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2011-2012 Extremes to consider

Having already completed four drafts of Yahoo custom leagues in September, it has been interesting to see where the players have gone draft by draft. Of course, not all drafts are created equal, and many vary in stat categories or by league type (H2H, Rotisserie, etc.) or by the number of teams that are selected. With that in mind, some guys will be better depending on whether you have SOG, Hits & Blocks in your scoring setup, rather than just the normal G, A, DPI, etc. Be sure to research and simulate drafts!

Let us begin! There may be some players who are highly rated, but that doesn’t mean they are rated where they should be!

C Ryan Getzlaf (Yahoo Rank = 34)

As far as I’m concerned, Getzlaf should have a much higher rating than him, so consider it a steal in the third or fourth round. He’s on the top line with last year’s 50-goal scorer and has Bobby Ryan on his left. His stats weren’t that bad, they just weren’t surprising last year. Expect this to rise back to the 80-point range, along with great DPI, a solid +/-, and if you’re lucky you may even return to your expected 80+ PIM. If your league has hits, you just landed an 80-point multi-threat talent. Don’t be afraid to grab it sooner than its range would say. Although if you miss it, don’t worry, as there are many Centers available that will get good numbers later on.

C Jason Spezza (year = 94)

Just two years ago Jason Spezza was averaging 80-90 points per season. A few injuries later and up for seasons later, people are seriously discounting this guy’s ability. Yes, he lost Heatley, but Alfie is back now and with some new young talent, Spezza is sure to score 65-70 points this year. Their PPP will be great, but be careful about that +/- if they can’t solve the defense.

C Mikko Koivu (YR = 124)

Koivu has consistently racked up 60-70 points in MINNESOTA … and now he has a pure goalscorer in Dany Heatley on his wing and is prepared to score at least 70 points assuming they can concede. Tell me how many other 70-point players are available at 124. Not many! Great PPP, decent PIM, and good SOG, although that could fall with Heatley in town.

RW David Backes (YR = 60)

If your league takes into account Hits, SOG, FW, G, A, +/- & PIM or some variation thereof, Backes is worth a lot more than a 60 rating. The newly appointed captain will have big numbers this year and he is what more like a full gamer. St. Louis is poised for a good season and a possible playoff run with its young team starting to hit their prime and Backes will lead them all the way … and in every category.

RW Marian Hossa (YR = 113)

Why a 30-goal scorer on a top offensive team like Chicago is rated 113 is beyond my understanding. He’s not front line, but good second line, with ample opportunities in the higher power play unit. If you can play a full season, look for a 70-point season from him and good PPP numbers, good shot totals, and a good +/-.

RW Nathan Horton (YR = 165)

Last season it almost had a 30-30-30 year. However, it has a rating of 165. Better for you if you can make it late. He was destroyed in the playoff final last season and came out with a concussion, but now he’s back and there’s no reason he can’t put up similar numbers. Take it with a grain of salt, as there have been many who did not recover well from a concussion.

LW Jamie Benn (year = 160)

LWs are in short supply this year as they are most years, but I have found that there are few LWs in the middle of the draft and many good LWs available at the end of the draft. Benn is one of those LWs. Going into his third season, Benn improved last year and is showing signs he’s ready to move on. It helps that he probably has opportunities on the top line this year with Ribeiro and Eriksson. It gives an additional bonus for hits and expects the PPP to increase with more playing time in the upper unit.

LW Simon Gagne (YR = 269)

This choice assumes that you can play at least 70 games. It’s a risky choice, but that’s what the last three rounds of the draft are for, right? He reconnects with Mike Richards in Los Angeles and when he’s healthy, he’s a point-a-game player. Injuries are always a scare, but your total points should increase to 55-65 and you have a good PPP and a good SOG.

LW Antoine Vermette (YR = 205)

Let me start by saying that this pick is more for leagues with Hits, SOG, and FW. Vermette is solid in each of those three stat categories and has the potential to re-hit a 60-point season. Having other crosses on the depth chart hurts, but his LW ability makes him more valuable as a positional player. Again, if you don’t track Hits, SOG, or FW, he’s probably not the player for you.

Other extremes to pay attention to

C David Krejci

C Tim Connolly

C Derek Roy

RW Ales Hemsky

RW Kyle Okposo

RW Daniel Alfredsson

LW Andy McDonald

LW Patrik Elias

LW James Neal.

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