(Editor’s Note: I have strong feelings about autodrafts. Specifically, I hate them and I strongly dislike people who prefer them. I make every effort to be present, whether in person or online, for a draft. I will sometimes decline a spot in a league only because I can’t make the draft time.
I also know some people who don’t care about the draft because there aren’t a lot of teams in the league and “everyone will get good players.” Well, way to be a killjoy even before the season starts!
Anyway, NHL contributor Ozzy takes a look at what your team might look like if you were one of those boring people that enjoys autodrafts… enjoy.
You can find my thoughts on the subject in parentheses below.)
A live draft, whether online or in real life, can be a lot of fun with friends. Talking smack as your boy picks up someone just because of what real team they are on, razing the guy that “has to” take a player from a rival team, and the general “your team sucks” trash may be the best part of fantasy sports. Hockey in particular, because we all have these strong feelings about players, teams, conferences, coaches, systems….and, well, everything else.
Autodrafts are easy. You don’t even have to be there when they happen. You (can) adjust your rankings however you want, save the changes, and leave.
Let’s have a look at some of the preseason, aka autodraft, rankings, compared to actual rankings after approximately a dozen games. And let’s see what your team might look like if no one changes their rankings, let the draft roll, and dealt with the circumstances…
Let’s say you got lucky and pulled the number three spot in a twelve team league. That means that your picks overall are picks 3, 22, 27, 46, 51, 80, 85, 104, 109, etc….
First pick, #3 overall: Sidney Crosby
At this point, you’re overjoyed with this one. Crosby is a fantasy machine on a team that has no problem scoring.
17 games played: 7 G, 18 A, +8, 10 PPP.
This one’s a WIN.
(Remarkably, Crosby was undervalued in some drafts this season because of his recent concussion issues. I didn’t target him going in to any draft, but grabbed him as low as 7th in one of my leagues. Not really an issue in autodrafts since he was ranked high anyway.)
Second pick, #22 overall: Scott Hartnell
Currently on IR.
3 games played: 0 G, 1 A.
(This is where some auto rankings can start leading you astray. Hartnell has added value in leagues that count penalty minutes, but as far as points go, he had 67 last season, and only 49 the previous season, both while playing all 82 games. Depending on your league settings, you could already be a bit behind.)
Third pick, #27 overall: Kris Letang
He’s not putting up numbers quite as high as his preseason ranking, but he’s in the range. Personal thoughts on taking a D-man with your third pick vary… Overall, I think you’re satisfied here. (Side note: that’s 2 Penguins already.)
14 games played: 3 G, 9 A, +5, 3 PPP.
Fourth pick, #46 overall: Ilya Bryzgalov
Another Flyer? And “Universe” at that? Ugh. He may have 8 wins already, 2.59 GAA, .906 SV% and 1 SO, but I don’t trust this guy to keep it together for a whole season. For now, we’re ok with this.
A conditional WIN.
(I have a problem taking so many players from the same teams so early. Sure, these teams can score a ton, but being from such a tough division, the potential for really bad nights are there. I tend to lean towards a similar player from a different team when faced with this issue. Autodraft will not do that for you.)
Fifth pick, #51 overall: Drew Doughty
Great. Another D, and one that’s severely underperforming so far.
15 games played: 0 G, 7 A, -10, 5 PPP.
(This is right around the time where autodrafting starts to ruin your team. In this example, your team now has two d-men, two forwards, and a goalie. The goalie is decent, but not great. One of your forwards is ranked based on his physical play, and you already have two defensemen. Most teams at this point are likely loaded with snipers, and have a top goalie.)
Sixth pick, #80 overall: Mikko Koivu
With 3 G, 9 A, and 39 SOG, Mikko is performing right where he was projected.
I guess this one is a WIN for this spot.
Seventh pick, #85 overall: David Krejci
Slightly underperforming from his preseason rank, but he’s a guy that could get hot.
14 games played: 4 G, 8 A, +4, 2 PPP.
(Given the position where he was ranked, you likely could have done much better here if you weren’t autodrafting. As an example, guys like Matt Duchene, Patrik Elias, and Thomas Vanek were ranked lower and I would have grabbed any of them before Krejci.)
Eighth pick, #104 overall: Mike Ribeiro
Wait, Ribiero is doing what this year? 6 G, 13 A, 14 PIM, 11 PPP on 22 SOG? Actual rank is 29.
This one is a big WIN.
(Here is one of the very rare cases where autodrafting might actually benefit you. I’ve always liked Ribeiro as a fantasy player because he does a little bit of everything. However, in this spot, there are some other names that I would have likely grabbed before Ribeiro. It’s rare, but autodraft helps here without the over thinking.)
Ninth pick, #109 overall: Jack Johnson
Damn. I thought we were on a hot streak here.
17 games played: 1 G, 7 A, -9, 4 PPP.
(This is the part of the autodraft where you look over what you got and start getting the dry heaves, then quickly start looking over who wasn’t drafted… Yet another d-man, and a guy on Columbus to boot. Yeah, autodrafting rocks!)
Tenth pick, #128 overall: James Wisniewski
Yep. There’s another.
13 games played: 3 G, 5 A, -2, 4 PPP.
(Well, there goes lunch. See above… But you know what, you like autodrafting so you deserve this cruel and unusual punishment.)
Four D-men, one goalie, and five forwards. Six WINs to four LOSSes. Overall, If you pulled this team, you have some things to work with. However, you’ll need some waiver wire magic if you want to get anywhere. As we can see, ratings only mean so much and if you can’t adjust as the draft goes on, you’re done.
In conclusion, autodrafts suck. They take all the feeling out of the draft.
We got two Pens and two Flyers? Ugh.
(Autodrafting sucks and so does your autodrafted team.)
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