One of my favorite things to read and write about is the failures of the rankings of popular sports websites.  Every year, I’m excited to read Grey destroying the rankings of ESPN, Yahoo, etc.  Well, normally I spend my time crucifying ESPN, but they changed their rankings to reflect a point system that is absolutely atrocious.  Additionally, their projections are so bad that if you need a laugh, I highly suggest checking them out.  Maybe you think Max Domi will magically play 140 games too, or that Robert Thomas won’t play a game this season!  The point projections are completely out of whack as well.  Instead, I’m going to focus on the consensus rankings of the Yahoo! staff, and show you where their downfalls are so you can exploit them if you draft on their website.  Let’s get to it!

Note: Yes, I know their default includes hits and I don’t include hits in my rankings, but a few things on that first.  One, please don’t include hits in your league.  They are a stat that bears no relevance on normal hockey, and are not an official stat because scorekeepers around the league have different definitions of what a “hit” is.  If you look at what teams have the most hits, the Islanders stats guy has the lowest qualifier of what a hit is.  Second, and more importantly, they overrate the value of them by a long shot.  It’s only one category and one that is very easy to stream.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (7th overall) – I’ve gone through this for years on this website, but it bears repeating for those that are new: never take a goalie in the first round.  I suggest passing on the second round as well, but if you draft one in the first round, your season is over before it starts barring a huge miracle.

Mitchell Marner (30th overall) – What more does a guy have to do?  Marner had over 90 points two seasons ago and played at that pace last season.  He moves to a better division and should be on Matthews’ wing from the get go.  There’s no way he should be outside of the top 15.

Victor Hedman (39th overall) – Their ranking of defensemen is absolutely bonkers.  Roman Josi is 34th, Carlson is 37th, and these are nowhere near the most egregious.  That said, these guys should all be going a round higher than these ranks.

Cale Makar (88th overall) – He was close to point per game as a rookie and isn’t even terrible in hits.  This simply makes no sense.

Quinn Hughes (211th overall) – So Quinn Hughes falls outside of the 200 because he doesn’t hit anyone.  It’s almost like he wasn’t one of the best PPQB’s in the league as a rookie.  I don’t care if your league includes hits or not, this is highway robbery.  Imagine picking in the 17th round and Hughes was still available!

Philipp Grubauer (176th overall) – So some goalies get rated absurdly high and others don’t.  I can’t for the life of me understand why Grubauer is this low.  He had a bad year last season and was still league average.  There’s a better case for him being a #1 goalie (in fact, I made it in the goalies post) than him being a bottom end #2, which this ranking suggests.

Brock Boeser (168th overall) – What else needs to be said?  He had the year from hell last season by his standards, and was still a top 100 player.

J.T. Miller (19th overall) – I like Miller as a player, but he’s nowhere near worthy of a second round pick, even with hits included.  He’ll be hard pressed to repeat being over a point per game, and we have no idea if this huge spike in shot rate is real or not.

Blake Wheeler (14th overall) – I was the President of the Blake Wheeler Fan Club for years, but he took a big step back in points last season.  Is he really going to bounce back at age 34?  It’s possible, but there is literally zero upside selecting him in this spot.

Jordan Binnington (18th overall) – Binnington had a .912 save percentage last season with a slightly above average GAA.  That’s worthy of a second round pick but Grubauer belongs in the 15th?  Even if you were inclined to rank goalies early, this is far too early.

Brady Tkachuk (8th overall) – My god.  Yes, he gets an incredible amount of hits.  He also had 44 points last season.  Imagine taking a guy in the first round who isn’t a lock to top 40 points in a 56 game season.  You’ll be so far behind the eight ball in goals and assists that it won’t matter that you have a ton of hits.

Kevin Fiala (158th overall) – More of the same with hits.  A potential point per game player who had an elite shot rate in the second half of last season should not be outside of the top 100.

Tyson Barrie (210th overall) – Barrie is one of the guys I like most this season but I see no case that says he should be outside of the top 200.  Absolutely bonkers when their default is a category league too.

