After a three hour delay because of website issues (I won't call out the site by name, but it rhymes with Zahoo), All About the Jersey's writers held their first fantasy draft. In this post, I will be breaking down the highs and lows of everyone's teams, while giving some initial thoughts on each.
Before we get into it, I'll spell out the league's rules, so you'll know what you're looking for if you want to throw down your own analysis in the comments section.
I tried to keep our format and scoring simple, so I went with a Weekly Head-to-Head Points, meaning that certain statistics are given various fantasy point values, then at the end of the week, the team with the most fantasy points in the head-to-head matchup wins the game. Our scoring categories and values are as follows: Goals (3 pts), Assists (2 pts), Plus/Minus (1 pt/Plus, -1 pt/Minus), PIM (0.5 pt/Minute), PPG (1 pt), PPP (1 pt), SHP (2 pts), SOG (0.4 pts), Hits (0.3 pts), Blocks (0.3 pts), Goalie Wins (4 pts), GA (-1 pt), Save (0.2 pts), Shutouts (2 pts).
Each team can have a maximum of 16 players on their roster at any given time, with no maximum limit at any position. The starting lineup each week is 2 Centers, 2 Left Wings, 2 Right Wings, 2 Goalies, and 4 Defensemen. So basically, two lines and two goalies. I made the league public, so you can check out all the full rosters here.
Each breakdown starts with a quote from each owner expressing their brief thoughts on how they felt their draft went. I then went to each roster then added up and ranked their last season totals in Goals, Assists, Power Play Points, and Goalie Wins. As you read above, we have more categories than that, but these are the biggest ones. This statistic's validity is suspect because of injuries and things of that ilk, but it was interesting to see nonetheless.
Le Tang Clan - Matt Mowrer
"I was targeting 4 or 5 guys that I could have realistically gotten, but I only got one of them - my namesake. I wanted Kessel - missed him by a pick (Thanks, Stimson). I wanted Johansen - missed him by a pick (Stimson! Come on!). I didn't want to take a goalie as early as I did - but couldn't pass up on Price with the 12 pick. I should have maybe taken Pavelski there... but I didn't. I hated having the 9th pick. I think it's one of the, if not THE worst pick in the draft, but so it goes. Per usual for me, I am exiting the draft with great concerns about my defense, but overall, I feel good about this team."
Total Goals Last Season: 244 (T-8th)
Total Assists Last Season: 407 (last)
Total PPP Last Season: 197 (9th)
Goalie Wins (Carey Price & Steve Mason): 62 (6th)
Highs: Claude Giroux was nice 1st pick for the Le Tang Clan. He is a high impact fantasy player, considering he does the grit while being one of the best on the power play. Having Carey Price, the best goaltender in the league, is obviously a wonderful thing, too. Kris Letang as your defensive anchor is great, too, and the Clan didn't have to reach to get him.
Lows: Letang is a great pick, but the rest of the Clan's defense could be a problem (Tory Krug, Dion Phaneuf, James Wisniewski). The jury is still out on these guys for 2015-16. Another concern is the team's overall ranks in Goals, Assists, and PPP. With much of the fantasy scoring coming from those categories, it could be a problem for this team. The positive is that a significant portion of the players on this team missed a hefty amount of time last season, so these numbers may be a bit skewed.
X-Factor: Taylor Hall. He was one of the guys who missed a lot of time last season, and now that he's healthy and expected to skate with Connor McDavid, things could be really fun in the great white north.
NJ Devils drafted: 0
Ryan Stimson's Team - Ryan Stimson
"I think Kessel has a legit shot at chasing Ovi for the Rocket Richard trophy. He's the best winger Crosby has had since Hossa in 2008. I went big on goal scorers given the way the scoring settings were set up... Oh. And I got Cory. So that's good."
Total Goals Last Season: 279 (3rd)
Total Assists Last Season: 423 (T-8th)
Total PPP Last Season: 278 (1st)
Goalie Wins (Cory Schneider & Frederik Andersen): 61 (7th)
Highs: Ryan Stimson's Team drafted a terrific core of top forwards with Phil Kessel (1st round), Vladimir Tarasenko (2nd round), and Ryan Johansen (3rd round). Ryan is right about Kessel. I think he will take the Rocket Richard this season. Johansen is also set up to have a career year, seeing that he's been skating with Nick Foligno and Brandon Saad. He also has Max Pacioretty, who put up 37 goals - the same amount as Tarasenko.
Lows: I'm not super excited about his depth. Patrice Bergeron, Sean Monahan, and Kyle Palmieri are fairly droppable guys. Especially Palmieri. I'm also not convinced the goalies that accompany Cory are going to work out in the long run - particularly Jake Allen. I think he can adjust that as the season progresses, though.
