Ramblings: Training Camp Injury Updates, Top 100 Roto Rankings Discussion (July 19)
It's always news if Sidney Crosby leaves practice early. That's what happened on Saturday, when the Penguins captain left in the second period of the team's scrimmage for undisclosed reasons. For what it's worth, Conor Sheary (remember he got traded back to the Penguins?) thought it was just a maintenance issue, but coach Mike Sullivan is following new league policy and not commenting on the reason.
Cale Makar also left Saturday's practice. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar didn't know whether Makar would be able to practice on Sunday.
Good news for Steven Stamkos, though. He took part in Saturday's practice, which was his first training camp practice. He is currently recovering from a lower-body injury from voluntary workouts.
If you haven't already, purchase your DobberHockey 2020 Interactive Playoff Draft List today! As has been the case in previous seasons, you can customize the teams that advance, or if you're not sure you can go with Dobber's picks. There will also be updates, based on injuries and updated player news.
Earlier this week, the Top 100 Roto Rankings were updated for July. Any feedback you can provide is appreciated, as I'd like these rankings to be an important tool to help you win your multicategory draft. On that note, I'll dive into a thought-provoking multiple-question reply that came from a Twitter follower recently on the rankings.
If you're in a keeper league, Samsonov's value based on upside and age might be higher than Markstrom's. But as I've said in the past, the most important season in your keeper league is the one right in front of you. In fact, Markstrom's recent success might explain he is ranked #9 in Dobber's Top 100 Keeper League Goaltenders, while Samsonov is ranked #25.
Although it may not reflect in his overall numbers, Markstrom had the kind of season that had Canucks fans calling for a Vezina Trophy nomination. Markstrom's effect on the Canucks is very similar to that of Connor Hellebuyck of the Jets – keeping a team with a poor defense from allowing a ton of goals. Although his ratios (2.75 GAA , .918 SV%) might not jump out at you, Markstrom is a top-10 goalie in both quality starts (25) and quality start percentage (58.1%) among goalies with at least 20 games.
Re-signing Markstrom in the offseason would likely mean that the Canucks would either try to trade Thatcher Demko or leave him exposed in the Seattle expansion draft. Yet in spite of the Canucks' cap issues and the presence of a possible future starter in Demko, I totally expect Markstrom to be their first priority with the cap space that they will have. But if things change and Marky signs elsewhere, I'll adjust accordingly. After watching him in what has been by far his best NHL season, I'd have a difficult time moving Markstrom out of the top 100.
Samsonov is very likely the goalie of the future for the Capitals. In fact, I've included him and not Braden Holtby in the Roto Rankings just because Samsonov has had the much better season. Yet in spite of the inferior season, I'd still guess that Holtby is the starter for the playoffs. Because the Capitals are playing in the round-robin seeding group to start, it's possible that both goalies could start at least once this summer. After the season, I'd expect Holtby to sign somewhere like San Jose or Calgary and Samsonov to take over as the starter for one of the league's strongest teams in Washington.
In the rankings right now, I have Samsonov (#92) with a slight edge over Markstrom (#93). The offseason will most likely dictate any major movement either up or down for both goalies.
This is another one that I will probably wait until after the season to evaluate further (Rielly #69, Krug #70). I wrote about Rielly last week, when I mentioned that he is due for a significant rebound, particularly if Tyson Barrie signs elsewhere. One of those defensemen that will be joining Barrie on the open market is Krug.
No matter where Krug signs next season, I'm willing to bet he'll be on that team's first-unit power play. He'd recorded three consecutive seasons of 50+ points and would have reached 50 a fourth time if not for the pause. Krug has also posted four consecutive seasons of at least 24 power-play points, and his 107 PPP over that span ties him with John Carlson as having the highest power-play point total among defensemen. There could be a minor drop if he moves on from Boston, but we'll have to wait and see where that would be.
I happened to specifically evaluate these two defensemen (along with a group of several others) recently, so I can say that they should be very similarly valued. In fact, I moved Krug up five spots after I determined he was a bit undervalued. But when comparing Krug to Rielly, you'll need to go back 2-3 seasons instead of just the season that finished to establish that value.
I currently have Hall at #36, Giroux at #37, Guentzel at #43, and Rantanen at #44. It's hard to make a cut-and-dry comparison, as Hall and Giroux were basically healthy all year, while Guentzel and Rantanen missed significant portions of the season due to injury. For that reason, it might be best to compare based on ratios as opposed to totals.
You can view the full player comparison here.
These are simply scoring categories, but clearly both Guentzel and Rantanen have the edge over Giroux and Hall. This is reflected in Dobber's Top 300 Skaters keeper rankings, where the younger Guentzel (25) and Rantanen (23) are ranked higher than the older Hall (28) and Giroux (32). For the record, Dobber's rankings are based on points-only leagues.
Let's go back three years to compare all the roto categories. The games played totals still won't be exactly the same, but it's more of an even comparison than the past season.
I won't focus so much on pure scoring categories, as I'm aware that Rantanen and Guentzel are younger players that have been on the upswing.
I'll start with Guentzel. Although his power-play point totals are lighter than the other players, he is now being used on the Penguins' first power play. In spite of the lack of power-play time, he has the highest goal total of the group. Not only that, he's also easily the hits leader of this group. Based on the scoring rate and the strong peripherals, I'm willing to put him at the top of this group.
Rantanen is probably a slightly better option than Guentzel in pure points leagues (also reflected in Dobber's rankings). However, Rantanen also has a slightly lower goal and shot total and a much lower hits total than Guentzel. It's probably splitting hairs with these two, so I'll leave Guentzel slightly higher than Rantanen.
In spite of being fairly healthy this season, Hall's scoring rate (0.8 PTS/GP) was its lowest in three seasons. His value will depend on where he signs in the offseason, but remember that he is two seasons removed from a Hart Trophy season.
Giroux's scoring also patterned Hall's in that he was well below a point per game after back-to-back seasons of reaching that mark.
All in all, I agree that Guentzel and Rantanen should be ranked above Hall and Giroux for August. The injuries might explain why I had them a little lower. Both players could move even further up the rankings with an injury-free season.
For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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