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.


It’s the opposite to last week’s article of players who are undervalued and under-rated in Yahoo! fantasy pools.


Now, onto the good stuff!


Corey Perry – RW- Anaheim

Average: 5.3

Yahoo-Rank: 5

Dobber Expert League: HockeyKnight (3rd overall)


I mentioned Perry a few times the last couple of weeks, and I’m staying the course with my initial opinion of him. It’s not that I don’t want him on my fantasy team, it’s just that it’s a damn high investment of a fifth overall pick for someone who’s only had one statistically great season. You’ve probably read all of the reasoning behind a possible decline for Perry, so I won’t bombard you with that again, but you also have to keep in mind that in a 12, maybe even 14-team league, RWers are so plentiful that if you miss out on Perry you still have quite a few options in the next 4-5 rounds who would still produce similar numbers. I know it’s bloody hard to see his name dangling there in front of you, but it’d be a wise move to go after a player that’s from a shallower position.


Anze Kopitar – C- Los Angeles

Average: 15.5

Yahoo-Rank: 11

Dobber Expert League: HockeyKnight (33rd overall)


Quiz time: Which player would you rather have (based on the previous average three-year production)?

Player A: 71.3 GP, 21 G, 57.7 A, 78.7 P, plus 7.7, 78.3 PIMs, 28.7 PPP, and 164.3 SOG

Player B: 77.7 GP, 34 G, 39.7 A, 73.7 P, plus 3, 63.3 PIMs, 25.3 PPP and 315 SOG

Player C: 79.7 GP, 28.7 G, 44.7 A, 73.3 P, plus 4.7, 22.7 PIMs, 26.3 PPP and 242 SOG

Player D: 80.3 GP, 22 G, 59.7 A, 81.7 P, plus 12.3, 52.3 PIMs, 32.3 PPP and 143 SOG


Player A is Ryan Getzlaf, player B is Eric Staal, player C is Kopitar and player D is Joe Thornton. Now consider their relative draft positions. Getzlaf (36.2), Staal (35.6), Kopitar (15.5) and Thornton (45.5): which one of the four doesn’t fit in like the others? I wouldn’t mind having Kopitar on my team, but the price of a second round pick is just too expensive for my liking. I can essentially wait two rounds and snag a Thornton, while having the exact same production and saving my second round pick. Think of this scenario, would you rather have a combo of Pavel Datsyuk and Thornton or the combo of Kopitar and Vanek? What about Getzlaf and Kovalchuk or Kopitar and Marleau?


Antti Niemi – G– San Jose

Average: 26.0

Yahoo-Rank: 20

Dobber Expert League: Nation of Domination (27th overall)


Niemi had a fantastic season when he posted a 35-18-6 record, along with a very respectable 2.38 GAA and .920 save percentage last campaign. The only problem for me was that those numbers were posted with an injured Antero Niittymaki on the shelf for much of the season with a lower body injury, which kind of forced Niemi into the number one role by default. He definitely played well enough last campaign, to enter this season as the number one, but a hiccup/cold streak and the pendulum could easily swing back to the way of Niittymaki. The reward might be great, but the risk is definitely dangerous if you’re depending on Niemi as your number one heading into the season. Just a word of advice if you are dead set on selecting him make sure you snag a handcuff in Niitty as well.


Bobby Ryan – LW – Anaheim

Average: 12.4

Yahoo-Rank: 9

Dobber Expert League: Nation of Domination (34th overall, steal at that position!)


Ryan is just a tad overrated in fantasy drafts. He certainly has the pedigree to put up huge numbers in the future, but for this season I don’t think he’ll get that opportunity. At the end of the day, the Ducks are going to be Ryan Getzlaf’s and Perry’s team. Ryan will always play third fiddle to the dynamic duo, and probably won’t really be a focal point of the Anaheim attack. I also understand that the LW position is a bit shallow, but I’d lean towards a Henrik Zetterberg or Ilya Kovalchuk (who play more of a bigger scoring role with their respective clubs), before Ryan.


Ryan Kesler – C – Vancouver

Average: 30.8

Yahoo-rank: 28

Dobber Expert League: FrozenPool (56th overall)


The latest news coming out of the Kesler camp is that “there’s not a chance that he would be able to play right now.” and that his status for the regular season is still unclear. There’s just too much uncertainty to gamble on a player of “decent but not great calibre” at a second/third round slot, especially with players like Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal or Jeff Carter who are ready to be taken just around the corner. Be sure to drop Kesler down a few notches on your rankings on draft day.


