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Fantasy Hockey Planner - Week 4

by chewy 14. February 2013 16:06

The landscape of fantasy hockey changes very quickly.  Just look at the San Jose.  Two weeks into the season, you couldn't go wrong with a lineup stacked with Sharks.  Since the calendar turned to February, no team has been worse.  At the same time, owners were ready to bail on the likes of Kessel, Ovechkin, and Kovalchuk.  Don't look now, but all 3 are hot.  It's critical to stay on top of the trends, which is why you're going to continue scrolling down this article...

 

 

WHO's HOT

 

Phil Kessel (O-TOR)

It took him 10 games before acquiring his first goal; however, it has been a sweet ride since he broke through.  7 points in his last 4 games.

 

Alex Ovechkin (O-WAS)

After the worst start to his career, he has shown some good signs of life lately.  He has 7 points in his last 4 games and is currently riding a 3 game goal streak.

 

Cam Ward (G-CAR)

It was a tough start, but the wins and quality performances have started to come around for Ward.  He has won 4 of 5 starts.

 

Patrick Elias (O-NJ)

8 points in his last five games, including 2 straight 3-point nights.

 

 

 

WHO's COLD

 

The fast-starting rookies are dropping off:

 

Nail Yakupov (O-EDM)

Following a 6 game scoring streak, Yakopov hasn't seen the scoresheet in the last 3 contests.

 

Cory Conacher (O-TB)

After a stunning start to the season, Conacher has hit a wall.  He's now gone 5 games without a point, heading into Thursday night.

 

Dougie Hamilton (D-BOS)

After a strong, much heralded start, the rookie has dried up offensively.  6 game scoreless run right now.

 

Brian Elliot (G-STL)

After a fast start, Elliot and the Blues have crashed and burned following the injury to Halak.  Nothing but losses and four straight games allowing 4+ goals.  He's being dropped all over the place.  May be the time to stash him on the bench, as this won't last forever.

 

Marian Gaborik (O-NYR)

Mr. Streaky has just 1 stinkin' point in the last 7 games.

 

 

WHO's HURT

 

  • Jonas Hiller (G-ANA) - lower body injury.
  • Mikka Kiprusoff (G-CGY) - sprained MCL
  • Erik Karlsson (D-OTT) - achilles.  Out indefinitely.
  • Jaroslav Halak (G-STL) - still toying with a return date.
  • James Reimer (G-TOR) - strained MCL.  Who knows when?

 

 

WAIVER WATCH

 

Jiri Tlusty (O-CAR)

Tlusty has been mixing well with the older Staal lately, compiling a nice 9 points in the last 6 games.  He is coming off back to back 2-goal performances going into Thursday night.

 

Mike Cammalleri (O-CGY)

I wrote this guy off years ago. Mostly from banging my head against the wall.  The Flames are starting to put up goals and Cammalleri is part of that action.  He had a 3-game vacation with a hip flexor, but sandwiched around that were 7 points in 2 games. 

 

Chris Stewart (O-STL)

Stewart has been a big disappointment since arriving in St. Louis; however, the streaky winger has been showing signs of life lately.  He has 2 multi-point games in the last 3 games.  Keep an eye on him.

 

Brayden Schenn (O-PHI)

Schenn has piled up 7 points in the last 7 games as he continues to gain ice time and a more prominent role with his new team.

 

Alex Steen (O-STL)

Steen continues to roll, and therefore, continues to disappear from waiver wires, but he still remains in many leagues.  He has 12 points in 13 games, including 8 points in the last 7 games.

 

Cody Franson (D-TOR)

Somebody just stepped it up on the Toronto blueline.  His name is Cody Franson.  Riding a 4-game point streak, he has an impressive 8 points in 10 games, yet remains unclaimed in many leagues.  He's hitting his prime now at age 25, so jump on it now.

