When Autopick Goes Wrong: The Lowdown Fantasy Hockey Pool Preview

Sorry I haven’t gotten around to it sooner but now it’s time to have a laugh at the expense of The Lowdown Blog crew. This year, we started the first ever Lowdown Fantasy Hockey Pool (though we were a presenting sponsor of the  UWO radio hockey pool). As I mentioned on Twitter and in my last Humanoids column, autopick hockey pool drafts are the tool of the devil. That’s only fitting since we’re running our pool on the TSN/ESPN fantasy platform. Anyway, here’s how the Lowdown team stack up after the draft and how I think they stack up. This’ll probably get me in shit with the boys. On this Canadian Thanksgiving Day, be thankful you don’t have my fantasy team, at the very least.

Steve: Team Discovery Channel
Rd 1 #12 Zach Parise, NJ F
Rd 2 #29 Patrick Marleau, SJ F
Rd 3 #52 Chris Stewart, Col F
Rd 4 #69 Derick Brassard, Cls F
Rd 5 #92 Thomas Vanek, Buf F
Rd 6 #109 Jamie Langenbrunner, NJ F
Rd 7 #132 Joni Pitkanen, Car D
Rd 8 #149 Brent Burns, Min D
Rd 9 #172 Valtteri Filppula, Det F
Rd 10 #189 Marek Zidlicky, Min D
Rd 11 #212 David Perron, StL F
Rd 12 #229 Roman Hamrlik, Mon D
Rd 13 #252 J.P. Dumont, Nsh F
Rd 14 #269 Martin Biron, NYR G
Rd 15 #292 Ondrej Pavelec*, Atl G
Rd 16 #309 Andrew Ference, Bos D
Rd 17 #332 Daymond Langkow*, Cgy F
Rd 18 #349 Michael Ryder, Bos F
Rd 19 #372 Chris Neil, Ott F

Transactions Since Draft:
Dropped Ondrej Pavelec (Atl G) for Michal Neuvirth (Wsh G)
Placed Daymond Langkow (Cgy F) on IR for Matt Cooke (Pit F)

Okay, I drew the very short end of the goalie pool. Granted, I dropped Pavelec before he collapsed because I had no idea he was the starter. Biron might get into 15 or 20 games this season. Neuvirth should split time with Varlamov in Washington and seems to be getting more starts so I think I got a good deal there. I got hosed on blueliners. I’d call two of my guys (Burns and Hamrlik) bona fide top four men. The forwards aren’t a lot better. There’s good top end strength but it falls off after the top six. Well, Cooke and Neil should help with penalty minutes. Yeah, I’m totally screwed here.

Jackie: District 5
Rd 1 #17 Eric Staal, Car F
Rd 2 #24 Henrik Lundqvist, NYR G
Rd 3 #57 Travis Zajac, NJ F
Rd 4 #64 Tuukka Rask, Bos G
Rd 5 #97 Jakub Voracek, Cls F
Rd 6 #104 Jason Arnott, NJ F
Rd 7 #137 Jay Bouwmeester, Cgy D
Rd 8 #144 Chris Kunitz, Pit F
Rd 9 #177 Victor Hedman, TB D
Rd 10 #184 Alexei Kovalev, Ott F
Rd 11 #217 Brent Seabrook, Chi D
Rd 12 #224 John Carlson, Was D
Rd 13 #257 Dustin Boyd, Mon F
Rd 14 #264 Shawn Horcoff, Edm F
Rd 15 #297 Brian Rolston, NJ F
Rd 16 #304 Derek Morris, Pho D
Rd 17 #337 Brandon Dubinsky, NYR F
Rd 18 #344 Cory Schneider, Van G
Rd 19 #377 Derek Dorsett, Cls F

Transactions Since Draft:
Dropped Derek Dorsett (Cls F) for Matt Beleskey (Ana F)
Dropped Dustin Boyd (Mon F) for Kris Versteeg (Tor F)

Unlike me and The Enge (more on him in a bit), Jackie’s strength is goalies. Lundqvist and Rask is probably as strong a pair of goalies as you can hope for. He’s got three solid top four blueliners and Morris is a borderline top four guy. Forwards are a bit of a miss. I’d call six of Jackie’s eleven forwards top six guys. Voracek and Kovalev might be sleepers to bump that number up if they produce. (And Voracek better because I have him in another pool.) Fortunately for Jackie, if he ever finds himself stuck needing more scoring, he has the defense and goaltending depth to trade for points.

