth D, so nothing really to cry over if Ericsson busts, just if I were in that position, I would have taken someone else.
I therefore represent DobberNation with a line up of against the Yahoo Juggernauts:
C- Malkin, Spezza, Kopitar
LW- Elias, Morrow, O’Sullivan
RW- Hossa, Hemsky, Hejduk
D- Streit, McCabe, Hedman, Robidas, Redden
G- S. Mason, Lundqvist
BN- Bergeron, Tkachuk, Mueller, M. Smith
Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 08:49|