Ramblings: Revisiting Raanta, CBS Players Ranked Too High (Aug 18)

by Ian Gooding on August 18, 2019
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Revisiting Raanta, CBS Players Ranked Too High (Aug 18)


Yesterday I listed numerous players who seemed undervalued in CBS leagues,  so I’ll continue on with the reverse in players that seem overvalued by CBS. There are some that I think everyone will agree with and may simply be clerical errors, but there are others that you might argue have been valued appropriately. In a future Ramblings, I plan to cover Yahoo rankings.

Leon Draisaitl (CBS ranking 3): Broke through in reaching 50 goals and 100 points. I have a hard time thinking he’ll repeat, considering that his shooting percentage was an extremely high 21.6%. If Dave Tippett splits Draisaitl and Connor McDavid in an effort to find more scoring, then 50 goals/100 points seems even less likely.

Mark Stone (CBS ranking 16): I’m a Stone owner in a keeper league, and even I think this ranking is too generous. His value may have improved with the move to Vegas, but you’re usually drafting forwards who should be good for 80 points minimum at this point. Stone has only reached 70 once in his career.

Alexander Radulov (CBS ranking 19): Same idea as Stone, except Radulov has back-to-back 70-plus point seasons. Still, I don’t have any compelling reason to draft him this high.

Jonathan Toews (CBS ranking 35): After settling in the 50-60-point range for a few seasons, Toews burst through with a career-high 81-point campaign. Since Joel Quenneville is gone, Toews has been able to focus on a more offensive game; however, I’m not sold on 80 points being the new normal.

David Rittich (CBS ranking 40): We don’t even know if he’s going to be the starting goalie yet! This is way too high for a potential timeshare goalie, unless you are all in on Calgary this coming season.

Martin Jones (CBS ranking 50): If your league only counts wins, maybe. However, you don’t want to be drafting a goalie at this point whose GAA was nearly 3.00 and SV% was below .900.

Paul Stastny (CBS rankings 54): Would you draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Mats Zuccarello at this point? Nah, me neither. Stastny’s PTS/GP total was similar to those two players.

David Perron (CBS ranking 80): His points-per-game dropped with a move to St. Louis. Even with that, his shooting percentage was an unsustainable 20.5% in 2018-19. Perron is a serviceable player to fill out your roster, but not at this point.

Andrew Shaw (CBS ranking 91): Just because Shaw scored a career-high 47 points and can fill peripherals and is returning to Chicago doesn’t mean I’d recommend drafting him here.

Brandon Pirri (CBS ranking 94): If you think Pirri can permanently break into the Golden Knights’ top 6, or if you think Pirri will get traded to a team that will use him in its top 6, by all means draft him here. Even if one of those scenarios came true, I don’t think I would.

Pontus Aberg (CBS ranking 98): Aberg might have offensive upside, but he was a healthy scratch numerous times in 2018-19. That should tell you all you need to know.

The rest of the guys listed below simply aren’t on my fantasy radar. I wouldn’t be able to tell you why they are listed here. In my opinion you can make better use of a later-round pick.

Nick Shore (142)

Buddy Robinson (151)

Brendan Leipsic (178)

Mark Letestu (193)

Alan Quine (194)

Dominic Toninato (197)

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Don’t forget to pick up your Fantasy Guide, if you haven’t already!

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Also on the subject of not forgetting… don’t forget about Antti Raanta in your fantasy drafts. I’ve uploaded the Dobber Fantasy Guide projections to one of my fantasy teams in the Fantasy Hockey Geek, and let’s say that Raanta is ranked very, very high. He also ranked very high last season, but he was held to just 12 games thanks to a knee injury that ended his season by late November. I’ll get into why he’s ranked very high in a moment. Raanta is currently ranked 104 by Yahoo, while for some reason CBS didn’t pick him up.

In six NHL seasons, Raanta has never played 50 games. With his Band-Aid Boy status and the emergence of Darcy Kuemper after Raanta’s season ended, I’d probably bet the under on 50 games for Raanta. So if you’re in a league in which the emphasis is on wins, Raanta probably shouldn’t be high on your rankings. The Coyotes also figure to be a bubble playoff team, so his ability to pick up wins will likely be limited.

Even though Raanta shouldn’t lose the starting job outright to Kuemper, it sounds like the Coyotes plan to use the two as a tandem, according to Cat Silverman of The Athletic. Remember that if you follow the money, Raanta is earning $4.25 million for two more seasons, while Kuemper earns $1.85 million for one more season. That might work out to something like a 60/40 split, assuming both goalies can remain mostly healthy all season.

Where Raanta ranks very high is in goals-against average and save percentage. Sure, his 2.88 GAA and .906 SV% in 2018-19 were less than impressive, but they were with a smaller sample size, and we could assume that he might not have been right with the knee injury. A year ago, I wrote that over the last four seasons, Raanta’s .927 SV% and 2.20 GAA were better than all of the 46 goalies that have played at least 100 games over that span. If we add in the 2018-19 season, Raanta is just a hair behind Ben Bishop as the goals-against average leader over the last five seasons (2.26 to 2.27), while he still has a higher save percentage over the last five seasons (.925) than any other goalie.

The other night Steve tweeted out some goalie tiers. While I don’t agree with all of his rankings (which I replied on Twitter), I think his placement and perception of Raanta seems appropriate.

 

 

On a side note, I might target some of the names he has listed on Tier 4, should they fall. I replied to him about Jacob Markstrom (see Twitter). I also like Semyon Varlamov more than most do, mainly because of the potential Barry Trotz/Mitch Korn effect. And even though the Wild don’t appear to be entering the season on a high note, you could argue that Devan Dubnyk’s game hasn’t slipped enough to be in that tier (deciding whether to keep Dubnyk or Tuukka Rask on my keeper team is actually tougher than you might think, mainly because Dubnyk is projected to play more games and the two actually posted similar ratios last season – see the Compare Goalies tool on Frozen Tools). Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick don’t belong any higher than that in my opinion, as I’ll probably be letting someone else draft them.

I won’t go on because I’m probably subjecting myself to a long debate. So I’ll say that I agree 100 percent with Steve’s original point that it’s gotten very difficult to rank goalies. His preferences could be different from mine. His rankings (like my Top 100 Roto Rankings) are certainly food for thought, although they might not be how you should rank your goalies because of your league settings. This is where I go back to my original point in which the Fantasy Hockey Geek will help immensely with those customized rankings. In other words, zeroing in on the stats that count in your league is critical to your success.

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I’m away next weekend, so I’ll talk to you again in two weeks.  In the meantime, for more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me directly, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.