Donít Be Blinded By The Shortened Season
The shortened regular season came and went and everybody survived. Some people, such as myself even managed to sneak a fantasy regular season win out of it. The same number of people, even more perhaps, tuned in and the game of hockey (post-lock-out for the second time in a decade) remains largely unchanged.
If one thinks about it though, there is one major change yet to come. That is how many teams will make organizational errors, potentially lasting years and years, based on data collected over a inadequate sample size. There are players who struggled due to injury or other circumstances. It is almost impossible to compare the "preseason" of a young player in the minors versus a veteran in Europe versus a veteran who stayed in North America and didn't play. In a standard regular season everyone hits game 1 of 82 in the same place barring injury. Training camp, preseason etc. This year didn't provide that for fantasy owners to use as a bench mark.
With this in mind, think of the decisions that experienced NHL executives are going to allow themselves to make. Errors that will change the course of their franchise and cost people jobs or earn people long-term contracts. Now imagine what the average fantasy user is going to do with this skewed data. I believe that savvy fantasy owners will be able to leverage this to win their league next year. Fantasy owners in keeper or dynasty leagues could make decisions that they will have or get to live with for years to come. There is a never ending supply of players that we can discuss in the comments, but to get things going I have collected a few potential buy-low candidates or sell high guys as well as some players so solid nothing mattered. As with any stats use them to fuel your argument either way and always follow your gut. This is just to make sure you are properly educated before making moves. Making sure your gut is being fed, healthy food per se. If that is the case, here is the menu.
This is the first in a series of articles looking at these players.
Part 1: Donít Bank On It (June 1)
Part 2: Get Ďem While They Are Cold (June 5)
Part 3: Steady As She Goes (June 8)
Part 4: Defensemen (June 10)
Part 5: Goalies (June 14)
Donít Bank On It
This blog will focus on the players who statically over-performed and based on their history and situation are likely going to regress in a standard season. I would start moving these guys to more desperate owners if you can get as much value as I think you can.
1.02 PPG Last year
0.78 PPG Career
Riberio was the main reason the Washington Capitals had any chance of making the playoffs last season. He was a constant force and game changer. We have seen it from him before and he is a sound pick. However, he wonít be back in Washington without some major organizational changes. It depends where he lands and even a spot on a top line with talent will be no guarantee of point-per-game production.
Martin St Louis
1.25 PPG Last year
0.93 PPG Career
You can never go wrong drafting Marty St. Louis. He is fun to watch and very productive. However, he will eventually start declining. Age, size and role will eventually change and his production will drop. It wonít be next year and may not even be the year after that. However, it is safe to say he will never have a 1.25 PPG clip again. Sell wisely and buy at your own risk.
0.70 PPG Last year
0.29 PPG Career
It took Troy Brouwer 82 games to get 33 points in 2011-12. The big winger got to 33 points in only 47 games this year. He was enjoyed success playing with Ribeiro and Backstrom for a good part of the year. More than likely it will be a while before he has a pivot that talented to skate with. Brouwer should continue to be a valuable asset in most hockey pools. He throws hits, blocks shots, score goals and net points. However, he will always be playing behind Ovechkin. Also, I have to question his ability to score at that pace on the power play. He scored his career high seven goals with the man advantage. That would have been 13 goals over a full season which would be good enough to crack the top 10 every year since 2009. Another player I would approach with optimism, but not expectation.
0.96 PPG Last Year
0.57 PPG Career
Ladd is entering his prime. He has stayed healthy in his career and he has posted some good numbers. He is tough to project as he has rarely played in an optimal role in his career. However, before you make a trade or use a draft pick on him you have to ask yourself if there is a more productive player available. He shouldnít be coming off the board ahead of proven point a game guys.