This Sunday's Geek of the Week: David Perron and his spiking shots on goal rate...
The Edmonton Oilers offer a number of players who are intriguing fantasy options in both the long and short term. Their plethora of first round picks with high-end talent may not have translated into the standings just yet but they have a number of players who are sought after in fantasy hockey leagues everywhere. If I asked you to name the top three Oiler fantasy players though, who would pop in your head first? I am guessing you would start with Hall, Eberle and Nuge; maybe a few people would throw Yakupov in there or Schultz. In my mind, Taylor Hall is the undisputed #1 fantasy asset in Edmonton but the guy who I have pegged as #2 is probably different than who many of you have as the Oilers fantasy runner-up. After Hall, the Oiler I want on my fantasy hockey team is the Geek of the Week: David Perron.
David Perron wasn’t drafted by the Oilers, but people often forget that he too is a former 1st round pick (26th overall) and he has a little more seasoning than the Oilers’ homegrown firsts. Perron has had some success in the past but on a very deep, equal-rights Blues team, his opportunities were somewhat limited. This year in Edmonton he has seen a more prominent role in the top 6 and he has rewarded Oilers’ management by putting up 24 points in 26 games, landing him in a tie for second in team scoring. Perron has only the sixth highest Yahoo! ownership amongst Oiler’s skaters, but a look inside the Fantasy Hockey Geek numbers shows us that many fantasy GMs are chasing the wrong Oiler.
|Yahoo! Owned||Player||G||A||+/-||PIM||SOG||PPP||FHG Rank|
You can see from the above that amongst Oiler’s skaters, Perron is the one who has provided fantasy owners with the most value so far this season and it isn’t really even close. It should be noted that the number of games Taylor Hall has missed definitely impacts his overall value and as I alluded to above, I would consider him the #1 fantasy player in Edmonton. Eberle, Hopkins and Yakupov though have all played more games than Perron and Perron’s contributions still outpace the three highly-touted Oilers youngsters.
The disparity in value between these key Oilers really shows how the FHG math can help you make some tough decisions in fantasy hockey. Let’s set Yakupov aside for a second because his season has been an unmitigated disaster to this point and I don’t think it would surprise anybody to learn that his value is currently low. Amongst the other five guys you have a 24pt LW, a 25pt RW, a 22pt C, an 11pt D and a 24pt LW. All things being equal, you would probably assume that all of these players should have close to the same value right? All of the forwards are within three points of each other and the defenseman is playing at a decent 41 point pace. Looking at the FHG rank though, you can see that Perron is more than 100 places higher than the next most valuable Oiler! How can this be? Let’s compare him to each Oiler to understand further:
Hall has only played 23 games and he has 24 points so I want to reiterate that I do not believe that Perron will be the more valuable add over the rest of the season but it may actually be closer than you would assume. Perron shoots at a similar clip to Hall (higher actually) and his PIMs are far superior. Perron has been contributing on the power play about as well as Hall thus far although I am not confident that will continue. On a per game basis though, Hall’s point production is better and I expect that gap to widen as the season progresses based on Hall’s skill, upside and utilization on the team. I would still take Hall over Perron in pretty much any league format, but the fact that I am even comparing Perron to Hall speaks volumes.
This isn’t my first time picking on Eberle; he was the target of my first ever negative Geek of the Week, where I referenced his lack of peripheral numbers as the main leakage on his value. As I outlined in that article, Eberle simply doesn’t get enough points to overcome what he lacks in shots, PIMs and +/-. His shot totals have been improving, but still aren’t great, especially in comparison to Perron. Eberle gets virtually no PIMs, and for all of those pitfalls, he only has one more point than Perron. For the rest of this season I would predict Perron to have a better output in all categories other than assists (and PPP will be close). I would personally prefer to own Perron in almost any league format outside of a points-only league for this season and even if the league was a keeper, I would seriously consider Perron as the more valuable own depending on your league settings.
Hopkins has similar issues to Eberle in that his shot totals are low (more so than Eberle), his goal differential is brutal and he hardly accumulates any PIMs. RNH is primarily an assist and power play point guy, but he has also started to increase his hit output which you will want to take note of if your league counts this category. 22 points from a C who doesn’t do much else (fantasy wise) is simply not that valuable at all. As is the case with Eberle, I would take Perron over RNH in pretty much any one year league that isn’t points-only. In a keeper though, I think I would lean toward RNH because he is so young and I believe the upside is there for him to provide Nicklas Backstrom type value whereas I am starting to think that Eberle pretty much is who he is.
One of the hardest things to do in fantasy hockey is compare value between positions. It’s hard enough to decide who is worth more when you have players who contribute well in different categories (a Donwie vs. Sedin comparison for example), but when you throw in the variable of a different position it becomes nearly impossible to do on your own, which is why I rely on FHG so much. There are some 11 point defensemen out there right now (Dion Phaneuf) who I would take over Perron in an instant, but Schultz just doesn’t happen to be one of them. I am going to sound like a broken record here but Schultz’s low shot and PIM totals combined with his merely average point production make him a below average fantasy own in a lot of league formats right now. Personally, I would sooner own Perron in almost all league formats including keepers. The hype is there with Schultz and so is the potential but the results simply aren’t at this point.
What can I say about Yakupov? I honestly have no idea what is going on with this guy (other than the fact that he is 20 years old), but his numbers are worse than Perron’s across the board this season no matter how you look at it. The comparison on Yak and Perron is easy in my opinon: in any one year league, Perron is easily the superior own but in a keeper I think you have to stick with the player who was picked first overall just two springs ago.
To this point, I have focused a lot on why some of the Oilers are worse than Perron as opposed to why Perron is better than them. Here’s the deal with Perron: he’s good at everything. With 12 goals and 12 assists, his point production is nicely distributed (if not skewed slightly to the goals side – which I like) and a good portion of his production has come on the power play. Perron’s shot total of 95 is also very good and equates to over 3.6 per game which is in Corey Perry territory: slightly above Hall and well ahead of any other Oiler. Perron has a decent PIM total that is contributing to his value this year although it is probably a little bit inflated currently – he will likely come in a little under 1 PIM per game. Finally on Perron, if you are in a league that has incorporated hits, he will help you there as well with about a hit per game. Perron is even in +/- which may not seem great but when you consider that Edmonton has given up 20 more goals than they have scored and that the leading Oiler is +1, this is a very impressive result for Perron. For the advanced stats guys out there, Perron is second on the team in Corsi and one of only two players with a positive Corsi % (meaning that he is driving puck possession) which leads me to believe that his ability to stay out of the minus hasn’t been a fluke.
You may not have realized it before today but David Perron is indeed a top Oiler fantasy own this season and I would personally have him on my team before any Oiler save Taylor Hall. 65-70 points, 270 shots, 20 PPP, 80 PIM and 80 hits is completely in play for this guy making him a great all around fantasy own – target him now!
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