Top 10 auction bargains in fantasy hockey
Auction drafts are one of the most fun types of drafts a fantasy owner can participate in.
It’s more than knowing which player is good, it’s also being able to manage your money and knowing different strategies. One of the most effective is to overpay on a couple of superstars, and then go cheap on the rest of the roster.
The players listed below are some of the better players you can find for a cheap price. The players are for a normal Yahoo head-to-head auction league, standard cats (goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power play points, and shots for skaters, and wins, goals against average, save percentage, and shutouts for goalies). Each team has two centres, two left wings, two right wings, four defencemen, two goalies, and four bench.
Next to the names you will see Yahoo’s projected value for each player, and what the player is actually going for on average.
10. Radim Vrbata (Projected: $19. Actual $1)
Vrbata doesn’t get the respect he deserves even in non-auction leagues, but he’s actually a pretty valuable player who contributes a lot to fantasy teams. Just last season, he had 51 points, but also took 263 shots, which was 11th in the league. With Henrik Sedin setting him up this season, points should be easier to attain.
9. Roberto Luongo (Projected: $18, Actual: $5.2)
While wins may be hard to come by in Florida, Luongo should still be a solid option for fantasy owners looking for a second goalie. Even with a bad Canucks team and an even-worse Panthers team, Luongo still managed 25 wins, .919 save percentage, 2.40 GAA and four shutouts. He should be able to replicate those numbers pretty easily this season without the goaltending controversy hanging over his head.
8. Tomas Hertl (Projected: $14. Actual: $1)
Joe Thornton would probably be pretty excited if he could pick up Hertl for only $1 in his auction league, but that’s Hertl’s worth this year. A lot of people forget that he was an early Calder favourite until a knee injury finished him for most of the season. Hertl still managed to put up 15 goals and 25 points in just 37 games (to go along with a plus-11, three power play points and 98 shots), and owners should be expecting an improvement this season.
7. David Krejci (Projected: $19, Actual: $2.5)
Sure, the Bruins centre had horrible playoffs, but that’s no reason to take it out on his auction value. He’s actually a valuable contributor in fantasy leagues, and worth way more than the $2.5 he’s averaging so far. Last year, Krejci was 19th in the league in points and first in plus-minus. If he can improve on his 19 power play points, he could be a top 15-point producer.
6. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Projected: $19, Average: $4.7)
OEL is one of those defencemen who can do it all. Last season, he put up 15 goals, 29 assists, 22 power play points, 199 shots, 50 pims and was a minus-four. Meanwhile, Drew Doughty was behind Ekman-Larson in every category except plus-minus and penalty minutes, yet Doughty goes for $27 in Yahoo auction drafts. There’s clearly some extra value for name recognition, so let other drive up the price on Doughty while you get the better fantasy player in OEL.
5. Kevin Shattenkirk (Projected: $15, Actual: $1)
The Blues defenceman doesn’t get as much love as his counterpart Alex Pietrangelo, but Shattenkirk is easily the better fantasy option. Last season, Shatty was better in goals, pims, power play points and shots. Yet AP sells for $20 higher in Yahoo auctions. Any improvement to Shattenkirk’s plus-one rating will only make him that much more valuable.
4. Jaroslav Halak (Projected: $18. Actual: $2.6)
While I’ve been singing the praises of how Chad Johnson is a great sleeper pick for a little while, there’s no doubt that Halak is going to be the number one goalie on the Islanders. This means he’ll be in the best positon to pick up wins, and he should also be able to put up decent goals against average and a solid save percentage, plus enough shutouts to make him a top-10 fantasy goalie. And as of last night, there are 23 goalies being bought at a higher price than Halak, including Carter Hutton, Cam Ward and Ondrej Pavelec.
3. John Carlson: (Projected: $9, Average: $1.3)
Carlson is pretty underrated when it comes to fantasy hockey, especially in standard Yahoo leagues. Everyone keeps thinking that if he can get Mike Green’s minutes, he’ll be a fantasy stud. But he already is, he’s just not recognized for it. Last season Carlson put up 10 goals and 27 assists, to go along with 22 power play points. His 208 shots were fourth-highest in the league for defencemen. His plus-minus suffered a little (minus-three) but should rebound this season. Knowing that one can pick him up for $2 or less should have managers salivating.
2. Tyler Bozak (Projected: $7. Actual: $1)
Bozak is severely undervalued in auction leagues, both projected and actual. I’m a firm believer he will get 70 points this season if he can stay healthy, and is easily worth more than $7, much less one dollar. After all, he is the number one centre on the Leafs, which means playing with Phil Kessel all year, especially since the Leafs don’t have the depth to replace their top centre. Even last season, Bozak was on pace for 69 points if he had played all 82 games. Bozak should also improve on his meager eight power play points from last season.
1. Kris Letang (Projected: $18, Average: $3.8)
While there is some debate about whether Letang has lost of his lustre, many still believe he can be a top-five defenceman when healthy. So it’s a little surprising that he can be had for so cheap. Letang is pretty much a defenceman who can bring everything to the table: In the last three seasons, he’s third among defencemen for goals per game, second for assists per game, ninth in plus-minus, 14th in power play points, and third in shots per game. He’s even 48th in penalty minutes (and those last three seasons doesn’t include 2010-11, when he registered 101 penalty minutes). In short, he contributes everything you want, and at $3.8, he’s a steal, even if he misses a chunk of the season due to injury.
The 10 players total $24.1, which means you could draft your starting goalies and defencemen, plus four forwards for only 12 per cent of your total budget.
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