Fantasy Team Audit: Fergusson analyzes a fantasy team and makes suggestions for improvement
Welcome back to An Expert's Audit. Every month we'll take a look at a reader's keeper league team in the hopes of helping him toward a championship. If you're interested in getting an audit for your own keeper team you can begin the process by emailing Dobber about it.
Dave Storey was the lucky recipient of a baseball team audit over at Dobberbaseball last year and he flattered me by telling me about how the audit moved him to a championship last season, so that he wanted to run his hockey team past me too. He's the reigning champ in a 15 team fantasy point league where you get a single point for every G/A/PPP/SHP/GWG as well as .25 for every PIM, and 3 pts for a Win and a shuttie. Dave will get to keep 7 players for next season and actually I don't think it'll be all that hard to select his options.
Let's look at Team B*tch.
F Evgeni Malkin PIT – he's barely more than a pt/game pace but if you figure that's all you'll see from him then it would have to be considered a disappointing season for Gino. He dominates the game like few others when everything is going right for him.
F Alexander Ovechkin WAS – yes he's fallen down the elite pecking order but he's still got plenty of skills to showcase. Half of his points have come on the PP and he's still shooting a ton so it's not like he's completely fallen off the map.
F John Tavares NYI – he's actually leading your team in fantasy points but that would be because Gino was shelved for a bit. Still, this kid's a superstar that doesn't get nearly enough pimping in fantasy circles (wait that sounded dirty, that's not what I meant).
F Ilya Kovalchuk NJ – he's a bit under the projections for him when you consider that the league goals leader has over twice as many as him but still there are few who can pot them like Kovy can, in bunches.
Ok, before I continue, just how is it that you managed to secure those 3 guys for the top of your roster in a 15 team league? Do you have pictures of your commish in a compromising situation or something? Seriously, that's criminal.
F Paul Stastny COL – in a typical season he's a 20 goal, 50 pt option with a 70 pt upside and an affinity for PPP on about one third of his points. That makes him serviceable in a league like yours that gives you bonuses for PPP.
F Loui Eriksson DAL – Loui has disappeared this season. The number of shots he's taken over the course of a season hasn't really dropped but his goal totals have fallen ever since he got 36 in '08-09. He's on pace for 14 goals in this shortened season and that prorates to 24 over a regular season which in turn would be another drop in his yearly goal totals.
D Cody Franson TOR – I'm just not a believer in this guy. I'm a Leafer for life so I'll rejoice with every point he puts up I just don't really believe that he's going to a long term option. I see the distant future for the Leaf blueline with Morgan Rielly and the not-so-distant future with Jake Gardiner.
D Matt Carle TB – meh. He does get some decent PP time but I don't see him doing all that much with it while surrounded by a lot of firepower.
D Alex Goligoski DAL – his 7 PPP puts him tied for 12th amongst D scoring this year. That's actually a pretty nice bonus when you consider that your starting D isn't all that good.
U Dan Cleary DET – for a guy who gets to line up with Pavel Datsyuk he doesn't seem to get a lot done with it. I think his time has passed and I don't think you need to roster him, even in a 15 team league.
G Cam Ward CAR – he had 9 wins in 16 starts before blowing out a knee and ending his season.
BN Semyon Varlamov COL – 20 starts and 8 wins at the time of writing. The Avs are better than this but I'm not sure that Semyon is.
BN Tyler Ennis BUF – he's small and crafty. He's a waterbug with a decent vision on the ice. I see assists galore and a best case scenario of some 20 goal seasons.
BN Jiri Tlusty CAR – his best trait right now is that he gets to line up with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. Don't let him show you any pics he has on his phone though. What? Crass? Yes it was.
BN Dan Briere PHI – he's still getting top 6 minutes but the Flyers seem to be looking futilely for any option that'll produce offensively right now. I guess technically he's got the 6th most points of all of their forwards but Scott Hartnell has only played 11 games and harder working and younger legs are going to be taking up all of the good opportunity.
BN Cam Atkinson CBS –In '92-93 Brian Bradley led an offensively challenged Tampa Bay Lightning team with a monstrous 86 pts. This is due to the fact that there was nothing else in Tampa during their inaugural season to help carry the weight. I saw Bradley written all over Atkinson this season since there's really no offense left in C-bus anymore but now I'm not convinced that Cam is even Bradley-good in the long-term.
DL Matt Frattin TOR – there has been a lot of hype around this kid in Toronto and I'm not at all sure that it should be justified. I could see this guy turning into Drew Stafford or someone but certainly he won't ever be anyone more than a serviceable NHL'er.
DL Erik Karlsson OTT – well at least your D corps isn't horrible, you have the best D in the game on it. That won't help you this year though.
Waiver Wire Options
Justin Williams – he spends most of his shifts with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown plus he shouldn't be on a waiver wire in a 15 team league.
Brandon Saad – at the beginning of March he was absolutely on fire offensively with 7 pts in 5 games and a goose egg in one more.
Dan Ellis – when Ward went down he had to be replaced.
Derek Stepan – getting top line minutes and plenty of time on the PP with all the high paid talent.
You traded Loui Eriksson, Sergei Varlamov, and a 2nd and 4th round pick for Anze Kopitar, Antti Niemi, and a 5th and 7th round pick – this was a fricking steal! The only real cost here is the significant downgrade on your picks but quite frankly if this puts you on a championship run then who cares about a downgrade that's still a year away. You got the better player back on both guys you shipped out and the price was moving down 3 rounds on 2 separate picks. I'd take that all day.
You traded Matt Frattin and Cody Franson for Mikkel Boedker and John Carlson – your league is full of Leaf fans but still the other guy waited for Frattin to be back and up to speed before he pulled the trigger on this one (and well he should have). The way we see it the return of Joffrey Lupul is going to eat into the opportunity of Frattin and we gambled that eventually John Michael Liles will take up Franson's PP opportunity.
I was really pleased with both deals we made and actually there were some decent moves made off the wire too. I was astounded that you landed Kopitar for such a low price and Niemi was a huge bonus, especially after Ward went down for the season. The other trade was harder to make but we can't let our Leaf fan hearts make our fantasy pool decisions. Adding Boedker is a fantastic move here that will help you much more than Frattin would and the upside on Carlson is worth the chance you take by moving away more points in Franson this season so far. I really do think that both Frattin and Franson will be adversely affected by the presence of guys like Lupul and Liles or Gardiner eventually.
Well as usual Dave, I'm only an email away. I suspect that you won't be needing anything though. Good luck to you and your team.