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!