Ramblings: The Current Situation and Fantasy Leagues, Schenn, Radulov (Mar 14)
Man, a lot has happened in the past few days, so I don't know where to begin.
Maybe I'll start by reminding you to stay safe out there. The usual stuff you've been hearing a lot lately, like washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your arm, and staying home if you don't feel well.
It's going to be difficult not having ANY sports to watch. At least during multiple NHL lockouts, I could fall back on other hockey leagues and other sports a little more closely than I usually do. Not this time. No fantasy sports, either. No to a lot of other things, too, like organized kids sports and activities.
Yet as much as there's going to be a major void over at least the next few weeks, this is a necessary step to hopefully ensure that this virus doesn't spread to the point where the health care system can't handle it. We will all have to do our part in this pandemic. This means social distancing and laying low for a while. Instead of large gatherings and major vacations, it's now time to catch up on books and Netflix and maybe even chores. And for heaven's sake, save some toilet paper and wipes for others!
Transitioning to the (relatively) micro world of fantasy hockey, you are probably sailing in uncharted waters. In terms of an action plan, I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. Dobber wrote a must-read Fantasy Hockey Impact piece within hours of the NHL suspending its season, while Cliffy also weighed in with some tips in yesterday's Ramblings. Both mention specific types of fantasy leagues in the event that the season is completely cancelled, while Dobber runs through scenarios with both the season continuing and the season being cancelled.
Something I'll add is that hopefully the game providers (Yahoo, ESPN, CBS) take the lead in terms of determining a winner. This will be easier if the regular season continues in some way. The league providers providing an outcome removes potential bias, although not everyone will view the decision as fair. Yet I've heard many people through the years – from my father to Bill Gates to a former supervisor – tell me that life isn't fair. The older I get, the more I believe that to be true.
I should also mention that there have been lots of great suggestions made on Twitter, some of which have helped me with some ideas on what I should do in my league. If nothing else, it's nice to be able to throw ideas off each other and chat with people that share our concerns.
Right now, we simply don't know if the season will end here. One positive is that you at least have several weeks to figure out a contingency plan if it does end. I've already provided a contingency plan in one of my leagues where I'm the commissioner, taking into account both scenarios of the season continuing and the season ending. In the other league that I commish, which is more of a default-settings league, I've told league members to wait for Yahoo to decide what to do.
On a side note, there's a push in the fantasy baseball leagues I'm in to delay drafts until more is known about when the season will start. Conversely, a fantasy draft might be a great way to pass the time. More time for mock drafts if your league draft is delayed, I suppose.
As for the Dobber website, obviously you're not going to see articles like Looking Ahead, Daily Fantasy, and Saturday's Game Picks while there are no NHL games. However, other articles will still appear, as Dobber has already mentioned. Also don't forget that we will continue to post daily Ramblings even while the NHL and other hockey leagues go dark. There may not be a lot to write about, but we'll find something to keep you entertained and informed.
Looking for something to do while you're patiently waiting for hockey to return? Go run some reports on the Report Generator on Frozen Tools. Here's a direct link to the leaders in Draisaitl Hat Tricks.
With the season on hold, I'm hoping this will be an opportunity to get the Top 100 Roto Rankings in order. While games are being played, these rankings are very fluid, and it's difficult to keep tabs on every single player. So while games are not being played, I'll discuss some players who have moved up or down the rankings, as well as some additions to and demotions from the top 100.
Today I'll discuss one player moving into the top 100 and one player moving out of the top 100.
When I took over the top 100 Roto Rankings last year, I instantly received feedback advising me to replace the underwhelming Schenn with Matt Dumba. As you might know, Dumba's season hasn't really gotten off the ground, while at 58 points in 71 games, Schenn has already exceeded last season's point total. Schenn has also been on a hot streak lately with 10 points in his last nine games. Dumba was dropped from the Top 100 a while ago, while Schenn will make his return this month. You could say things have come full circle.
Schenn has established himself as mainly a 55-60-point player over the past few seasons. With a shooting percentage of 18% (about 5% above his three-year average), he won't likely exceed his current scoring pace. However, his real value is in several other roto categories. He's currently third on the Blues with 21 power-play points, and he's also third on the team with 119 hits. Particularly because of the hits number, Schenn should be valued higher in multicategory leagues than points leagues.
One demotion from the top 100 will be Radulov, who has missed the past two games with an illness. The Stars have reportedly trying to obtain a COVID-19 test kit for Radulov (Dallas Morning News). No NHL player (at least to my knowledge at this time) has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Stars' forward is on pace for a major drop in scoring with just 34 points in 60 games after scoring 72 points the previous two seasons. That places him on a similar pace as Mats Zuccarello, Brandon Saad, and Ilya Kovalchuk, who were all drafted much lower in 2019-20 fantasy drafts. What's more, Radulov's shot total and shooting percentage are both down from last season, contributing to the drop in scoring. The Stars' defense-first system can't be helping either, as all of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, John Klingberg, and Radulov are all projected to finish below last season's point total.
The March edition of the Roto Rankings will drop on Sunday. In the meantime, feel free to provide me with some last-minute feedback on the February Roto Rankings. Don't be shy.
Some other news that is trickling out:
According to the Department of Player Safety, Brendan Lemieux will be suspended for his hit on Joonas Donskoi on Wednesday night. Once a return to play is announced, then so will be the suspension. I would have to think the suspension would be related to how much season will be left (if any).
The Rangers have signed 2018 first-rounder K'Andre Miller to a three-year entry-level contract. According to Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter, Miller could join the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack should play resume. You can view his Dobber Prospects profile here.
You would hope that billionaire owners would help the way Sergei Bobrovsky is.
For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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