 

Ben Scrivens (G-TOR)

It's unclear how long Reimer will be out, or how long until the new management team in Toronto pulls the trigger for a new man in net.  For now, it falls on Scrivens.  Toronto has been winning games, so if you're desperate for goalie starts, it's worth a look at Scrivens.

 

Michal Jordan (D-CAR)

No idea if this guy will be able to translate offensive success into the NHL, but it's his name is Michal Jordan, and he will be starting his career in North Carolina.  Different sport, but history shows this might be a good thing.

 

Fantasy Hockey Planner - Week 3

by chewy 8. February 2013 09:38

Believe it or not, after this weekend we will be 1/4 through this NHL season already.  If your league has playoffs, you may be a 1/3 through the regular season already.  In other words, if you don't like your team by now, you'd better act quick.  Fortunately, we're hear to help.  Here is this week's edition of the fantasy hockey planner:

 

WHO's HOT

 

Pittsburgh.  Kunitz.  Crosby. Malkin.  Dupuis.  Even Matt Cooke is starting to put points on the board.

 

Patrick Kane

Kane has been inconsistent in recent years, but he has come out on fire this season.  The hotness continues, with 6 goals and 8 points in his last 4 games.

 

Henrik Zetterberg

Similar story for Hank.  With 4 goals and 5 assists over his last 5 games, he's risen near the top of the scoring leaders.

 

Pekka Rinne (G-NAS)

After a sluggish start, Rinne is on fire.  He's won 4 straight, allowing just 3 goals during that span.

 

 

Sheldon Souray (D-ANA)

Seems like he has a new sweater every year, but one thing stays the same: he scored goals.  He's potted one in each of the last 3 games, giving him 4 on the season.  That's more goals than Kessel, Sharp, Hall, Richards, Nash, Semin, Ryan, and many other goal-scoring forwards.

 

 

 

WHO's COLD

In terms of goals, see Souray's file above… here are a few more disappointments:

 

Jordan Eberle (F-EDM)

Just one lousy assist in the last 5 games. This guy was supposed to challenge the leading scorers this year.

 

Mikko Koivu (F-MIN)

Those good vibes to start the season on fire with Parise have vanished.  Four straight games without a point.  -3 over that span.

 

Rick Nash (F-NYR)

Just one point in his last 4 games.  Ice time is starting to be reduced.

 

Milan Michalek (F-OTT)

After a solid start, he's registered just 1 assist in the last 5 games.  Somebody missing Spezza?

 

Evander Kane (F-WPG)

3 games without seeing his name on the scoresheet.  He did register 7 shots on goal last night.  Need one to go in now, Evander.

 

Marian Gaborik (F-NYR)

Is there a streakier human being on the planet?  After four straight games without a point, he broke through with a goal last night.  Guess it's time for another hat trick, Marian?

 

Shea Weber (D-NAS)

You're killing me, Shea.  1 lousy point on the season?  Please don't look where I had him ranked pre-season.

 

 

WHO's HURT

  • Cam Fowler (D-ANA) - upper body injury
  • Brad Marchand (F-BOS) - same
  • Ray Whitney (F-DAL) - lower body injury
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (F-EDM) - upper body, day to day
  • Patric Hornqvist (F-NAS) - sprained knee
  • Jaroslav Halak (G-STL) - practicing, but not ready to play yet

 

 

WAIVER WATCH

 

Viktor Fasth (G-ANA)

You may have already missed the boat on this one.  Fasth isn't your typical rookie up for a cup of coffee.  He's 30 years old and has had success in Europe.  Now, he's challenging Hiller for the job in Anaheim.  4-0 so far in his NHL career with a GAA under 1.

 

Colin Wilson (F-NAS)

The Preds are quietly making their move, and 3rd year winger Colin Wilson is leading the charge.  He has 6 points over the last 3 games.

 

Martin Hanzal (F-PHO)

Seems to be recovered from some early season injury woes, and is running the show in Phoenix.  4 goals and 1 assist over the last 4 games for the Coyotes.