David Backes – RW- St. Louis Blue

Average: 65.4

Yahoo-Rank: 60

Dobber Expert League: Dry Island Holdout (61st overall)

Backes is great for leagues that have a strong focus on the peripheral stats (+/-, HITs, BS, and PIMs), but if you are in a points league or a standard settings leagues, then Backes might not be worth the initial draft investment. He had a great season when he posted a line of 62 points, a plus 32 rating, 93 PIMs, and 211 SOG, but this campaign might be a completely different story, as the competition for ice-time in St. Louis has become much stiffer with the additions of Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. Backes is currently drafted on par with Marian Gaborik and ahead of fellow RWers Phil Kessel and Martin Havlat. I’d easily select one of those options ahead of Backes in my fantasy drafts.


Johan Franzen – RW- Detroit

Average: 75

Yahoo-Rank: 73

Dobber Expert League: Dobber (108th overall)


Frazen is another one of those players who carry “big name” status but always seems to under-perform when you’re reflecting upon your fantasy season in April. I don’t think it’s from a lack of talent, but moreso to do with the depth charts. Much like Ryan, he’ll always play third fiddle to Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in Detroit add in the fact that there will always seem to be a plethora of 40-point players that will always slot in as competition to steal points away from Franzen. Poolies always seem to value him as a 65-70 pointer, but he’s never once hit that expectation. I know the attractiveness of Franzen’s name will always tempt you, but take the high road and pass.


Miikka Kiprusoff – G – Calgary

Average: 55.5

Yahoo-Rank: 51

Dobber Expert League: Dry Island Holdout (31st overall)


I can certainly understand why my Eastern Counterpart (Tim Lucarelli), would take a stab at Kipper for the Dobber Expert League based on our league settings. He has averaged 73.7 games played, 39.7 wins, a 2.50 goals against average and a .912 save percentage per season since the lockout. But if you are playing in a standard Yahoo! league, 2.50 and .912 numbers aren’t going to lead you to a championship. I would much rather take a Martin Broduer or Cam Ward roughly 10 slots later and still get similar (if not better results), instead. Another interesting stat that I’ve dug up, is that Kipper has March numbers of 19-16-1, 3.17 GAA, and .889 save percentage for the last three seasons. Brent Sutter, if you are listening, play Henrik Karlsson for a few more games (15-20 games), throughout the season and keep Kipper fresh for the March run and your team will be much better off.


Alex Burrows – LW – Vancouver

Average: 85.6

Yahoo-Rank: 89

Dobber Expert League: GMGates (70th overall)


Burrows is another player that gets overvalued due to association. His 45 even strength points tied him with Tomas Vanek, Loui Eriksson, Nathan Horton and Jeff Skinner for 28th overall in the league in that department, but it’s the one power-play point that puts a huge damper on things. With Mikael Samuelsson or Marco Sturm probably occupying top PP ice-time alongside the Sedins, Burrows will most likely be shafted once again. I know LWers are getting pretty thin at this point, but I’d probably take a pass on Burrows and take a stab at Taylor Hall or Mike Cammalleri a round or two later.


Jimmy Howard – G – Detroit

Average: 45.6

Yahoo-Rank: 47

Dobber Expert League: Messier4Life (37th overall)


Pretty much the same as Kipper’s comment. With Howard, you pretty much have the name factor, but other than that you don’t exactly get a lot of substance with it. The 37 wins were nice, but the 2.79 GAA and .910 save percentage probably wouldn’t have garnered you a championship. Howard honestly didn’t play well enough to sustain a number one gig all season long, but luckily an injury to Chris Osgood (and a lack of a quality backup), saved the job for Howard. 2011-12 will be a different story as the Red Wings have brought back a familiar name of Ty Conklin for the backup gig. If Howard struggles for a second consecutive season, he might not have as much luck as he did last campaign.


Loui Eriksson – RW – Dallas

Average: 81.1

Yahoo-Rank: 79

Dobber Expert League: Dean’s List (98th overall)


There’s been a lot of polarizing debate on the status of Eriksson heading into the new season. At this point you’ve probably read all of the arguments and have now well and truly drawn your own conclusions. The only thing that I’ll add to the debate is draft position. At an average pick of 81st, he currently sits above a few proven guys like Marian Hossa and Dustin Brown. Those two have a tad higher potential upside than Eriksson, which is why I’d be more inclined to select those two over an uncertain Eriksson on draft day.


