|Playing the Peripheral Game (West 2011)||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 20 September 2011 10:46|
The addition of peripheral stats, such as HITs and BS, has become more prevalent amongst fantasy hockey pools this season. Although there are plenty of similarities between drafting in a standard settings league (G, A, +/-, PIMs, PPP, SOG, W, SV%, GAA and SO) and a league that includes HITs and BS, the addition of two extra stats could really throw a curveball in how you approach the draft.
If you look at the Hockey Pool Geek settings, Daniel Sedin leads the way with a HPG rating of 72 in standard Yahoo! leagues, but only has a HPG rating of 42 in leagues that have those two extra stats. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Dustin Brown maintains a HPG rating of 40 in leagues that record HITs and BS, but only a plus six rating in standard Yahoo! leagues.
The easiest way to gain an edge over your competition is to go and have a play around with the settings over at Hockey Pool Geek, it’ll pretty much give you all of the information you’ll need to know for your drafts. Another fantastic tool, which is a “must-have” for poolies, is the new draft guru. You can enter the players you’ve drafted and it’ll churn out all of the numbers to help point in the direction of your weakest areas, so you can adjust on the fly or post-draft. Definitely something that’s worth investing some time and money in.
I’ve also included the draft position that the player was taken in as part of the fairly popular Rocky Horror Roto Show, which features a few of the more popular members of the DobberHockey forums to give you some insight into where these players are relatively drafted.
Onto the key information.
↑ Mike Richards – Los Angeles
Yahoo! Rank: 43
RHRS: 52nd (House of 1000 Orpiks) (4T2)
Generally speaking, the defense position is where you’re going to garner the most BS from, but if you can managed to squeeze in a few from some of your offensive slots, then that just makes your team that much better. Richards has ranked 27th, first, eleventh, and sixth in the league amongst all centermen in the BS department since 2007. Getting an extra 70-odd BS could certainly tip you over the edge against your competition, so keep his name at the back of your mind come draft day.
↑Mike Fisher – C – Nashville
Yahoo! Rank: 195
RHRS: 239th (Silence of the Stams) (Dyzfunctioned)
Fisher is still dealing with complications from an off-season shoulder injury, which kind of devalues him in the early part of the season. If you can look beyond that fact, he could be a great asset to your fantasy squad. Fisher finished last campaign ranked first and 16th amongst all centermen in terms of BS and Hits. There isn’t a lot of competition up the middle for Fisher in Nashville, so he should receive plenty of ice-time to repeat, if not better his peripheral numbers from last year.
↓ Pavel Datsyuk – C – Detroit
Yahoo! Rank: 13
RHRS: 12th (Briere Witch Project) (smackdown)
If peripheral stats are what you’re after then you might want to stay away from Datsyuk, as you won’t get very much from him at all. Although he did finish on a point-per-game pace, it’s the 0.27 PIM, 0.96 Hits and 0.36 BS per game numbers that you really need to worry about. Considering he has an average draft position of 13.9, that’s a really high price to pay for someone that won’t help you out in three of the eight offensive categories.
↑ Dustin Brown – Los Angeles
Yahoo! Rank: 93
RHRS: 61st (Briere Witch Project) (smackdown)
As mentioned earlier in the column, Brown is pretty much king if your league has an emphasis on the peripheral stats. He has ranked second for three consecutive seasons amongst all right wingers in the Hits department. If you tack on the fact that you’re pretty much going to garner a sure-fire 50+ points, 50+ PIM in addition to 220+ SOG. That’s someone who could be considered a “must own” in those types of pools.
↑ David Backes - St. Louis
Yahoo! Rank: 60
RHRS: 56th (A.Nittyville Horror) (Shoeless)
This is what I wrote about Backes this time last season, “Backes is beginning to develop into a poor man’s version of Morrow. His Hits, PIM, and SOG potentially mirror fairly closely to what Morrow may produce, but his points outlook probably lags a few steps behind. Last season, he really took a big step forward in establishing himself as an “all situations” type of player, but I want to see a repeat performance before I dive head first into the Backes pool. If your pool incorporates Hits and BS as a category, it’s probably very low risk to gamble on Backes, but just keep your expectations in check.”
He proved me wrong last season, so I’m ready to dive head first into the Backes pool heading into this campaign. One thing to err on the side of caution about is that the Blues are much deeper this year offensively than last, so once again you might want to keep the point projections in check (around 50) if you do decide to snag Backes at the draft table.
