One of the great features on Yahoo’s fantasy sports is the ability to avoid certain players like the plague. If you’re in a manual draft, that means you just don’t select them; if you’re in an auto draft, that means you move them over to the Column of Shame and let the computer know it’s not allowed to add them to your roster.
This has been an annual rite for my fantasy football team, the French Kissing Namaths, for quite some time. I’m not going to spend four months cheering for Tom Brady, because I’m a Jets fan and not a masochist, so I don’t draft him. Ever. This year, that ban extended to Ray Rice, because [expletive] Ray Rice.
When it comes to hockey, there’s no doubt some of that thinking creeps into my drafting, in different ways. I actually don’t mind owning a Flyer or a Ranger as a Devils fan, especially if they’re fantasy beasts: Wayne Simmonds leaps to mind. I actually try not to own many Devils, because who needs frustration on top of frustration when Ryane Clowe doesn’t score for three weeks?
But in thinking about fantasy hockey, I started wondering if there are players I steadfastly avoid drafting annually. I came up with two names:
Rick Nash, New York Rangers. I’ve owned Nash a few times over the years, and recalled scapegoating him when my offense would sputter. Too few power-play points, stretches in which he’d struggle with goals and too few other intangibles (i.e. penalty minutes, because yes, really great fantasy leagues should have them) to make up for it. Factor in that his health is now a consideration, and I’m leaving him in the Column Of Shame.
Mike Green, Washington Capitals. Health has been the primary concern for Green over the last few seasons, but even his offensive resurgence last season came with a minus-16 saddling him. Again, just a bastion of frustration with significant fragility. Even though that's a sweet Vespa he has.
So the question to you, dear readers, as the fantasy drafts are starting to roll: Who are the players you steadfastly avoid putting on your rosters every season, and why are they on your banned list? Answer in the comments...