Ramblings: Allowing Adds and Drops, Rinne, Forsberg (Mar 15)
Hopefully you were able to find alternate ways to pass the time on Saturday instead of watching hockey.
Something to consider while we wait for the season to possibly resume is the status of injured players. Rather than try to speculate on injured players that may return if NHL play resumes at some point, I'll defer to Brennan and his latest Injury Report, then let you draw your own conclusions.
I say this because your league commissioner (or you, if you are the commissioner) may need to decide whether to allow adds and drops during this period. To be honest, it's not something I had given a lot of thought to. Dobber did mention that adds and drops should not be allowed during this hiatus in his recent Fantasy Hockey Impact of COVID-19.
I run a no-money yet highly competitive league in which one owner recently added an injured player, to which another owner raised an objection. I asked for input from other league members, and so far two other owners have stated that they are not overly concerned. Reasons that you may decide to leave adds/drops as is include a) no guarantee that the season will continue anyway, b) no guarantee that the injured player will return if it does, and c) players have less incentive to do this if they have a limited number of adds/drops per season (as this league has).
The injured player in question happens to be Oliver Bjorkstrand. As of February 21, he was expected to be out 8-10 weeks with a sprained/fractured ankle. That would put his return somewhere around late April. It's possible that he's back in the lineup by then, but again no guarantee. Even if he does return, he could be looking at a very short window to contribute.
If you were to ask me as to whether you should disable adds/drops in your league, I'd say it's probably better to shut them down in the interest of fairness and any other unintended consequences, such as hoarding. However, leaving it up to the league owners to decide is fine. If you do decide to shut down adds and drops, just make sure your league provider easily allows you to reinstate adds and drops should the season continue.
No matter what our opinions are on this, at least these issues give us something to talk about during this pause.
Hockey and sports might be on hold at the moment. Yet we here at Dobber Hockey will continue to provide you with more fantasy hockey content for as long as this lasts. We've even brought on two new writers!
First, I'll introduce you to new Journey writer Dave Hall. If you frequent Dobber Prospects, you may recognize him as the Columbus Blue Jackets' writer. You can find his scouting reports here. If you haven't already, be sure to check out his original offering Highest Forward Prospect Risers in March, in which he examines four prospect forwards who have shot up the Top 200 Fantasy Prospect Forwards rankings from the previous month.
Also, our new Geek of the Week writer is Mike Halbany, who has loads of experience using the Fantasy Hockey Geek product. If his article isn't up by the time you read this, you'll see it later today. His first piece will be on Alex DeBrincat, who many of you will know is projected to finish well below last season's point total. Mike will breakdown DeBrincat's metrics and explain whether he thinks DeBrincat will be a buy-low candidate for next season.
Later today, you'll see the March edition of the Roto Rankings. If they're not up by the time you read this, you can check out February's rankings here. As a sneak peek, I'll discuss one player moving out of the top 100 (and another moving in as a result), as well as one player who fell based on feedback from the February rankings.
I've specifically chosen Rinne because he's the one drop from the top 100 whose selection isn't in any way injury-related. If the NHL season now seems like a distant memory to you, then the most recent recollection of Rinne is the eight goals he allowed to the Oilers on March 2. You may remember that I had selected Rinne as the top goalie of the past decade, but he is now 37 and doesn't appear to be the same goalie anymore.
The season numbers (3.17 GAA, .895 SV%) are very un-Rinne-like, but the advanced stats tell an even worse tale. According to Evolving-Hockey, Rinne's goals-saved-above-average (-15.51 GSAA) and goals-saved-above-expectation (-21.37 GSAx) are 47th and 48th in the league, respectively. Only Jimmy Howard fared worse in both categories among qualified goalies. Also, Rinne is tied for the most really bad starts (11), while playing fewer games than the four other goalies he is tied with.
Should the season restart, the Predators appear to be best served in relying on Juuse Saros for their playoff push. The 24-year-old goalie has now earned three consecutive wins with shutouts in two of those games, as well as quality starts in seven of his last eight games. That could make Rinne droppable in many formats. By the way, Saros is also an addition to the top 100 based on his play over the past few weeks.
I'll stick with the Predators here. During last month's rankings, I received feedback that Forsberg was ranked too high (February ranking: #34). Even though Forsberg has been hot recently (five points in his last four games), it appears that there could be something to that feedback.
Forsberg is on a similar scoring pace this season (0.76 PTS/GP) to last season (0.78 PTS/GP). The problem is, he's battled injuries over his last three seasons. Although he could finish with over 70 games if a full season is played this season, his games played totals over the previous two seasons have been only 64 and 67. Assuming he'd play the remainder of Nashville's games, Forsberg would be on pace for 58 points – the second consecutive season where he hasn't reached 60 points.
One advantage to owning Forsberg is his shot total (198), which is just outside of the top 30. As well, he has scored at least 20 goals for six consecutive seasons, so you know that the goals will come even when Nashville's offense dries up. He's not going to carry you in any one roto category, yet he doesn't seem to be particularly poor in any category either. Also, over much of his career, Forsberg has been a 0.7-0.8 PTS/GP player. So take away injuries and he's a consistent, safe player.
Yes, Forsberg will be a faller in the March rankings. Maybe not as much as I had him falling closer to the end of February, since he and the Predators have been trending in the right direction lately. However, his March ranking will be closer to his 2019-20 ADP in Yahoo leagues, which was 58.4. He also receives a bit of a value uptick over other forwards since he's a LW and doesn't play at a stacked C position.
Beside the Draisaitl Hat Tricks button on Frozen Tools, you'll see a button called Multi-Category. Here you will find the league leaders in the following popular roto stat categories. Or how about I list the leader in each category for you. Maybe there's a surprise or two listed below.
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (67)
Plus/Minus: Ryan Graves (+40)
Penalty Minutes: Evander Kane (122)
Power-Play Points: Leon Draisaitl (44)
Shots on Goal: Nathan MacKinnon (318)
Hits: Ryan Reaves (316)
Blocks: Oscar Klefbom (180)
For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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