Advanced stats can make you a smarter poolie. Read on to find out why...
This is the second year that the DobberHockey Fantasy Guide will be including advanced statistical analysis in its pages.
Last year, I analyzed the 2011-12 Player Usage Charts for all 30 teams as a sort of preview for what was to come in the Fantasy Guide. Let’s take a look back at some of the advanced statistical analysis from last year’s Fantasy Guide.
A quick note on advanced stats (one I will continue to make every time that this type of content is posted):
This is an excerpt from the 2013-14 Fantasy Guide:
The term ‘advanced stats’ is a bit of a misnomer, as many of these statistics are quite simple. Corsi, for example, takes the total volume of shots directed on the opposition’s goal and subtracts from it the total shots directed on a player’s own goal. With Corsi we get a rough approximation for puck possession. It isn’t a perfect number or statistic, but it often can tell us a lot about a player – and certainly a lot more than plus/minus can.
You don’t have to have a comprehensive understanding of Corsi, PDO, zone start rates, or any other advanced statistics to enjoy hockey and/or fantasy hockey. If you are a knowledgeable hockey fan, you see with your eyes a lot of what these numbers tell us anyway. You don’t need a calculation or statistic to tell you that Patrice Bergeron and Anze Kopitar are phenomenal two-way forwards. But you may need one to explain why Mikhail Grabovski struggled offensively in 2013 (more on that in the Toronto analysis), or why Brad Richards and Rick Nash should be in store for a solid offensive bump this season under Alain Vigneault in New York.
Advanced statistics are particularly helpful when you want to fill in the gaps. Not familiar with a team or player? The numbers can help. Not sure if your eyes are deceiving you in a certain situation? The numbers can help. They aren’t the be-all and end-all of analysis, especially in a sport as fast-paced and fluid as hockey. But the numbers can help.
Looking back at the 2013 Fantasy Guide:
Doughty once again played the toughest minutes on the Kings back end (Regehr finished with a higher Corsi Rel QoC, but a lot of that is from his time in Buffalo). The benefactor this year wasn't Alec Martinez, though, but rookie Jake Muzzin. Doughty's defensive acumen will continue to hurt his offensive upside.
The Kings love him in a shutdown role - he may be the best defenseman in the league at breaking the puck out of the defensive zone - but poolies who own him must hate the fact that his main job is to make putting up points easier for the other LA defensemen.
If the Kings are able to develop a few defensive studs, or if Willie Mitchell is able to return fully healthy... Doughty could see his production skyrocket.
It's like Anaheim GM Bob Murray read last year's guide. He built a very effective checking line around Daniel Winnik and Andrew Cogliano, and Getzlaf and Perry were freed up from playing really tough defensive minutes (they still played against good player, of course). And both of them benefitted - particularly Getzlaf, who had a tremendous 2013 campaign. Sometimes when a good player struggles, they don't pass the 'eye test' (in Getzlaf's case, it was easy to see why he was playing bad in 2011-12 - no confidence, inconsistent effort).
But it was more than that - the Ducks were forced to lean so hard on him and Perry because they really lacked depth up front. Don't expect that to be a problem in the near future again.
The beauty of an online (PDF) release, and what separates us from the competition, is that we are able to update the DobberHockey Guide throughout the rest of the summer and right up to puck drop in early October.
Other guides released in magazine format have to be written and submitted for publishing in late June with quick updates on free agency in early July.
As we all know, a lot can still happen in August and September. How about a strong training camp from a bubble player or a rookie? How about a late summer trade or signing? The fantasy impact(s) of these moves can be significant, and we will have you covered.
What the Fantasy Guide contains:
Team-by-team projections, line combinations (even strength and power play), and comprehensive analysis from Dobber.
A look at advanced stats and how they can help you become a better poolie.
A free and fully customizable spreadsheet to get you armed and ready for draft day.
Contributions from the DobberHockey crew, including Angus, Laidlaw, and Amato.
Sleepers, buy low and sell high targets, salary cap bargains, goaltenders galore, draft strategies, projected hits, and much, much more.
Support the website and win your pool. I’d call that a win-win.