 

Andy Greene (D-NJ)

Before last week, it was foolish to suggest the name Andy Greene on a fantasy hockey website.  However, 2 goals and 4 assists later, he deserves a nod.

 

Jiri Hudler (F-CGY)

The Flames are a team worth looking at in fantasy circles.  They've played just 8 games, meaning you can take advantage of those extra games going forward.  Hudler is on to consider.  7 point in 5 games this season.

Week 2 Fantasy Hockey Planner

by chewy 1. February 2013 15:50

We're two whole weeks into the 2013 fantasy hockey season, which means it's time to revive the weekly fantasy hockey planner.  As in seasons of old, each Friday you should plan to spend your lunch break catching up on the latest news, trends, and fantasy advice right here.  Whether traditional season-long fantasy games is your thing, or if you've gotten hooked on daily leagues, I'll try and give you an edge over your competition. 

 

WHO's HOT

Really, it's still pointless to talk about who's hot.  Just look at the point standings.  It's all Sharks, Hawks, and Bolts.  Come back next week for a more relevant conversation on this topic.

 

 

WHO's HURT

Got to stay on top of those injuries.  Here's the latest with big-time fantasy impact:

  • Jason Spezza (F-OTT) - out indefinitely
  • Justin Faulk (D-CAR) - recovered and should be back in action soon
  • Gabriel Landeskog (F-COL) - day-to-day
  • Steve Downie (F-COL) - out for the season.  Time to drop.
  • Scott Hartnell (F-PHI) - broken foot.  Not good.
  • Joffrey Lupul (F-TOR) - broken arm.  Not good.

 

 

EARLY WAIVER SURPRISES

Most likely, if you haven't jumped on board with these quick starters, it's too late.  But if you're in a sleepy league, here are some monster surprises to start this unconventional season:

 

  • Andrei "The Zombie" Markov (D-MON) - how many times can this guy come back from the dead?  After three straight injury-riddled seasons, most of us had given up caring.  Many (count me in) assumed he would never be a fantasy factor again.  Yet, here he is, #1 on the charts among defensemen in points and goals.  How long until he's back on the IR?  Doesn't matter.  If it's not too late, claim him now.
  • Vladamir Teresenko (F-STL) - I'll admit.  Never heard of him before last week.  Guess I didn't catch enough of those KHL games during the Dark Ages (aka lockout months).  Through 7 NHL games, he has 5 goals and 9 points, playing alongside Andy McDonald and Alex Steen.  Trust me, you're probably too late for this bandwagon.
  • Cory Conacher (F-TB) - Another rookie bursting out to a fantastic start.  He's partially part of the rising tide in Tampa Bay (ranked #1 in goals scored so far).  And he's doing it without the help of Stamkos and St. Louis.  Good news or bad?  In other words, should we trust the Captain LeCavalier can keep it rolling enough to make Conacher a long-term play?  Worth taking a flier on if he's still free.
  • David Clarkson (F-NJ) - The loss of Parise hasn't hurt the fortunes of Mr. Clarkson.  And if your league favors well-round stat producers (beyond goals and assists), Clarkson is gold.  In addition to healthy point totals, he has strong numbers in hits, PIMs and shots.
  • Sam Gagner (F-EDM) - While the focus has shifted to the younger guns in Edmonton, Gagner is still a young gun himself.  Despite being at just 23 years old, many have pushed him to back burner with the arrival of all the other 1st round forwards to crash the Oilers bench.  Don't forget, this guy had a couple of crazy games about this time last year. 

