Through a month of the year, my own fantasy team has done fairly well. I'm in third in the league with a very solid team but I find myself well back of the top two squads, each of whom would get a first-round bye if the playoffs were to start today. My schedule to start the year has been a tough one with each of the three teams I've played falling inside the playoff cutoff.
Enough about me, how about you? In the lead-up to this year's season I put out a few articles on players that I liked to varying degrees as well as a list of sleepers. In the interest of accountability, I figure we should assess my performance.
Here we go;
Claude Giroux - At the time of my post, he was pre-ranked at 136. I spoke briefly about his having difficulty adjusting to the wing as being the likely reason for his somewhat slow assent to bonafide fantasy producer. My advice was to pick him up in either a keeper league or a one year pool and so far this year, he's ranked 48th overall. Pass.
Lubomir Visnovsky - With a pre-season rank of 139 I was calling for Vis to have top 20 defenseman value. That hasn't exactly panned out thus far. I maintain that his 8 points are a respectable total and his PIM numbers haven't been bad. The problem is how poorly the Ducks have played at even strength and the general shittiness of Jonas Hiller. Visnovsky's -3 is killing his ranking. I still like the guy over the course of the year but so far I think we'd have to give me a Fail on this one.
Mikael Samuelsson - I wrote about him and dropped him in a fairly high slot on my draft board and yet, when I had the opportunity to pick him up, I went deeper down my board. For what reason, I don't know. He was pre-ranked at 148 and is currently ranked at 137. With Burrows coming back to the Canucks lineup soon, we'll have to call Samuelsson a Wash.
Ryan Malone - I was absolutely appalled when I saw that Malone was ranked as low as 230 in the pre-draft rankings. The guy scored 30 goals! Tampa added Gagne, Lecavalier showed glimpses of his former self. Why shouldn't this guy be a top 100 player? Well Yahoo must have known something I didn't because Lecavalier and Gagne have both looked like crap and Malone has followed them down the pooper. His current ranking of 351 makes him entirely unworthy of a roster spot. Epic Fail.
Kris Versteeg - A classic case of writing with my heart instead of my head. I wanted Versteeg to succeed and it seemed like the added ice-time and opportunity in Toronto would be a good chance for him to do just that. Well, it turns out that 271 was more than a little generous as he's currently ranked 500. He'll bounce back a bit I'm sure but he's probably a player that will be on and off of the waiver wire this year in all but the deepest of leagues. Face Palm.
So my sleeper picks didn't go all that well. Malone, Samuelsson and Visnovsky all have varying degrees of bounce-back potential which might vindicate me down the road but please, if you own Versteeg in your league, drop him. If you drafted him because of what I wrote, I am very, very sorry.
Did I fare any better in the Player Profiles? I'm almost afraid to look...
I suggested you 'buy' on Ryan Getzlaf. So far, the big centre has vindicated me in putting up 15 points, as well as good PIMs and PPP numbers. Like Visnovsky, his ranking is suffering from the -3 he's put up thus far this year but his production in other areas means that I'm giving myself a pass.
I was a little wary of Ilya Kovalchuk, warning readers that he wasn't the safe pick that he used to be. Having said this, I certainly didn't think he would be this bad to start the season. Disagreements with the coaching staff and a mysterious benching have crushed Kovalchuk's start to the season and ultimately, despite the risk, I was buying on Kovalchuk rather than selling. Fail.
Prior to the season, I made the announcement that Rick Nash was the most overrated player in fantasy hockey and with this statement, I hit a homerun. Nash's pre-draft ranking of 31 was absurd to me given his past performance and the quality of the team that surrounds him. A quick look at his 299 ranking will tell you that you were a fool to draft Nash wherever you took him, which was undoubtedly too high. Will he finish the year here? Of course not. Will he finish the year ranked 31 or better? Of course not. Gold-star Pass.
Basically, it's been a mixed bag for me this year. I maintain that a few of my 'fails' will probably turn things around and vindicate me to some extent by season's end. I also maintain that Rick Nash was drafted too soon in every league in the world.
The moral of the story is read critically because we all make mistakes. In fact, we're probably about as likely to get it wrong as we are to get it right...