We had some preseason games on Monday night, which was a nice change of pace compared to the last three months. As always, there isn’t a whole lot to glean from these games aside from line combinations and whether everyone makes it out healthy. There were three lineup combinations to note here:
- Edmonton went with Neal-RNH-Gagner as the top line on Monday. Obviously, that line will play behind Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian eventually but it does give us an indication they’re actually sticking with Zack Kassian on the top line.
- St. Louis didn’t have any of their stars in the lineup, but they did run Blais-Sundqvist-Fabbri as their top line. That Fabbri was skating with two of the only regulars (that term being used loosely) from last year on the game’s roster is a good sign that they want to give him the chance to earn a spot on this team out of the gate.
- We’ll talk about Travis Konecny in a bit, but the Flyers ran JvR-Hayes-Voracek as the top line on Monday night.
Those are really the only combos worth talking about.
Monday was the deadline for the NHLPA to either opt out of the current CBA following the 2019-20 season, meaning another lockout or strike would be on the way, or extend it for three more seasons. I can’t believe it actually happened, but the NHLPA opted to extend the current CBA, which means no lockout or strike for three more seasons at least. Hooray?
Brock Boeser signed a three-year bridge deal with the Vancouver Canucks. The AAV came in a bit under $5.9M. He will be 24 years old when this bridge deal is over and still an RFA for the Canucks.
Not for nothing, but it appears there’s been a rotating cast of players throughout training camp on the top line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. Reading between the lines, maybe they’re leaving a spot open for Konecny? It would be a great spot for a guy who has shown a penchant for scoring in his young career.
The Rangers currently have Chris Kreider and Ryan Strome skating together, while Filip Chytil is centering Kaapo Kakko. I know everyone is high on Pavel Buchnevich considering he’s on the top line (I’m a fan as well) but it does feel like it’s just a matter of time before Kakko is skating with Artemi Panarin.
Not something to get too riled up about, but at times this off-season I’ve mused whether Anthony Cirelli will move up to centre Steven Stamkos, and that’s exactly what he did on Monday in a scrimmage. Again, just a scrimmage with most regulars not there, but something to watch for as training camp rolls on.
Tyson Barrie explicitly said that Morgan Rielly will be running the top PP unit while Barrie will be on the second PP unit. I’ve been saying this for months, but I still cannot believe Barrie is ranked as a top-10 or top-12 defenceman in so many places around the industry. It’s a bad pick and you should feel bad if you do it.
Also, in that same tweet, the phrase “no more changes” was used, which would assume that Andreas Johnsson replaces Nazem Kadri, as he did at times last year. So, remember kids: do not draft Tyson Barrie in any format at his current ADP, draft Andreas Johnsson in every format at his current ADP. Thank you.
Flyers prospect Morgan Frost was supposed to play in a preseason game Monday night but suffered a minor groin injury and sat out. They don’t expect it to be anything too serious, though, and he could be back on the ice as soon as Tuesday.
Not really fantasy-relevant, but I enjoyed this piece about the 2009-10 Blackhawks, or the last throwback team of the era. To me, it’s what hockey (and team sports in general) is really all about (well, outside of trying to grab a policeman’s gun). Subscription to The Athletic required to view.
When drafting fantasy hockey teams, it’s important to remember where you’re drafting. I don’t mean “where” as in Where Are You Located Right Now, or some existential “where” either, but rather but “where” as in ESPN/Yahoo/CBS/Fantrax etc. There can often be big differences of ADP and that can play to your advantage if you’re aware of these discrepancies and your league mates are not.
Now, to be sure, every league isn’t the same so discrepancies can be explained by differing league settings. One guy who relies on hits for a good portion of his value won’t be as valuable on ESPN (where PIMs replace hits) as Yahoo! (where hits replace PIMs). For that reason, I’ve excluded those types of players unless the difference is just too big to ignore, or they provide similar value in those peripheral categories.
