Geek of the Week: Underachievers at the Break

Terry Campkin

2014-02-16

 DustinBrown

 

The Fantasy Hockey Geek looks at three fantasy underachievers and how they project over the balance of the season.

Last week, I profiled three players who have been overachieving this year and provided some insight as to whether or not we can expect their production to continue. Today I will take a look at the flip side of the coin with some players who have fallen well below expectations thus far and try to determine whether it is time to cut bait on them, or if they make a great buy-low candidate.

 

To perform my analysis, I used the exact same method as I did last week. I ran two simple reports in Fantasy Hockey Geek: first, I ran a league ranking based on the Dobber preseason predictions, then I ran a league ranking based on the actual season to date numbers. I compared the two rankings and look for players who have large differences. I found at least 20 relevant players when I did this, but today I will detail three of them for you:

 

(Today's numbers calculated using a Yahoo! 12 team league measuring G, A, +/-, SOG, PPP, Hits)

 

Player Projected Rank Actual Rank (to date) Change
Dustin Brown 12 177 -165
Eric Staal 10 128 -118
Jack Johnson 51 94 -43

 

The above chart lists three NHL veterans with a large amount of history to base preseason projections on, but in every case you can see that they are falling considerably short of their projected ranks. Let's take a deeper look inside each player to see how they are doing this:

 

(For my preseason prediction numbers, I prorated the output down to match the number of games played this season)

 

 

Dustin Brown

 

Scenario FHG Rank G A +/- SOG PPP Hits
Preseason Prediction 12 26 32 10 225 18 290
Actual Production 177 13 9 0 197 4 265

 

To understand how Dustin Brown could drop so low, we have to first understand why he was so valuable in the first place because people often underestimate just how valuable Brown can be when he is at his best.

 

As a player who is always near the top of the league in hits, they are clearly Brown's bread and butter. What makes (made) Brown really special though is his contributions to other categories. I often see GMs roster a player like Matt Martin to get their hits up and they claim they don't need a player like Brown. There is a huge hole in this approach because a player like Martin