|Fantasy Indicators of Success (2010): Wingers||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 16 November 2010 10:46|
Continuing along with the third part of the series, this week we’ll take a closer look at the Western Conference wingers. The fantasy value of a winger can easily be identified by interpreting the same two stats used to identify the value of blue-liners, which is PP ice-time and SOG. The reasoning behind it is very simple. PP ice-time usually separates players who are offensive-minded from those that are defensive-oriented. The more PP time they receive usually equates to more offensive opportunities they’ll have to score with the advantage. On a similar note, SOG usually maintains a similar line of thought. The more a winger shoots, the higher the chance it goes into the net or creating offensive chances. The opposite also holds true, the less a winger shoots, the lower the chance that the puck goes into the net and the lower the offensive opportunities. Now that we’ve established clear indicators on determining the fantasy value of wingers, let’s take a closer look at most of the wingers from the Western Conference.
NOTE: These ramblings are based on one-year leagues, and not meant for keeper/dynasty leagues.
Also I looked used the positions as listed on www.nhl.com, so there might be some discrepancies in position compared to your league settings. Don’t worry too much if a clear cut winger isn’t listed. If I didn’t cover the player this week, it’ll be covered next week in the centers column.
Most of the value in Anaheim lies with the trio of Selanne, Ryan and Perry. All three are on pretty excellent point paces. Selanne is averaging the least overall ice-time, but also the most PP time. Ryan has the lowest PP ice-time, but a fairly reasonable 20+ mins overall, while Perry has the best of both worlds. All three should be solid owns the rest of the way. Blake and Beleskey could see their value increase if an injury were to happen, but if things stay status quo, their values won’t be enough to contribute anything. Voros and Parros are more for the PIMs than anything else, so not much to be excited about with those two. Insider tip: Lupul participated in his first full practice last week. The latest news has him returning back to the Anaheim line up full-time by the end of the month. With his current IR status, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stash him away for the next few weeks and be rewarded for the long term.
Iginla is only on pace to finish with 51 points. We all know that he’s a much better player than that, so see if you can buy-low on the seasoned veteran. With 14 points in 14 contests, Bourque is ready to take the next step in his career. The thing that you need to be wary of is that he started with 34 points in 34 games last season, but then fell into a mid-season slump in January and February with only seven points in the next 19. If he can avoid that slump I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up with a 70-75 point campaign. If you’ve been following the Flames’ boards, Sutter’s mutterings or the Calgary newspapers, you would think that Tanguay has committed a murder or something. Despite all the negative press, he still has 12 points in 15 games, which is pretty good compared to the back-to-back dismal 37 and 41 point seasons that he’s had away from Calgary. The 21 SOG is a bit worrying, but he’s never been a big SOG taker in the first place. If you’re after just points, Tanguay is a solid pickup, but if you’re after the peripheral stuff, consider other options. I stuck two watch signs on Hagman and Glencross as both have their upsides and their downsides. Hagman gets the PP time, but not a lot enough of overall ice-time to contribute. I really like the chemistry that Glencross is developing with Olli Jokinen and Bourque. He won’t be a 60+ point threat, but 40-50 could certainly be attainable.
Earlier in the year, I attached Kane’s name in a list regarding players that could make or break your season. I know it’s only 20 contests in, but I think I’m on the ball with that one. A lot of poolies expected him to improve upon the 88 points that he tallied last season, while selecting him very high during their drafts. But with Hossa, Sharp and Toews in the mix, he’ll be hard pressed to match that output for 2010-11. I still think he’ll finish around the 80 point mark, so there’s still plenty of value there. But if I were a Kane-owner, I wouldn’t mind going headhunting to see if I could land a bigger fish like Perry, Heatley, or St. Louis in return. After starting the season with 11 points in the first seven contests, Hossa followed that up with seven consecutive goose eggs. He snapped that streak with a two point effort on Sunday night, so it appears that things are looking peachy once again. He’s essentially a point-per-game player, so expect him to finish right around that mark by the end of the season. Sharp’s been a monster this season, and he’s ready to take the next step. It appears that Kopecky is returning back to Earth. With just one point in the last 12 contests, his value has quickly become zilch.
Most of the fantasy value pretty much lies within the duo of Stewart and Hejduk. Both are garnering plenty of points and ice-time with the third highest ranked offense in the league. During the off-season, I floated the idea of Paul Stastny possibly winning the Art Ross trophy in 2010-11 and how the Avs could offensively resemble the Canucks from last season. Well 17 games in, and I’m not too far off on at least one of my predictions. Yip is an energy player, but averaging just 15 minutes of ice-time per game won’t be enough to make a big dent on the scoresheet. With Galiardi’s injury (broken wrist), it really opened up a big hole in the Avs’ top-six. Jones got the call last night, but Mauldin could see some time alongside Stastny and Stewart. He had 12 points in 14 games with Lake Erie before being recalled from the AHL to fill in for Galiardi.
