Tempted to sell high on Brad Richards? Maybe you should hold your horses…
Last week, I wrote about a player in Jason Garrison, who I predicted would translate a hot start into a strong season. This week, I am going to profile a guy who I drafted in the Dobber Experts league that I am not exactly sure what to do with: Brad Richards.
I'll admit, when I sat down to write this article, I fully intended to write a piece on how I should probably sell high on Richards. He is not a very well rounded player by any stretch and it was going to be my strategy to use his name power and current point per game pace to flip him into a more useful all around performer. I still think this is probably a good strategy, but because of some insights I gained using the tools at Fantasy Hockey Geek, I am not so certain any more.
Why have I always been so low on Richards?
I often reference Brad Richards in my columns as the player you should avoid drafting, while you wait for another player that I am proposing you draft later who will provide similar value (It was pretty much a year ago today when I told you to target Mikko Koivu and pass on Richards). I ended up looking pretty smart, when I passed on Richards as he was drafted in the top 50 of most leagues last season and then proceeded to have one of the worst seasons of his career.
I had been down on Richards because:
• His shots were down. Even in 2011, when he played well for the Rangers, he shot 43 less times than his previous year with Dallas. It got worse last season as he shot at a pace that would have him come below 200 in an 82 game season.
• He doesn't hit or collect PIMs. If your league counts either of these stats, then Brad Richards is a major drain on those categories.
• He is a career -68. We all know that +/- isn't exactly a reliable stat, but Richards has only come on the right side of even 3 times in his career, while being a double-digit minus five times.
• With all of those "drains" on other categories, I didn't believe that Richards provided enough in the offensive categories to make up for it. His goal totals are ok, but really the only category that he excels at is assists.
• He was overvalued. This is the crux of it all. I always wanted to stay away from Brad, because he had a big name and point total, which leads to a high draft position. I just cannot justify using a pick that high on a guy who is really only good in one or two categories. That's how you lose your league.
All of the above is what I a