Top 10 players ranked too low at Yahoo

Tom Collins

2015-08-24

Frederik Andersen - USA Today Sports Images

 

Frederik Andersen is just one of many impact players way underrated at Yahoo …

 

Last week didn't officially launch the start of the fantasy hockey season, but for many poolies, it sure felt like it.

Yahoo opened its fantasy hockey web site, which is considered by many to be the gold standard for fantasy hockey. Many poolies have already taken part in several mock drafts to gauge which way the wind blows for some polarizing players.

Of course, with any list, there are always players who appear to be ranked incorrectly. Yahoo's default draft rankings features a few of them.

 

Here are the top 10 players ranked too low in Yahoo's draft rankings.

 

10. Ondrej Palat: Ranked 106th

It seems a little strange to have Palat down in the 100s when you consider his frequent linematesTyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov — are ranked 39th and 40th, respectively.  If Palat wasn't playing with Johnson or Kucherov, he was playing with Steven Stamkos, so he seems to be assured of a top-six role. Plus, look at his numbers over the last two years:

2013-14: 81 games played, 23 goals, 59 points, plus-32, 20 PIM, 11 power-play points, four shorthanded points, three game-winning goals and 165 shots

2014-15: 75 games played, 16 goals, 63 points, plus-31, 24 PIM, 11 power-play points, two shorthanded points, five game-winning goals and 139 shots

There's a lot of consistency there, and he's booked in a top-six role on one of the most offensive-minded teams in the league. He shouldn't be 60 spots behind his linemates.

 

9. Yannick Weber: Ranked 431st

Weber may not seem like a normal case for this list, but why would a potential top-two defenceman be ranked so low?

Toward the end of the season, he was the Canucks top option on the power play, and saw his ice time rise from 14:46 per game in December to 19:25 in March. He was the team's only defenceman to have 10 goals last season, and he scored five power-play goals, despite averaging just 1:27 minutes per game on the PP. As a bonus, the Canucks really don't have any other defencemen who can man the point on the power play, as Alexander Edler and Dan Hamhuis don't seem to have lost their scoring touch.

 

8. David Krejci: Ranked 183rd

Because of the Bruins' nosedive last season, it's easy to forget what Krejci has accomplished. In his last seven seasons, he's had point totals of 73, 52, 62, 62, 33 (in 47 games in the lockout season), 69 and 31 from beginning in the 2008-09 season through 2014-15.

Last year, injuries took their toll, and Krejci played just 47 games. It was the first season injuries have been an impact, and he's still an accomplished center. Krejci should still be good for 60 points, a high plus/minus rating and some power-play points. Even if we're still trying to figure out what general manager Don Sweeney is up to this offseason, it won't impact Krejci significantly.

 

7. Justin Schultz: Ranked 324th

A lot of this will depend on what the Oilers plan to do on the power play. Do they plan on sending out four forwards and one defenceman, or go with the traditional three forwards and two defencemen? If there's two dmen out there, Schultz will be one of them. If there's one defencemen, he might not start the season on the No. 1 power-play unit, but he should finish the year with that assignment.

Many suspect Andrej Sekera will be the top guy, but Schultz has been a 30-point rearguard in each of the last two years, a mark Sekera has only reached once in his career. With improved forwards, a new coach and a better defence partner, Schultz should be good for 40 points, and see his power-play points, plus/minus rating and goal totals rise.

 

6. Pascal Dupuis: Ranked 567th

In a best-case scenario, Dupuis stays healthy for a full season and comes close to replicating his 2012-13 season playing on the top line with Sidney Crosby. The worst-case scenario is he either gets injured again, or he is bumped down to the third line. Either way, he should still be ranked higher than Derek MacKenzie, Ryan White and Mark Letestu because in limited time last year, Dupuis proved he could still produce. Through 16 games, the veteran winger had six goals, 11 points, a plus-2 rating, two power-play goals, and 44 shots.

 

5. Mika Zibanejad: Ranked 264th

Yes, center is the deepest fantasy position, but just look at the players ranked ahead of Zibanejad. Dustin Brown is 261st, Michael Raffl is 260th and Peter Holland is 255th. Heck, unsigned Jiri Tlusty is 251st. We already know Zibanejad is the second-line centre in Ottawa, and will probably be playing with Bobby Ryan for most of the season. The 22-year-old Swede just had his best season in several categories, with 20 goals, 46 points, four power-play goals and 20 PIM, and with his ice time likely to rise under a full season of head coach Dave Cameron, Zibanejad should be ranked a little higher.

 

4. Valeri Nichushkin: Ranked 639th

Just to give you an idea how low this is, teammate Travis Moen is ranked 600th, and Ryane Clowe, who may miss all of this season, is at 633rd. In fact, there are only 718 players ranked, so they are basically saying Nichushkin will be one of the bottom-100 players when it comes to fantasy.

Maybe it's because he missed most of last season thanks to hip surgery, or the fact he had just one assist and a minus-5 rating through eight games when he did play. But he's just 20 years old, had a promising rookie campaign two years ago, and should land a top-six role this year. Even on the third line, he'll be more appealing fantasy wise than the likes of Colin Greening (ranked 626th), Luke Gazdic (609th) and Zack Smith (605th).

 

3. Jori Lehtera: Ranked 211th

Just go to Frozen Pool's line combinations for Lehtera. You have to go pretty far down before you find a line when Vladimir Tarasenko is not with him. Five-on-five, power play, four on four, it doesn't matter. Tarasenko is there.

So with many predicting Tarasenko to improve on his 73 points last year, what does that mean for Lehtera? More points, a higher plus/minus rating, and more power-play points. It's also important to note, even though he is 27 years old, last year was Lehtera's rookie season, so there had to have been a feeling out process in the NHL.  The only concern is Lehtera's recent ankle surgery, which could cause him to miss significant time in training camp and potentially all of it.

 

2. Tyler Myers: Ranked 300th

For the first time since he was a rookie, Myers is finally climbing back up the fantasy ladder again. Once he was traded to Winnipeg, he was dynamite. Through just 24 games with the Jets, Myers had three goals, 15 points, a plus-9 rating with 16 PIM and 52 shots on goal.

Nothing has really changed in Winnipeg this offseason, either. There was no big trades for defencemen, no major free agent signings, and the same coaching staff remains in place. Look for Myers to produce his best season ever, and even if he is only half as good as what we was in two dozen games with the Jets last year, that is still better than the 300th ranked fantasy player. 

 

1. Frederik Andersen: Ranked 114th

Somehow, Andersen is the 22nd-ranked goalie. He's ranked behind Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, and Ondrej Pavelec. Yes, Andersen has only been the starter for a season, but he was awesome last year. Just look at the facts: he's the clear-cut No. 1 goalie on a powerhouse team, and he should receive 60-plus starts. Last year, he posted 35 wins with just 53 games started. There's no reason he should be viewed as anything less than a third-tier goalie. 

 

 

UPCOMING GAMES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency PIT Players
23.6% PATRIC HORNQVIST EVGENI MALKIN JASON ZUCKER
16.3% ZACH ASTON-REESE TEDDY BLUEGER BRANDON TANEV
15.9% SIDNEY CROSBY JAKE GUENTZEL BRYAN RUST

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