The 10 most disappointing players in fantasy hockey this season
According to fantasy hockey owners in October, every player is going to have a career season. By the time April rolls around, they’re all (or mostly) bums who constantly let you down.
This year was no different. For various reasons, all the guys on the below list were expected to have great years, only to turn in disappointing seasons.
To make this easier, I decided to exclude players who may have been injured, but played well when they were healthy (so you won't find Tavares, Stamkos, Malkin, etc. on this list). However, if a guy was injured but also played poorly when he was healthy, then he's eligible for the list.
10. Tobias Enstrom: It looks like for the first time in five years, Enstrom will play in at least 80 games in a season. Unfortunately, it also looks like this will be Enstrom’s worst season ever for scoring points (excluding the lockout shortened season). And there is no real explanation for his terrible offensive stats this year. The projected 50-point defenceman is still getting lots of ice time, playing with top-quality linemates, and taking plenty of shots (for him, anyway). Given Enstrom hardly ever hits and also has a mediocre plus-minus, his point production this year has certainly let down many poolies.
9. David Clarkson: A lot of people, mostly Leafs fans, were expecting a lot from their newest signing: 30 goals and a fighter who hits anything that moves. What they got instead is a player who has missed more games due to suspension than he has points. Even the most cynical fantasy GM never thought it would be this bad. Clarkson has just four goals and 10 points in 54 games this year. The only reason he's not higher on this list is because a lot of people correctly pointed out that Clarkson has only been higher than 25 points twice in his career.
8. Braden Holtby: The Washington Capitals netminder spent just one year as they team’s first-string goalie before this season. His record is a respectable 20-15-3, but his save percentage is .911 and he has a goals against average of 2.98 that is just a little too high. Holtby lost the starting job earlier this year to Philipp Grubauer, and then again when Washington traded for Jaroslav Halak at the trade deadline. In one season, Holtby has gone from a clear number one to a back-up.
7. Nail Yakupov: After a strong finish to the 2012-13 season, many thought Yakupov was well on his way to becoming the next superstar. But things haven’t turned out quite the way many expected. Yakupov has taken a step back in pretty much every measurable fantasy category. Despite playing 15 more games, Yakupov has less goals, less assists, and less powerplay goals. Of course, his horrendous minus-33 is one of the worst in the league. This season has been nothing short of a disaster for the former first overall pick.
6. Mike Ribeiro: You never draft Ribeiro for his peripherals. All you want from him is points. And things haven't been too bad the last couple of seasons. He was a point-per-game player last year in Washington with 49 points in 48 games. The year before that he had 63 points in 74 games, and 71 in 82 in 2010-11. This year has seen Ribeiro’s production drop substantially to 45 points in 72 games (he has less points so far this year than he did in the shortened season last year). He's been so bad, he's been a healthy scratch recently. He may be near the top of Phoenix's scoring, but those numbers are still disappointing.
5. Daniel Sedin: Things looked good for Sedin early in the season. He had 17 points in his first 17 games, but followed that up with six pointless games and then 11 points in seven games. Since then, things have been grim with just 14 points in his next 36 games. Sedin’s points-per-game has gone down every year for the last four years, but no one could have expected a season where he scored just 14 goals and 42 points in 67 games.
4. Jimmy Howard: Sure, he’s been injured at various parts of the season, but when he’s played, he hasn’t been very good. He’s got a losing record (17-18-11) and a save percentage of just .909, his lowest in four years. His goals against average is 2.71, also his worst in four years. To put it in perspective, those numbers rival goalies such as Carter Hutton and Curtis McElhinney. After posting a 2.13 goals against average in each of the previous two seasons, this year has definitely been a setback for a goalie chosen early in many drafts.
3. Bobby Ryan: This was supposed to be his year. After many seasons of playing on the second line behind Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, Ryan would be free of the shadow in Anaheim and was finally going to be a dominant player. He was going to be the Dany Heatley to Jason Spezza. Instead, the two didn't click, and Ryan played most of the season with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur. While he has been playing injured since November, that doesn't help fantasy owners who kept putting him in their lineup. Instead, he would have been better on the IR as Ryan didn't even break 50 points.
2. Craig Anderson: To be fair, no one could have expected Anderson to duplicate last year’s season of a .941 save percentage and a 1.69 GAA. But this year he has taken it to the other extreme. His .909 save percentage is his lowest since 2005-06 when Anderson played for Chicago (when the Blackhawks were horrific and Kyle Calder and Mark Bell were their best players), and his 3.09 goals against average is his highest since then as well. No one envisioned a year where Anderson’s goals against almost doubled, especially when Anderson was the sixth highest goalie chosen in Yahoo drafts this year, ahead of Sergei Bobrovsky, Carey Price and Corey Crawford.
1. Rick Nash: Maybe it all goes back to the concussion he suffered early in the season, but this was supposed to be the big season for Rick Nash. After getting 42 points in 44 games in the lockout shortened season, a lot of fantasy owners were optimistic Nash could get 80 points in a season for the first time since his playing days with the Greater Toronto Hockey League when he 15 years old. Instead, Nash has just 37 points in 59 games this year. A second-round pick in a lot of leagues last year, poolies must be wondering if the soon-to-be 30-year-old will ever have an 80-point season.
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