Tom Collins gives you his Top 10 Yahoo! players ranked too high
With the release of Yahoo's fantasy hockey season, last week we looked at the top 10 players ranked too low.
This week we're focusing on the top 10 players who are ranked too high.
With any type of projections, there are always going to be players who aren't ranked where they are supposed to be. That's why we all have our own pre-draft lists, and slide players up and down as we see fit.
I'm not saying the players on this list have zero fantasy value, but to simply snatch them where Yahoo has them ranked would be reaching.
Here are the top 10 players ranked too high on Yahoo fantasy hockey.
10.Henrik Lundqvist, 13th overall
When Lundqvist plays, he's one of the best goalies on the planet, no argument. The issue lately has been when he plays. He's battled injuries in each of the last two seasons, and he's now 33, and at a stage where age can become a problem as it takes the body longer to recover. Knowing that Braden Holtby is sitting at 25th, Ben Bishop is at 30th, Devan Dubnyk at 31st or Marc-Andre Fleury at 33rd, means you don't need to spend a first-round pick on a goalie who is often injury as there are better options later on.
9. Jack Eichel, 103rd overall
In a keeper pool, grabbing Eichel at 103rd would be a steal. But in a one-year league, it's a big risk. After all, a poolie could select Eichel, and hope that he can reach 55 points, maybe be a plus-player, and put up some penalty minutes and get top minutes on the power play. Or a poolie could select a player like Jaden Schwartz (105th) or Ondrej Palat (106th), players that have already hit those marks. The smart money would be on those two, and many others ranked lower, rather than on Eichel.
8. Tomas Tatar, 78th overall
Is there any reason to believe Tatar will be able to improve on last year's season? He managed to get more ice time because guys like Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk battled injuries. If they can play and stay healthy (Datsyuk may miss the first part of the season), Tatar's ice time takes a major hit. And even with things going his way last season, Tatar still didn't break 60 points, his plus-minus was just a plus-six, and he only had 28 penalty minutes. He did have 19 power play points, but that should be another category to take a hit if the tops guns are playing.
7. Jonathan Toews, 17th overall
In terms of elite centres you want to build your real-life team around, Toews is top five. But fantasy hockey? Not a chance. Anything within the top 35 is too high. And if you don't include faceoffs, and most Yahoo pools don't, Toews' value drops even more dramatically. It's equally important to note that Toews is a centre, where the position is deep for fantasy hockey, and a top centre doesn't have the same value as a top winger or defenceman.
6. Jonathan Drouin, 177th overall
It's rare that someone ranked so low could be considered to be too high, but there's no reason to believe that Drouin can improve drastically on his season from last year. He only scored four goals, was a plus-three, and doesn't take enough shots. From an ice time perspective, he just doesn't get enough of it, averaging just 11:15 even strength and 1:54 on the power play. To make matters worse, he's doesn't have much of a chance to crack into the top six, not with the triplets secured on one line, and Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan and either Alex Killorn or Valtteri Filppula on another.
5. Nick Foligno, 43rd overall
This season will go a long way to determining whether Foligno is a flash in the pan, or if he is just a late bloomer. He did just beat his career high in points by 26, scored 31 goals (the first time he's ever even hit 20), and had a shooting percentage of 17 percent, 4.6 percentage points higher than his career average. And he has excellent chemistry with Ryan Johansen. But Foligno was able to stay healthy, while his teammates did not. With guys like Scott Hartnell and Brandon Dubinsky back and healthy, this could have a huge impact on Foligno's ice time and productivity this upcoming season.
4. Max Domi, 160th overall
First off, we don't even know if Domi is going to make the Coyotes. And if he does, what can we realistically expect out of him? There's no great teammates to help him reach lofty heights. With Mike Smith in nets, the plus-minus is going to be bad. Domi is going to be a great NHLer at some point, but in one-year pools, there's no way I'm selecting the rookie over Ryan Callahan (161st), Jaromir Jagr (167th) or Tomas Plekanec (170th).
3. James van Riemsdyk, 45th overall
JVR is no longer lining up next to an elite player now that Phil Kessel is in Pittsburgh, his team has no extra offensive weapons that they were missing last year, the team's power play is going to suffer, he doesn't get a lot of penalty minutes, and his plus-minus will be south of zero. None of that adds up to a player who should be ranked ahead of players such as Nicklas Backstrom (54th), Blake Wheeler (56th) and David Backes (49th).
2. Ryan Miller, 77th overall
Miller hasn't been fantasy relevant in a few years, and now he's somehow the 16th highest ranked goalie in the league? That's about 10 spots too high. I can't imagine any league where Miller should be ranked ahead of Frederik Andersen, Jimmy Howard, Martin Jones or Craig Anderson. Miller has fought injuries in each of the last two seasons, and last season ranked 32nd in the league in save percentage, and 27th in goals against average.
1. Nathan MacKinnon, 35th overall
There's a few things that bother me about MacKinnon's upcoming season. Yes, the potential is there for him to be excellent, but he didn't endear himself to a lot of poolies last season. The key is looking at the players ranked behind him: Tyler Johnson at 39th, Nikita Kucherov at 40th, Max Pacioretty at 41st, Connor McDavid at 42nd, Taylor Hall at 44th, and so on. Any slip-up from MacKinnon (such as a poor start to the season, not getting the power play time, a poor plus-minus) just pushes him further down the rankings.
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