Geek of the Week explains how to perform the impossible: replacing Steven Stamkos in fantasy.
Every year, there seems to be at least one major injury that will significantly change the outcome of fantasy hockey leagues everywhere. In recent years, we have seen the likes of Sidney Crosby and Erik Karlsson have their seasons cut short. On Monday night, we got new of this year's (hopefully only) major casualty: Steven Stamkos.
It goes without saying that Steven Stamkos is an elite fantasy talent. It is shocking to me that I have never had the opportunity to own him on any of my fantasy teams, since I play in 3-5 leagues each year and I have valued Stamkos extremely high for about five years. I was one of the unlucky few to lose Karlsson last season though, so if you are a Stamkos owner I do feel your pain. Your season just took a major hit and unless Sindey Crosby happens to be available on your waiver wire, then Stamkos is pretty much irreplaceable as your #1 C. Let's take a look at the year to date numbers in Fantasy Hockey Geek to see what we have lost in Stamkos:
(FHG rank based on 16 team Yahoo! league measuring G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, Hits. Stats as of Nov 14):
It should come as no surprise to you that FHG calculates Stamkos as being the second most valuable player in the league, behind only Ovechkin and just barely above Crosby. You all know WHY Stammer is valuable, so I won't work too hard laying it all out, but to highlight:
– Since the 2009-10 season, Stamkos is first in goals in the NHL with 199 and first in points with 363. That's right, he is ahead of Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin et all and it isn't really all that close. Ovechkin is second in goals with and he has almost 20% less (166).
Over that same time period, Stamkos missed a grand total of 0 games due to injury, putting in seasons of 82, 82, 82 and 48 games played before going down in game 17 of this season.
– As a centre, Stamkos provides elite peripherals. Finding Cs who shoot isn't easy, nor is it easy to find Cs who hit. Stamkos does both: amongst Cs with at least 30 points last season, Stamkos was 4th in shots and 7th in hits.
– Stamkos is also lethal on the powerplay, recoding the 10th most PPPs in the entire league last season. He also leads the league in power-play goals over the past five seasons with 66. About 65 of those looked like this.
Given everything I have laid out above, there is a very solid argument to made that Stamkos has been the most valuable keeper league commodity in the NHL over the past five seasons. In any given season, he may be the second-fifth most valuable, but his durability and consistency have made him the most reliable long-term own in all of fantasy hoc