Monday, September 3, 2007

Magicpie's sure-to-suceed guide to fantasy players

Now that the general rules posts are out of the way here's a look at some of the specific players in this year draft and where they should be picked. A lot of these players can be divided in a few specific categories:

The "we've bottomed out" group. These are players who had bad years last season, and are thus at the bottom of their potential value, going as low as you could ever expect them to possibly go. A lot of good teams are built on guys like these. If they go back to their old selves then you just got a good player a couple rounds later than he should have gone. If not, then you only wasted a low pick on them. The only way to screw yourself over with these guys is to assume that their return to form is a sure thing and pick them higher than they're being picked (i.e. passing up 80 point guys to take Markus Naslund coming off his 60 point season because you just know he'll be back to his old self this year). Some notables this year:

Markus Naslund. Sixty points is as bad as you're going to get with him.

Pavel Demitra. Last year was probably the worst of his career and he still had 62 points. Injuries always a concern though.

Todd Bertuzzi. He's ranked like 500th. Take a chance on him instead of some miscelaneous left winger you'll drop right after the draft.

Marek Zidlicky. His ES points remained the same last year but he only had about 10 PP points (30 pts total). Now that Timmonen's gone he should be back to his customary 50 points.

Rob Blake. Remember him? He used to be pretty good... Kings should be much better this time around.

Joni Pitkanen. Bad year on a horrible team and he still had 40 points. Going far, far lower than he should be.

Pick him, you won't be sorry.

The "we were injured and are thus underranked" group. Guys who missed 20 or more games and still had good years on a per-game basis, but are ranked below where they should go because they still put up only 60 points instead of 80. And they are:

Martin Havlat, Wade Redden, Mike Modano, Ed Jovanovski and Marian Gaborik. Jovanovski and Gaborik seem to be on this list every year, though so you should probably take that into account before picking them.

The "we're coming off a contract year, whatever you do don't pick us" group. This group ruins more fantasy teams year in and year out than any other. These are guys that put up huge numbers last season but are due for a slowdown now that they signed their ginormous deal:

Sheldon Souray. Ranked fifth among defencemen right now. It's amazing what one 60 point season when you've never been past 40 in your career before gets you. Stay away, just stay away.

Daniel Briere. Before last year his best season was 65 points (although he did put up good point-per-game numbers in an injury-shortened season two years ago). It also bears noting that Philly is not Buffalo. Again, best to stay away.

Of course we've also got this group's distant cousin, the "I wasn't in a contract year but I still overachieved insanely last year" group, which includes:

Andrew Brunette. Fifty years from now Andrew Brunette will be telling his grandkids about the one year he got above 80 points in an NHL season.

Jarome Iginla. Turns out Iginla was sort of in a contract year last season. Either way, last year was only the second time he's had more than 73 points, and it's doubtful that Calgary's going to play the same kind of offensive hockey they played last season this time around. Not a good way to spend your first pick.

That's it for now, more to come.

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