↑ Shane Doan – Phoenix
Yahoo! Rank: 149
RHRS: 113th (A.Nittyville Horror) (Shoeless)
Being in Phoenix and with their primary focus on utilizing a strong defensive system, it’s not hard for poolies to forget Doan’s name in standard Yahoo! leagues. But if you are in a “peripheral” league, then you must slide him up the draft charts. Doan’s 172 Hits last season ranked him ninth amongst all right wingers in the entire league. He also has an HPG two-year rating of ninth overall in leagues that counts Hits and BS, add that to the fact that he’ll chip in with 55-60 points that makes him a fantasy goldmine for peripheral stats as a late-round pick.
↑ Cal Clutterbuck – Minnesota
Yahoo! Rank: 214
RHRS: 173rd (Maaaaa-chete) (Yours Truly)
It’s been three years running that Clutterbuck has walked away with the NHL Hits title, so you’ll pretty much know exactly why you’re getting him for your fantasy squad. The top-six (Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu, Devin Setoguchi, Matt Cullen, Guillaume Latendresse, and P.M. Bouchard) in Minny is fairly locked, so Clutterbuck won’t get optimal scoring opportunities, but if you lower your expectations to 30-35 points and 150 SOG, that’ll still prove to be plenty useful in many “peripheral” leagues.
↓ Patrick Kane – Chicago
Yahoo! Rank: 22
RHRS: 39th (Phaneufenstein) (kluu)
Kane might have the ability to put up point-per-game numbers, but when it comes down to the peripheral game (PIM, Hits and BS) he definitely slips a few notches. Since Kane has entered the NHL back in 2007, he has averaged just 35.5 PIM, 17.3 Hits and 12.5 BS per season, which has equated to an HPG rating of just 12th overall, this is a far cry compared to the fourth overall rating that he currently owns in standard Yahoo! leagues.
↑Ryane Clowe – San Jose
Yahoo! Rank: 82
RHRS: 58th (Phaneufenstein) (kluu)
I was quite surprised to see Clowe’s name that high on HPG’s list of LWers, but statistically it does make a lot of sense. Based on two-year averages which include the peripheral stats, he ranks fourth overall amongst all LW in the league. With Devin Setoguchi and Heatley moved on, Clowe should garner a bit more of the vacated ice-time, which should in turn help increase his point totals. Keep in mind that he’ll still be stuck behind Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Martin Havlat, so keep your expectations in check but the decent peripherals plus 50-60 points makes him plenty valuable in “peripheral leagues”.
↑Brendan Morrow – Dallas
Yahoo! Rank: 87
RHRS: 94th (DrFrankNFurter) (JamesGlenCooper)
Morrow’s getting up there in age, but he’s still plenty useful in fantasy pools by averaging 16 PPP, 182 SOG, 73 PIM and 228 BS during the last two seasons. With Brad Richards moving to New York, there will be a stronger emphasis for Morrow to step up to the plate to produce better numbers offensively. His HPG rating of plus 21 is certainly something to take note of.
↑Jamie Benn – Dallas
Yahoo! Rank: 160
RHRS: 76th (House of 1000 Orpiks) (4T2)
A second Stars’ player to take note of is Benn. He has career averages of 0.64 PIM, 2.05 HITs, 0.53 BS and 2.38 SOG per contest. Look for him to possibly slot in as the second line center, and help fill the void left behind by Richards, which would then make him eligible for the extremely valuable dual-eligibility in Yahoo! leagues. Benn’s definitely much more valuable than the average 161.4 drafted player that poolies have been selecting him at.
↑Cody McLeod – Colorado
Yahoo! Rank: 546
RHRS: 260th (Maaaaa-chete) (Yours Truly)
A dark horse candidate that I love to prop up is McLeod because of how under-the-radar he really is. We all know the “goon types” like Derek Dorsett, Jared Boll, George Parros, and Colton Orr, but the problem with those guys is, besides the PIMs, they’re generally pretty useless on the other fronts, so it ends up being you burning up a roster slot just for a lone stat. You aren’t going to get huge offensive numbers from McLeod, but you might get a line of 15 points, 170 PIM, 170 Hits, 25 BS, and 100 SOG, which would help in multiple fronts compared to owning a one trick pony, like the four players listed above. If you’re looking for a late-round flier take a gamble on McLeod.
↓ Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit
Yahoo! Rank: 30
RHRS: 17th (A.Nittyville Horror) (Shoeless)
Pretty much ditto to what I wrote about Kane above. Zetterberg is a great candidate to post point-per-game numbers, but when it comes down to the peripheral game (PIMs, HITs and BS) he also has to be dropped a few notches. During the last four years, Zets has averaged just 34 PIM, 42.5 Hits and 25.3 BS per season, which is a little bit better than the numbers that Kane would post, but probably still not good enough to lead you to the fantasy hockey glory land in peripheral leagues.
