September 01, 2009
Not a day goes by when we aren't asked about Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey, which speaks both to the quality of that product (our fantasy game of choice long before Puck Daddy arrived) and the insatiable addiction of fantasy GMs to get cracking on defending their titles/overcoming their failures/avoiding Rick DiPietro(notes) in the auto-draft.
We've gotten word from the Y! Fantasy Sports team that hockey should be up and running some time today. In anticipation of that, we're publishing the Top 100 players, ranked for the auto-draft. One look at this list, and you're definitely going to want to make sure you adjust your default settings -- there are some mind-blowers here.
The year, Y! Sports used the Rotowire draft kit rankings to establish the default list, which is found below. Here's the Top 10:
2 Evgeni Malkin, C
3 Sidney Crosby, C
Interesting that Iginla would remain that high, considering Mike Cammalleri is now with the Montreal Canadiens. Not nearly as interesting as Zach Parise at No. 4 on a Jacques Lemaire team or Corey Perry ranking higher than Anaheim Ducks teammate Ryan Getzlaf, but interesting nonetheless.
Otherwise known as the "health be damned" section. Gaborik could be outstanding with the New York Rangers and Semin's always going to be an offensive force with the Washington Capitals, but durability plays a factor here, no?
Nabokov as far and away the top goalie? Huh ... wins, sure, but GAA and shutouts?
28 Martin Brodeur, G
If you're drafting just outside of the Top 20, chances are you're getting a dude named Backstrom.
31 Simon Gagne, LW
32 Henrik Lundqvist, G
You understand why we went to No. 41 in this segment. Tim Thomas is a Vezina winner who returns to a stout defensive team in the Boston Bruins. Chris Osgood is a goaltender whose great postseason followed a very average regular season with the Detroit Red Wings that saw him need time off to collect himself. Again, not to Ozzie-bash ... but seriously?
Turco at No. 47 is too high if it's that dude who impersonated him last season, but pretty good if it's actually Marty Turco again.
56 Alexei Kovalev, RW
Vanek is super low for a guy who hordes power-play points. Ditto Havlat who could post some great numbers if he's healthy and Coach Todd Richards's system with the Minnesota Wild is a little more run-and-gun.
70 Bobby Ryan, RW
Go ahead and be the guy who takes Bill Guerin over Daniel Alfredsson. We dare you.
73 Alex Frolov, LW
Kopitar ... Kopitar ... Kopitar ... ah, there he is. Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators is a solid pick in goal, provided there isn't yet another backup goalie ready to steal a Nashville goalie's job, as per franchise policy.
81 David Krejci, C
Ah, sweet glorious auto-draft. You will bestow upon some lazy GM Nikolai Zherdev much like you bestowed Alex Radulov on others many moons ago ...
99 Alexandre Burrows, RW
Among the notable players outside the Top 100 are No. 1 overall pick Jonathan Tavares (102), Teemu Selanne(notes) (104), Milan Hejduk(notes) (106), Brian Campbell(notes) (120), Scott Gomez(notes) (127), Keith Tkachuk(notes) (140), Jonathan Cheechoo(notes) (153) and Pavol Demitra(notes) (172). Mr. 200 is Ryan Suter(notes) of the Predators.
We're planning on having a weekly fantasy advice and analysis column this season, details for which we'll announce in due time.
But on this Top 100 list: Who's overrated, and who's your sleeper?