Is it time to buy stock in underachieving Flyers forward Claude Giroux?
Each week in my Geek of the Week columns, I try to profile a player whose value is considerably higher or lower than what other GMs perceive in the hopes that you can use that insight to target/trade a player accordingly. This week I am going to profile a player whose value (both real and perceived) has fluctuated greatly in opposite directions in recent years: Claude Giroux.
Seriously: what is going on with this Claude Giroux guy anyway? Is he the budding young dynamo who is nipping at the heels of the Crosby and Ovechkin, or is he a glorified Justin Williams? With the help of the tools at Fantasy Hockey Geek, I'll take a deeper dive into each season (with Giroux's perceived value in parenthesis) and answer that question:
2011-12 (Undervalued – fairly valued)
Going into 2011-12 you probably could have obtained Giroux at good value, but as his season progressed and he was on his way to a 93 point season and there was talk of him joining the ranks of the top 5 guys in fantasy hockey along with Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, and Stamkos. He managed to finish third in league scoring and almost single handedly eliminated the Penguins from the post season, leading his coach to refer to Giroux as the best player in the world. As it turns out, that quote may have been the exact "TSN Turning Point" for Giroux, as it has all gone downhill from there. The Flyers went on to lose in four straight to the Devils in the next round and Giroux's PPG average has fallen by about 1/3rd of a point from 1.21 that season to 0.89 since. Let's take a look at the FHG numbers to see how valuable Giroux was back in 2011-12. For all analyses today, I will use a Yahoo! standard 12 team league measuring G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG and Hits. The numbers/values would obviously change depending on league settings, but Giroux is fairly well rounded so his rankings should be similar amongst a lot of league formats.
You can see from the above that in his best season, Giroux was the 20th most valuable player in this league led by his 93 points but supported by his all-around solid peripheral numbers. Other than points, Giroux's biggest strength is in his PPP where he frequently is amongst the league leaders. His hits and +/- are decent for a guy who is providing such good offensive production and his 242 shots on goal are decent for a RW and great for a C (Giroux has duel eligibility). His RW eligibility would make him especially valuable in leagues that count faceoffs won.
Needless to say, if you had Giroux on your team that season then you were probably quite pleased with his output, not only because he provided solid production across all categories, but also because he wouldn't have been drafted in the top 20. His 93 points were 17 higher than his previous year total so at the time, Giroux was a bargain. 2011-12 was prob