September 23, 2009
NHL general managers aren't the only ones making difficult roster decisions these days. I had to lock up four guys in my Yahoo! Sports keeper league last night, and I agonized over the decision. A lot more than I probably should have. Then again, this is the closest I'm ever going to get to running a franchise, and there's a decent chunk of money on the line - 20 guys at $125 a piece.
I finished third out of 20 last season and in the process, in what's becoming a disturbing trend, traded away my first, second, and fourth round picks in 2009, and my third and sixth round picks in 2010. Thankfully I finished in a money position (top five), otherwise I might have had to fire myself from my post.
It's not all rainbows and sunshine though; the way our league works is that draft picks must be traded for draft picks. For my 2009 first, second, and fourth round picks I received two 12th round picks (out of 12 rounds), and an eighth round pick, respectively, in return. For the 2010 third and sixth rounders, two 12th round picks came back my way.
I may have mortgaged the future. This might be a rebuilding season.
Since we all consider ourselves to be fantasy hockey aficionados, I'm curious as to how you might have made my decision differently. Below is the roster I had to pick four players from, and each player's respective fantasy points ...
Sidney Crosby - 2830
Brad Boyes - 1985
Todd White - 1960
Alex Kovalev - 1820
Jason Blake - 1725
Kris Versteeg - 1580
Shawn Horcoff - 1485
Mikhail Grabovski - 1255
Andrew Ebbett - 855
Nicklas Lidstrom - 1845
Shea Weber - 1485
Filip Kuba - 1150
Carlo Colaiacovo - 850
Marty Turco - 1825
Ilya Bryzgalov - 1747
Which four would you take? And, no, I haven't a clue as to how Todd White put up 73 points, including 34 on the power play, last season. But there's no way he can do it again. Right?
My selections: Crosby; tough call. Boyes; if he can work on his atrocious -20, he's good for at least 2000 points. Lidstrom; the game's top fantasy defenceman. And Weber; high-scoring defenceman are at a premium.
I flipped a coin between Weber and Turco. Marty was awful last season, yet he still put up more than 1800 pool points. It was a best-of-seven coin toss. Who am I to argue with gravity? Weber one, four-two.
It was tough to see Jason Blake go back into the draft; #55's my guy. Kovalev, too. But he's simply too hit and miss; too moody. Versteeg's a player on the rise, and Turco and Bryz are both number one goalies.
The way I see it, Crosby's the equivalent of two solid guys up front, and Boyes might be even better on an improving St. Louis team. Forwards who can put up 1500 points are available in abundance; I'm releasing five of them. Drafting a goalie will certainly be a priority and, if all else fails, I'm sure Ray Emery will be available. Barring injury, I'll have one of the league's most potent defence cores thanks to Weber and Lidstrom.
It all means two things: one of Lidstrom and Weber will surely suffer a season-ending injury in October, and Kovalev's going to rip it in Ottawa.