I’m leaving goalies out of this because, in general, they’re all ranked much lower on ESPN than Yahoo! – only two top-30 goalies are ranked higher on ESPN than Yahoo! (That’s a little tidbit to remember.) These will also mostly deal with high-ranking players, or guys at least inside the top-200. Once you get deep into a draft, it doesn’t really matter if a guy is ranked 361st on Yahoo! but 391st on ESPN.
ADP data courtesy of FantasyPros.
Yahoo! ADP: 8
ESPN ADP: 28
This is one that’s really hard to figure out. Matthews neither hits a lot nor takes many penalties, so we’d think that the ADPs would be similar across the two sites. Alas, he’s separated by over a round and a half, making him a relative steal on ESPN. Because he doesn’t hit or take penalties, in this roto setup, I have Matthews ranked as the 29th skater (excluding goalies) overall, so it’s not far off from where he’s going on ESPN. He’s almost certainly not going to be worth the price on Yahoo!.
Yahoo! ADP: 47
ESPN ADP: 7
This is a situation like Matthews’ where the player doesn’t hit much and doesn’t take a lot of penalties, and yet he’s being drafted in the first round on one site and much later on another. Here, it’s the end of the fourth round instead of the middle of the third. Either way, because he doesn’t rack up the PIMs or hits, I would very much hesitate to take him in the first round. I have him ranked one spot ahead of Matthews, which means he’s kind of a value on Yahoo! at the moment. If you can draft him in the fourth round, great, but I wouldn’t wait too long; anytime after the second round is fine value.
Yahoo! ADP: 45
ESPN ADP: 20
Yet another player whose value I just don’t understand given the league settings. Again, on Yahoo!, we count hits instead of penalty minutes. Landeskog has averaged 44 PIMs a season over the last two years – solid if unspectacular totals. Meanwhile, he’s averaged 135 hits a season over the last two years, a very stout total. It’s very hard to find a guy who can put up 70 points and 130 hits; it’s easier to find one who can put up 70 points and 40 PIMs. I have Landeskog as a third-round value on Yahoo!, which means his ADP is great value right now.
Yahoo! ADP: 58
ESPN ADP: 15
While Tkachuk hasn’t shown the elite levels of hit totals that Landeskog (or another guy we’ll get to in a minute), he did put up over 100 last year, and his totals have increased every season he’s been in the league. Last year, his 77 points and 104 hits helped make him a top-30 player in standard Yahoo! formats, and he was also a top-30 skater on ESPN. I have Tkachuk just inside the top-30 skaters this year in standard Yahoo! leagues, just a couple spots behind Matthews. I think he’s being overvalued by a round or so on ESPN and undervalued by a round or so on Yahoo!.
Yahoo! ADP: 36
ESPN ADP: 60
I’ve spent much of the off-season saying I’m not buying that Roman Josi will be the PP1 quarterback in Nashville all season, and that Ryan Ellis will be running things eventually, making Ellis a great fantasy value. But even I have my limits. Josi is not a defenceman who hits at all – he has one season of at least 60 hits in his career – so that Yahoo! ADP prices him way out of my range. He does take a reasonable amount of penalties, though, making that two-round savings over on ESPN a lot more palatable. I have Josi as my 14th defenceman and that ESPN ADP has him as D11. I might draft him at his ADP on ESPN, but I absolutely would not draft him on Yahoo! in the third round.
I’m not going to dig deeper but there are a lot more guys that fit the bill similar to those above. Some of those names include:
- Evander Kane – his ADP is literally twice as high (124) on Yahoo! than it is on ESPN (61). I know he can rack PIMs, but he can rack hits, too, which means that Yahoo! ADP is crazy cheap.
- Brock Boeser – he’s going in the sixth round on Yahoo! but the 10th round on ESPN. That’s good value in the latter.
- Tom Wilson – he’s in the exact same boat as Evander Kane but he’s going several considerably later on Yahoo!. Reap the rewards.
- Evgenii Dadonov – he neither hits nor takes penalties but his ADP on ESPN is five rounds later than that on Yahoo!.
There are many others. If you go to FantasyPros, you can download the Excel sheet and figure it all out quickly. Just a reminder that the site you play on likely has a big effect on who gets drafted when.
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