Byfuglien

 

I admit I may overvalue defensemen in my fantasy leagues. In nearly every league I've ever been in, my defence is always at or near the top. I've been called a "defence whore" for my penchant for drafting quality offensive defensemen, even if I may need other positions more.

 

The key statistic for me is power play time on ice. Defensemen typically NEED power play time in order to record big points. Looking at every 40 point defenseman over the last three seasons, power play points accounted for fifty percent of their overall point totals. That percentage has been trending down from 55 percent in 2007-08, to 51 percent in 2008-09 and 46 percent last season.

 

The oddball that stood out for me last year was Duncan Keith, who only scored 23 percent of his points with the man advantage. The year before last, it was 25 percent. The high guy last year was Kurtis Foster, who scored 62 percent of his points on the power play.

 

NOTE:  The ramblings below are geared more for one year leagues than keepers.

 

Atlanta

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Dustin Byfuglien

15

14

9

50

22:30

4:09

Hold

Tobias Enstrom

15

12

10

13

25:53

5:38

Hold

Johnny Oduya

15

4

1

17

22:12

1:37

Hold

Zach Bogosian

9

2

1

14

22:11

2:40

Buy Low

Ron Hainsey

15

1

0

13

15:58

0:46

Sell

Brent Sopel

14

1

0

7

16:04

0:04

WW

 

The top four on the Thrashers are clear cut, there is a six minute per game drop off in ice time to the bottom pairing of Ron Hainsey and Brent Sopel. Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom lead the team in power play time by a long ways. Good luck getting either of these guys on the cheap, that ship has sailed. The surprise for me is that Johnny Oduya has surpassed Ron Hainsey for second unit power play time. Zach Bogosian has all the tools to be a fantasy stud; size, skating ability and big shot. The only question is when? It's crowded on the Thrashers blue line this year, so there is no pressure to rush the 20-year-old.

 

Boston

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Zdeno Chara

12

6

4

37

27:20

4:03

Buy

Dennis Seidenberg

12

6

2

15

24:00

2:12

Buy

Johnny Boychuk

6

3

1

12

20:22

2:10

Hold

Matt Hunwick

12

3

0

14

15:33

2:06

Buy Low

Mark Stuart

12

1

0

7

17:53

0:13

WW

Andrew Ference

12

1

0

9

16:12

0:05

WW

 

Chara is a beast, but Seidenberg is matching his point output with half as much power play ice time. Johnny Boychuk looked to be breaking out, but he broke his arm. In 2008-09 he was voted top defenseman in the AHL after recording 65 points. While Boychuk was tearing up the AHL, Matt Hunwick was scoring 27 points in 53 NHL contests (a 42 point pace). Though Hunwick isn't taking advantage of Boychuk's injury right now, he bears watching.

 

Buffalo

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Jordan Leopold

16

10

1

29

24:00

3:12

Hold

Steve Montador

16

8

1

35

19:30

0:22

Sell

Tyler Myers

16

7

3

30

23:20

3:14

Buy

Chris Butler

9

3

1

6

18:17

2:24

Buy Low

Andrej Sekera

15

3

0

19

19:07

2:40

WW

Craig Rivet

12

1

0

12

15:45

0:41

WW

Shaone Morrisonn

10

1

0

4

17:44

0:05

WW

 

In his eight NHL seasons, Steve Montador has never had more than 23 points. He's getting a decent amount of ice time and shots on goal, but virtually no power play minutes. A good time to sell. Last year Chris Butler had 21 points (29 pro-rated) with 12 coming via the power play. He logged the sixth most (second for defenseman) power play ice time. This season, he is ninth in average power play time and fourth amongst blueliners. Tyler Myers will turn it around, buy now. Leopold scored 48 points in 44 games in college, very impressive for a defenseman. In his second NHL season, he finished with 33 points. He's had some injury issues over the years, but Leopold played in 81 and 83 games over the last two seasons. He is on pace for 48 points and while he will not reach that number, hitting 40 isn't unrealistic.

 

Carolina

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Joe Corvo

15

7

4

28

24:36

4:14

Hold

Joni Pitkanen

13

7

3

25

23:39

4:05

Hold

Anton Babchuk

15

6

1

41

19:08

3:08

Buy

Tim Gleason

15

3

0

15

21:11

0:29

WW

Jamie McBain

15

3

2

14

18:58

2:40

Buy

Jay Harrison

15

3

0

11

14:33

0:05

WW

 

This is the worst possible situation for owners of McBain. There are simply too many offensive defensemen in Carolina and he is clearly number four in the pecking order. While this is difficult to swallow in one year leagues, McBain will still be golden in keeper leagues, just not this year. I was a little surprised by the volume of shots from Babchuk. He has an absolute bomb from the point, so the fact that he's getting his shot on net is very good. If Corvo or Pitkanen are traded or out with a long term injury, Babchuk's value should skyrocket.

