Welcome back to An Expert’s Audit. I took a little time off to address some other issues but I’m hoping to be back on the horse regularly soon. I’ll be looking for a chump ... er, I mean participant for next month’s audit so if you’re interested in that then you can fire off an email to Dobber about it and leave your league and team particulars in your email.
I was pleased to help Manny Sequeira with his points league (with a couple tweaks) keeper team this month. There wasn’t a waiver wire option here so we could only work to improve a team through trades. We did have to discuss which 12 options he should look to keep for next season and that was a fun discussion at the same time. It should also be noted that you had to start 6 D and 1 G while the rest could be any forward and goals for a D-man are worth 2 and Wins for a goalie are also worth 2 with an extra point for a shuttie. Without further ado let’s take a look at Tea with Miss McGill (brownie points for whoever gets the reference).
F Alex Ovechkin WAS – what can I say, he’s supposed to have close to 40 by now and battling for the league lead. I think he’s taking this defensive conscience idea too much to heart and I’m hoping that he returns to monstrous form sometime very soon.
F Mike Richards PHI – he’s more valuable to the Flyers than he is to your fantasy team. In a simple points league he’s still very dangerous but the intangibles in his game make him among the best leaders and best assets in the NHL.
F John Tavares NYI – I believe we have yet to see the great things that we’re expecting from this kid. I could see some Rick Nash or Jarome Iginla type prominence from JT one day. That’ll mean several seasons of 40 plus goals soon.
F Ryan Getzlaf ANA – did you see the Frankenstein gash on his forehead recently? Now THAT’S a hockey player! I like that he’s a pt/game option who’s not afraid to get all PIMy. For your purposes you just care about the pt/game thing.
F Alex Steen STL – his dad is a city councillor here in Winnipeg, and I’m sure a lot of folks voted for him just because they remember his days as a Jet. As far as the son is concerned he’s a very much underrated C2 who can produce like a few C1’s. He’s on pace for 63 pts this season which is pretty decent for a guy who’s supposed to be a support guy but getting enough ice to be THE guy.
F Brian Gionta MON – it’s weird the lack of assists he’s gotten as a Hab, he’s shooting about as much as he did as a Devil but there is significantly less assists over the last two seasons. He also has never come close to his 48 goals from ’05-06. I don’t think he has all that much value to be honest.
F Jordan Eberle EDM – he’s a rook who’s on pace for 56 pts. I’ll definitely take that from him, particularly when I think that it’s only going to get better from there.
F Ryan Callahan NYR – there’s a good number of young Rangers that are worth watching in keeper pools and Callahan is right out front for the Blueshirts. He and Doobie (that would be Brandon Dubinsky) should lead the way for them for a lot of years. 50 pts this season is probably reasonable for him but will just begin to show some of the promise that many are already seeing from him.
F Tyler Ennis BUF – I really like this kid. I see a little bit of Datsyuk in him. Wouldn’t that be amazing? He’s on pace for 47 pts over a full season and I see things only going skyward from there as he gets more and more ice.
F Troy Brouwer CHI – I think that once Hossa wakes up that he’ll be taking a lot of opportunity from Brouwer over the last half of the season. He got 15 goals in the first half and I’ve got to think that’s a pretty phenomenal total for him already so everything from here is gravy.
F Joe Pavelski SJ – on a Sharks team whose offense has disappointed this season little Joe has performed about as well as he has been expected to. He’s a decent option that will continue to be decent support offense.
F Scott Hartnell PHI – one of my favourite PIMy options but I also like him because he gets goals in bunches.
D Drew Doughty LA – so much was expected of him this season and he hasn’t even been the best D option on his own team so far. He’s still your best D option and he’s more than a little bit valuable as a fantasy asset.
D Dennis Wideman FLA – the Cats in general aren’t scoring and it looks like Stephen Weiss and Wide-load are the only offensive options to consider for fantasy value. When Wideman is further up his team’s pecking order he produces more, so I could see him coming close to the 50 pt total that he put up a couple seasons ago in Boston.