X-Factor: Jaden Schwartz. I love J Shwag and think he is one of the most overlooked fantasy players in the league - he scores, he plays the PP, and he hits. He is overshadowed in St. Louis by the talent that surrounds him, but what many forget is that he's linemates with Tarasenko.
NJ Devils drafted: 2 (Cory Schneider - 5th round/48th pick, Kyle Palmieri, 16th round)
Bryzgalov's Fivehole - Alex Potts
"My plan going in was to focus on getting a good defense. With the rosters as they are, 2 center, 2 LW and 2 RW but 4 defense, I knew that if I did not get at least most of my defense filled out earlier, I would be in trouble. And the fact that my worst defenseman is OEL means I did my job. I believe I have best defense in the league, which could help big time considering the points given for hits and blocked shots.
My first pick, at 3, was obviously either Stamkos or Tavares. Just went on a gut instinct and took Tavares.
My weakest positions are the wings, but almost every single forward I drafted (plus Byfuglien) is dual position eligible, so that gives me great flexibility as the season progresses. And I obviously need either Howard or Mrazek to win the job outright, or else my 2nd goalie sucks."
Total Goals Last Season: 313 (1st)
Total Assists Last Season: 411 (9th)
Total PPP Last Season: 231 (5th)
Goalie Wins (Jonathan Quick & Jimmy Howard): 59 (8th)
Highs: He has a lot of goals on his roster, and much of those are from John Tavares (1st round/3rd pick) and Joe Pavelski (round 2/18th pick), but also, his entire defense from top to bottom (or in this case, top to top) is awesome. Dustin Byfuglien, Shea Weber, John Carlson, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson all made my top 15 defensemen list. I'd be singing with joy to have just two of these guys. This blue line is just sick.
Lows: Alex is dead right about his wings. I'm not excited about them either. He has Filip Forsberg, who I like, but Ryan Kesler is on the decline and I don't love Matt Duchene and Thomas Tatar. I especially don't love Chris Kunitz (old), Jarome Iginla (old), and Scott Hartnell (old). His defense is going to need to make up for this shortcoming. There's a decent chance they will, though.
X-Factor: Matt Duchene. He was a huge disappointment last year, as were most players on the Colorado Avalanche. If he can bring his game back to what was expected, it will go a long way in filling that hole at wing for Alex.
NJ Devils drafted: 0
HC Ogilthorpe - Brian Franken
"When drafting my team, one of my strategies was to get guys with multiple position eligibility so I could have flexibility. I feel I was able to accomplish this while also getting some solid players. My team is forward heavy since I like my 4 starting defensemen and feel comfortable with the guys that are still out there as free agents, should I need to pick another D-man up during the course of the season. I like my goalie situation, Rask is as solid as they come and I think Jones could have a breakout year now that he is starting for the Sharks."
Total Goals Last Season: 274* (4th)
Total Assists Last Season: 543* (1st - by 51 total)
Total PPP Last Season: 254* (5th)
Goalie Wins (Tuukka Rask & Martin Jones): 38 (last)
*He has an extra skater because he has just 2 goalies, so I did not include the offensive stats of the player with the lowest total in each category
Highs: I think he took Evgeni Malkin 3 or 4 picks too soon (he passed on Jamie Benn, Phil Kessel, Claude Giroux, Joe Pavelski, and Patrick Kane), but he's still awesome. I love the P.K. Subban and Kevin Shattenkirk tandem on the blue line. I also love Nick Foligno. He had 31 Goals and 42 Assists last season, and this season he's currently slated to skate with Johansen and Saad, so it could only get better. Plus he hits a lot. He's just a great all-around fantasy hockey player.
Lows: He currently has Kyle Turris starting at center, who could easily be a free agent by week 3. I also don't love that he has a handful of playmakers that don't score a lot of goals - Turris, Ondrej Palat, Nicklas Backstrom, and Jonathan Huberdeau (another guy who could be a FA in a couple weeks). Another question mark is Martin Jones, who will be the main man in net for the first time in his NHL career (this is the obvious reason this team is ranked last in Goalie Wins). With that said, I think Jones will do well, but the question remains if it will be enough.
X-Factor: Pavel Datsyuk. He's awesome. He will be a huge boost for this team when he returns in November. Hopefully he can remain healthy after that, otherwise it might spell major trouble here.
NJ Devils drafted: 0
Chris's Team - Chris Moxley
"I'm pretty happy with my draft overall, a pick I really was into was Voracek. The guy just puts up serious points it's hard not to like his upside, especially late in the second round. I also felt pretty good value in the later rounds. I was particularly happy about Doughty sliding down into the 6th round and Spezza in the 10th. I think both are primed for big seasons. The same can be said about getting Nugent-Hopkins in the 12th, hard to pass on that upside with a loaded Edmonton team. The later rounds of my draft were really strong."
