Plenty of “busts” so far this campaign. Let's discuss a few that have caught my attention and see if a deviation is expected or are things going to remain status quo to drive you further insane.
Corey Perry – RW - Anaheim
Heading into the season, there were plenty of warning signs about snagging Perry high at the draft table. He was, on average, drafted at position 4.8 in Yahoo! leagues, which has left a sour taste in many poolies mouths. The problem is there were plenty of tell-tale signs (shooting percentage, team PP efficiency and past numbers), that he wasn’t going to repeat his performance from last campaign, which was unfortunately ignored by many. Maaaasquito Buzz: The best thing that Perry owners can hope for is that newly hired coach Bruce Boudreau can somehow right the ship in Anaheim and return him back to his old scoring ways. As a best case scenario, I’d expect something around 55-60 points in the remaining 56 contests for an end of year total right around the 80-point mark but don’t expect anything more.
Bobby Ryan – RW/LW - Anaheim
Much like Perry, Ryan was also highly sought after at the draft table, with an average draft position of 12.4 in Yahoo! leagues. The biggest concern for me was that he was being majorly over-reached in the first place. His 71 points last campaign was a career-high, which kind of leaves me scratching my head as to why he was taken well ahead of “safer” options like Anze Kopitar or Patrick Kane. Granted he was a LW (which was pretty shallow in terms of high-end production at the time), but judging by the amount of forum posts regarding Ryan, that huge gamble certainly haven’t paid off for those who took the leap of faith. Maaaasquito Buzz: As stated above, the rest of the season production for Ryan will largely hinge on what BB is able to do with the Ducks. If he can turn Anaheim into the 3.82 offense of Washington from 2009, then Ryan and Co. could be valuable fantasy owns, but if he can’t then Ryan could be a major fantasy flop this campaign. If I were a Ryan owner, I’d certainly toss a line out and milk the BB acquisition to the best of my ability and sell him for more stable production.
Jarome Iginla – RW- Calgary
After starting 2011-12 with just 10 points in his first 21 contests, Iggy has picked up five in his last four starts. If you read my column a few weeks back, then you probably would’ve read that since the lockout he has a 1.09 point-per-game average post-ASG, which is something that you might want to file to the back of your mind especially for H2H playoff matchups. Maaaasquito Buzz: Now might be a great time to “buy low” on Iggy. He just won’t stay mediocre all season long. Another factor that you might want to keep in mind is if the Flames continue to struggle, Iggy could become trade bait for a contending team if Calgary decides to “burn it to the ground” and rebuild, which could shoot his fantasy value up dramatically.
Henrik Zetterberg – LW- Detroit
Zets is another player who has struggled to start the season. On average he was drafted 26.4 in Yahoo! leagues, but his 15 points currently have him tied with 15 others for 107th overall, ouch! The bright side is that his 19:22 TOI per game average ranks 44th amongst all forwards, while his 3:40 PP TOI per game ranks 47th. Maaaasquito Buzz: He’s just too good of a player ad is given too much quality ice-time to be held down for the entire season. It’s probably too late to expect 80 points come April, but something around the vicinity of 60 points in the remaining 57 contests could still salvage a few fantasy seasons.
Jeff Carter – C/RW- Columbus
What a gong-show it has been for Carter this year. He’s registered just eight points, while missing almost as many games as he has played. Carter has certainly not lived up to his 33.3 Yahoo! average draft position from the start of the season. With Kristian Huselius back into the mix, the Jackets are going to run into the problem of ice-time scarcity, where there’s just not going to be enough to spread around once everyone gets healthy. Maaaasquito Buzz: Carter owners are stuck between a rock and a hard place, as he doesn’t carry much trade value at the moment and you can’t just outright drop him onto the ww. The best case scenario that you can hope for is when he returns, something causes the Jackets’ offense to click and he finishes the season with 60 points.
Ryan Getzlaf – C- Anaheim
See Bobby Ryan or Corey Perry above.
Corey Crawford – G- Chicago
Good thing Crawford plays for Chicago or he could be in quite a bit of strife at the moment. His 12 wins currently sits him in fourth place, but it’s the 3.00 GAA (31st ranked), and .896 SP (34th ranked), that’s really hurting poolies. Maaaasquito Buzz: Because Crawford plays for the Hawks, you might be able to use his “team status” as a major selling point. A straight up trade of something like Niklas Backstrom, Carey Price or Miikka Kiprusoff for Crawford might just be appealing enough for an ill-advised owner to quickly accept. Sure you might lose a few wins, but the increase in GAA and SP might just be what it takes to push your team over the edge.
