Last week I took a look at a high end value player: PK Subban. I illustrated how he is a multi-cat stud with first round value, who could likely be drafted after the 5th round. This week I am taking a look a little further down the draft board, where you aren’t going to find a multi-cat stud. You can find value in any round though, so this week I present to you: Steve Ott.
In many respects, Ott can be considered a one or two trick pony. He is an absolute beast when it comes to PIMs, and for leagues that count hits there are few better than Ott. If your league happens to count FOW then you really have some value, as Ott is a solid contributor to that category from the LW slot.
Other than the Hits, PIMs and FOW the rest of Ott’s stats look less than stellar. The key with Ott is that, for a guy with an average draft position of 168, his other categories actually aren’t terrible. GMs are always quick to point out that PIMs are easily found on the waiver wire or later down the draft board and I do agree with this. The thing that is harder to find though, is somebody like Ott who gets elite level PIMs, but also contributes to other categories. Personally, I don’t like to waste roster spots on the Konopkas of the world who are only contributing to one category. Call me greedy (or sensible?), but I want my PIM guy to help me in my league’s other categories as well!
Now consider this: Ott’s 28 assists in 2011-12, were 1 less than Rick Nash. His 8 PPPs were tied with Adam Henrique. That’s not bad company for a guy who is being drafted in the 16th round of Yahoo! Pools. On top of that, Ott is a + player with dual position eligibility. Add all of that together, and you have yourself a valuable late round commodity. How valuable you ask?
Running the 2011-12 stats through Fantasy Hockey Geek, Ott was ranked as the 91st most valuable player in the league. He was ranked 2 spots ahead of Evander Kane who is being drafted this year an average of 89 spots earlier than Ott!
(12 team league, G, A, +-, PIM, SOG, PPP, W, GAA, SV%, SO)
The extreme high value of Ott’s PIMs, combined with the fact that he doesn’t completely suck in other categories, makes him far more valuable than his average draft position. I do understand that he is still just a 39 point guy but that’s why his value is down in the 90s, rather than up in the first few rounds.
Ott’s value doesn’t stop there though. Not everybody plays in a Yahoo! Standard league. More and more often you see categories like Hits being incorporated into fantasy league. Last year, I owned Ott in a league that had the Yahoo! Standard categories, as well as hits. I drafted him sometime around the 10th round, but look at his incredible value in a league with those settings!
(12 team league, G, A, +-, PIM, SOG, PPP, HITs, W, GAA, SV%, SO)
FHG calculates Ott as the 20th most valuable guy in the league! Don’t get me wrong: I am not telling you to draft Ott in the second round. What I am trying to do is show you some value: his 20th overall ranking is not my opinion, it is the math. You don’t need to pick him in the second round, but you definitely should pick him later and know that you are getting an absolute steal.
(For the record, I went wire to wire in that pool last year, holding first for the entire year and also won in the playoffs. Ott was a huge contributor to my success)
Ott is a top end elite guy in 2 of the 7 measured categories in the above league and he also contributes to all of the other offensive stats as well. The biggest reason Ott falls so far in the draft is that the categories he dominates are called “PIMs and Hits”, not “Goals and Assists”. In a league with these categories Ott is actually quite similar to a guy like Joe Thornton. Before you choke on your coffee, let’s take a quick look at the numbers.
Joe is elite at 2 categories (Assists and PPPs), and he really only contributes moderately to the other 5 categories. Elite at 2 categories and “just OK” in 5 other categories? Sound like anybody I know?
Despite their similar value, Joe is being drafted 100 spots ahead of Ott, mostly because his name is Joe Thornton and we all focus so much on points. FHG helps us to remove these biases from our minds and focus on players’ true value, rather than their name value. Again: the fact that Ott’s true value in this league is 20th overall doesn’t mean you should take him 20th overall. But it gives you a good indication as to the impact Ott can have on your team if you are in need of Hits and PIMs.
The one x-factor with Ott going into this year is the fact that he was traded to Buffalo. This is where you need to use your skills as a GM to help determine Ott’s value. FHG showed us that Ott was the 20th most valuable player in the above league in 2011-12, but what will he be this year? Let’s take a look at the “What-If” analysis tool that is provided on the FHG website as part of the Season Toolkit.
Personally, I think that Ott is going to lose some top 6 minutes in Buffalo. I doubt he gets much time on the power play and Lindy Ruff coaches a tight game. I think his Goals, Assists, PPPs and SOG may all actually go down slightly. Furthermore, Dallas is one of those inflated-hits buildings, where the score keepers seem to be overly generous with crediting hits. (Ott had 172 hits in 37 home games last year compared to 106 hits in 37 away games, so I am calling his Hits down this year as well). Plugging my projections into the tool, gives us the following results:
You can see that my 2012-2013 Ott projections decrease his FHG value to 52, which is where the 55th highest ranked guy was last year. This tool is an extremely valuable feature to help you add your own intelligence into players’ projections and see what impact it has on their value. With an average draft position of 168, Ott still represents great value even with my reduced projections. If you think that the move will to Buffalo will actually be good for Ott’s numbers, try plugging them into the “What If?” tool and see how it affects his value!
Armed with the information I have provided, you can go to your draft table and “reach” for Ott in the 10th round or later and you will be laughing all the way to a championship. To find more gold-mines like Steve Ott, be sure to pick-up the Draft Kit at Fantasy Hockey Geek and get values that are customized to YOUR league.
Be sure to check back next week when I present another Geek of the Week! Next week I am going to put a different spin on things and break-down a top notch RW who is being drafted WAY too high on a daily basis, based on his actual value. Any guesses?