Fantasy Hockey 2021-2022 Preview: St. Louis Blues

Are you ready? We’re back to the 82-game regular-season format, which means more joy and also more pain. It’s a roller coaster of emotions every season because there are always surprises, and the good ones can make us feel like geniuses while the bad ones feel like we have our stomachs collapsing in an empty pool. .

But we’re all hungry for punishment, so you might as well stay as informed as possible to explain later why the gods of fantasy hockey hate you. Yes, they specifically hate you.

Here is your fantastic outlook for the 32 teams. The annual pool guide is available now, and also check out Matt Larkin’s top 250 players for the upcoming season.

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2021-2022 Fantasy Outlook: St. Louis Blues

Last season: Was it just a prolonged hangover after the Cut exacerbated by COVID-19 or was there some complacency and rot that had set in? After their victory in 2019, the Blues were upset by the Canucks in the first round in 2020 and dominated 20-7 in a sweep by the Avalanche in 2021. There must have been bumps following a heavy roll on the road. blue line, which included the retirement of Jay Bouwmeester, the departure of captain Alex Pietrangelo and the addition of Torey Krug, and combined with inconsistent goalkeepers, the normally reliable and predictable Blues were suddenly all over the map.

They got off to a flying start in January with a 6-2-1 record, but over the next two months they won just two home games. Their offense had dried up and their normally strong defense looked particularly vulnerable, with no thanks to a very collective shorthandedness that placed 25th. David Perron’s bumper season was undone by a low season from Jaden Schwartz and limited appearances from Vladimir Tarasenko, and among their next wave of young players, only Jordan Kyrou has really taken a step forward. The good karma of “Gloria” was gone and the Blues’ indescribable season led to another offseason of significant changes.

Best Option: Ryan O’Reilly, C

O’Reilly has been a model of consistency and has averaged at a rate of 65 points over the past decade, ranking 33rd with 0.80 points per game (min. 500 GP). There might be better scoring options, but O’Reilly really shines in face-off leagues; Over the past five seasons, O’Reilly leads the league with 4,982 wins, one of five crosses with over 4,000 wins and over 600 wins ahead of second-placed Anze Kopitar and only trails Patrice Bergeron in percentage of wins (min. 250 GP). In rotary leagues where winning the goals category is just as valuable as winning the faceoff category, O’Reilly is like the McDavid of faceoffs, and there is generally more predictability and less variance in wins. in face-off than scoring, which can sometimes be a disadvantage. produces a better shot chance. That’s probably the only red flag for O’Reilly this fantastic season; His 18.6 S% last season is an elite mark and well above his career average, but a drop in goals scored could be offset by an increase in assists with potential new wingers Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad.

Hidden Gem: Torey Krug, D

It really feels like Krug is often the top 10 defenseman everyone seems to forget in the league. Since his rookie season, his 367 points are ninth best among defensemen and his 172 power play points are fourth, one behind Erik Karlsson and two behind John Carlson. He’s not a massive defender and there’s nothing particularly flashy about his game, but he’s about as consistent as he gets and good for around 50 points each season. His shooting percentage of 1.8 from last season is expected to improve, if only because he is expected to regress towards the average, and he is coming back to the quarterback of a power play that is failing. is ranked sixth in the league. Still, he’s the 19th defenseman off the table based on his average Yahoo draft position of 94.9, which means there are plenty of managers out there who have already found a fantastic value pick. Maybe Krug doesn’t have the same advantage as a player like Miro Heiskanen (ADP: 80.6), but based on the opportunities and past history, Krug is the much better choice.

Goalkeepers:

This is perhaps the biggest concern of the Blues. If Jordan Binnington can’t stop the pucks, it doesn’t matter how good they are defensively. His big six-year extension worth $ 36 million this season and we’ve seen a lot of goalies grab Cup wins early in their careers and never reach the same peak again. There is a strong bearish sentiment in the fanciful value of Binnington, similar to a drop seen at Carey Price, Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry, but it also appears to have gone too far. Binnington’s 85.8 ADP in Yahoo Leagues is lower than Price (61.8), who plays for a potentially worse team; Spencer Knight (85.0), whom Joel Quenneville has just announced will certainly be the replacement; and even Frederik Andersen (44.0), who is considering a timeshare in Carolina.

The Blues’ massive financial investment in him also means they’re stuck with him for at least a little while, and based on last season’s performances, it doesn’t look like Ville Husso is a threat to occupy either. the post. Binnington’s fantastic value will be primarily derived from playing time, making him a mid-level goalie with an advantage if the Blues collectively improve and become a Top-5 team in the Western Conference. There is certainly a risk and Binnington is prone to occasional bad starts, but if you can go through the ups and downs and be smart with the clashes, the overall results over the entire season should be positive.

Outlook:

It’s a committee offense again in St. Louis, which means that outside of O’Reilly in some leagues there is no elite option. The Pool Guide has eight other Blues players set to score over 40 points, but Thomas (41) and Kyrou (47) could easily earn more, depending on how many minutes they have to play. There is no shortage of depth scoring options and the Blues should feature prominently in all of the fantastic formats.

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