Evander Kane (55th overall)  – This is the perfect example of why their rankings are awful.  Kane is a hits machine and is worthy of a top 50 pick without hits, so somehow he ends up ranked here?  If you are in a hits league on Yahoo!, Kane should be pushing the top 25, not down at 55.

Kirill Kaprizov (not ranked) – Well, alright then.  Good effort not ranking Kaprizov in the top 300!

Bryan Rust (179th overall) – Rust was at a point per game last season.  He gets an above average amount of hits.  How in the hell is he 179th overall!?  It just keeps getting better and better.

Jaroslav Halak (75th overall) – So the Bruins backup goalie should go 100 spots before Grubauer? That makes sense.

Rasmus Ristolainen (110th overall) – He’s an absolute hits machine but somehow that’s not enough to get him much higher than this?  But it is for some guys?  The only thing consistent is the inconsistency.

That’s some of the highlights of their rankings.  So what do we take away from this if you’re drafting on Yahoo? Well, it depends on if the people in your league are actually using these rankings to guide their decisions.  If they are and you’re playing in a head to head league, then I strongly advise punting on hits.  You can get incredible value in every other category throughout the entire draft to the point where it would be nearly impossible to lose the offensive categories on a week to week basis.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Thursday with another preseason post.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Ben says:
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    Hits leagues are more fun for a lot of people. Fun is the main point of fantasy hockey unless I’m missing something. My league counts hits, blocks, and PIM and we all enjoy it more than the alternative. I don’t need any more convincing than that.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      If you enjoy it, then all power to you. Personally, I would be furious losing my league because I lost in hits since it’s not an official stat and certain teams e.g. Islanders and Panthers grade hits on a completely different scale than others.

  2. Mordacious Levator says:
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    12 teamer with faceoffs/PPP/hits/blocks added. shots too and points as another category (in addition to goals/assists, so scorers value comes back up and anybody that gets points AND hits/blocks and/or faceoffs are kings). i “won” this (by having best record right when playoffs were starting). it’s of course based on high end centers that score from those settings. i haven’t kept a goalie in years since i was worried not keeping price would hurt me, i never got less than say 4th even with no or little value keeper goalie. other teams sometimes DO keep goalies though, and they certainly draft them right quick too.

    rosters: 2 C, 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 F, 6 D, 1 util, 2 G, 5 BN, max IR+ (10), 4 IR, 1 NA

    possible keepers for me:
    mackinnon (yep)
    rantanen (yep)
    d.hamilton (yep)
    then 4 out of these:
    – schenn (faceoffs, hits, C and RW, points and PPP)
    – e.kane (hits, PIMs, shots, PPP, some faceoffs last year too)
    – dubois (points, faceoffs, hits, blocks quite good for a forward)
    – t.meier
    – perron
    – monahan (very weak in hits, PIMs, super strong in faceoffs)
    – zucker
    – rust
    – goalies: price (maybe i did keep him last year, or drafted him fairly early), merzlikins, mrazek (so anybody thinking that list for a 12’er is weak, well i won with these settings and am never worse than 3rd in season ever).

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I think Kane. Dubois, and Rust are locks for me in this format. I’m a little scared of Schenn because early indications are that he’s going to play LW with RoR. I’m not sure it lasts, but he could really lose the faceoff value even if it’s on the wing for 10-15 games, and it could stick. That said, he’s probably good enough at the rest of the categories that I’d still keep him? If I wasn’t keeping Schenn, it would be to gamble on a Meier bounce back. I like all of the top Sharks a bit this year since their depth is so poor and Boughner loves to roll his top guys.

      • Mordacious Levator says:
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        sheeit! i forgot kadri. so
        dougie, mackinnon, rantanen, e.kane, dubois, then which 2 out of schenn/kadri/meier/rust. schenn losing center certainly docks him. perron is also on that top line on the other side and he’s always been a decent hits guy (so it’d be comparing him to rust/meier mostly), he was another option.

        • Mordacious Levator says:
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          just checked, perron’s hits weren’t close to meier’s at least last year. wow, not close.