Drew Doughty – D- Los Angeles
Eight points in 21 contests is certainly something that is unacceptable for someone who was, on average, taken 39.8th pick in Yahoo! drafts. I wonder how much of that is directly due to him missing training camp, as he was holding out for a new contract at the start of the season? The biggest difference that I can identify between this campaign and last year is in the ES production. In 2010-11, 25 of his 40 points (62.5 percent), were scored ES. This season just two of eight (25 percent), has been registered on ES. The Kings’ forwards play a much more down low puck possession game than in the previous seasons, which means that the puck is not coming to the point as much anymore, which in turn explains the lack of ES production for Doughty due to limited touches. Maaaasquito Buzz: I know it’s never a good thing to “sell low”, but I just don’t have faith that DD is going to rebound. There’s going to be a few lurkers looking to “buy low” on him, so if you can squeeze out a good deal of something like Sheldon Souray, Ryan Suter or Ian White, I’d say go for it!
Dany Heatley – RW - Minnesota
Heater is just too talented of a player to finish the season with 51 points. His 20:30 overall TOI and 4:07 PP TOI averages per game are both tied for 20th amongst all forwards. Something tells me that he’s going to shake his offensive slump fairly soon. Maaaasquito Buzz: Heater is a strong “buy low” candidate, he probably won’t hit 80 points, but even if he finishes with 70 that would equate to 53 in the remaining 55, which would be amongst the league leaders during that span.
Chris Stewart – RW – St. Louis
Many poolies had high hopes for Stewart entering this campaign. I mean why wouldn’t you when a player tallies 23 points in the final 26 games to finish off a season. The big thing that a lot of people miscalculated was the offensive depth that the Blues had entering 2011-12. With David Perron now returning into the mix, the Blues essentially have eight players that could all legitimately register 40 points or more by season’s end. With that kind of offensive depth, it’d be hard for any one player to really produce consistent offensive numbers moving forward. Here’s the production chart of Blues’ forwards since Hitch has taken over.
Maaaasquito Buzz: With three points in the last three contests, there might be a few poolies out there that might interpret that as a turnaround. Use that to your advantage and see if you can move Stewart for a decent return.
Brent Seabrook – D – Chicago
If you read my Not With a 10-foot Pole column during the pre-season, you probably would have read me highlighting Seabrook as a candidate to avoid at the draft table. So far it’s proven true as he’s on pace to tally just 28 points come April. The big thing that you have to recognize is that he’s NOT an offensive defenseman. He’s more of a stay-at-home, shut down blue liner. Yes, you can argue that he tallied 48 points last season, but if you look at his seasonal numbers, for most of his career he’s tallied right around the 30-point mark. Maaaasquito Buzz: Seabrook still carries a “big name”, which makes him highly coveted to ill-informed poolies, so there would be plenty of interest if you dangled his name out on the trading block. If you’re playing in a standard settings league, which doesn’t count HIT or BS, then much like the situation with DD, if you can land a Souray, White or Suter in return for Seabrook, I’d say go for it.
R.J. Umberger – C/RW – Columbus
With just seven points in 26 contests, it kind of shocked me to see that Umberger was still 31 percent Yahoo! owned at the moment. The plus side is that over the last two weeks, he’s averaging 16:19 overall and 3:00 on the PP per contest. Maaaasquito Buzz: If you are an Umberger owner, sit tight for another week or two, if he continues to stink it up, then send him to the ww. With the amount of PP TOI that he’s receiving, surely he’s going to have something to show for it.
Patric Hornqvist – RW – Nashville
Hornqvist was drafted, on average, with pick 110.5 in Yahoo! leagues. With just 11 points to start the season, it’s certainly not what a lot of poolies bargained for. Here’s the interesting thing about him. If you look at his first half (Oct-Dec), vs. second half (Jan-April), stats, they tell a very interesting story. In 2009-10, he tallied 21 in 40 to start the season then finished with 30 in 40. Last season, he went 20 in 34 in the first half then 32 in 45 in the second half. Could he be in store for another 0.75 point-per-game rate this second half? Maaaasquito Buzz: I’m a big reader into trends, so I’m going to peg Hornqvist as a huge second half “buy low” candidate. Now might be a great time to send his owner a trade offer and take advantage of his slow start.
Any busts of your own? Questions or comments? As always I’ll discuss them with you in the comments section below.