Total Goals Last Season: 244 (T-8th)
Total Assists Last Season: 492 (2nd)
Total PPP Last Season: 271 (2nd)
Goalie Wins (Dubnyk & Miller): 65 (5th)
Highs: The pluses on this team are obvious: Steven Stamkos (4th overall), Jakub Voracek (2nd round/17th overall), and Jonathan Toews (3rd round/24th overall), but I also like Alexander Steen. The Blues are just stacked with talent, and he's right there near the top with his 24 Goals and 40 Assists. I think he could see a 70 point season.
Lows: In my defensive breakdown, I mentioned that if Drew Doughty was your top defensemen, then you may be starting in a hole on the blue line. Well, here we are. Doughty is his best, and it's a pretty big drop from there. I'm also foreseeing a lot of goalie shuffling, as he has Ryan Miller and Craig Anderson backing up Dubnyk.
X-Factor: Henrik Zetterberg. It's important for Chris that Zett avoids a drop in production. He's getting old and he won't have Datsyuk for the first few weeks, so it may be an uphill battle for Zett.
NJ Devils drafted: 0
Meaningless Hashtag - John Fischer
"I'm pretty pleased I went with goalies first to ensure I had two who can play a lot and put up strong numbers. This allowed me to make bolder decisions later in the draft. I'm pleased with how it went, particularly with snatching Jack Eichel ahead from Ryan."
Total Goals Last Season: 261* (7th)
Total Assists Last Season: 446* (4th)
Total PPP Last Season: 221 (6th)
Goalie Wins (Henrik Lundqvist & Braden Holtby): 71 (T-2nd)
*He has Jack Eichel, so I took the predicted numbers for him and included them in the totals.
Highs: The King and Holtby are hands down the best goalie pairing in this league. His wins total is 2nd in the league even with Lundqvist being shelved for a while. Hashtag also have the potential next Art Ross winner in Tyler Seguin. If he stays healthy, he is going to have a big year. I also really like his top D pairing of Brent Burns and Roman Josi. Between the two of them, they cover a lot of categorical ground. To boot, he has the undervalued Jake Muzzin.
Lows: I know the Avs had a particularly bad season last year, but I still don't like Nathan MacKinnon. There is a lot of talent hockey there, but I think the success in his rookie season came a bit earlier than what is to be expected. I think he's still a year or two from being a 70-75 point guy. I'm also not super psyched on Marian Hossa. His best days are well behind him.
X-Factor: Jack Eichel. Just because it's an obvious choice here, doesn't mean it isn't a good one. He's obviously projected to be an elite player in the league, but the question is whether it will happen right away. Not to mention he's in Buffalo, which could hinder his fantasy development a bit.
NJ Devils drafted: 0
Russian Snipers - Nicholas D'Alessio
"Feeling really confident about my forward and goalie situations. As long as Crosby is on the ice he will put up major points. To compliment Crosby and Nash, I was able to pick up Oshie, Galchenyuk, Carter and Brassard in the latter half of the draft, all of which I can see putting up 60 pts each. My goalie situation is also a strength with Fleury who will at the very least consistently pick up wins, and Bishop who plays behind one of the best defenses in the league. My biggest concern is the lack of depth on defense, Petro and Hedman are solid, but I have some doubts with Brodie and Fowler. Although Brodie and Fowler both play the PP, if Pietrangelo and Hedman catch the injury bug I could find myself scrambling to find production on the blue line."
Total Goals Last Season: 273* (5th)
Total Assists Last Season: 432* (6th)
Total PPP Last Season: 191* (last)
Goalie Wins (Ben Bishop & Marc-Andre Fleury): 77 (1st)
*He has an extra skater because he has just 2 goalies, so I didn't include the stats of the player with the lowest total in each category
Highs: Sidney Crosby is going to be out of control in fantasy this season thanks to the addition of Kessel. He could easily break 90 points if he stays healthy. I also like his top D pairing in Victor Hedman and Alex Pietrangelo. Hedman was on my top 15 and Piety was probably 16th. While I don't like his goalies that much in real hockey, they are pegged to easily bring home 70 wins or more, which is nice in fake hockey.
Lows: This team lacks depth. Jeff Skinner, Alex Galchenyuk, Chris Kreider, and Derick Brassard aren't terrific fantasy hockey options. Skinner is particularly useless. Arguably the most useless player selected.
X-Factor: Rick Nash. Can we expect the regular season 300+ shots and over 40 goals Rick Nash or the invisible for long stretches in the playoffs Rick Nash?