Mark Giordano – D – Calgary

Average: 116

Yahoo-Rank: 115

Dobber Expert League: Angus (115th overall)

Gio certainly had himself a pretty decent season last campaign when he posted 43 points, 25 of which came on the PP, 67 PIMs along with 165 SOG. The only thing that I’d be wary about is whether or not he’d be able to repeat that performance for 2011-12. Considering he’s on averaged selected ahead of number one PP QB options like Alex Edler, Erik Johnson and James Wisniewski, it’d be a tough pill to swallow if you selected Gio and have one of those three light up the scoresheets against you.


Ryan Whitney – D – Edmonton

Average: 98.5

Yahoo-Rank: 92

Dobber Expert League: Angus (126th overall)


Ditto for Whitney! His elevated ranking is entirely based on an injury-shortened 35 contests. Whitney had a bit of a hiccup in the pre-season when he rolled over on his surgically repaired ankle two weeks ago, which should send some warning signs to all poolies who are wanting to take a leap of faith on Whitney. The fact that he’s taken ahead of players like Chris Pronger, Alex Goligoski, Alex Pietrangelo or Jack Johnson reveals that he’s being over-rated in fantasy pools.


Logan Couture – C – San Jose

Average: 113.3

Yahoo-Rank: 118

Dobber Expert League: FrozenPool (116th overall)


Much like a few of the players mentioned above, Couture got a large boost in the pre-season rankings due to great 2010-11 numbers. The fact that he also plays for the highly offensive Sharks also helps to increase his stocks somewhat, but is it necessarily enough to select him over the likes of number one centers like Jason Spezza, Mike Ribeiro or Mikko Koivu? At the end of the day, Couture is still going to be choked offensively behind Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and possibly Martin Havlat, so he’ll certainly have quite a few roadblocks to overcome in order to put up favourable fantasy numbers. I’d rather go with a solidified number one center option instead.



Did I forget anyone? Or have a few “over-valued” candidates of your own? Questions or comments? As always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below.


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Comments (12)add comment

Jeff said:

Doughty & RW's I'm not saying Doughty's bad, but he's being picked ahead of D-men with much more proven track-records. I think Boyle, Keith, Letang, Chara, Yandle, Ehrhoff & Burns are all equivalent (or better) options that have gone later than Doughty in the Mock Drafts I've been in.

Also, I've noticed that Havlat & Hossa have been going fairly early in Drafts when they're part of a really large bracket of "risky" RW's: Semin, Gaborik, Briere, Selanne, Hemsky, Jagr, Hejduk, Williams.

My strategy has been to split that field in 2: Semin-Selanne, Hemsky-Williams. I leave on my draft board, and when 3 disappear, I take a stab at the 4th. That way, I've usually got one solid RW before I pick a band-aid boy. Also, it lets me shore up other shallower positions (LW!) before chasing down any of these high-risk-high-reward players.

Also, regarding Perry, I agree his G might slip this year. However, he's a multicat BEAST! Even with a 'measley' 80 points, he could still flirt with 250 yahoo points. Finally, if Getzlaf feeds him the biscuit for a full 82, he could rack up 50+ more SOG than last year, fixing his S% aberration.
September 16, 2011
Votes: +1

Pengwin7 said:

Good Discussion Disclaimer: When I discuss these guys, it assuming one-year leagues, 6-cat, H2H.

@Ma: Thanks for your top 5. I appreciate it. I'm OK with difference of opinion.

@Nigel: I think you'll be the one making the mistake if you let Perry drop out of the top 5. You say "If you take Perry's two seasons before last year"... well why would anybody expect those years??? You expect Perry to regress?

*Perry is better than he was two years ago.
*Getzlaf is better than he was two years ago.
*Bobby Ryan is better than he was two years ago.
*Lubo wasn't even on the team to start two years ago, and he's perfect for this PP.
*Cam Fowler wasn't even on the team two years ago, and will be better PP this year.

The situation with Perry & Anaheim isn't all that different from H.Sedin & Vancouver.
In 09-10, D.Sedin was injured and H.Sedin put up big numbers.
In 10-11, both Sedins were healthy and BOTH Sedins put up big numbers.
These were their 9th & 10th years in the league. They blossomed later than typ players.

In 10-11, Getzlaf was injured and Perry put up big numbers.
In 11-12, what if Getzlaf & Perry are both healthy? And Bobby Ryan getting better?
These will be their 6th & 7th years in the league. Still slightly late to blossom.

Perry is my #2.

