Radko Gudas is a deep sleeper, and your Geek of the Week.
Last week, I gave you a Geek of the Week in David Backes that may have been a bit obvious for most Dobber Readers. If you check out the Roto Rankings frequently, you would already be familiar with Backes’ value (currently #11 on the Roto Rankings). On a side note - If you don’t check out the Roto Rankings, you really should. Moving on from Backes, I thought it would be good to balance out last week’s article on a top of the draft guy by digging a little deeper today, so I give you my latest Geek of the Week: Radko Gudas.
Who? Ok, I admit it – I actually didn’t really know who this guy was either. The only reason he ever came to my attention was because I was perusing my Fantasy Hockey Geek draft list as I am oft to do and this strange name jumped out to me as I am reading down the list…..Hartnell, Koivu, Gudas, Clar-….wait WHO?
I was so taken aback that I had to go to the Fantasy Guide. Sure enough, Dobber was already all over it and had identified Gudas as a fantasy sleeper. I don’t know how I had missed him when I first read the guide, but thankfully I was looking through the FHG numbers so I didn’t miss out on the Gudas opportunity.
Before I go any further on this guy, I just want to be clear on a couple things: I am recommending Gudas only in leagues that count PIMs or Hits (preferably both). Hits and PIMs aren’t exactly easy to project with a player who has such a small sample size (22 games), so Gudas’ value likely won’t actually be as high as it shows below – but it will certainly be higher than what other GMs in your league perceive his value to be. Also, please remember that I am advising you to snatch this guy up in one of the last rounds of the draft, not with a high or even mid-level pick – despite the possibility of him providing great value.
I do think that if you consider the above though, Gudas can be a great flier to take who could provide your team with tremendous value in certain leagues. Here’s how:
The league I was prepping for is a new keeper that I am joining which is a 14 team H2H that measures (G, A, +/-, PPP, SHP, SOG, PIM and Hits). I ran this league, along with Dobber’s projections through FHG and it gave me the following results:
Gudas – a player who I had barely ever heard of before, was sitting there as the 58th most valuable guy in the league! I almost fell off my chair. Again, I can’t stress enough that I am NOT telling you to draft this guy 58th and I am certainly not advocating that you take him ahead of Hartnell or Koivu. What I am saying is that simply by running this league through FHG, I think I found a guy who has some serious value that I can scoop with one of my last picks and he could help my team as much as some of the more well-known names in the league will. Let’s dig further into what is driving his high value.
Dobber has him pegged for 171 PIMs, which is an incredibly high total. In the last full season of hockey (2011-12), no defenseman reached this level and only four forwards achieved this mark. Last season, Gudas accumulated 38 PIMs in just 22 games (141 PIM pace), so he already has a bit of a track record. Gudas isn’t just a straight PIM guy though, which is why his fantasy potential is so high.
Last season, Gudas hit at a rate of almost 4 per game (3.95) which again is an astronomical number. He was 6th in the entire league in terms of hits per game amongst players who played at least 20 games. He was second to Luke Schenn in terms of hits per game for a defenseman.
If your league counts Hits and PIMs, then Gudas is a player that you need to take a chance on late. He could easily be top 10 in Hits and PIMs amongst defensemen. Imagine I gave you a player who was top 10 in Goals and Assists by defensemen? He would be targeted at the top of nearly every draft. But since Gudas’ prime categories are the less sexy ones, he will fall probably still be available to take as a BN player.
Obviously Hits and PIMs are this guy’s bread and butter but he doesn’t kill you in the other categories either, which just adds to his value:
With the hits and PIMs that Gudas accumulates, it would be fair to assume that he’s just a goon who doesn’t do much else – but the fact is he does a bit more than that. He put an impressive 1.4 shots on net per game last season despite playing under 17 minutes a game. To put this in perspective, he actually eclipsed guys like Paul Martin (1.1), Brent Seabrook (1.38), Tobias Enstrom (.95), Tyler Myers (1.23) and Nick Leddy (1.35). Gudas’ 1.4 shots per game is a very respectable number for a defenseman, especially one who can contribute at elite levels in other categories.
Last season, Gudas played at an 18 point pace which is certainly nothing to write home about. This season, Dobber has him for a little higher than that. He isn’t going to be winning you many offensive categories, but if he can contribute 20 points from a D6 slot, he isn’t killing your squad offensively while he carries your team in Hits and PIMs. Furthermore a byproduct of his good shot total is that a good portion of his points will be goals, so he is only draining your team on assists for the most part.
Radko Gudas has arrived on the fantasy scene and now is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor. There is a very decent chance that you can get him in the final round of your draft, so the risk is very low. With only 22 games of NHL experience, there are no guarantees but I think that I have shown above that his upside is quite high in terms of fantasy value depending on your league’s settings. When you draft him, you will hear a lot of “Radko who??”…but by season’s end, I think you will get a lot of “where in the world did you find that guy?”
To find more guys like Gudas, who are coming from nowhere and gaining fantasy relevance, sign up for Fantasy Hockey Geek today. Maybe you can find some more players who you barely know that can help your team too.
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