          • Viz

            Viz says:
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            Hmm, that makes it tougher because he also gets the faceoffs. I think I lean Kadri over Schenn now, but it’s razor thin.

  3. howtathor says:
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    Hey Viz, Good to see you back!

    Apparently they’re not too keen on rookies. They have Alexis Lafreniere at 1088.

    Any chance of organizing a few Razzball Leagues on Fantrax?

    Thx

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks, appreciate it! Wow, that’s incredible haha, I guess I should have scrolled even farther down haha. It’s a possibility, I can probably set up a couple to happen early next week.

      • Itookdonscherry says:
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        Would love an invite if possible. never used fantrax before and not sure what type of league you would be starting, but if you have a need to fill a spot, send me an email please.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          I don’t love Fantrax’s setup, but sadly it’s probably the best of the bunch. If I set it up, there will be a post on here with a password and such for everyone to get in

  4. Itookdonscherry says:
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    Hi, 12 team keeper league where 13 players are kept. h2h points league with standard point system with penalty minutes counting instead of instead of hits.

    i have the 3rd and 4th overall picks in the draft. I dont draft based on need, I always try to pick based on talent. but there is a twist this year. One team ended up dropping Seth Jones and Letang. so here is the dilemna.

    Figuring Lafreniere goes first, not sure who would go 2nd. My choices would involve picking 2 of Letang, Jones, Kaprisov and Stuetzle. Which two would you choose? I am leaning towards Kaprisov and Jones.

    • Itookdonscherry says:
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      Should add my keeper defense are Josi, Theodore, Klingberg and Weber. my keeper wingers are Connor, Meier, Pastrnak and Robert Thomas (love him this year). Centers are Matthews, Eichel and Larkin and goalies are Demko and Kuemper.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey, thanks for the question! And thanks for the extra info on the rest of your team. I think Kaprizov should be a lock if he doesn’t go second, the upside is there and should make an immediate impact. Personally, I wouldn’t even consider Jones. I’m simply not a fan of his in fantasy now that CBJ plays 1D on PP1, and that’s clearly Werenski. If you look at my defensemen rankings, you’ll see I’m very low on Jones compared to consensus. I’m also high on Letang as I have him in the top of tier 3 as a top 10 defensemen. Given that your team is extremely good right now, I would probably pick Letang and get a third top 10 defensemen to go with your loaded forwards. I can see the case for Stuetzle, but he would be more of a trade chip for your contending team, and I doubt you’d be able to trade him for anyone better than Letang anyways, so I’d go Letang and Kaprizov.

  5. Doncoburleone says:
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    Hey in a 12 team Yahoo league with Hits and some other dumb cats (G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, FW, Hits and Blocks).. Just found out I got the 9th overall pick. A few Q’s:

    1) 1st round: I hope Matthews falls but if not who would you target at 9? And would Stamkos be too big a reach there or should I just cross my fingers he makes it to me at 16?

    2) 2nd round (16th overall) .. Too early for either Malkin or Pastrnak?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey, thanks for the questions!

      1) I guess my top 9 with extra cats would be something like McDavid, MacKinnon, Draisaitl, Matthews, Ovechkin, Marchand for sure, and then probably Eichel after that. The hits and blocks change things a bit after. I may put Josi in the convo, Panarin still despite the extra cats hurting, Svechnikov for hits, and Scheifele for all the faceoffs. I would really hope one of the top 7 fall to you.

      2) I think with Pastrnak missing at least 3 weeks and probably more, I couldn’t take him in the second round. Malkin on the other hand, I think he’s definitely worth 16th overall. I have him 11th normally and while the hits hurt, the faceoff wins help counteract that

      • DonCoburleone says:
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        oh wow okay Marchand or Eichel I am pretty confident at least 1 of them will be there.. Is Evander Kane worthy of a 3rd round pick in this format?

        • Doncoburleone says:
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          And I take it you’re not that high on Stamkos? He’d certainly be worth the 16th overall in this format right?

