Relative Value of Points

Points are more valuable for a fantasy team when they’re not shared by other players owned in your league, since those are the kinds of points that can cause actual movement in the standings. In looking at this area, it’s a good opportunity to examine the Frozen Pool data for each player in 2012-13 and to focus on the trends for this season thus far.


2012-13

 

52.48%

EV

12 BAILEY,JOSH - 51 NIELSEN,FRANS - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE

16.06%

EV

26 MOULSON,MATT - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE - 91 TAVARES,JOHN

6.55%

EV

40 GRABNER,MICHAEL - 51 NIELSEN,FRANS - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE

6.39%

EV

40 GRABNER,MICHAEL - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE - 16 REASONER,MARTY

38.81%

PP

12 BAILEY,JOSH - 51 NIELSEN,FRANS - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE

22.39%

PP

10 AUCOIN,KEITH - 40 GRABNER,MICHAEL - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE

 


64.7%

EV

16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN - 26 WHEELER,BLAKE

9.4%

EV

80 ANTROPOV,NIKOLAI - 16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN

48.86%

PP

16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN - 26 WHEELER,BLAKE

12.27%

PP

12 JOKINEN,OLLI - 16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN - 26 WHEELER,BLAKE

9.77%

PP

80 ANTROPOV,NIKOLAI - 16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN

 

2013-14 (games through November 4nd)

 

45.65%

EV

26 MOULSON,MATT - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE - 91 TAVARES,JOHN

20.55%

EV

21 OKPOSO,KYLE - 91 TAVARES,JOHN - 26 VANEK,THOMAS

12.75%

EV

40 GRABNER,MICHAEL - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE - 91 TAVARES,JOHN

59.88%

PP

26 MOULSON,MATT - 51 NIELSEN,FRANS - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE - 91 TAVARES,JOHN

23.95%

PP

51 NIELSEN,FRANS - 21 OKPOSO,KYLE - 91 TAVARES,JOHN - 26 VANEK,THOMAS

 


29.56%

EV

16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN - 40 SETOGUCHI,DEVIN

23.76%

EV

9 KANE,EVANDER - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN - 26 WHEELER,BLAKE

23.01%

EV

16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN - 26 WHEELER,BLAKE

74.48%

PP

16 LADD,ANDREW - 18 LITTLE,BRYAN - 26 WHEELER,BLAKE

 

I’m sure no one reading this is surprised to see that Okposo’s blazing hot start to 2013-14 has coincided with finally seeing regular PP and EV shifts with John Tavares. Sure, the Islanders have toyed with pairing Okposo with Tavares in the past, but only in spurts and almost never on the PP. With Okposo having produced while lined up next to Tavares for the first chunk of this season, it stands to reason that he’ll be able to keep that spot until and unless the line begins to seriously falter.

As for Little, on the power play he remains where he’s been for the past few seasons – alongside Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler. But while he’s still cumulatively spending 50% or more of his even strength shifts with Ladd and Wheeler, it’s no longer always on the same line, as Evander Kane and Devon Setoguchi have factored into the mix. This is an interesting development which might partially explain why Little’s scoring is in uncharted territory so far in 2013-14.

The only real downside with Okposo being paired with Tavares and either Matt Moulson (before the recent Sabres/Islanders trade) or Thomas Vanek (after the trade) is those guys are owned in nearly all fantasy hockey leagues (as of November 4th, Moulson is 96% owned in Yahoo leagues, Vanek 99%), making Okposo’s points less valuable. But with Okposo sitting in the top ten in scoring, that’s an issue his owners are more than happy to deal with. Plus, with Wheeler and Ladd being owned in 75% and 86% of Yahoo leagues respectively (Kane is owned in 96%, but Setoguchi only 8%), his points are being shared in most leagues as well.

 

So Who Wins?

First things first – it’s highly unlikely that Okposo will be able to continue producing at his current pace, let alone finish the year as a point per game player. But 70+ points is not out of the question given the gains he’s made in Ice Time and his upgrade in linemates.

The picture is cloudier with Little. On the one hand, he’s still getting essentially the same Ice Time, which would suggest that his hot start is just temporary. But he’s also seeing shifts with forwards other than Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler, which might be giving him a spark that could stretch longer into the season and help him up his production.

We can gain some additional insight on both players by looking at another area – shooting percentage. Eight of Little’s 13 points so far this season are goals, and he’s firing at an entirely unsustainable 25.0%. Even if he both matches his career high of 18.0% when he scored 31 goals and 51 points in 2008-09 and continues playing with linemates other than Ladd and Wheeler, the shooting percentage and Ice Time data tilts the scales toward his stats coming back to earth. Don’t get me wrong – he still might end up besting his career high of 51 points, but don’t look for more than 55-60.

And while Okposo also has a higher than normal shooting percentage of 12.1% as of right now, that’s less inflated compared to his career numbers than Little’s. Plus, only six of Okposo’s 13 assists (13 is tied for third in the entire NHL) thus far have been secondary assists, making it less likely that his helper total is a total fluke.

Little owners probably should kick the tires on trading him in hopes of landing a player who’s a more likely bet to finish above 60 points, which Little has yet to do and probably won’t achieve this season. As for Okposo, as hard as it might be to deal him now while he’s red hot and as concerned as you might be about him turning into a star after you trade him, it’s probably a good idea to look into moving him. After all, if you can get a surefire 70+ point player in return for Okposo, can you really say no? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

 

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