Ramblings: Best Ball; Kaliyev; Kakko; Fiala; Josi, and more – September 16

Michael Clifford


One housekeeping note about fantasy drafts.

Over the last couple years, I've talked in my Ramblings about Best Ball leagues. They are very, very popular in NFL fantasy circles and I hope they start cropping up more for NHL.

In short, a best ball league has no transactions. You draft a team at the start of the year, and that's your entire roster. Now, you may only count half the players' point totals towards final standings, or three-quarters, but there are no trades and waiver wires. You set your lineup every day, week, or once a year, and it is a good way to practice early drafting without having to manage a team all year. You also have skin in the game.

Over at Underdog Fantasy – no sponsorship here, I just personally like the site – they have best ball leagues up for NHL. They start at 6-person drafts for $3 each and it goes up to 12-team, $50 drafts. There is also one big $10 tournament, sort of as an overall prize.

For anyone who finds that managing several fantasy teams in-season can get overwhelming, this is the perfect alternative. There aren't many rounds, you don't have to manage the roster, and you can play for as low as $3. Not bad at all. Hope to see some of you in there.


Head to the Dobber Shop and grab your copy of the 2021 Dobber Hockey Guide! It is updated all throughout camp, so you’re never shy of relevant data.


A couple days ago in these Ramblings, I started a series looking at each team, and selecting a player from each team to talk about. It is an attempt to talk about relevant players from each roster, looking for some value, and getting my thoughts about this draft season out there. We're only a month away from the start of the regular season, so it's getting to the most important part of the fantasy season now.

Today, we're going to go through another batch of teams. Remember that these are only players that I'm higher on than their current Yahoo ADPs/draft rates. These could vary league to league, depending on settings, keepers, or a host of other issues.

Los Angeles – Arthur Kaliyev: It has been a common refrain that the Los Angeles Kings have lots of prospects coming and their cupboard is stocked. That is true, but it doesn't get to the question that is important for us: which prospects will be helpful for 2021-22, and how much? The signing of Phillip Danault proves an impediment for guys like Rasmus Kupari and Quinton Byfield, their future centres – it takes away the potential of a top-6 role. The Kings don't have (m)any high-end left-shot forwards, so if Kaliyev can ball out in training camp, he could get a big role here. Kaliyev led the AHL team last year – that had Kupari, and Turcotte, and Byfield, and Thomas, and Fagemo – in points by five and put up 2.75 shots per game. All this as a 19-year-old. If he had a good offseason of training, I think he can at least start in the top-9, and could move up as the season wears on.

Minnesota – Kevin Fiala: Fiala finished the season on an abs