|Indicators of Success: Defensemen (West 2011)||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 08 November 2011 08:21|
The fantasy value of a blue-liner can easily be identified by interpreting two main stats: 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 opportunities they’ll have to score with an offensive advantage. On a similar note, SOG usually maintains a similar line of thought. The more a defenseman shoots, the higher the chance it goes into the net or creating offensive chances. The opposite also holds true, the less a defenseman shoots, the lower the chance that the puck has of going into the net and the lower point production. Now that we’ve established clear indicators on determining the fantasy value of defenseman, let’s take a closer look the defenseman from the Western Conference.
NOTE: based on one-year leagues - not meant for keeper/dynasty leagues.
Visnovsky is only on pace for 23 points this season, which is a far cry from the 67 that he posted last season. He’s a much better player than that, so look for an opportunity to buy low on the reigning leading point-producing blue-liner. Stand pat on Fowler his overall stats aren’t the greatest (lacking in SOG), but the rest of the numbers should warrant an offensive uptick fairly soon.
Not much fantasy value from the blue-liners in Cowtown. Most, if not all, of the value belongs to Giordano who is just leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else in terms of opportunity. An interesting note that I dug up regarding JBo; he has a pretty steady 4.55 SOG per point ratio during his career. It’s just that in Florida he maintained a 1.96 SOG per game ratio, while in Calgary it’s just 1.48 SOG per contest. JBo if you are reading this, if you want to see your name on the scoresheet more often, get back to shooting the puck!
The youngster is starting to turn a few heads in the Windy City. Leddy is leading the way with eight points in 14 contests. The SOG are a bit low, but he’s seeing plenty of quality ice-time behind the big two of Keith and Seabrook. If you are looking for some help on the blue-line, strongly consider adding Leddy to your fantasy roster. Keith is nursing a hand injury which explains why he’s not on top of the Hawk’s defensive scoring. He’ll continue to post decent numbers once he returns. If you are a Seabrook owner, consider selling him. He had a great run last year when he posted 48 points, but he’s more of a consistent 30-35 point guy than a steady 40+ pointer.
After missing out on the first eight contests of the season, Wissy is back and trying to make up for lost time. He’s garnering a massive chunk of the PPTOI, which is where he’s going to garner a lot of his points from. As an owner, stand pat and enjoy the show, if not definitely make a big push in order to secure his services. Also keep an eye on Tyutin, he’s the clear cut number two behind Wisniewski and the numbers are favourable for an offensive outburst fairly soon.
Heading into the season a lot of the hype belonged to Johnson, but so far it’s Quincey who has stolen the show. His 41 SOG currently ranks tied for third amongst all blue-liners with PK Subban and Dan Boyle. Look for the offensive numbers to continue. Wilson does have a good offensive pedigree from junior hockey (269 points in 316 contests), but he probably doesn’t have the skill set to continue this ridiculous NHL pace (46 points). Wilson could however sneak in for under-the-radar 30-35 points if he continues to garner plenty of second unit PP ice-time.
It’s been a great rebound year for Souray, as he’s absolutely tearing up the scoresheets. If he can stay healthy, a 60+ point season wouldn’t be surprising. Goligoski was essentially King of the Hill in Dallas last season when he registered 15 points in the final 23 contests. The only problem is, he has Souray as a roadblock this campaign, so I don’t think he’ll get as much love in 2011-12. I’d sneakily try to sell him if I had the chance.
You probably don’t need me to tell you that Lidstrom is the man in the Motor City. All of the numbers point to a fantastic finish if this is his final campaign in the NHL. White has also had a fine start to the 2011-12 season. He won’t unseat Lidstrom as the “go to” guy in Detroit, but he’ll settle in nicely as a solid number two. White’s posted consecutive 30+ point seasons, so look for him to make it three in a row.
The Oilers haven’t generated much offense from the blue-line during their first 13 contests of the season. The surprising Potter, who came out of nowhere, is leading the charge with eight points and garnering plenty of ice-time in Whitney’s absence. The journeyman’s never been a “big time” scorer at any level of professional hockey, so expect the numbers to come back down to Earth once Whitney returns. Speaking of Whitney, he recently consulted the team doctors regarding clearance to return to the Oiler line up, so he’s not far off. Keep a close eye on both Gilbert and Barker. The production isn’t present, but the numbers are potentially there.
Johnson filled the shoes when Doughty was on the shelf dealing with an injury. He’s never been a big shot taker which concerns me about his production. Other than that, the numbers are there for him to still remain fairly productive. Doughty has had some very interesting splits. In 2009, he had a very hot January where he picked up 15 points in 14 contests and then repeated that in 2010 where he had a blazing December while picking up 13 points in 14 games. You can probably expect another hot run sometime during this campaign, so try to add him before that happens.
Zidlicky was recently removed from the Wild’s top PP unit, which opened the door for Spurgeon to garner some top unit PP ice-time during the last few matches. If Spurgeon can maintain that roster spot he could be in for an under-the-radar 30-35 point season. Zidlicky has always been a very slow starter, (career October 0.51 point-per-game numbers), so look for him bounce back in November and beyond. Don’t discount Zidlicky, as he was on pace to tally 40+ points in six out of the previous seven seasons. Stick a watch sign on Scandella, he won’t put up mind boggling numbers, but if you are a deep league where a 20-25 point d-man with a bit of potential is roster worthy, give him a shot.
It’s not hard to identify the dual “big guns” of the Nashville blue-line. Both should be great owns this campaign. With Pekka Rinne getting a massive long-termed contract, I wonder if the Preds will loosen the purse strings with Weber? The Preds have not had three blue-liners record 30+ points since the 2006-07 season, which doesn’t bode well for Blum or Klein owners.
There’s no question that Yandle is the king of the blue-line in Phoenix. If you look at the numbers he’s just leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the defensive corps. Look for another potential 50+ point season from him. After recording three points in the first four contest of the season, OEL has just responded with two in his last nine. Young D tend to take a while before they start to develop consistency in their scoring, so don’t expect too much from the youngster this campaign.
Boyle is where all of the fantasy value is at. He currently leads all NHL defenseman in PP TOI and his 48 SOG is only three off of defenseman league leader Erik Karlsson. Burns has started off slowly, but you can really only expect so much if he continues to play behind Boyle. Expect a small improvement (35-40 points), but don’t expect huge mind boggling numbers.
I’m kind of surprised to see Nikitin garner more PP TOI than Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo and Colaiacovo, but that’s just the way the numbers have fallen. He still has a goose egg next to his name so there’s limited fantasy value despite the amount of PP ice-time he’s receiving. Shatty is on a similar point production pace as last campaign, so look for a repeat performance of 2010-11. AP has increased his SOG rate just a tad this season, he’s on pace to finish with close to 200. Expect somewhere around 40-45 points come April. New head coach, Ken Hitchcock, is known to heavily ride his “favourite” defensive players, so this might just be the boost that AP and Shatty need to get her going.
Edler’s my candidate to pull off a Visnovsky-like campaign this year. Hopefully you read a couple of my columns, (Forget me Not and Undervalued and Underappreciated), back in Summer, Salo was mentioned a couple of times back then and hopefully a few you followed suit and picked him up at the draft table. Most of the fantasy value will belong to Edler and Salo, which makes Hamhuis (eight percent), Bieksa (43 percent), and Ballard (three percent) expendable.
Questions or comments? As always I’ll discuss them with you in the comments section below. We’ll see you next week, as we go through the Indicators of Success 2011 for right wingers from the Western Conference.
Ryan Ma said:
Ryan Ma said:
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|Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 12:45|