September 14, 2011
Votes: +1

horrorfan said:

Thanks Oh yeah, brain fart about the West only column smilies/smiley.gif. Good follow up, thanks. Yeah instead of Sedin, you could , get a guy with less points (especially if only assists is the main increase) for a more balanced player (e.g. for West: Kopitar, Toews). As for Perry, even with only one season's worth of elite production, given his category balance and strength (SOG,PPP,PIM), he is not a bad pick in the first round even if he drops to something like 38-45. Also consider that other players in the first round have risk - Malkin, Crosby, even Parise/Datsyuk if people like them that high. There is value in looking at "what have you done for me lately" as well.

In general, a lot of it comes down to personal strategy and focus for each position. Do you want balanced across the board? Do you want your centres to be playmakers and wingers to be shooters? Do you want 'safe' options? Do you want to guarantee good value for your pick in each round?

Definitely looking forward to our draft, should be very interesting to see how it unfolds.
September 14, 2011
Votes: +2

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: Sedin

Definitely, if you've been following my columns for a few years, you'll probably know that I'm not that big into "soft players". I like much more across-the-board producers even if they don't put up as big of points.

Sedin at 5 I think is pretty similar to Perry, but with Sedin you kinda know that you at least should be getting the points. He has a much larger set of data/history to draw from. I have no problem heading into the season assuming that he's a 90 point player. Perry I want to see at least another season before I anoint that tag beside his name.

I personally wouldn't take Sedin at 5 (because of exactly what you said, I can have Thornton/Staal/Getzlaf 2-3 rounds later, and they'll produce at a similar rate), so why waste a high pick on a position that's easily replaceable is my opinion...

Skinner also is a bit over-rated based on just one season's worth of data, I'm sure Tim will cover that in his column. The thing with Skinner is that I do see talent in him, he reminds me a lot of Patty Kane to be honest. The only downer is that he's listed as a C, which I think is a mislabel really. He's a RW and shouldn't really be a C. But you are right. I would definitely take Stastny, Vinny, Ribeiro and Spezza over him.

I think he's in an identical boat as Couture, but I think Skinner is in a bit of a better position than Couture based on their respective depth charts.

Looking forward to the weekend for our draft!
September 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: James

Definitely, I think that's probably why those players are listed so low anyways. If they were healthy no way in hell would they be ranked so low on draft lists. So that's where you kinda have to roll the dice.

Also just cause I listed alternatives doesn't mean you have to take all of them. No way would I have a team of Zets, Hossa, Havlat, Spezza, Sturm, Pronger and Nitty... I'd probably have 1 or 2 but I certainly wouldn't get all of them.

But you are right, I'm just kinda providing alternatives as in who could you take instead, I didn't want an article where I just listed why I thought so and so was over-rated. I thought that providing alternatives would benefit Dobberites much more than just saying avoid so and so...
September 14, 2011
Votes: +1

horrorfan said:

ignore title re: goalies Meant to change it after writing comment.
September 14, 2011
Votes: +0

horrorfan said:

Goalies? Nice piece Ryan, well thought out and written. Note that I haven't done any mocks, especially since my leagues vary quite a bit from the standard settings. I'm wondering about a couple other players who, in my opinion, have a high default ranking, where they have been drafted in your mocks and your thoughts on them:

Henrik Sedin, ranked 5th. Although a safe bet for points and PPP, he's not as valuable in multiple categories and I would never consider him for a first round pick (especially top five), and in such a deep position.

Jeff Skinner, ranked 54th. The fact that he's down as a C is bad enough, but last year's rookie being ranked ahead of Lecavalier, Stastny, Ribeiro and Spezza doesn't sit well with me.
September 14, 2011
Votes: +1

james said:

... My only criticism of some of your alternates is that many of them are injury prone. Personally, I try to limit the number of 'injury prone' guys on my roster, but of course you don't win without taking some risks. It's almost like you recommend 1 'injury prone' option and 1 'healthy', but regardless of that being intentional or accidental it is something to keep in mind for anyone yet to draft smilies/smiley.gif I cringe to think of a roster with Zets, Hossa, Havlat, Spezza, Sturm, Pronger and Nitty...looks nice in print, but between those players you'd probably lose a full 2 players (maybe 3 with Havlat involved) worth of games. I don't think your advocating a roster containing those guys, just my 2 cents when looking at 'alternatives' smilies/smiley.gif
September 13, 2011
Votes: +1

Ryan Ma said:

... RE: Alternatives for Perry

Nigel pretty much hit it right on the money in terms of my opinion.

My answer is two-fold.