          • Viz

            Viz says:
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            Yes, I think Kane is worthy of that spot, and yes Stamkos belongs around there, I have him slightly higher than that normally and this doesn’t hurt that, I just wouldn’t take him in the first round.

  6. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    back with who was dropped when we shrunk from 18 to 16 teams. i pick 16th in all rounds already, might still be a keep max 23 situation

    18 teamer that just became 16 teamer. keep max 23 (real life roster size exactly, max goalie rule as many as you want (this only applies to active, not NA or IR/IR+ slots) from ONE team and up to 1 from a 2nd team. i have the 16th (worst) draft slot in all rounds. cut which of these, presumably could improve by drafting at least once. i’ll list the useful players dropped from the 2 teams when we shrunk. dynasty obv. hits/blocks/faceoffs/PPP/SHP/shots/shooting %/goals/assists in here.
    C (4): hischier, e.staal, taveras, r-joey, steel
    LW (4): stamkos (RW), r.strome (C), tuch (RW), rust (RW), beauvillier
    RW (4) zucker (LW), tippett, c.white (C), batherson, kyrou (C), kucherov (max IR/IR+ slots),
    D (6): pulock, risto, fox, nurse, hedman , valimaki
    G: (1): lehner, kuemper

    still gotta drop one of those (kyrou even with his upside was determined last time, or tippett, but couldn’t tuch and his never once allowed to crack top lines be in play too, or c.white (as much as his min 2nd line center upside looks great (esp the faceoffs at RW), or staal’s age?) anyway here is who is def out there to draft:
    C: zibanejad, rakell, barkov, hayton, karlsson, crosby, hintz (LW), mackinnon
    wingers: t.meier, marchessault, radulov, schwartz, mikheyev, boeser, fabbri, keller, a.lee, rantanen
    D:dumba, skjei, doughty, ekblad, s.jones, werenski
    G: murray, jarry, blackwood,saros

    so i’d have to drop 2 and if i do i’d get one of that list (28 above), and i’d bet all of them are gone by my 2nd pick at 32nd overall, or at least for sure the best of them. the goalies don’t seem to be marked improvements on my lehner/kuemper duo but i can improve on valimaki at D or every other spot somewhere. could even gamble, drop 3 guys from current and hope to get a 2nd of that list at 32nd overall or get back who i dropped.

    it’s pretty likely maybe only these wouldn’t be very likely gone at 32nd overall though:some mix of the goalies, mikheyev, fabbri, hintz, doughty, hayton, maybe schwarz. the very top rookies will be gone for sure at 32nd overall (in a normal year they’d be gone in the top 10 or less, but losing 2 entire teams left far better stuff out there)

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      some others that weren’t kept too: eberle, jost, puljujarvi, e.karlsson , n.schmaltz (that brings the list up to over 32 for my 2nd rounder)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Well one thing is for sure, you definitely aren’t getting a goalie upgrade, that’s my #2 and ~#10 goalie this year. You can make the case for Tuch, but I would just hate it if this is the year that he eventually gets a chance (my guess is only with injury and it definitely happens next season, but who knows). I think I cut bait on Valimaki with Kyrou just because of all the guys that got thrown back and you can get a potential upgrade. I don’t think people are going to be rushing to draft him, so if all these guys, you should be able to at least draft him back. If you did decide that you wanted to gamble, I guess it would be with Tuch. I wouldn’t consider dropping Staal at this point.

  7. Eddie says:
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    How many goalies would you carry If theres a minimum appearances of 5 with categories Wins Saves GAA Save %
    19 roster spots

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Do you have unlimited moves? I would probably carry 4 either way, but I’d feel better about that if you can pick up a guy on Saturday or Sunday if need be, say you got an injury during the week or something

  8. Eddie says:
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    unlimited moves. but limit to 4 adds per a week

    i currently have lehnar grubauer and your boy ullmark

    could pick up blackwood or dubnyk crawford koskinen

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I think you’d be able to manage with three goalies, but it’s going to be cutting it close some weeks.

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