 

 

ON WAIVER WATCH

If you missed the first round of waiver claims, here are a few more recent risers that haven't hit the top 40 in scoring yet:

 

  • Wade "The Other Zombie" Redden (D-STL) - so, this is Redden's first official trip back from the grave.  Now that the Rangers have opened the tomb and allowed him to stumble West into a fine Blues defense, he's back to being fantasy relevant.  2 goals in first 3 games is a nice start, but apparently, the undead are not immune to the flu.  He'll be sitting this weekend, but it's worth stashing him on your bench for when the sniffles go away.
  • Matt Frattin (F-TOR) - after just 4 games with limited ice time in Toronto, Frattin has piled up a nice 4 goals and 2 assists.  Should his ice time increase, he could be a player worth seizing in the weeks to come.
  • John Mitchell (F-COL) - With O'Reilly still out of the picture, Mitchell has recently seized the opportunity in Colorado.  He just registered a 3-point effort against Calgary, giving him 4 goals in 7 games.
  • Frans Nielsen (F-NYI) - The Islanders just keep scoring.  While the top line may be gone in your league, it's a safe bet that Nielsen, and his 7 points in 7 games are still available.

 

 

FUTURE WAIVER WATCH

If you're playing in a deep league, or just want to stay ahead of the curve, here are a few off-the-radar players to keep an eye on for the next few days:

 

  • Alex Galchenyuk (F-MON) - Currently logging 3rd line minutes, but making the most of it for Montreal.  The 18 year old rookie has 5 points in his first 6 NHL games.
  • Zach Boychuck (F-PIT) - The first round draft pick of Carolina couldn't stick with the Canes, but struck potential gold this week when he was claimed off waivers by the Penguins.  Word is, he'll get an audition next to guys named Malkin and Neal.  Tasty.
  • Mika Zibanejad (F-OTT) - Just claim him for the name.  Somebody will have to pick up those minutes left behind by Spezza's injury.  2 points in 2 games so far.  Let's see what he does with top tier wingers and more than 10 minutes of playing time a night.

 

 

 

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Yahoo Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy

by chewy 18. January 2013 08:39

As a follow up to my previous article on CBS Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy, I wanted to come back with a breakdown of how you should approach drafting in a standard head-to-head Yahoo league.  Many of the principals are the same as CBS (and any league for that matter), so if you missed it, check it out here:

 

http://www.landsharkhockey.com/post/2013/01/16/2013-CBS-NHL-Fantasy-Draft-Strategy.aspx

 

For now, I'll focus on the specific things you need to know for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey leagues in order to draft a winning team.

 

Roster Limits

The first thing to note about the standard Yahoo settings is that they choose to break down forwards by specific position (C, LW, RW), as opposed to grouping wingers, or all forwards together.  This has a noticeable impact on your strategy.  It used to be on Yahoo, that Left Wingers came at a premium; however, this year they dramatically opened up the number of players that qualify at multiple positions.  That designation is gold here.  The flexibility gives you far more options when it comes to setting your day to day lineup.  So, while I would otherwise favor Stamkos and Crosby over Malkin, he's the only one of the three to (arbitrarily) be granted C/LW status.  That makes the reigning MVP the best option on offense this year.  I can't over-emphasize the edge that this gives you to have that flexibility.

 

I/R Spot

Yahoo has a unique option that lets you carry one player on the IR that won't count against your other roster spots.  Take advantage of this throughout the season, and even during the draft.  I recommend drafting a player you know will start the season injured (e.g. Kesler).  At the start of the season, you can put him into the IR spot and you'll have a free pick to backfill it.  Always look to pick up hurt stars and keep the spot filled.

 

 

Point System

As opposed to CBS, which awards fantasy points based on stats, the standard head-to-head Yahoo leagues are scored on an old-school rotisserie fashion.  (Note: this is one major reason I rarely play on Yahoo.)  This setup affects your strategy in several major ways.

 

1. Pay attention to all categories. 

In a points based system, +/- can largely be ignored.  In a Yahoo league,  having the best +/- is just as important as goals.  This makes no logical sense, but that's the way it is, so plan your draft accordingly.  If a guy is notoriously bad in +/- or refuses to take a penalty to save his life, downgrade that player. 

