Before the season kicked off, and just after Yahoo released their pre-season rankings, I came up with 10 players that I believed were ranked incorrectly: 5 over ranked and 5 under ranked players (https://4fandfurther.com/2016/09/01/10-fantasy-hockey-rankings-that-yahoo-didnt-quite-get-right-2016-2017). This serves as a progress update to indicate how each of those players has performed since the beginning of the season. In summary, it looks like I got 6 right, 2 wrong (1 big time), and 2 borderline. With more than half of the year still remaining, everything could still change. Let’s hope we reach April and I’m closer to 10/10 than 0/10
Tyler Seguin – DAL – C (Yahoo rank #12, my pre-season rank #6, current rank #13)
I mentioned before the start of the NHL season that I would be selecting Seguin before Tarasenko, Stamkos, Gaudreau, Pavelski, Holtby, and Tavares. Thus far, Seguin has been outperformed by Tarasenko, is even-keel with Pavelski, and has surpassed Tavares and Holtby while Gaudreau and Stamkos have run into injury trouble and have thus not been as dependable as Seguin. He’s still one of the best in the league but has been outperformed by some surprises in Cam Atkinson, Wayne Simmonds and Jakob Voracek.
Martin Jones – SJ – G (Yahoo rank #23, my rank #68, current rank #43)
San Jose is leading the Pacific Division but hasn’t been overly impressive thus far. Jones however is one of the league’s biggest work horses in net; he has played in 28 of the Sharks’ 32 games. By all accounts Jones is having a decent season, he just isn’t a top-5 goaltender despite the high expectations from many fantasy experts prior to October. Expect more of the same going forward
Artemi Panarin – CHI – LW (Yahoo rank #27, my rank #70, current rank #7)
Turns out I was wrong (at least thus far) about any regression here. The guy is dynamite even when he isn’t playing alongside Kane. At this point I expect him to end the season around where he was ranked before the first puck drop of 2016-2017. He is also riding an impressive four game multi-point streak where he has registered 2 points twice and 3 points twice.
Taylor Hall – NJ – LW (Yahoo rank #48, my rank #29, current rank #114)
Despite Hall’s healthy 82 game season last year, the star forward has missed ~10 games this year and has thus fallen in the rankings. However, he is currently ranked #68 on an average points per game basis and is therefore performing closer to consensus expectations. Hall has been an important addition to the Devils’ roster this year but has not blown anyone’s socks off in Jersey.
Keith Yandle – FLA – D (Yahoo rank #77, my rank #141, current rank #152)
It certainly looks as though Yandle’s age is starting to catch up to him. He and Ekblad both appear to have been overrated at the start of the season. Yandle has only scored one goal so far this season so I look for that to trend upwards slightly given he has amassed 72 shots on goal and will likely see his shooting percentage improve as the season progresses. Nevertheless, I do not expect much else to improve.
Frederik Andersen – TOR – G (Yahoo rank #87, my rank #175, current rank #95)
Toronto has been a surprising success thus far this season, although 12 wins in 30 games isn’t anything to boast about. Andersen has secured each of these wins for the Leafs but hasn’t earned a shutout yet. I’m expecting his rank to trickle lower as the season progresses but my pre-season pessimism looks to have been a little overdone.
Jonathan Drouin – TB – LW (Yahoo rank #117, my rank #180, current rank #206)
Drouin had a great run in the playoffs last season (14 points in 17 games) but still hasn’t established himself as a proven, consistent talent. However, he does have 8 points in his last 7 games so it is possible that he is turning his season around. Otherwise it could just be a hot streak that precedes another scoring drought. The potential remains, but many fantasy managers are still waiting to see consistent production. It is worth noting that Drouin has missed some time in the NHL this season and is currently ranked 168 on an average stats basis.
Mike Cammalleri – NJ – LW (Yahoo rank #148, my rank #104, current rank #158)
Cammalleri missed some time due to personal reasons but has been a strong scorer when in the lineup. He is ranked #93 on an average stats basis thanks to 9 goals and 9 assists in 25 games played. Cammalleri will continue to trend upwards as his average stats boost his overall ranking. With Hall healthy again too, expect New Jersey to win a few more games and improve in the +/- department as well.
Cam Talbot – EDM – G (Yahoo rank #154, my rank #96, current rank #29)
I said in late September that “Talbot could be the steal of the year” but I’d be lying to you if I said I would have bet on it. Edmonton has surpassed my expectations so far this season and all those fantasy managers who decided to take a risk on Talbot have been rewarded with his high ceiling. 15 wins and 3 shutouts have resulted in a top-5 goaltender placement at this point in the season. Strong years from McDavid, Draisaitl and Klefbom have buoyed the Oilers into a playoff spot that could be maintained into April.
Erik Johnson – COL – D (Yahoo rank #271, my rank #190, current rank #231)
Despite missing the past 7 games and despite the Avalanche’s continued struggles this season, Johnson is still ranked above his pre-season expectation. He only has one goal on the season but his periphery performance boosts his value: 62 blocked shots in 23 games played and 10 assists aren’t too shabby. He is dependable when healthy and he typically is not plagued by injury issues.
I will continue to track the performance of these players in a few months and finally at the end of the season to determine the accuracy of my assessments of over/under rated. Which of these picks were “obvious” in your mind? Which were gutsy predictions? Whose results are bound to change over the course of the remaining season?
image source: thehockeywriters.com