The top 10 Yahoo! projections that are too low
As always, Yahoo's release of their fantasy hockey platform was met with lots of excitement and some WTFs. Poolies pored over the data immediately. Many people have been consumed by the rankings (Connor McDavid at #297th?). Or by the elimination of dual positions for many players.
But it's when you look at the projections for this upcoming season that you learn a lot. Most of the predictions are fine. Austin Matthews is at 49 points, Connor McDavid is at 90 points and Patrick Kane at 91. There doesn't seem to be any high expectations. Some of the projections are far too low. Some players, such as Jimmy Vesey, Mitch Marner, Sebastian Aho and Pavel Zacha aren't listed yet. But guys like Adam Larsson, Devante Smith-Pelley and Ryan Strome all project to have zero points. So I thought it would be good to look at some of the players who seem to have projections that are much too low. I am not going to look at any of the players they don't have listed or projected to be zero points as I'm sure those will be rectified soon.
Here are the top 10 too-low projections from Yahoo.
10. Kris Letang
This is going to be one of those projections that could make Yahoo look like geniuses at the end of the year. I have looked at six different guides so far (seven if you include Yahoo). Everyone has Letang getting at least 61 points. Yahoo has Letang getting 50 points. Not a huge decrease from everyone else, but it definitely deserves a mention. Remember that Letang had 67 points in 71 games last year, and has been pretty healthy — considering the subject — the last two seasons.
I guess Yahoo isn't a big a fan of the theory that Galchenyuk will have a breakout year. How else can you explain his projected 49 points? In a year when many are expecting big things from the Habs number one centre, it's kind of a shock to see someone has him projected so low.
Teravainen is expected expect to play on the top line in Carolina this year with Elias Lindholm and Sebastian Aho. He'll also get an opportunity to get regular power play time, something that eluded him in Chicago. That's why it's surprising that Yahoo projects him to finish with just 31 points. Unless he completely bombs as a top-six player and is down on the third and fourth line by Christmas, it's almost impossible for Teravainen to finish with 31 points.
You can count me as one of those who don't believe Drouin will automatically break through this year with 60-plus points. He just has too much negative history working against him. But Yahoo has Drouin getting just 26 points. That's a little low. I expect Drouin to play most of the season with the Lightning, but I think he'll be on the third line unless there's injuries. Still, 26 points seems really low.
6. Evander Kane
No one knows what to expect out of Evander Kane this season. Odds are he will be on the injured reserve list for at least 15 games. Maybe there will be a team suspension or two. Yahoo must figure Kane will miss a lot of time. That could be why they project him for just 31 points. They also have him projected for 145 shots. Kane averaged more than four shots a game last season and at that pace would need to play just 35 games this year to get to 145 shots.
5. Jeff Carter
It wasn't too long ago that Carter was considered Mr. Cy Young in that he always had more goals than assists. In fact, from 2007-08 to 2013-14, he had more goals than assists in every single season. But the last two years have been different. He's notching 24 to 28 goals, but has been in the mid-30s for assists. This is why Carter has had 62 points in each of the last two seasons. That's why it's a bit surprising that Yahoo projects Carter to get to just 47 points (22 goals and 25 assists).
4. Kyle Turris
I've never been a Sens fan, but believing Turris will only get 30 points is extremely pessimistic. Sure Turris had just 30 points last season. But last year was a bit of a fluke as he dealt with a high ankle sprain. He came back and was obviously not 100 per cent before being shut down again. But Turris is not known as an injury-prone guy. He played in every single game for the previous three seasons before last year. So to expect 30 points is a little ludicrous.
2 and 3. Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi
As I mentioned in the introduction, Yahoo has pretty good projections for the rookies they have listed. Matthews is projected at 49 points. William Nylander is at 40 points. Mikko Rantanen is at 33 points (a little low, but not that much). But Laine is projected to get just 29 points. And Puljujarvi is at 18 points. I know there should be some caution when it comes to rookies, but this is going a little too far.
Last year Johnson had just 38 points. That was his worst season in pretty much any league since he was a rookie in the Western Hockey League in 2007-08. To put it another way, last year's 38 points was just over half the 72 points he scored in 2014-15. But Yahoo must think the 72 points is an outlier, as they have Johnson finishing with just 41 points. That's way too low for a player that is going to average 20 minutes a game in all situations.
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