 

2. Goons are welcome. 

Because penalty minutes are valued equal to goals, why not draft a goon to round out your wingers?  One player could single-handedly win that category for you, so even if Zenon Konopka  only nets you 2 goals again next season, his 15 Pims a week may be worth it.

 

3. Bring on the backup goalies. 

Total goals allowed and saves matter not here.  It's all about the averages (GAA / save %).  What that means is that a workhorse who may lead the league in saves won't necessarily be as valuable as a guy who plays every other game and puts up a low GAA in the process.  So don't necessarily shy away from backups or goalies in a split-crease scenario.  You have to meet a minimum games played each week, so the best strategy here it to grab a top-notch, # 1 goalie early in the draft, then wait it out for your 2nd goalie.  There will be plenty of solid backups out there into the 10th round and beyond.   Options like the split crease in St. Louis become viable, as they'll both see a game or two a week and should register decent numbers behind that solid Blues defense.  In a points-based league, these two would slide to late in the draft.  This approach may hold you back in wins and shutouts, but you'll benefit in the other categories.

 

4. Sadly, Defense is irrelevant

It breaks my heart to say this, but in this format, you can and should treat defense as an afterthought.  If you can grab one of the top 5 defensemen early, go for it, because the talent level drops off significantly after that.  Karlsson and Weber will score like a forward and so they are worthy of early selection.  However, since defense and offense are grouped together in Yahoo leagues for scoring, they have relatively little value.  Best plan is to grab 1 elite defenseman if you can early, get your second D around round 8-10, then fill up your other starting spots before rounding out this position.

 

 

Draft Room Rules

Unlike CBS, Yahoo leaves you the keys and lets you drive your car how you please.  There is no restriction on the number of players you can draft at any position.  If you want to fill your bench with 4 goalies, you're free to do so.  I only point this out, as it's a dramatic difference from the approach in CBS.  Here, you're free to take the best player available at all times.

 

 

Player Rankings

Finally, take a close look at those Yahoo player rankings and play off of them accordingly.  The average GM will tend to follow Yahoo's picks rather blindly.  Be informed and watch for these situations.

 

Undervalued

Here are some undervalued players that you can wait on and grab as a steal later than you would in other draft rooms:

Goalies: Halak!, Fleury, Lindback

Defense: Kronwall, Ekman-Larsson, Carlson

Centers: Nugent-Hopkins, Benn (despite the contract issues), Skinner

Left Wing: Lupul, Pacioretty, Clowe

Right Wing: Gaborik, Vrbata, Michalek

 

 

Overvalued

Here are some names that will fly off the board before their time, based on Yahoo overrating them:

Goalies: Lehtonen, Price, Howard

Defense: Timmonen, Seabrook, Bieksa

Centers: Datsyuk, Zetterberg (demise in Detroit is upon us), Backes

Left Wing: Heatley

Right Wing: Pominville, Alfredsson, Jagr

2013 CBS NHL Fantasy Draft Strategy

by chewy 16. January 2013 09:19

Everyone seems to be in scramble mode this week to pull together drafts, leaving very little time to prepare.  If you're like me and play on various sites, it's easy to forget the rules and nuances of each league.  Blindly drafting without regard to the rules can be fatal.   Even if you're Biff Tannen and you know exactly how many points each player will score next season, it's no guarantee for fantasy victory if you don't fashion your draft strategy to the league you're in.   In this post, I'll give you some tips and guidance on how to draft (and win) in a standard CBS fantasy hockey league.