Much like the situation with Iggy, Nash is only on pace to finish the season with 54 points. He’s too good of a talent to put up that low of a total, so consider him a serious buy-low candidate. Voracek started the season very slowly with three points in October, but has flipped the switch with six points in November. If you break down the NHL season into thirds, he has career averages of 0.58 (September/October), 0.43 (November/December) and 0.64 (January/February/March). Try to see if you can pick him up on the cheap to stash away for a New Year run. A lot of people doubted Umberger at the beginning of the season and he’s starting to make people pay. He’s on pace to finish the season with 49 points, a plus 32 rating along with 224 SOG. If you tack on the peripherals of 82 Hits and 120 BS, he’s a great across-the-board contributor. Huselius is dealing with a high ankle sprain, and generally speaking that injury is fatal to the value of a player for the season. Get whatever you possibly can for him. Huse’s injury gave new life to Filatov by handing him a top-six spot on a silver platter. He’s seen his ice-time climb up to 14:06 for the last five contests, but it won’t be enough to really make him a must own. I generously stuck a watch sign on him in case he does see his ice-time climb, but I’d be more tempted to stay away than to actively seek him.
Eriksson continues to impress, as he leads the wingers in point production and overall ice-time. When you average that much per contest, it usually guarantees production. It’s probably going to be difficult to acquire him, but if you can, certainly make a pitch. Neal and Morrow are producing at a good pace, so stand pat. Benn and Ott aren’t receiving enough ice-time to be able to produce optimally, so I’d be tempted to sell them. But then again, you probably won’t be able to get much value in return, so your best option is to probably keep them until a better alternative rolls around.
Zetterberg, as usual, leads the wingers in HockeyTown. He’s currently on a greater than point-per-game pace, but he traditionally gets nicked up for a few games throughout the season. He’s never played in a full 82-game season in his career, so if you are an owner, don’t expect an injury-free season but a few missed contests here or there. Homstrom is turning 38 very soon, and well into the downside of his career. His current 43-point pace is pretty much where I’d peg him to be at the end of the season. Bertuzzi looks rejuvenated, but then again spending close to 53 percent of your overall ice-time alongside Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen will probably do that to an NHLer. The overall ice-time is a bit low, but he’s not a bad candidate as a third/fourth winger. I sound like a broken record, but Cleary never ceases to amaze me. Year after year he always just goes out and churns out consistent numbers. His current 65-point pace, is a bit high, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 40-point 150 SOG season from him. I’m going to stick a sell sign on Franzen. His 11 points isn’t too bad, but the three PPP is a major worry. He’s being shafted for Mike Modano on the top PP unit, and relegated to the second PP unit. Franzen still holds a pretty “big name”, so I’d use his status to see if you can pawn him off for someone a little more productive. I’m just speculating, but a Frazen straight up for Pavelski might get a few owners to bite.
It’s going to be a steep learning curve for the young Oilers as they’ve been outscored 25-8 in the last four contests. The thing about owning rookies is that it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride. You’ll have hot streaks, then plenty of cold streaks. You’ll have multi-point games, then plenty of goose eggs. Consistency is the main issue, which is why I’m not a big fan of owning rookies. Hall and Paajarvi have done okay, but aren’t seeing enough ice-time to really put up big numbers. It wasn’t until Steven Stamkos was averaging 18:56 in mid-February in 2008 that his production started to take off. Until Hall or Paajarvi garners that much ice-time, it’ll be hard to see any type of major fantasy contribution from the duo. Hemsky’s fantasy value is pretty much linked to his health. He’s pretty much a 0.90 point-per-game player. The question remains whether he’ll play 80+ games for 72+ points or 30 contests for 24 points. Eberle is producing the best out of the trio of Oiler rookies as he’s tied with Hemmer for the scoring amongst all of the Oiler forwards. It appears that Dobber’s bold initial projection of 75 points isn’t that far off after all... This time last year, Penner was averaging 19:54 and 3:38, 12 months later and the numbers definitely aren’t the same. At less than 17 minutes of overall ice-time along with an average of just two SOG per game, he’s nothing more than a 50-point LW. Move on to greener pastures.