NJ Devils drafted: 0
Jag's Hogs - Shane Kinsley
"Having never played fantasy hockey, and of course not spending any time researching it, I wasn't totally sure of what strategy to use. I think my team looks good, but it's probably garbage. Also, the Patty Kane investigation has taken a few bizarre turns, so there is allot of uncertainty surrounding my first round pick. Obviously I drafted Jagr a little early but I didn't want to take the chance of not getting him, especially after the latest story about him surfaced. The legend continues to grow. I took the first Devils skater in the draft, Cammy, and also drafted Larson. I expect them both to have good years."
Total Goals Last Season: 226 (last)
Total Assists Last Season: 439 (5th)
Total PPP Last Season: 201 (7th)
Goalie Wins (Corey Crawford & Jaroslav Halak): 70 (4th)
Highs: If everything gets cleared up okay with the criminal investigation, which I think it will, Patrick Kane is an obvious high point of this team. He also has Erik Karlsson, who is easily the #1 fantasy defenseman. I'm not a huge fan of Daniel Sedin in most fantasy leagues because of his lack of grit, but with this scoring system, I would be okay with him on my roster.
Lows: His goalies (Crawford and Halak) seem okay at first glance, but when you look closely at the numbers they become less shiny. I think Halak is going to be in and out of Shane's lineup more than he may be hoping. I also don't like the Anze Kopitar pick. He's terrific in real life, but his fantasy value is just okay. Oh, also this team currently has Adam Larsson on the blue line. That won't last.
X-Factor: Evander Kane. This guy has the talent to be an elite scorer, plus he hits and takes penalties. However, he's a notorious head case who can easily lose focus. His season last year was a disaster even before the injury. Hopefully the move to Buffalo gives him a fresh, and emotionally quiet, start.
NJ Devils drafted: 2.5 (Mike Cammalleri, Adam Larsson, Jaromir Jagr)
Vojtech's Mix - C.J. Turturo
Total Goals Last Season: 270* (6th)
Total Assists Last Season: 473* (3rd)
Total PPP Last Season: 255* (3rd)
Goalie Wins (Pekka Rinne & Sergei Bobrovsky): 71 (T-2nd)
*He has Connor McDavid, so I took the predicted numbers for him and included them in the totals.
Highs: He has the best fantasy hockey player in Alex Ovechkin. He does everything you want in fantasy. Vojtech's Mix also has a great, but injury-prone, defenseman in Mark Giordano. This team also has two of my top 10 goalies and likely the 2nd best tandem in this league (behind Meaningless Hashtag's pair).
Lows: While I think Gio is one of the finest fantasy defenseman you can draft, I don't like this team's blue line a whole lot overall. I don't think Tyson Barrie or Mark Streit will repeat their numbers from last season. I do like Aaron Ekblad, but I don't think his numbers will jump up much from last season.
X-Factor: Connor McDavid. Much like Eichel, it's the obvious, but correct choice. Will McDavid come out of the gates as elite and produce in the mid-70s or will he simply start as pretty good and put up mid-60s? The answer to that will say a lot about how Vojtech's Mix does.
Mike's Team - Mike Stromberg
"Despite my lack of draft attendance, which may or may not have had something to do with me forgetting when my own birthday was, autodraft didn't seem to do too bad for me. My forwards are solid, as I ended up with the reigning Art Ross trophy winner in Jamie Benn, who will be receiving support via Anaheim's Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, among others. And if there is a fantasy Twitter category, I'll also be in good shape there, as I nabbed good ol' Roberto Luongo as one of my keepers."
Total Goals Last Season: 287 (2nd)
Total Assists Last Season: 423 (T-7th)
Total PPP Last Season: 198 (9th)
Goalie Wins (Roberto Luongo and Semyon Varlamov): 58 (9th)
Highs: The current Art Ross Trophy winner, Jamie Benn, is a fantasy stud, and not just because of the points. It's because he also hits and takes penalties. He's the poor man's Ove. Or more accurately, the upper middle class man's Ove. This team also has some ducks lined up for them. These particular Ducks are in a row, if you will - Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Their power play numbers were strangely low last season, but they're still great fantasy guys.
Lows: I have terrific concern for this team's goalies. Lou is a nice #2 guy, but at this point in his career, he is by no stretch a great #1. I don't like Semyon Varlamov at all, and the 3rd guy back there is Jonas Hiller. This could be a big problem. I'm also not a fan of the defense. The top pair is Ryan McDonaugh & Sami Vatanen. This could also be a problem.
X-Factor: David Backes. The Blues captain is great for the grit categories and has the talent to put up the offense, too. If he can boost his offensive numbers into the mid-60s, that would be great news for Mike's Team. With the talent the Blues have, it could easily happen.
NJ Devils drafted: 0
What do you guys think? Which team do you like best? I definitely have a particularly team in mind, and it isn't mine. Feel free to comment below. I'd also love to hear how some of your drafts went or hear your questions in preparation of an upcoming draft.