Scott: Sky Waltzer
Rd 1 #1 Alex Ovechkin, Was F
Rd 2 #40 Henrik Zetterberg, Det F
Rd 3 #41 Tomas Vokoun, Fla G
Rd 4 #80 Erik Johnson, StL D
Rd 5 #81 Scott Hartnell, Phi F
Rd 6 #120 Carey Price, Mon G
Rd 7 #121 David Backes, StL F
Rd 8 #160 Alexander Edler, Van D
Rd 9 #161 Niklas Kronwall, Det D
Rd 10 #200 Bill Guerin, Pit F
Rd 11 #201 Vaclav Prospal*, NYR F
Rd 12 #240 Rob Schremp*, NYI F
Rd 13 #241 Tyler Seguin, Bos F
Rd 14 #280 Colin Wilson, Nsh F
Rd 15 #281 Dustin Byfuglien, Atl D
Rd 16 #320 Jeff Schultz, Was D
Rd 17 #321 Teddy Purcell, TB F
Rd 18 #360 Drayson Bowman, Car F
Rd 19 #361 Jiri Tlusty, Car F

Transactions After Draft:
Dropped Bill Guerin (Pit F) for Jiri Hudler (Det F)
Dropped Teddy Purcell (TB F) for Derek Stepan (NYR F)
Dropped Drayson Bowman (Car F) for Darren Helm (Det F)
Placed Vaclav Prospal (NYR F) on IR for Jeff Skinner (Car F)

I don’t know how he did it but Scott managed to luck into the #1 pick in a 20 team league. So Ovechkin means scoring won’t be an issue for him. Goaltending falls inline with all but Jackie except Price and Vokoun could be very good but are very enigmatic. You just don’t know if you’ll get the Vezina contender or the sieve on any given night. On the blueline, he has Kronwall, Edler and Byfuglien (for PIM) and that’s about it, really. Fortunately, he has seven guys that will be solid contributors at forward. The way I did the scoring (which I set up to be like the old Yahoo pools), a weak blueline won’t hold you back if your forwards can light the lamp. Like I said, he has Ovechkin. There’s 19 other guys in this pool that are screwed because of that.

The Enge: Engineers of Destruction
Rd 1 #4 Steven Stamkos, TB F
Rd 2 #37 Zdeno Chara, Bos D
Rd 3 #44 Daniel Alfredsson, Ott F
Rd 4 #77 Ales Hemsky, Edm F
Rd 5 #84 Tomas Holmstrom, Det F
Rd 6 #117 Sheldon Souray, Edm D
Rd 7 #124 Brian Gionta, Mon F
Rd 8 #157 Mike Fisher, Ott F
Rd 9 #164 Ryan Whitney, Edm D
Rd 10 #197 Ryan Suter, Nsh D
Rd 11 #204 Jason Demers, SJ D
Rd 12 #237 Mike Modano, Det F
Rd 13 #244 Patrik Berglund, StL F
Rd 14 #277 Henrik Tallinder, NJ D
Rd 15 #284 Slava Kozlov, Atl F
Rd 16 #317 Mikkel Boedker, Pho F
Rd 17 #324 Andrew Cogliano, Edm F
Rd 18 #357 Harri Sateri, SJ G
Rd 19 #364 Tyson Sexsmith, SJ G

Transactions After Draft:
Dropped Tyson Sexsmith (SJ G) for Brian Elliott (Ott G)
Dropped Sheldon Souray (Edm D) for Dan Hamhuis (Van D)
Dropped Harri Sateri (SJ G) for Sergei Bobrovsky (Phi D)
Dropped Slava Kozlov (Atl F) for Steve Ott (Dal D)

Well, like Steve, goaltending is The Enge’s weak spot. The computer drafted the third and fourth goalies in San Jose’s system for him not to mention the AHL’s newest star Souray. The fact that His Engeness was able to get Hamhuis and Elliott in free agency says a lot about the computer’s/ESPN’s logic in the rankings. Bobrovsky was a good pickup if he holds onto a job with the Flyers. Defense is The Enge’s strength with four top four blueliners to fill the four starting defencemen spots. I’d say six of eleven of his forwards are of the top six variety which seems to be about average. Like Jackie, he has blueline depth to move for scoring later on if he needs it.

3 thoughts on “When Autopick Goes Wrong: The Lowdown Fantasy Hockey Pool Preview

  1. Pingback: World Spinner

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s