 

Florida

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Bryan McCabe

13

9

3

29

20:59

3:22

Hold

Dennis Wideman

13

9

4

26

24:03

3:55

Hold

Mike Weaver

13

5

1

8

20:17

0:48

WW

Bryan Allen

13

5

0

12

19:11

0:07

WW

Keaton Ellerby

5

2

0

9

12:47

0:11

WW

Jason Garrison

8

1

0

10

18:23

1:00

WW

Dmitry Kulikov

13

1

0

11

19:23

2:28

WW

 

It seems like McCabe has been doing this forever, he's in his fifteenth season and on pace for 60 points! He won't hit 60 this year, but he did pot 43 points last year, making 45-50 points attainable. Wideman should end up around 45 points as well. He hit for 50 points only two years ago. Most poolies had higher hopes for Kulikov, but if you really looked at his situation heading into the season, you would have noticed that both Wideman and McCabe were going to be ahead of the rookie on the depth chart. He looks like he will be a keeper, just not this year. Ignore Keaton Ellerby's two points in four games, he's never scored more than 26 points, even in junior.

 

Montreal

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Josh Gorges

15

6

1

15

22:22

1:20

Sell

P.K. Subban

15

6

1

40

21:17

3:42

Buy

Roman Hamrlik

13

6

4

18

20:21

2:22

Sell

Jaroslav Spacek

15

5

1

17

19:27

1:56

Sell

Andrei Markov

5

2

0

17

23:27

3:40

Buy

Hal Gill

15

1

0

11

19:39

0:03

WW

Alexandre Picard

9

1

0

9

14:50

0:29

WW

 

The return of Markov will effectively neuter Hamrlik's offensive output. In his three years with Montreal, 33 points were the best Hamrlik could muster. Like a young Jedi Knight, Subban will benefit from the Master's presence in the line-up. Spacek had 45 points only two seasons ago, but that was with Buffalo. He regressed to 21 points in his first season in Montreal. Josh Gorges had a 59 point (in 54 games) season in junior, but his best season as a pro is only 23 points. Sell high if you can.

 

New Jersey

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Matt Taormina

16

5

1

36

20:41

3:15

Hold

Andy Greene

16

7

2

24

22:55

1:57

Buy

Matthew Corrente

6

3

0

6

14:48

0:05

Buy Low

Henrik Tallinder

16

3

0

21

22:15

0:48

WW

Colin White

15

0

0

14

19:41

0:06

WW

Anton Volchenkov

4

0

0

5

18:54

0:05

WW

Olivier Magnan

10

0

0

7

16:31

0:04

WW

Alexander Urbom

7

0

0

3

12:01

0:12

WW

 

Matt Taormina bears watching as he recorded a 50 point season last year in the AHL. Andy Greene had 37 points last year in New Jersey. Last night, when there was a crucial power play and the game on the line, it was Greene out there, not Taormina. Outside of those two players, there is not much else to look at in the swamp. Okay, maybe there is one other guy to keep an eye on. Matt Corrente was a late first round pick in 2006 and had 20 points in 43 AHL games last season. Unfortunately, he's currently out (day-to-day) with a broken hand. He could provide a nice mix of points and penalty minutes.

 

NY Islanders

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

James Wisniewski

13

12

11

35

24:08

6:24

Sell

Mike Mottau

15

3

1

17

21:02

2:32

WW

Milan Jurcina

10

3

0

12

16:40

0:06

WW

Radek Martinek

15

2

0

25

21:10

0:49

WW

Bruno Gervais

6

1

0

4

13:18

0:34

WW

Jack Hillen

10

1

0

5

12:11

0:01

WW

Mark Eaton

15

0

0

16

19:24

0:03

WW

Andrew MacDonald

7

0

0

4

19:05

3:32

Hold

 

Wisniewski is the poster child for power play time translating into success in the points department. No way the Wiz will maintain his point-per-game pace, but over the last two NHL seasons, he has scored at a 39 point pace. Now it might be hard to sell a defenseman who is on pace to score 79 points, but this could be the epitome of "sell high". In his last season of major junior, Andrew MacDonald scored 58 points in 65 games and 32 points in 69 AHL games (38 points pro-rated) two years ago. If he hadn't broken his hand, he may have surprised us. Keep an eye out once he's back to see if he's able to start scoring.