D P.K. Subban MON – it was really good to see an old vet like Hal Gill take PK under his wing a bit. Soobs can really learn a lot just by relying on the steadiness that Gill gives a hockey team. Subban is going to be an absolute star and he’s got the attitude to match it. He’ll do some huge things for the Habs so that they may not even need to re-sign Markov down the road (they will though).
D John Carlson WAS – I really do wonder if he’ll be better than Mike Green is. Green struggles in his own end traditionally so I suspect that Carlson will be more well rounded there but I also suspect he’ll outproduce him offensively too. Just think how that offense is going to be when everything is firing.
D Paul Martin PIT – I was never a huge fan of him as a Devil and I’m still not a huge fan as a Pen but at least he’ll get to contribute to more potent offense and his numbers will be a bit inflated for a few more years. I could see somewhere around 35 pts for him this season.
D Zach Bogosian ATL – this is Bogo’s 3rd season in the league and his offense has completely disappeared this year. I was picturing Pronger-like stats out of him and he has just plain gone Rip Van Winkle on me. At least he’s got a cool nickname.
G Jaroslav Halak STL – the ratios are wonderful but for some reason there just aren’t enough W’s for the Blues. Halak is over .500 on the season but they’ve allowed more goals than they’ve scored. If they can play better in front of him then he has shown the hockey world that he can carry a team on his shoulders. If the Blues make it to the dance and they find some more offense then Halak can lead the way to the promised land.
BN Craig Anderson COL – after the fantastic season he had last year it has been more than a little surprising that he hasn’t been able to put together the same sorts of stats this season. It’s not even that close actually. The Avs are a solid, young team having a bad year and I believe a good chunk of the blame should be laid in the crease of their best goaltender. He nearly got 40 W’s last year and he won’t even make it to 30 this year.
BN Brian Elliott OTW – well ... uh ... man the Sens are just a mess eh? What can I say here? Elliott is an average goaltender playing in front of a bad team this season. I don’t see any significant fantasy contribution coming from Elliott for his career. Sorry if you’re a fan.
BN Brian Little ATL – I’m worrying that he’ll never take the next step to become a star. He’s barely outproducing the kids on his own team (yes I realize Little’s only 23) and I just think that he may always be a mildly mediocre fantasy option. For me, if he doesn’t return to the 50 pt plateau some season soon then he may never get back there.
BN Rene Bourque CAL – I’ve thought that Bourque could be a really nice middleweight sort of pest for the Flames. He gets points in bunches and comes across with some decent PIMs when he gets in one of his “moods”. He’s a 50 pt guy in his best seasons and you should draft accordingly, particularly in points only leagues.
BN James Van Riemsdyk PHI – this is his 2nd season in the league and he’ll improve his point totals on last year. I think the growth will be constant if he can get enough exposure in that Philly attack.
BN Alexander Frolov NYR – back when he was good he was really inconsistent from game to game. I have no use for him in any fantasy league anymore. Since you don’t have a waiver wire the only way to rid this guy from your team would be to trade him, and that certainly ain’t happening.
BN Braydon Schenn LA – to be fair, you thought he was going to stick with the team this year but it just wasn’t meant to be. I suppose he has value in a keeper if he makes the cut for your 12 keeps but otherwise it just would’ve been better to draft him next year instead.
BN Nikolai Zherdev PHI – I actually had this guy in a dynasty keeper and I finally had to dump him in frustration. Yeah, he’s got 15 goals but he’s buried in the offense and he’s put up a massive 4 assists on the season. I just threw up a little in my mouth.
BN Shawn Horcoff EDM – he’s 5 years removed from his only 70 pt season. Why do people expect more than 45 pts/season out of this guy? In case you’re wondering, he’ll never return to anything close to a pt/game ever again, so stop expecting it.
BN Marc-Edouard “pickle” Vlasic SJ – I’ve soured on this kid a LOT this season. Pun intended. He has no value to your team and you probably won’t be starting him all season. With no waiver wire this has essentially become a wasted pick and that’s just a shame given the PP opportunity he’s had over the last couple seasons.
