Earlier this month, I joined a fantasy hockey league (Oilers Nation) and drafted the “Oakland Seals” roster that will sink like a stone (my goalies may already be in the AHL). Fantasy hockey is a big damn deal, and the magazines and websites that project stats are myriad. Although I’ve never played fantasy hockey before this season, I’m absolutely certain Scott Cullen’s numbers are the best. Why? He’s reasonable.
I like the Cullen list because it doesn’t make wild projections where it isn’t warranted and (if anything) errs on the side of caution. I spoke to Cullen on the Lowdown today; he told me his system relies on a player’s past performance (including injury) and also factors in changes in projected linemates, injury etc.
As it should be.
Beyond fantasy, it’s interesting to follow these Oilers’ numbers as fans. As the early predictions about the Oilers come in, it’s important to be reasonable and realistic about projections.
CULLEN’S OILERS’ NUMBERS 2014-15
- No. 10 overall Taylor Hall 74GP, 31-47-78
- No. 25 Jordan Eberle 80GP, 29-37-66
- No. 62 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 75GP, 17-38-55
- No. 81 David Perron 76GP, 25-27-52
- No. 133 Teddy Purcell 81GP, 15-29-44
- No. 164 Nail Yakupov 72GP, 21-19-40
- No. 174 Justin Schultz 77GP, 12-27-39
- No. 175 Leon Draisaitl 78GP, 14 25 39
- No. 227 Benoit Pouliot 74GP, 17-18-35
Interesting list. The folks I talk to felt the Nuge number was down, and during our conversation on TSN 1260 Cullen said he understood the idea, but that RNH’s second, injury-plagued season was part of the resume and had to be considered. And he’s right.
LOWETIDE RE PROJECTION
Some of you may know I do a reasonable expectations series during the summer, which isn’t exactly a fantasy projection but does cover the same ground as Cullen’s Fantasy projections.
It’s pretty close. I’m more bullish on Hall and Nuge, Cullen likes Purcell to impact the offense more than I do at this point. Again, we’re not strictly speaking mining the same area, but it’s interesting to see how close we are using different systems.
YOUR FANTASY TEAM
I won’t join any fantasy teams this winter, because I’ve already forgotten the ON password for this year’s league and half my roster will get hurt and I’m not sure how to replace them. You may say “he’s trying to ‘old man’ the league into a false sense of security”, but I will tell you that I attempted to draft Frank Mahovlich during the Oilers Nation Fantasy Draft.
There’s hope for you, though. Consider Cullen. It’s the best list I’ve ever seen because he takes “fantasy” out of the equation.