↑ Brent Seabrook – Chicago
Yahoo! Rank: 148
RHRS: 106th (Phaneufenstein) (kluu)
Defensemen are generally where you’re going to garner the most BS from, so it’s vitally important that you pick up strong shot blockers to help you control that department. Seabrook’s 154 BS last season ranked him 21st overall in that department and if you add in the 227 Hits, 135 SOG, 20 PPP and 47 PIM that makes him a huge across-the-board “must own” in many peripheral pools. One thing that I’d be a bit wary of was his 48 points last campaign. He’s never really been a big offensive producer and that total might have been an anomaly. Head into the season thinking 35-40 then you won’t be disappointed if he does return back to the “norm”.
↑ Mark Giordano – Calgary
Yahoo! Rank: 115
RHRS: 98th (Silence of the Stams) (dyzfunctioned)
Gio had a great season when he posted 43 points along with a whopping 140 Hits and 193 BS for the Flames. Now that the defensive depth charts have cleared up with the departure of Robyn Regher and Steve Staios, look for Giordano to claim some of that residual short-handed ice-time left behind. With a number one PP QB gig all locked up, Gio could be the final piece that puts your team over the edge come April.
↑ Stephane Robidas – Dallas
Yahoo! Rank: 275
RHRS: 188th (Maaaaa-chete) (Yours Truly)
Robidas returned back to Earth last campaign, after dominating ROTO leagues the season in 2009-10. The reason behind that was that he had full reigns as the team’s number one blue-liner. Since then, they’ve added players like Alex Goligoski and Sheldon Souray to take over the offensive duties, which should then allow Robidas to return back to the defensive role that he’s more accustomed to. His three-year averages of 71 PIM, 235.3 Hits, 140.3 BS and 153.3 SOG is pure fantasy gold. Don’t forget his name come draft day.
↓ Keith Yandle – Phoenix
Yahoo! Rank: 41
RHRS: 64th (Nightmare on Helm Street) (Nehithaw)
On average Yandle is being drafted as the seventh blue-liner (48th overall) in typical Yahoo! drafts. If you take into account the peripheral stats, he slides all the way down to 16th according to HPG. One of the main reasons is due to a lack of Hits and PIM. For the last two campaigns, Yandle has averaged just 34.5 Hits as well as a run-of-the-mill 56.5 PIM per season. I’d much rather pass on Yandle and snag an alternative like Dion Phaneuf or Brent Burns 35 picks later and reserve my early pick on another option.
There’s a couple of ways that you can go and approach drafting for a league that includes Hits and BS. One is that you can just draft how you normally draft and ignore the peripheral stats like you normally do with +/- or PPP. Or the second option is to look for players who will actively pick up those stats but at an expense of sacrificing “the best player available”. Either way you can’t really go wrong with either option, as long as you’re completely happy with the outcome.
Tips for leagues that include HITS and BS
Players who are generally considered “soft” players, are majorly devalued in leagues that include Hits and BS. If you really think about it statistically, you’re in the same boat if you owned a superstar combo of Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik and Daniel Sedin on a team as someone who would own Robidas, Brown, Fisher and Richards with goals and assists being offset by Hits and BS.
Generally speaking, the better across-the-board Hits and BS producers come from the blue-line, which means that you can save your early round picks for goalies or forwards and snag guys like Peckham, Giordano, or Sheldon Souray in the late rounds.
With that said, top of the class across-the-board producers like Zdeno Chara, Chris Pronger, Dion Phaneuf, Mike Green, and Seabrook could be worth over-reaching for in order to make sure that they’re on your roster and not your opponents.
With Hits and BS, it pretty much evens the playing field for many of the WW material and you’ll probably find that you’ll be utilizing the WW much more during the season than you would if it was a standard Yahoo! league.
Settings: 12 teams, ROTO, Settings: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG, FW, Hits, BS, W, GAA, SV, and SV% Positions: C, C, C, C, LW, LW, LW, LW, RW, RW, RW, RW, D, D, D, D, D, D, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR, IR
C- Crosby, Thornton, Stastny, Langkow, and Horcoff
LW- Kovalchuk, Elias, Lupul, McLeod, and Comeau
RW- Selanne, Jagr, Alfredsson, Clutterbuck
D- Lidstrom, Ehrhoff, Wisniewski, Schenn, Robidas, White, and Bogosian
G – Miller, Halak, and Roloson
Questions or comments? As always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below.
Hockey Hoser said:
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 19:47|