 

Point System

The first step for any league is to study the point system so you know the relative value of each position.  CBS does a good job of weighting the value of offense, defense, and goaltending, to ensure that each position has somewhat equal weight.  Quick recap of points in key categories:

 

Offense:  Goals = 3, Assists = 2

Defense: Goals = 5, Assists = 3

Goalies: Win = 5, Saves=.2 , GA=-1

 

Offense/Defense

So what does this mean?  First off, the tendency for the inexperienced GM is to blow off drafting defensemen until the later rounds, since the big names and leading scorers obviously come from the forwards.  Huge mistake here.  Because of the weighting of points, a 20 goal scorer on offense will earn 60 points for his efforts, while a 20-goal performance by a defenseman will net 100 points.  Another critical factor to realize is the relative gap between the elite players on defense versus on offense.  When it comes to defensemen, there's a fairly small number of predictable, elite performing players.  After that group of 10 or so, it drops off considerably to the point where it doesn't matter much who you pick.  The story is different for forwards.  (Aside from a few obvious exceptions like Crosby, Stamkos, and Malkin), you won't see a huge point difference between the top 10 forwards and the next 20 or so on the list.

 

Bottom line here: don't be shy about drafting one or two defensemen in the first 4 rounds, even if it means enduring a laugh or two from your unschooled competition.

 

And what about the other stats categories?

  • Penalty Minutes - At .25 a piece, it's worth considering, but not worth planning your draft around it.  There are few players in the league that bring a steady diet of points and PIMs.  Those that do should be bumped up your list a few notches (Perry, Lucic, Clowe, Marchand); however, don't go crazy drafting goons.
  • +/- - Perhaps the most arbitrary stat in fantasy sports.  Don't waste your time trying to predict this one.  Generally speaking, favor players on good teams over those with poor goal ratios.  Often times a decent +/- will line up nicely with points, and when it doesn't, it's not worth worrying about.
  • SHG/PPG - For as often as a short handed goal is scored, pay no attention.  Power Play time (and goals) on the other hand are more predictable and should factor into your rankings.  CBS offers a bonus point for each goal on the power play, so give a slight boost to guys like Selanne and Franzen that might otherwise not be worth a look.

 

 

Goalies

CBS strikes a decent balance when valuing goaltenders between wins, saves, and goals against.  A player who sees a ton of shots (Rinne, Ward, Smith) has an edge out of the gate over a guy who only has to wake up every few minutes to turn aside a casual kick save (Lundqvist).  So don't completely shy away from a good goalie on a poor defensive team.  Shutouts are hard to predict, but there are certain goalie who historically will give you that added bonus on a regular basis (Smith, Lundqvist).  The obvious category (and the one that may be easiest to predict) is wins.  At 5 points a piece, this is where you'll want to weight a good bit of your ranking for this league.

Bottom line: focus on Wins and Saves.

 

 

Points Per Game Rule

One last point worth noting in CBS scoring rules is how they award points.  It's not the total points earned that matter in a head-to-head matchup.  It's fantasy points per game played.  While this won't affect most of your decisions at draft time for forwards and defense, it's something to think about for goaltenders.  This makes a split-crease situation somewhat more palatable.   This makes the goalies in St. Louis a prime target in CBS, whereas they may be overlooked in other formats.  Halak could be the most valuable player in the league.   It's still risky to go with a part-time goalie in net, but in this format, you can pull it off.

 

Roster Limits

Then 2nd thing to consider for any league is the number of players per position, and how the league breaks down offense.  The standard CBS rules call for:

  • 2 goalies
  • 4 defense
  • 6 forwards
  • 4 bench spots

 

One of the nuances with the CBS draft rules merits serious consideration.  While you can mix and match centers and wingers once the season begins, CBS limits you to selecting just 3 total centers at draft time.  I don't understand why they do it, but if you don't play to this rule, you could seriously hurt yourself late in the draft.  First off, high-scoring fantasy centers are abundant.  It's tempting to jump all over guys like Stamkos, Malkin, and Giroux in the early rounds, but step back and look further down the list.  Guys like Backstrom, Jordan Staal, and Benn will be around much later in the draft, and is that really so bad?  If you spend 3 early picks on centers, you'll be regretting it in round 14 when you see that Henrique and  Jeff Carter are still available, but CBS won't let you pick them.  Budget your center selection for value and save one of the 3 for the final couple of rounds.  Give yourself room to cash in on a sleeper.

