David Backes vs. Scott Harnell

steve laidlaw




David Backes has become an absolute darling in the world of fantasy hockey and I will not lie I hopped on board that train three seasons ago and nearly rode it to a championship. I have been on that train ever since and I really have not been disappointed. Here is the problem I am having though. The hype machine may be swirling to unsustainable levels. Right now you'll find Backes as the 46th ranked skater in Yahoo! Leagues and is being drafted on average as the 50th skater so you are seeing some course correction being made by poolies but even 50th overall is a little high, at least when you consider where some other players are dropping. Consider, for instance, Scott Hartnell, who is the 68th ranked skater and is being drafted (on average) even later as the 93rd best skater. When I see numbers like this I see poolies who are in need of guidance because there is very little reason to take Backes so much higher than Hartnell. In fact, there is a case that Hartnell should go higher. Don't believe me? Well then come along for the ride because this week's Cage Match is Backes vs. Hartnell in a battle of the roto-studs.


So just why on earth would one consider taking Hartnell over Backes? Well the simple answer is that LW is the scarcer of the two positions so being able to fill that LW spot sooner is an advantage. To really grasp the value of this would require more specifics about your given league and with all the variations of even simply league size it just doesn't seem proper to delve any deeper. So maybe your team has tremendous balance already, is there still merit in snagging Hartnell before Backes? That is what I intend to prove.


Taking a look at the averages for each player over the last three seasons: