I decided to give it a go on a Yahoo mock draft today. Standard categories were used, which were G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, HIT, W, GAA, SV%, SO. I started with the seventh overall pick. Here’s how I fared:
One important note: If you are forming a new league in Yahoo, the default settings now include hits, which are included in the projections. One of my leagues has used standard Yahoo settings for the past few years, so I’m trying to decide whether to change to hits. So I asked my league and only one league member responded. He was against the idea because he believed that hits are subjective in their recording. I’ll wait and see if I receive more responses before making any changes. Needless to say, penalty minutes seem to be on the way out as a fantasy hockey category.
Some of these are players I might be more positive about than you are, but it’ll at least give me some thought on how I draft in my pure single-season league and my keep 4 league. I surprised myself by drafting forwards with my first three picks, although I’ve noticed that only two defensemen (Brent Burns, Victor Hedman) and only five goalies (Andrei Vasilevskiy, Pekka Rinne, Connor Hellebuyck, Braden Holtby, Sergei Bobrovsky) are ranked within the top 30. No defensemen or goalies are ranked in the top 10 either. After seeing numerous top-level goalies struggle mightily last season, I’m not as inclined to use a high pick on a goalie as I have been in previous seasons.
I took care of my goaltending/defense problem between rounds 4 and 10. I thought Fleury was a bit of a reach, but I figured I should grab a goalie and I thought he was the best one available. Sandwiched in that group might be another reach in Jeff Skinner, but he might be worth a gamble at that point if he can find some success on the top line of the Sabres, who I think are a team that could take a big step forward.
I left myself thin at right wing with only Patrick Kane and Yanni Gourde drafted at that position. I don’t get too worried at this point if I have a shortage at one position, mainly because I know I’ll be heading to the waiver wire at some point during the season. But having trial run drafts at least identifies what I should look out for once the real thing comes along.
Earlier in the day I tried entering another mock draft, but my browser got stuck in neutral. So as it turned out, I was kept in the draft and the computer autopicked for me. Yahoo even sent me the results of that draft. Here’s how the computer performed: