- Written by Eric Daoust
New contracts alter fantasy values for some
Even with August being a slow month for hockey-related news, there are still developments that have significant on fantasy hockey leagues. For example, every new contract signed can greatly alter that player’s value in cap leagues. Sometimes the new pact can have implications far greater than the individual earning the money.
This week we will look at three Senators that have had their fantasy values altered recently as well as to fringe players that are running out of time if they want to keep their foot in the NHL door long-term.
It appears that the Sens’ goaltending duo will be staying together for the foreseeable future. Anderson, heading into the final year of his current deal, signed a three-year extension with a cap hit of $4.2 million. To some it may seem like a high cost, but looking at Cap Geek’s list of top goalie cap hits we can see that Anderson would fall in the 18th spot among goaltenders. Considering his up-and-down fantasy numbers over the years, his ranking on the pay scale is reasonable.
At times Anderson has looked unbeatable. At other times he has disappointed fantasy owners. But this new contract is simply the cost of doing business. From a fantasy perspective, the contract length is less of a concern. Most leagues offer more trade opportunities than you will see in real life which will give you a chance to get out of trouble if Anderson shows signs of decline.
For Lehner, this news is devastating to fantasy owners. Even though he has limited NHL experience, he has shown signs of making the leap to starting goalie status in the near future. Now those who have invested into the 23-year-old will have to wait for a while longer before getting full return on their investment.
In the backup role, Lehner loses a lot of value in cap leagues. At worst, he becomes a goalie that costs too much ($2.225 million) to sit on your bench. At best, he will be a platoon guy still frustrating owners with stretches of inactivity.
Clarke MacArthur (Ottawa)
Like Anderson, MacArthur’s new deal has raised some eyebrows. The reality is that he is coming off a solid campaign and salaries are constantly rising. When it is all said and done it may be seen as a slight overpayment with his inconsistent offensive numbers but is unlikely to be a disaster for the Sens.
In the fantasy world player evaluation is a lot different. Production is everything and in cap leagues you have to look at the alternatives. MacArthur will push the 60-point mark some years and fall into the 40s other years. If you do your homework you will be able to find underpaid options that can provide similar production. While your cheaper player may not have the same upside to push the 60-point mark, the financial savings can go a long way towards improving the rest of your roster.
Brandon Manning (Philadelphia)
Once in a while on the forum we see threads surface asking for help finding the next Radko Gudas. What they are looking for are up-and-coming defensemen that can excel in multi-category leagues by offering a ton of hits and PIM while also helping in the other areas. Gudas definitely delivers the goods and does so at a cheap price.
One candidate to be the “next Radko Gudas” is Manning. Down in the AHL he has developed into a nasty defender that contributes at the offensive end. Case in points, last year he posted 31 points and 231 PIM in 73 games for Adirondack.
The risk with this player is that he turned 24 this summer and so far has only gotten into 10 NHL games. Time is running out. If he does not make the jump soon he may not get any more opportunities. But if he does make it, he will be fantasy relevant and for the time being will not cost much to put on your roster. Consider him a boom/bust prospect in a good position to make some noise on a Flyers’ blueline still scrambling after the loss of Kimmo Timonen.
Devin Setoguchi (Calgary)
The former eighth overall pick has fallen mightily from his spot on Joe Thornton’s wing and now faces an uncertain future in the NHL. Now in Calgary on a cheap contract, expectations have changed. In cap leagues, he still has value mainly in multi-category leagues that include hits and SOG even if he plays a depth role this year. The cap-friendly deal makes him a less risky investment even if he falters again.
While his new cap hit is appealing in cap leagues, it may work against him politically. He is not a prized free agent signing and therefore will not be forced up the depth chart. Even if he does start the year in a favorable position, the coach may not have patience with him when the inevitable slumps happen. Furthermore, the Flames are a rebuilding club and will certainly make room for their youngsters if they prove to be ready, even if it means pushing a guy like Setoguchi out of the lineup.
Overall, he remains a decent depth investment in the right multi-category league. However, even if he posts decent all-around numbers, his future may not be in the NHL. If you own him in a keeper league, you may want to think ahead and look for a replacement either to step in now or next summer when Setoguchi’s new contract expires.
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