 

Note: Perhaps the most frustrating part about this rule is that it's different in the mock drafts.  In a mock draft, CBS will let you pick up to 6 centers.  I had to learn this the hard way two years back in my Premium League when I went to take Anze Kopitar in round 9, only to have the unfriendly red text tell me somebody else would be benefiting from his breakout campaign.  Consider yourself warned.

 

Also note, some CBS leagues draw distinction between left wing and right wing (as opposed to grouping them all together).  If this is the case, you must mock draft this way to learn a thing or two.  You'll quickly find the talent pool drops off considerably by position in these drafts.    Centers are a dime a dozen, relatively speaking here, and shouldn't be drafted until round 5 or later.

 

Goalies

In a 12 team league starting 2 goalies, it's critical to get at least one elite player at this position.  Having two is even better.  If you don't pick a goalie in either round 1 or 2, you may lose interest quickly, because you'll be losing on a regular basis.  There's only so much talent to go around, and you'll only find a handful of useful options on the waiver wire over the course of the year.  Contrast that with the forward position.  You're guaranteed to always have a serviceable forward available throughout the season when the need arises, purely based on quantity.

Note: The 3 player limit also applies to goalies during the draft, so if you're the type that likes to stash 2 backups on your bench, you'll have to wait until after the draft to add #4.  The approach here should be different than for centers, however.  There are only 25 or so goalies worth drafting, and you need a good player in your 3rd slot, so do not wait past round 11 or 12 to grab your backup.

 

Bench

CBS grants you 4 bench spots, one for each position.  Again, once the draft is done, you can fill those 4 spots with any mix of position.  At draft time, you'll obviously want to place 1 center and 1 goalie in there.  Beyond that, feel free to grab 2 defense, 2 wingers or 1 of each.  You'll probably end up dropping one of those within a few weeks anyway (possibly for 4th center or goalie), so don't sweat it much.

 

 

Player Rankings

The third major factor to consider is the default player rankings in CBS.  Each site features their own set of player rankings, and it's worth studying them in order to guess the tendencies of your opposition.  Most GMs will tend to lean on the default rankings, particularly late in the draft.  With this in mind, you can learn a lot by searching for both underrated and overrated players in their listings. 

 

Undervalued Players

If you run through a mock draft or two, and look through the rankings, you should find some players significantly undervalued in their rankings.  While you may have ranked these players quite high on your list, they may just go a few rounds later than you would have picked them.  Take advantage of this information and spend that early pick on a another position and get the value in the next round.  This is a risky strategy, but if you're in it to win, you've got to take some chances to cash in big.  Here are some players that I find to be noticeably undervalued by CBS's rankings:

 

Goalies:  Halak, Fleury, Schneider (perhaps they don't get news out of Vancouver?)

Defense: Ekman-Larsson, Streit

Centers: Nugent-Hopkins, J. Staal

Wingers: Neal, Gaborik, Vrbata, Lupul

 

NOTE: if you're in a more serious league with established managers, take this advice with a grain of salt.  If you know what you're doing, you'll have done your own homework and have your own custom draft list.

 

Overvalued Players

On the opposite end, it's worth looking for players that CBS has rated artificially high against your personal draft list.  In this case, you have a decision to make.  If you want the player badly enough, know that you'll have to grab him earlier than you would like.  A better bet may be to resign yourself to finding value someplace else.  Here are a handful of players that probably won't make it on to my squad, as somebody is bound to grab them way too early for my liking:

 

Goalies: Howard, Bryzgalov, Luongo (see Schneider above)

Defense: Ehrhoff, Del Zotto, Brendan Smith

Centers: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kopitar (hurt)

Wingers: P. Kane, Parise, Brunner

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow, we'll delve into the Yahoo fantasy draft strategy.

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