Ryan Dadoun

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Overvalued ADP

Thursday, September 6, 2018


One helpful tool that Yahoo has every year is their average pick list for every player.  With it, you can get an idea of what kind of value fantasy owners are assigning to each player going into the season.  For example, right now the top four picks are Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Ovechkin, and Sidney Crosby in that order.

 

This kind of information can give you a gauge on when it might be appropriate to draft a player or when you can afford to hold out another round before taking someone you have your eye on.  However, your goal is of course to be better than the average and simply drafting players when they are commonly taken isn’t a recipe to do that.  So while you want to keep what the masses think in mind, you can’t afford to be weighed down by it either.

 

In the spirit of that, I’m offering my picks of players that have stood out to me as being particularly overvalued based on what their average pick is in Yahoo leagues.

 

Patrik Laine (WPG) – RW – Avg. pick 7.2

 

My hesitation with taking Laine this high is that while he is a great goal scorer, that’s more-or-less all he does right now.  That alone is extremely valuable, I’m not at all dismissing it, but when you weigh him against the likes of John Tavares (Avg. pick 9.7), Tyler Seguin (Avg. pick 11.2), and Jamie Benn (Avg. pick 16.0), I think that Laine still lags a little behind just because he isn’t as well-rounded a player yet.

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL) – G – Avg. pick 11.8

 

Honestly, I can’t point to a single high-end goaltender that I feel safe with this season.  There is no in-his-prime Henrik Lundqvist or Martin Brodeur right now that seems like a sure thing, but obviously goaltenders are still valuable, so you have no choice but to grade them on a curve.  Even allowing for that though, it’s still hard for me to swallow the idea that Vasilevskiy is the league’s best option.  He’s a solid goaltender playing for a great team and he had an amazing start to 2017-18, but he posted a 3.37 GAA and .902 save percentage in 24 games after the All-Star break.  If he had a longer body of work, I’d probably shrug that off, but right now I think he still has a lot to prove and consequently I wouldn’t take him in the first round of a 12-team league.

 

Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – C – Avg. pick 13.9

 

It does look like fantasy owners are weighing Malkin down somewhat due to his injury history, but I personally wouldn’t take Malkin over Jamie Benn (Avg. pick 16.0) or even Blake Wheeler (Avg. pick 19.6), which are among those that tend to fall below him.  Part of it is that Malkin only has center-eligibility and there is no shortage of high-end centers in the league today, but my big concern is that injury history.  While Malkin scored 42 goals and 98 points last season and could do that again if he plays a full campaign, history has taught me not to count on that.  I think the safer money is on penciling Malkin in for around 70 points and that meaningfully changes who his comparable are.

 

Mitch Marner (TOR) – RW – Avg. pick 37.8

 

I throw this one out there with a bit of hesitation.  Marner had 22 goals and 69 points last season as a sophomore and this season he’s projected to be paired with John Tavares.  There’s a lot of upside with Marner, but does that make him a significantly better option than Leon Draisaitl (Avg. pick 45.6) or Jakub Voracek (Avg. pick 53.0)?  I’m not convinced of that yet.  I think first off, we need to see if Tavares and Marner do indeed gel, because that’s not a foregone conclusion, and we also need to keep in mind that Marner was somewhat hot-and-cold last season with much of his success being a product of an incredibly strong second half.  Marner was also playing a bigger role at that point, but that also gets into coach Mike Babcock’s use of Marner, which hasn’t been consistent and could potentially be another underlining cause of concern there.  None of this is to say that Marner will fail this season, it’s just factors to add in that I think should result in him being picked a little later than he is.

 

Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK) – G – Avg. pick 48.1

 

There’s a lot of members of the Golden Knights that gave off warning signs that they significantly over performed last season and for most of them, their draft pick does reflect that extra element of risk.  I feel like Fleury is being treated as a bit of an exception to that.  Not entirely so as you would think a goaltender with a 2.24 GAA and .927 save percentage would be taken higher in this goaltender climate if those 2017-18 numbers were taken at face value, but I do think there is still some over evaluation happening here.  The thing is, I don’t believe what’s happening is that people are overvaluing Fleury’s capabilities – he is a strong goaltender after all – I think though, that Vegas’ probable regression this year might have a trickledown effect that results in Fleury playing below what you might expect from him.  At the least, I see him as a bigger risk than he seems to be given credit for.

 

Evander Kane (SJS) – LW – Avg. pick 51.7

 

Yahoo made a pretty big change to how they handle standard leagues.  Rather than have penalty minutes as a default category, they now have hits instead.  That has a big impact to Kane’s value as a big part of his appeal was the fact that he would generate 80-100 penalty minutes while also recording 25-30 goals and around 50 points.  There aren’t a lot of players that offer that blend, but Kane isn’t particularly special when it comes to hits.  He’s not a bad source of hits, but he was far more appealing when he was a source of PIM instead and he should be knocked down a little more to reflect Yahoo’s new policy.

 

Cam Talbot (EDM) – G – Avg. pick 74.5

 

Talbot is of course coming off a rough campaign where he posted a 3.02 GAA and .908 save percentage in 67 starts.  The Oilers need him to bounce back, but he’s a high-risk goaltender going into 2017-18.  In that regard, I’d rather have Corey Crawford (Avg. pick 118.7) or Cory Schneider (Avg. pick 124.3) because while those goaltenders are high-risk too, they have significantly more upside than Talbot.  I also would pick Antti Raanta (Avg. pick 133.5) over Talbot after Raanta really hit his stride as the season progressed and finished with a 2.24 GAA and .930 save percentage in 47 games.

 

Kris Letang (PIT) – D – Avg. pick 78.4

 

Similar to Evgeni Malkin, Letang is coming off a strong season where he was healthy, but unfortunately his lengthy injury history has to be taken into account.  While Letang had nine goals and 51 points in 79 games in 2017-18, I think it would be safer to pencil him in for closer to 40.  That doesn’t mean I would knock him down much, but for example, I would rather take John Carlson (Avg. pick 82.2), who had a better season in 2017-18 and while Carlson was held back by injuries to some extent in the two seasons that preceded it, he still doesn’t have as long an injury history as Letang.

 

Matthew Tkachuk (CAL) – LW – Avg. pick 78.5

 

This one is similar to Kane, only if anything Tkachuk is a more extreme example.  Tkachuk was a great source of penalty minutes, but he’s a bad source of hits.  Not an average source of hits – bad.  He had just 80 hits in 2017-18 after recording 65 hits in 2016-17.  Just to further emphasize the point, this turned Tkachuk from being a player that brought some offensive and a little extra in PIM, to a player who brings some offense, but is a burden when it comes to hits.  The silver lining here is that Tkachuk does have some untapped offensive upside, but that alone isn’t enough to justify his current position in the draft.



Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
Email :Ryan Dadoun



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