Marner, Kuznetsov, Zetterberg (Aug 23)
If you haven’t heard by now, Yahoo Fantasy Hockey has opened for business for the 2017-18 season.
Tom has already weighed in with his top 10 on players ranked too low. It sounds as though Yahoo is a little premature in rolling out its fantasy hockey if its rankings aren’t ready. This seems to reflect a growing digital media trend that getting there early is more important than getting there flawlessly.
If Yahoo waits until September, there may be some deep leagues that need to get their offseason activity going. Or it could be allowing more dates for the growing number of live drafts.
Continuing one of the themes of my last few Ramblings, Yahoo has already updated the positional eligibility for several forwards. Unfortunately, Mikael Granlund, J.T. Miller, and Teuvo Teravainen are no longer eligible at all three forward positions.
Unlike Mike Clifford, my offseason Ramblings really don’t follow a plan as far as what I’m going to write about. So I’m going to pick players that have recently been drafted in my auction-style keeper league (bids placed by forum posts). So here’s a shoutout to the 11 other dedicated guys who play in this league, at least some of which I know are reading this. To the rest of you, it will be like a random player generator.
Some hockey pundits are predicting that the Leafs will take a small step back in 2017-18 after taking a giant leap forward in 2016-17. How much could that affect a scorer like Marner, who if not for teammate Auston Matthews would have received strong consideration for the Calder Trophy.
Honestly, there isn’t anything that would lead me to believe that a downturn is imminent. Marner absolutely racked up points in the OHL (two 100+ point seasons). His shooting percentage was a relatively normal 10.8 percent. He recorded 24 primary assists as opposed to 18 secondary assists, which is good but not great.
If there is a downside, it could be that his point total is assist-heavy (42 assists compared to just 19 goals). But he has goal-scoring ability, as evidenced from junior by 44 goals in 63 games one year and 39 goals in 57 games in another. You just have to remember to supplement him with goal scorers if you draft him. But a 50-assist season is well within reach. Only eight players reached that total last season.
On a side note, and