 

NY Rangers

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Michal Rozsival

15

8

5

12

23:10

3:58

Buy

Dan Girardi

15

7

1

25

24:32

2:38

Sell

Michael Del Zotto

15

5

3

26

22:58

5:13

Buy

Marc Staal

15

4

1

14

23:31

1:21

Hold

Steve Eminger

13

1

0

2

13:42

0:11

WW

Michael Sauer

9

1

0

7

12:15

0:03

WW

Matt Gilroy

8

0

0

8

12:51

1:15

WW

 

Coach Tortorella plays the heck out of his top four and first power play pairing, seriously limiting the fantasy value of anyone outside those four. Del Zotto is the one to target, he is due to start scoring. Ever since last season, Marc Staal has been encouraged to explore his offensive side, so his numbers will only get better, but I think he'll top out at 35 points. Rozsival has changed his outlook this year and it's showing in his point totals. Dan Girardi is scoring at a 37 point pace, but his career high is 28 points. He's clearly second fiddle on this team.

 

Ottawa

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Sergei Gonchar

15

11

8

23

25:29

4:38

Buy

Erik Karlsson

15

10

5

27

21:06

3:47

Buy

Chris Campoli

15

3

1

18

19:33

1:31

WW

Chris Phillips

15

2

0

11

21:26

0:19

WW

David Hale

9

2

0

9

15:41

0:02

WW

Matt Carkner

15

1

0

14

17:29

0:01

Hold

Filip Kuba

0

0

0

0

0:00

0:00

Buy

Brian Lee

7

0

0

2

10:52

0:01

WW

 

After Gonchar and Karlsson, there really isn't much to write home about. Filip Kuba is back practicing and might make his season debut later this week, but his value is limited to second unit power play time. Matt Carkner is serviceable only in deep leagues that count penalty minutes.

 

Philadelphia

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Kimmo Timonen

15

7

4

28

23:13

4:33

Buy

Chris Pronger

13

6

5

31

21:49

4:22

Buy

Matt Carle

15

4

0

24

20:06

2:25

Hold

Andrej Meszaros

14

3

0

17

18:03

2:12

WW

Braydon Coburn

15

2

0

19

21:33

0:48

WW

Sean O`Donnell

15

0

0

8

16:16

0:02

WW

 

After Pronger and Timonen, I have no confidence in any of the other guys. Matt Carle is getting over 20 minutes of ice time per game, including some time on the second power play unit. His career high is 42 points and he recorded 35 points last season, so a repeat of last year is a possibility.

 

Pittsburgh

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Kris Letang

16

15

4

36

22:23

3:55

Buy

Alex Goligoski

16

10

7

37

23:56

5:43

Hold

Paul Martin

16

8

2

18

24:37

2:56

Hold

Ben Lovejoy

12

2

0

11

13:54

0:00

WW

Zbynek Michalek

7

2

1

5

18:56

0:34

Hold

Brooks Orpik

10

2

0

11

19:41

0:08

WW

Deryk Engelland

14

1

0

9

13:48

0:01

Hold

 

I've been high on Kris Letang ever since I saw him at the World Junior tournament in Sweden (six points in six games). He has insane offensive abilities - in his last two junior seasons, he combined for 120 points in 100 games. He has scored only three of his 13 points on the power play. He can hit for 65 points on this team. Goligoski is a legitimate threat to score as well, garnering two-thirds of his points this year with the man advantage. Paul Martin is not a pure offensive talent like the Letang and Goligoski, but he will get his points with nice breakout passes and mop up power play duty. Zbynek "I'd like to buy a vowel" Michalek's career high is 28 points. He might surpass that this year, but don't count on much more than 30 and you won't be disappointed. Deryk Engelland is only good if you value penalty minutes. He is fighting all the heavyweights and is on pace for over 200 penalty minutes. Think Matt Carkner.

 

Tampa Bay

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Victor Hedman

13

6

2

19

22:49

2:06

Buy

Brett Clark

14

5

4

13

21:08

2:42

Hold

Pavel Kubina

14

5

1

12

21:22

3:31

Hold

Randy Jones

14

4

0

8

15:59

0:12

WW

Mike Lundin

14

3

0

11

20:34

0:02

WW

Mattias Ohlund

6

1

0

2

17:19

0:08

WW

 

What a difference a year makes, well that and a clean sweep of management. Last season, Hedman was limited in his offensive role enroute to a disappointing 20 point rookie campaign. This is a guy who scored 21 points in 43 Swedish Elite League games as a 17-year-old. He will come very close to doubling his rookie point total. Pavel Kubina is receiving the most power play minutes of all Lightning defenders and has recorded 38, 40 and 40 points over his last three seasons. Brett Clark has taken advantage of his power play time recording four of his five points with the man advantage. His NHL high is 39 points, look for him to finish with 30-35 points.

