My name is Terry Campkin and I have been brought on as a writer for Fantasy Hockey Geek to give some weekly insights which will help you find some great hidden value in your respective fantasy hockey leagues.  I have been an avid Fantasy Hockey GM for years, and with help from concepts and tools such as FHG, I was able to finish first in all 3 of my leagues last year!  I am really looking forward to providing lots of great insights at Fantasy Hockey Geek, providing some material that can help you get an edge in your leagues as well.


The Geek of the Week column will identify a player whose fantasy value is far greater than what an average fantasy hockey GM knows.  This will not be a sexy player, or an obvious pick like Claude Giroux: we all know Claude is great!  Using the tools provided at Fantasy Hockey Geek, we will identify VALUE players that are drafted after the first few rounds that can really make an impact and win you a championship. 


Let’s move to the inaugural Geek of the Week – PK Subban.


PK is far from an underdog with his flashy and in your face style.  I would even go so far as to say he is a household name.  He is still a guy that is (on average) being drafted 83rd overall in Yahoo! Leagues – or in other words, at the end of the 7th round in a 12 team league.  Does he deserve to be a mid-round pick like this?  I say no, not even close. 


When you look at the players being drafted near PK, you see names like Martin Brodeur, Brad Marchand and even Drew Doughty.  Given the names, you wouldn’t necessarily be taken aback.  Those are decent names and PK is a decent player, right?  But a quick look at the FHG rankings, shows you just how much value PK had last season:




(numbers and rakings based on 2011-12 season, for a 12 team Yahoo! League with standard scoring categories – G, A, +/-, PIM, SOG, PPP, W, Sv%, GAA, SO)


You can see from the chart above that in a standard Yahoo! 12 team H2H league, Subban was actually the 10th most valuable guy in entire the league!  Guys are picking PK an average 75 picks too late every day on Yahoo!! 


So why is it that PK is so valuable?  What kind of math are these “geeks” doing?  There are a couple of answers to this question:


1. PK is a multi-cat stud:  far too often in Fantasy Hockey, managers place over emphasis on goals and assists.  The reality is, in a standard Yahoo! league, Goals and Assists only account for 33% of the skater categories (2 out of 6).  Managers see a guy like Subban who didn’t even crack 40 points last year, and they wouldn’t give him a sniff as their D1 (when FHG actually shows he was the 4th most valuable defenceman in all of 2011-12).  What most managers fail to recognize is that categories such as PIMs and SOG are worth just as much as Gs and As (And in fact, PIMs can often be more reliable).  Last year, PK Subban had 119 PIMs and 205 shots.  He was the only defenceman in the league to get over 100PIMs and 200 SOGs (and in fact, only 4 forwards accomplished this feat). 


Combine those peripherals with the fact that he is on the first team PP, scored 7 goals from the backend and was a plus player – and you have yourself some value.  Maybe he only got 36 points, but some of the best d-men in the league get 45-50.  You are forfeiting about 9 points (or 0.5 points per week), for an absolute dynamo in the other categories.  The FHG rankings take all of this into account, and accurately rank PK Subban higher than you will see him on any draft board or any magazine. 


2. PK is a defenceman:  In a Yahoo! Standard league (and most leagues for that matter), defencemen simply matter more.  (I will be releasing an article on “understanding your league” in the next couple of weeks, which will dive further into this concept).  Think about it: in a 12 team league where you have 4 D spots – that’s 48 D spots that need to be filled league-wide.  In the same league, with 2 C spots, your league only needs to start a total of 24 C spots.  What do you think is harder, finding 48 quality D, or 24 quality Cs? We all know the answer to that question, but it’s hard to quantify the degree to which the defencemen are more valuable……but FHG actually quantifies it for us, showing that Subban is indeed a top 10 fantasy own for this year. 


The real beauty of PK Subban at a 2012 draft table is his upside.  I am illustrating to you how valuable he is based on what he already has done, but the fact is he still has a ton of upside and more to give.  If he only repeats what he did last year, his true value is worthy of being a late first round pick.  But since you are armed with much better information than your competition…he will be an absolute STEAL for you sometime in the 4th or 5th round, which is 20 or so picks ahead of his average draft position.  If he doesn’t improve this year, you got about 4 rounds worth of value out of your pick.  If he does, it’s just gravy.  Draft him now, and thank me later!


To learn more, or to find some high value picks of your own – be sure to sign up to Fantasy Hockey Geek! 


Check back again next week for my profile of the next Geek of the Week!


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Shoeless said:

Whoa! Horrorfan wasn't arguing that the value isn't there on paper - what he was saying is if you take Subban in the first round based on that value alone, then you are likely to get your ass handed to you on a platter. And I agree with him. Any rating of a player that is seriously inflated based on a single category (Garrison comes to mind) in the FHG needs to be discounted somehow. I would apply the position equivalency tool to determine how much of a discount I would apply - graphing a player against the equivalency numbers curve for his position while not a perfect process would certainly highlight spikes in categories where you want to knock off the top of the spike to create a better picture of the player's across the board value.

The FHG system is a beaut because it does so much to quantify values through the rating system based on a pretty decent set of predictive stats, but what it can't do is handle the strategic processes needed to compete in a high level league - not yet anyway. Yes, it can feed you ratings that assist in your strategy to build a winning team, but there are other considerations.