BN Oliver Ekman-Larsson PHX – he’s a rook who’s got a shot at 20 pts this season. That’s actually pretty good for a rookie but he’ll seldom be good enough to start in your league. One day he may be good enough to consider keeping him ... not this year though.
One of the first discussions about his team revolved around the question of who are Manny’s best 12 keeper options. Manny is in 5th place presently and he’d like to take a run for the money which would mean he’d have to finish top 3. We decided to have a shot at that we’d have to make moves that upgraded his non-keepers and he should take a shot at getting another solid D option to keep.
I figured there were 9 sure keeps on this roster: Ovechkin, Richards, Tavares, Getzlaf, Eberle, Doughty, Subban, Carlson, and Halak. That would mean that 3 more keeps would need to be found out of a list of Callahan, Pavelski, Ennis, Hartnell, Van Riemsdyk and Schenn unless you packaged a couple of them for a keeper option. The others on the team only had value as trade bait to help your team for this season.
If I had to choose 3 guys from the list remaining I’d pick Callahan, Pavelski and Ennis but the discussion got convoluted. You wanted to keep Van Riemsdyk and Schenn and we hashed out the options in a couple discussions. It was decided that we could shop the other guys in an effort to upgrade a keeper who can help you longer term but also help you this season. In order to get the best bang for your buck I suggested that the keep you go after be a goal scoring D man since that’s where your lineup needed the most help for this season.
So thus we came to ...
We traded Nikolai Zherdev for Ray Whitney – I don’t really know what the other guy was thinking because I’m not a big fan of Z this season if he remains in Philly. There is some chatter that the Pens are interested in him but I’m a bit leery of an idea where the Flyers send much of ANYTHING to Pittsburgh that isn’t hate mail. You wouldn’t be keeping Z anyway and you won’t keep Whitney either so this deal is just to help your team for this season. Well done.
We traded Joe Pavelski and Brian Little for Dan Boyle – well, the price was a little steep but you gave up 2 guys who were on the bubble for keeping so that you can get a D man that you can keep for next year. It helps you this year since you don’t have to start a guy like Bogo at the bottom of your roster while you do get to start a puck-mover who’s biggest criticism this season has been +/- , and that’s something that you don’t track in this league.
We traded Troy Brouwer for Mason Raymond – again we made this move to try and help your team this season. This was a bit of a risky move because Raymond hasn’t been producing like he did last year. Brouwer has produced plenty this season and if you ask me the likelihood that Raymond would produce more for the remainder is better than Brouwer keeping up the pace. Raymond will really need to pick it up and produce alongside Kesler and its still my hope that he starts to get a bigger chunk of the offense that Kesler has been creating for them.
Ok so there was no waiver wire to move out some of your fodder and that’s just too bad because you had a good chunk of deadwood sitting on your bench. We did manage to make a few moves in an effort to help your situation now and hopefully down the road.
The first couple moves were designed to help your team for this year. The Whitney trade will definitely help you this season mostly because Zherdev has just plain stunk it up while Whitney leads the Yotes forwards in points. The Raymond trade is a bit of a chance in the hope that he perks up more over the second half and contributes more like he did for them last season. If he comes close then he should at least keep pace with Brouwer who overproduced in the first half and who shouldn’t be able to keep that up.
The big trade of the month was the Boyle deal. You needed a goal scoring D who you could start and possibly keep for next year. Dan Boyle is a puck moving D who has a history for goals in the teens over a season. Your roster had to start Bogosian who was disappointing too much to be “startable”. This trade cost you Pavelski and Little which is a steep price but both guys were on the bubble for keeping next season and you got a keeper out of the trade.
So ... that brings us back to the 12 keeper options. There were 9 easy keeps and we added Boyle to their number. That means you need to select 2 last keeps out of your list of Callahan, Ennis, Hartnell, Van Riemsdyk and Schenn. Manny and I discussed it ... and we didn’t really agree on the options. I’m not going to steal his thunder in case any of his league-mates read this audit but maybe there are some other opinions out there. Feel free to comment with your thoughts.
Well, that’s the story. All the best Manny, that was a blast.