First, I do expect a bit of a drop off in production in Perry. We've been through a lot of the reasons in my previous columns (shooting %, possibly no Selanne, his numbers against the East teams...). I'm thinking its probably going to be closer to 80 points than 90 points this season. In the first round you need to have that sure-fire rock on your squad to consistently put up huge points for you, especially if you are taking an offensive person in the first 5 picks... If I'm looking for an 80-pointer you can get that in rounds 2-4 fairly easily. You can't afford to draft a 80-pointer with your first round pick and expect to win. Look at those who drafted Ovechkin with the first pick last season. I don't think very many team won, but those who drafted Perry in the 3rd-4th round, were much more likely to win.

Secondly, as I mentioned in the column, RW are plenty, I've been through many mock drafts and still have quality guys like Pominville, Boyes, Hejduk still left on the table after the draft. I don't have that option with LW. So if I'm picking in the mid-rounds (5-10), I would honestly over-reach and over-pay to snag a LW knowing that I won't be able to get the depth at LW later on. Which is why I would sour on any RW (St. Louis or Iggy) in the first round compared to a LW, D or G.

In terms of offensive alternatives (not necessarily in order) I would have AO, D. Sedin, Stamkos, Crosby (yes I would still take Crosby in a top 4 slot, what can I say I'm a gambler), Malkin, and an interesting one Datsyuk before I take Perry. And there's a few others that I would take as well, but because they're a bit lower ranked I know I don't have to take them in the first round and still get them back in the 2nd round (Kovalchuk, Parise). Of course I would probably take Lundy and/or possibly Miller as well.

So it would depend on my mood, but I can tell you that I would certainly take one of those players before I take Perry.

I guess we can look back at this in April and see if I was on the ball or if I was completely stupid. smilies/wink.gif
September 13, 2011
Votes: +0

Nigel said:

Pengwin7 Come on Pengwin7, just read the article once again. He doesn´t say that his play last season doesn´t put him in top 5. He is saying, that one season is just small sample to take this production for granted. If you take Perry´s two seasons before the last one, he averages 30G, 45A, +5, 105PIM, 23PPP and 276 SOG. Still nice numbers but by any mean not 2nd best.
If you think Perry repeats last season, don´t hesitate, go ahead and take him in every league you can...
September 13, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

Marcus Lepkowski said:

Pengwin7 Hi Pengwin,

I like your analysis as well, but if this is true:
My H2H forecasted value: Ovechkin 6.36, Crosby-Healthy = 6.06, Perry, D.Sedin, Stamkos 5.40, Malkin 5.19, H.Sedin 5.11

Why would you take Perry (RW) over D. Sedin (LW).

BTW: My top 5 in most formats are:
D. Sedin
Malkin (could get LW status)
September 13, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Almost Flawless Love all of these, except one.

First, I have to dish out some well-deserved compliments (that will lead to my one critique). When recommending a player NOT to pick, it is great to recommend an alternate player/option. There is enormous value in this article because virtually ever player is presented with a suggestion:

If you consider Niemi, take Nitty as a handcuff.
If you are looking at Ryan, consider Zetterberg or Kovalchuk.
If you are looking at Backes, consider Gaborik.
Etc, Etc (Great Great Stuff!)
These recommendations are soooo good, I feel I need to pile on 1000 compliments.
(so pretend there are 1000 compliments here)

But... Corey Perry.
While I agree that he "seems" too high at #5, who is a better option?
A LOT of poolies are struggling with this item this year.
1. Ovechkin
2. ?
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?

In a 6-cat league (by my own personal math formulas):
Daniel Sedin = 40G, 60A, +30, 30 PIM, 35PPP, 260 SOG. Score = 5.54
Corey Perry = 40G, 50A, +10, 110 PIM, 30PPP, 300 SOG. Score = 5.75
(My H2H forecasted value: Ovechkin 6.36, Crosby-Healthy = 6.06, Perry, D.Sedin, Stamkos 5.40, Malkin 5.19, H.Sedin 5.11)

The #2/#3/#4 spots are tough draft positions this year for these reasons.
I think Corey Perry (unfortunately) is the #2 option, even with a slight drop in scoring. I'd rather have a RW than a C.

I finally have a chance to put you on the spot, Ma!!!
You can say that Perry at #5 is "damn high"... but what are our options?
Give me your #2, #3, #4, and #5 overall picks in a standard 6x4 Yahoo league.

Overall, I completely loved this piece.
September 13, 2011
Votes: -1
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