September 16, 2012
Votes: +0

horrorfan said:

... Firstly, I was probably a bit harsh when I called it laughable so I apologise. But I still question calling him first round value. Yes, I understand that even though PIM are easier to find but having a PIM heavy, moderately offensive defenseman has signficant value, that's as far as I will go. Even the 'elite' guys like Chara and Weber, I would not consider them first round value. My point is that even though they have strength in multiple categories, I don't consider PIM as significant when determining their value - personal opinion. So, perhaps I'm suggesting that the FHG value shouldn't value PIM as highly as other categories, but that is a whole other discussion so I will leave it there.

Furthermore, when you mention how close he is to the 'elite' on a weekly basis, I would argue that many players are close when you look at them this way, especially defensemen. Admittedly, I don't have the numbers to back up that statement, so if you do and can counter and correct me then I'll admit I'm wrong. Looking at it category by category, he may be close on a weekly basis, but he's still weaker in three of the six categories (goals, PPP and +/-). Until he improves those numbers, he's not up there yet. But as mentioned in my previous post, I agree that once he picks up the offense, he'll join the next tier. Actually, I don't look at names when evaluating players, as Shoeless suggested, I am analytical and I do focus on the numbers.

That being said, please don't let my critiques de-value the quality of your post. It is a solid piece and it's great that you are highlighting players that you feel are undervalued. I never touched on the fact that he's been drafted 85th on average and yes, he should likely be drafted earlier. Good work, and I look forward to future pieces.
September 16, 2012
Votes: +0

TBone076 said:

... Hey guys, great to see some feedback on my first article on Dobbersports.

Shoeless: I think you hit the nail on the head multiple times:

"It is very clear to me that you are suggesting that Subban presents great value in the 4th or 5th", is one sentence that I think most accurately sums up what I am trying to get at. The intent of my article(s) and the FHG website - is to identify players who are under/over valued - so that you can draft accordingly and win your pool. The way to win at fantasy hockey is to gain value - if you can get a guy in round 4, who is worth round 2 then you are (as Sheen would say) winning.

Horrofan: you are clearly an experienced pooler, and you obviously have a deeper understanding of value than your average GM. The very fact that you pointed out Chara and Weber as "elite" fantasy defencemen, proves that you know your stuff. There are only 3 defencemen that Fantasy Hockey Geek has rated above Subban, and you named 2 of them.

So how can I prove to you that PK is at least in their class? Let's take a look at last year:

PK had 205 shots. Weber had 230
But Subban had 119 PIMs to Weber's 46
Weber had 30 assists. PK had 29 (and it was a DOWN year for PK!!)

Weber wins out in goals, but it works out to less than 1 goal per week. Don't get me wrong, I would probably take Weber over Subban - but it's actually close!

You say that PIMs are more easily found than other categories...and I agree! What isn't easily found is somebody that is good in PIMs as well as the other cats - like PK is. That's why he is so valuable. Yes, I can find PIMs....but can I find PIMs from a D-man who gets 200 shots and 40 points?? No. There aren't many - and PK is one (maybe the only one).

Don't get mesmerized by the names. It's the stats that matter.


September 15, 2012
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

this and that First off, congrats Terry on landing what I consider to be one of the tastiest writing gigs at Dobbersports. I'm really looking forward to reading what you have to say about one of my favorite FH resources. A Geek of the Week column is a great idea and I think you picked a winner in profiling Subban to kick it off. As a Subban owner in an expanded category keeper league, I totally agree that there is a significant gap between his perceived value and his real value in fantasy leagues.

Not sure what Horrorfan was reading when he implied that you called Subban a late first round pick - what I am reading is that the numbers indicate that he has the value of a later first round pick and that is valid and hardly laughable. It is very clear to me that you are suggesting that Subban presents great value in the 4th or 5th round and given how a particular draft has gone for you - that his selection at that time could in fact translate into a steal.

Horrorfan is a tremendous analyst particularly when it comes to roto-type leagues and he does have several points worth considering here when it comes to using FHG - the chief among them is that taking FHG values at face value without considering: team needs as the draft develops, or abundance and scarcity, or a player's expected draft position, etc., is not the wisest move, as I am sure you are going to reveal to us as you plow deeper into the other tools available on FHG.

I'm going to give you an A here - this article simply and cleanly presents the idea that FPG presents a rating tool that quantifies the value of players in any given league when you set your league up on the site. It pinpoints player values relative to others and that information if used prudently can be a real advantage in drafting or trading. Clearly you have pointed to Subban as an undervalued pick at 85th in the example league and these are things poolies need to have a grasp on when the cheese binds.

September 15, 2012
Votes: +0

horrorfan said:

Good piece but... Welcome and a good piece.

However, where I disagree is that where you say that every category should be treated the same. Sure, in fantasy each category has equal value, but not every category is as easily found in the draft or on FA. The reason why Subban and a guy like Hartnell are so high in these rankings are due to their inflated PIM totals. I would argue that PIM are easier to find than the offensive ones, and thus, should not be given equal (or higher) value.

That being said, I understand the value of the multiple category contributor. I've played in several leagues so managers do need to recognise where there is value. But to call Subban a late first round pick is laughable. I do find FHG's ranking system helpful to show that different players have different values given their strengths and weaknesses in multiple categories, and that pure offensive players are not always the best choice. However, one must understand the other factors involved (e.g. replacement category filler, team structure/need) and it should not always be taken at face value. Subban is not a first round pick. Nor is Hartnell.

I do agree that given his peripheral strength, once he picks up his offensive game he'll get closer to the more elite fantasy defensemen (e.g. Chara, Weber). But until then, he is still a mid-round pick.
September 15, 2012
Votes: +0
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