MikeGreen

 

An in-depth look at Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green


 

 


I hope everybody is having a great holiday and would like to wish you all the best in 2014. So far this season, we have had some pretty good success identifying some great draft day steals (Gudas, Dubinsky, Grabovski, Downie) as well as some waiver wire finds that have turned into quite valuable fantasy assets (Upshall, Gelinas, MacArthur, Phillips). Today I am going to profile a player who is almost certainly already owned in your league, but who might provide for a great buy-low opportunity: Mike Green.

 

Back in the ’08-09 and ’09-10 seasons, Mike Green was the darling of Fantasy Hockey. He was Erik Karlsson before Erik Karlsson was Erik Karlsson. He was putting up over a point per game, while firing almost 450 shots over the two seasons and amassing 73 power-play points, and he pretty much single-handedly won me two leagues in those years. Since that time, he has struggled with consistency and injuries and has actually not scored over 30 points in a season. Last season was a bounce-back campaign of sorts as he was once again on an 82 game pace for more than 60 points and many had Green targeted to get back to the levels of the fantasy elite this season.

Green’s return to dominance simply hasn’t happened yet this season as he has put up 19 points in 35 games, a 45 point pace that is decent for most defensemen but below the high expectations you may have from Green. He has scored only three goals and he has been relegated to second line power-play duties behind John Carlson, seeing his overall TOI decrease by over a minute compared to last season. Needless to say, there are plenty of frustrated Mike Green owners out there, which means that now might be the time to pounce.  Let’s run Green through Fantasy Hockey Geek to see what kind of value he has so far this season:

(Today I will run the numbers using a Yahoo! Standard 12 team league measuring G, A, +/-, PIM, SOG, PPP)

 

Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

27

Mike Green

3

16

-8

46

89

11



You can see above that despite his disappointing start to the season, Green is still the 27th most valuable player in this league and the 11th most valuable defenseman. He is even providing more value than a number of defensemen who have more points than him (Markov, OEL, Bouwmeester, Krug, Pietrangelo, Wisniewski, Weber, Suter, Franson and more). The reason that Green continues to be such a valuable fantasy asset is the way that he contributes to other categories:

He is 8th in the NHL in shots by a defenseman with 89, which is a better total than all of the other comparable defensemen I listed above. The fact that he only has 3 goals with this shot total also leads me to believe that his points will go up. His current 3.4 shooting % is far below his career average of 8.6%. When that starts to even out, his production will look better.

Despite seeing his PP time reduced recently, his 11 PPP are still a great number, placing him 11th in the league amongst rearguards.

His 46 PIMs are slightly higher than his career average and probably inflating his value a little bit, but he averages .78 PIM per game for his career, which is a much better total than a lot of the other high scoring defensemen.

The league I am using here doesn’t count hits, but in leagues that do Green will help you out there too to the tune of about 1 hit per game.

 

Considering all of the above, you can see that even at his reduced production Mike Green is a very solid fantasy defenseman. The GM that owns him in your league could very likely be frustrated right now, given his 45 point pace and his reduced role on the Caps top PP, but if your opponent isn’t giving Green fair credit for his 200+ shot, 80+PIM and 20+ PPP pace then you could have an ideal opportunity to get Green at a reduced price.

In most leagues, my strategy would indeed be to target Green as the player that I laid out above, knowing that my FHG calculations give me a better barometer of Green’s true value than my opponent likely has. I wouldn’t trade for Green under the assumption that he will get 60 points again, but I would trade for him assuming that he has considerable value as a 45 point guy and then I would be quietly hoping for the upside to kick back in. I would easily move a less valuable, higher point player such as Vrbata, Williams or Wheeler for Green if the current Green owner is eager enough to make a move. Personally, in a one year league of this format I would actually strongly consider moving Pietrangelo for Green and make sure that the opposing GM adds something to the deal, though I would prefer to get more of a bargain.

When deciding who to offer up as compensation for a player who you are targeting, a great way to do it is by using the Player Equivalency tool on FHG. To use this tool, you simply select the player who you are analysing (in this case Mike Green) and then select the position you want to calculate the equivalency for. In this scenario for example, I am telling FHG to take Mike Green’s current production and let me know what kind of output an equal value RW would have.

 

Pos

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

D

3

16

-8

46

89

11

RW

14

20

-8

46

127

14



You can see from the above that FHG is calculating that I could give up a 34 point(!) RW for Mike Green and still be getting equal value on my fantasy team.

(The reason that you can give up so much more production from a RW in order to get a D with less production is that production from a D is so much harder to find. Replacing the lost production will be much harder for the GM moving the D than it will be for the GM moving the RW).

According to the FHG math, I could afford to give up a player like Giroux for Green and I would still be getting fair value. Of course, I have no intention of doing that, but armed with this information from FHG I feel extremely confident that when I offer up a Blake Wheeler for Mike Green my team would benefit greatly should the offer be accepted since Wheeler’s production is lower than the “equivalent RW” in all categories laid out above. The Player Equivalency tool is a great way to get an idea of what type of players contribute equal values across different positions so that you know the type of player you can trade away without damaging your team. If nothing else, it is something I use every time before accepting a deal just to make sure that I am not doing something stupid.

The time to buy on Mike Green is now. Using the math at FHG, we are able to determine that even at his reduced point production levels, he is a valuable fantasy commodity. This makes Green a very safe target when you proceed assuming that he will end up around 45 points because even if he does remain around 45 you will probably win the deal. Should he jump back up to 55 plus - you will be laughing. To find more potential buy low targets and determine what is a fair value price to pay for them, sign up for Fantasy Hockey Geek today!

I’ll be back next week with my next installment on the Fantasy Hockey Geek Olympic selections.

 

Recent Geek of the Week articles:


 

Fantasy Hockey Geek Olympic Selections – Team Sweden 
Geek of the Week - Claude Giroux 
Geek of the Week - David Perron 




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