Los Angeles Kings
It appears that the Brown plus Anze Kopitar experiment is continuing to last, as Brown has spent 77.7 percent of his overall ice-time alongside the talented Slovenian. The 12 points, plus seven rating, 27 PIMs, 63 HITs and 48 SOG is fantasy gold for roto leagues. Williams is also on a tear. The talent is certainly there, but it’s the injury cloud that always looms above his head. If he can manage to stay relatively healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 75-80 point season from him. At just 64 percent Yahoo! owned, he’s a bargain bin pickup. Smyth is a great complement to the Williams and Jarret Stoll duo. Look for him to maintain a steady scoring pace. Poni is out for the next three-four weeks with a broken finger. Prior to the injury he wasn’t doing much toiling on the third line anyways, so sell him immediately. Dobber is a big fan of Simmonds, but he’s not going to get enough ice-time to be of value to fantasy pools. Parse is the latest experiment to be tried with the Kopitar/Brown duo. He did tally 197 points in 159 career contests with the University of Nebraska, as well as 24 points in 59 contests last season with the Kings, which shows some offensive upside. If he can find a permanent fixture alongside the two stars, he could be in for a very productive season riding coat-tails. Definitely keep a close eye on him in the next two-three weeks.
It appears that the Havlat of old is back. He’s on pace to finish the season with 66 points, which is much better than the 54 points that he tallied last season. This season he has more help in the forms of Matt Cullen, John Madden and Latendresse, where as last year he really was hung out to dry on the second line with no help. If you aren’t in need of the peripheral stuff, take a swing at acquiring Havlat. Both Miettinen and Latendresse have been bothered by injuries to start the season, so their totals have been a bit skewed. Both are borderline owns/WW material, depending on league size. Brunette is as consistent as they come, the question is will consistency win you a championship? Clutterbuck is a monster in leagues that tally HITs. A line of 30 points, 363 HITs along with 184 SOG would be fantasy gold at the end of the season.
The more I look at the Preds line up, the more it makes me think how underrated they really are. Not a lot of superstar influence in their line up, and it’s just everyone chipping in and doing their part. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see a repeat of last season, where no Pred tallied more than 51 points. Sullivan has the highest upside with the most overall ice-time along with a decent amount of PP time. Hornqvist has the SOG, but not the ice-time. Dumont appears to be in coach, Barry Trotz, doghouse once again as he’s averaging just a tad over 13 minutes a game. Ward is garnering a fair amount of ice-time, but his offensive upside is limited, as the skill set is just not there. Erat has been dinged up, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a seventh consecutive 49+ point 132+ SOG season from the 29-year old.
Whitney was on par for a pretty ho hum season prior to the five point explosion on Saturday night. The major difference is that he lacks an Eric Staal-type player in Phoenix to really set him up for the points the last few seasons. I’d look for him to fall back towards a 45-50 point pace by season’s end. Wolski hasn’t really had consistent line mates so far this season, which kind of explains the lack of overall production. Either way the ice-time looks to be split fairly evenly amongst all of the Coyote forwards where there won’t be a clear cut point leader in Phoenix. Vrbata is in a similar situation but he’s had pretty consistent line mates in Whitney and Martin Hanzal. The SOG are there, but once again the ice-time is not. I really like Upshall, but he’s been relegated to third line checking duties and won’t make much of a fantasy impact. Doan is on the IR with a lower-body injury which is serious enough for it to be considered week-to-week. I don’t know what you can sell him for, but if you can get something for him it might be worth a shot.
Most of the value resides in the hands of Marleau and Heatley, as you would pretty much expect it to be. The line of Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Clowe has been buzzing the last few games. The trio has combined for a total of 12 points in the last three contests. Clowe is a solid buy candidate for the rest of 2010-11. With the positive news of the productive second line, it’s bad news for Setoguchi. He’s clearly receiving the shaft. Since the formation of the potent second line, Seto has been relegated to just 11:30 per contest. If this trend continues, his value will quickly dissipate. Make the smart move and try to pawn him off to an unsuspecting league mate ASAP.
A bit of a short list for the Blues as NHL.com pretty much listed all of their forwards as centers. Don’t threat, I’ll make sure I include them all in next week’s column. There’s a little bit of value with Perron, but probably nothing that’s going to dramatically make a difference on your fantasy squad. Backes’ current 41-point pace probably isn’t anything to be cheerful about. The scoring is just too spread out for anyone to really run away with the Blues’ scoring title. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the entire top-nine tally between the 45-55 point range.
You don’t need me to tell you that Sedin pretty much holds most of the value in Vancouver. Raymond and Samuelsson both are enjoying their top-six roles and should maintain a healthy production for the season. Torres is off to a hot start, but you can’t expect him to keep it up while averaging just 13 minutes per contest. So sell him immediately now that Burrows has returned. With just two points in seven contests, since his return, I’m starting to get a little bit worried about Burrows. Shoulder injuries, especially the dreaded torn labrum kind, tends to take well over a year to recuperate back to full strength. Just look at the production of Mike Richards, Vinny Lecavalier and probably Kyle Okposo post-surgery. So if I were a Burrows’ owner, I’d quietly shop him around to see what I can get in return.
Questions or comments? As always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below. We’ll see you next week, as we conclude the final part of the series by analysing the Fantasy Indicators of Success 2010 for centers from the Western Conference.
John Hillburg said:
jean-roch noel said:
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 22:32|