 

Toronto

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Tomas Kaberle

15

7

5

21

23:35

5:06

Buy

Mike Komisarek

15

5

0

10

15:35

0:02

Sell

Dion Phaneuf

11

4

3

37

22:44

4:44

Buy

Luke Schenn

15

3

0

22

22:44

1:25

WW

Francois Beauchemin

15

3

0

29

24:24

2:51

Hold

Carl Gunnarsson

9

1

0

6

14:22

0:20

WW

Brett Lebda

8

0

0

10

15:54

1:34

WW

 

Tomas Kaberle has averaged 52 points per season over the last five years. He's been money for fantasy leaguers and will be once again this year. Once Phaneuf returns from his injury, he will be given every opportunity to get back on track. If his current owner has soured on him, now might be the time to make an offer, but treat him as a potential 40 point player this year. Beauchemin has been getting some power play time in the absence of Phaneuf, just don't expect him to pile on the points. His career high is 36 points and has recorded 26, 21 and 28 points in his last three seasons. Mike Komisarek's career high is 19 points and he's on pace for 28, time to sell. Luke Schenn is playing better this season, but his track record says he will never become an offensive player.

 

Washington

 

Name

GP

Pts

PPP

SOG

Avg TOI

PPTOI

Status

Mike Green

12

11

4

27

25:27

5:01

Stud

John Carlson

15

8

2

23

21:37

1:37

Hold

Jeff Schultz

15

3

0

9

21:36

0:11

Hold

John Erskine

15

3

0

9

16:36

0:10

WW

Kyle Alzner

15

1

0

11

17:43

0:19

WW

Tom Poti

4

0

0

2

20:44

2:28

Buy Low

 

Mike Green. Nuff said. John Carlson is on pace for 42 points which seems just about right (40-45 points) for the rookie. Future fantasy stud (future being next season). The only reason Jeff Schultz is on anyone's roster is for his plus/minus. Last year he led the league with a plus-50, but this season he is only average in that category. His career high in points is 23 set last year. Tom Poti might poach some second power play minutes, but his best fantasy seasons are long gone.

 

Thursday Trivia Time

 

Name the top forward not named Ovechkin or Crosby in Average Time On Ice.

 


Write comment
Comments (11)add comment

Mitch Grave said:

leroybrown
D-Men in West Article?! Hi Russ,

Great column on D-Men in East and their projections. Will you be doing the same in the West? Great read! Really enjoyed it! I hope to hear from you soon.

PS As a newbie to fantasy hockey, can I email you my 1 year points only team and get some feedback on what I should do to mix it up? I'm currently in 2nd just a few points out of 1st.

Cheers!
November 12, 2010
Votes: +0

horrorfan said:

horrorfan
... Oh and it was a 10 team league, so my D depth could have been much better, but it's not as crucial, especially in H2H leagues if you have strength elsewhere.
November 12, 2010
Votes: +0

horrorfan said:

horrorfan
Depends on the categories The value of D completely depends on the type of league, its depth vs forwards and categories used.

Last year in my H2H league, we started 4 at each skater position with the categories G,A,+/-,PIM,PPP,SOG. I ended winning the league with Enstrom and Suter as my top 2 defenseman, and in the latter part of the season and playoffs I only started 3 in total.

However, if you add more starting positions (or increase the ratio) and include categories such as Hits and Blocked Shots, then they are more valuable.

In roto they tend to me more valuable as it relies on cumulative production, so in non-shallow leagues it helps to have a solid D corps.
November 12, 2010
Votes: +0

Steffen said:

Steffen
D whore Never be ashamed to be a D whore. Too many fantasy owners ignore or undervalue D, at their peril. (They obviously don't read this site.)

Two thumbs up.
November 11, 2010
Votes: +2

Budde said:

rbudde
... Extremely helpful. Just wanting to upgrade D in a couple pools. Waiver wire here I come . . .
November 11, 2010
Votes: +1

Chandan Singh said:

csingh
points i loveee how you added the pnt totals on the season to give us readers a better gauge when analyzing your article. kinda drove me crazy on yesterdays article. hope both you guys include pnt totals for the next three! good stuff, thanks!
November 11, 2010
Votes: +0

Russ Miller said:

The Comish
Trivia Answer Yup, Toews, Perry, E.Staal, Kovalchuk follow Ovechkin and Crosby in Average Time On Ice.
November 11, 2010
Votes: +0

RZ said:

rangersfury
... Toews, Perry, Staal are 3-5
November 11, 2010
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Solid Awesome summary Russ!! Great value in these.
I think the buy/low/hold status was bang on for just about everybody.
ATOI - I guessed & checked and finally got one right!
(Surprised who the 4th & 6th forwards were thought.) smilies/shocked.gif
November 11, 2010
Votes: +0

Carson Campbell said:

Cars0nC
thursday trivia Jonathan Toews
November 11, 2010
Votes: +0
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