DanielSedinHenrik 

Campkin takes a stab at how Team Sweden could look at the Olympics if based on fantasy performance...

 

With Olympic team selection just weeks away, speculation is running rampant on who will make which team and what their roles will be for their respective countries. As a hockey fan, the Olympic years are always a little bit more interesting and the tournament itself provides plenty of entertainment, but as somebody who is heavily invested in fantasy hockey, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how some of the contending countries would shape up if the Olympic teams were selected based solely on players’ values in fantasy hockey. So today, I give you the first installment on the Fantasy Hockey Geek Olympic selections and I will start with Team Sweden.

Disclaimer: The full criteria for my team selections is outlined in each line section, but I just wanted to be perfectly clear that the selections in this series will be based on players value in FANTASY hockey over the past two seasons in the NHL only. FHG doesn’t measure intangibles such as leadership or chemistry, it simply applies the math to players’ actual output and calculates their value in fantasy hockey. I am also aware that there are great players out there who aren’t in the NHL, but I will not be including them as their output isn’t currently being used in most fantasy hockey leagues. Since this is a fantasy hockey exercise, I will be going by positions according to Yahoo! so if someone like Jonathan Toews is going to make my team he is going to have to do it as a C.

 

So let’s get to it:

 

Team Sweden Overview

Picking Team Fantasy Sweden was actually fairly easy and there aren’t many controversial picks because the top 18 guys are pretty obvious, so it was more just a question of what line to slot them on. When we get into some of the other countries (Canada), the selections will be much tougher and you will probably be shocked by some of the picks.

In Fantasy Olympics, Sweden is a strong team but probably not as strong as the real world team is. The strength of Sweden definitely lies in their defense, where they roster some of the more elite fantasy options available. In comparison to other countries however, Sweden’s forward lines lack depth and they have too many guys that do the same type of thing: pass and contribute on the power-play. Let’s take a further look inside Fantasy Team Sweden:

 

Line 1 & 2:

To determine who would be on my first line for Team Sweden, I created a league in FHG that valued only offensive output. I chose (G, A, PPP and SOG). I want my top two lines to be the best scorers and I want to have a lethal power-play so I picked these categories that best reflect that need. I ran these categories though Fantasy Hockey Geek to see who was providing the most value. Here’s how my top two lines shape up:

*All data shown is using 2013-14 data as of Dec 19th

Line 1


Player

Pos

G

A

SOG

PPP

FHG Rank

Last Year Rank

Henrik Zetterberg

LW

10

20

98

11

33

4

Nicklas Backstrom

C

8

29

78

20

12

28

Johan Franzen

RW

9

14

78

9

92

92


Line 2


Player

Pos

G

A

SOG

PPP

FHG Rank

Last Year Rank

Daniel Sedin

LW

11

21

118

13

17

52

Henrik Sedin

C

9

23

65

12

54

64

Patric Hornqvist

RW

7

10

98

6

179

532

 

Looking at the FHG output, you can see that Sweden boasts two elite performers on the top line in Zetteberg and Backstrom, but their options at RW are very limited. Johan Franzen is a decent player, but as an Olympic contender you would want your top line to consist of players that are more valuable than 92nd overall as Franzen is.  Sweden does not have very good fantasy RW eligible players at all.

On the second line, the Sedins are paired up in what would be a dynamite real world L2, but in terms of fantasy this line is only average. As the 17th most valuable player in the league, Daniel is pulling his weight but brother Henrik isn’t such a great fantasy own – coming in as the 54th most valuable. How can two guys (twins no less) have the exact same point total but have values that are so drastically different?  One factor is that of Daniel’s points, more tend to be goals while henrik gets more assists and goals are far more scarce. The other main cause of the disparity is SOG. Henrik simply doesn’t shoot; actually Henrik doesn’t do much of anything for your fantasy hockey team other than rack up assists. For these reasons, Henrik Sedin actually isn’t all that good of a 2nd line fantasy center – falling well short of the quality C2s we will see with the other countries.

In my RW2 slot I have placed Patric Hornqvist, a selection that leaves a lot to be desired. Hornqvist is only the 179th most valuable player when using these settings because the settings are largely points driven and Hornqvist doesn’t have a ton of points. Alfredsson or Eriksson actually could have made the cut here, but those 2 players have far more to offer in L3 and L4 whereas Hornqvist would be outright terrible in one of those roles.  Put simply: Hornqvist is good enough to make the team and I had to put him in where he fits best and although he is a substandard RW2, it is the slot that best suits his talents.

D1

I used the same settings for my first defense pairing as I did for scoring lines one and two and the picks were obvious

 
 

 

Player

Pos

G

A

SOG

PPP

FHG Rank

Last Year Rank

Erik Karlsson

D

9

24

126

19

2

147

Niklas Kronwall

D

4

21

57

11

22

33

Erik Karlsson is the second most valuable player in the entire league when it comes to these settings. He shoots a ton, he racks up points, he does it on the power play and he contributes all of this from the elusive D position. There is no question that he is the #1 fantasy D in this league or almost any other fantasy league going.

Niklas Kronwall earned his name early in his career for his ability to lay big hits, but he is quickly becoming one of the more productive defensemen in the league. While his shot total is a little bit modest, his point total is very good and he contributes regularly on the PP.

 

Line 3.

For my third line, I want players who can go against the other teams’ top lines, kill penalties, win faceoffs and block shots. Of course we want scoring for all lines so goals and assists matter but for L3 I am looking more at even strength points as most of the PP time will be going to L1 and L2. In order to find the optimal players for such a line, I entered the following categories into my league in FHG (Goals, Assists, Short Handed Points, Even Strength Points, Blocked Shots, Takeaways, Faceoffs won). Here are the players I selected from the FHG output

  

 

Player

Pos

G

A

SHP

ESP

BKS

TKA

FOW

FHG Rank

Last Year Rank

Gabriel Landeskog

LW

9

14

0

19

22

20

7

61

128

Alex Steen

C

24

14

1

28

18

28

119

2

236

Loui Eriksson

RW

5

9

0

12

6

10

0

452

115


Gabriel  Landeskog is ranked 61st using the above criteria which is pretty good value for a third line winger. 19 of his 23 points have come at even strength, so we know he can contribute without getting top PP time and his blocked shot and takeaway totals are strong for a forward. Using the L1 settings, Landeskog would have been ranked 113th, but his game is more custom built for the multi-cat set up I have in L3. He is a great example of why it is so important to understand the settings in your league and the effect that your league settings have on players’ values. FHG clearly shows that his value can change by over 50 slots simply by changing a few categories. That’s a HUGE difference.

Alexander Steen has been a man on fire this season and while he has the point total to justify a higher line designation, I would argue that he is better utilized in this L3 role.  His impressive goal total has come largely at even strength (28 out of 38 points at ES) and he has even managed to chip in with a shorty already this year. With Steen also, his value would decrease using the L1 settings (he would be 16th) where as Backstrom or Sedin’s values would decrease dramatically if I ran their numbers using my L3 criteria (both would be in the 80s!).

Loui Eriksson has missed a lot of time this season, so I looked at his prior year value when evaluating his worth. As the 115th most valuable player using L3 criteria, Loui can provide output that is decent at best for a 3rd liner. The reality with Loui is he simply isn’t a very good fantasy player despite his ability to put up points. In leagues that count anything not point related, FHG will show that Eriksson’s value dips. Even in the point-heavy L1 scenario I ran above, Loui would have been the 129th most valuable last season. His point total is not elite enough to overcome his lack of contributions in other areas. I have never owned Eriksson in any league.


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