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Looking at players who score in bunches, versus players who don't

Welcome to Holding Court, a column where both sides of a fantasy hockey debate are argued just like in a courtroom, complete with a final verdict.  Then you, the DobberHockey readers, can comment on whether justice was properly served!  You can also leave ideas in the comments section for other debates to be settled right here in future editions of the column, or send me suggestions via a private message to my forum name – rizzeedizzee.

 

This week’s column will be a little different in that it will be focused more on two different types of players – those who gets points in bunches and those who don’t– rather than two sides of a debate, although there will still be the ever useful “Final Verdict” at the end.

Even though it’s only been about ten days since the first pucks dropped on January 19th, believe it or not that actually means the season is more than 10% over!  Judging by chatter in the DobberHockey forums, many fantasy GMs are (or soon will be) looking eagerly at their waiver wire to grab someone in place of an underperforming or injured player on their roster.  The good news is that unless you’re talking about picking up rookie, you’ll be able to consider how the available players have performed in past years - particularly last season - as a data point.

But you need to make sure to look beyond just last season’s final numbers purely as end results, since players with similar year-end stats often accumulated those stats in very different ways, and that can be very key knowledge in this shortened season.

For example, in terms of points, you can likely group some of the available waiver wire players into those who tend to score in bunches (but also an suffer through prolonged cold stretches) versus those who appear on the score sheet more often (but don’t tend to explode for as many multi-point games).  Below I provide some examples of both types of players from last season who are likely to be on the waiver wire right now in your league, and then, in line with the usual “Holding Court” format, I issue a Final Verdict about which type will be most helpful to a fantasy team in a shortened season.

To more closely match what you’d actually expect to find on your waiver wire, all of these players appeared in at least 70 games last season and scored at between a .45 and .65 points per game pace.  The logic is that 70+ games gives us reliable data to draw from, and players who scored at a higher point per game pace than 0.65 are likely already owned in nearly all leagues while players who scored at a lower point per game pace than .45 are usually not worth owning in all but the very deepest of leagues.

 

Guys who scored 50% or more of their total points in multi-point games

 

Player

Total Games Played

Total points scored

Total number of multi-point games

Total points scored in multi-point games

Percentage of points scored in multi-point games

Steve Downie*

75

41

12

27

65.8%

R.J. Umberger

77

40

11

23

57.5%

Derek Stepan

82

51

13

29

56.8%

Ryan Smyth

82

46

12

25

54.3%

Patric Hornqvist**

76

43

11

23

53.4%

Sam Gagner

75

47

8

25

53.2%

Kyle Wellwood

77

47

12

25

53.2%

Bryan Little

74

47

12

25

53.2%

Drew Stafford

80

50

10

25

50.0%

Shane Doan

79

50

12

25

50.0%

Alex Burrows

80

52

13

26

50.0%

* - out for the season (torn ACL)

** - out 3-4 weeks

Some other players who accumulated just under 50% of their points in multi-point games include:

Franz Nielsen (82 games, 47 points, 10 multi-point games, 23 points in those games – 48.9%)

Cody Hodgson 83 games, (41 points, 10 multi-point games, 20 points in those games – 48.7%)

Chris Kelly (82 games, 39 points, 9 multi-point games, 19 points in those games – 48.7%)

Nick Foligno (82 games, 47 points, 10 multi-point games, 22 points in those games – 46.8%)

Matt Read (79 games, 47 points, 9 multi-point games, 22 points in those games – 46.8%)

 

Guys who scored 30.5% or less of their points in multi-point games


Player

Total Games Played

Total points scored

Total number of multi-point games

Total points scored in multi-point games

Percentage of points scored in multi-point games

Antoine Vermette

82

37

2

5

13.5%

Jannik Hansen

82

39

3

6

15.3%

Patrick Berglund

82

38

4

8

21.0%

Kyle Brodziak

82

44

5

11

25%

Steve Ott

74

39

5

10

25.6%

Ryan Kesler***

77

49

6

14

28.5%

Colin Greening

82

37

5

11

29.7%

Jiri Tlusty

79

36

5

11

30.5%

Dave Bolland

76

36

5

11

30.5%

*** - still recovering from offseason surgeries (no specific timetable for his return)

 

The Final Verdict

One key thing to remember is whether or not a player ends up falling into either of these categories is something that can vary year to year depending on a number of factors that include whether he’s since changed teams, what line he’s on, how much ice time he receives, etc.  In terms of predictability, it’s probably most analogous to +/- in that it depends as much on a player’s situation as it does his abilities.  But even if it isn’t among the most predictable stats, it’s still something useful to at least consider when looking at several otherwise similar players on the waiver wire.

So which type of player is actually better for your team?  The lure with players who score in bunches is they’re higher risk, but also higher reward.  Players who don’t score in bunches are safer, but generally don’t end up as big impact makers.  If this was a normal 82 game season, then the difference between these types of players would be noticed most in H2H leagues where line-ups are set on a week-to-week basis, or in a standard league if you were looking for a very short term injury replacement.  But otherwise, if you were going to keep one of these players in your line-up for 70+ games, then it likely wouldn’t really matter too much whether he scores in bunches or not – in the end the points would add up regardless of when and how he got them.

Of course, this isn’t a normal season.  And in a shortened 48-game season like this one, you run a bigger risk of missing out on some of the multipoint games where the players who score in bunches would’ve otherwise shined, while the consistency of the players who don’t score in bunches wouldn’t be affected as much, if at all, by there being 34 fewer games than usual.

But does that mean you shouldn’t grab players who score in bunches from the waiver wire?  Not necessarily.  Those types of players are good to cycle in and out of your line-up, taking advantage of favorable match-ups and perhaps trying to put them against the teams they did particularly well against last season.  Also, if you look at the players who don’t score in bunches, you’ll see that most do not get a great deal of power play time, so if that is a category in your league then you might be sacrificing your standing there if you add one of them.

In the end, use this information like any other data – as one data point to help you best reach a well informed decision.

 

Also from Roos:

Will Calgary Trade Jarome Iginla?

Will Eberle, Hall and Nugent-Hopkins finish in the Top 20?


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