Terry Campkin names his “All-Geek Team” for the 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Season.
As the regular season comes to a close tonight, it's a great time to sit and reflect on what were some of the great finds of the year. Geek of the Week has hit on a decent number of the players profiled in this spot over the season but I always like to identify the ones who stand out most at year end. Admittedly, this article may be a bit on the shameless self-promotion end, but I'll balance it out next week when I revisit all of the failures. With that, I give you my 2014 All-Geek tem:
LW – Brandon Dubinsky: I profiled Dubinsky late in September when his average draft position was late in the 14th round and his ownership was a measly 26%. I speculated that in an 82 game season, Dubinsky had a good chance at about 57 points, 180 shots and 200 hits. He has missed a couple of games, but as of Friday morning his 82 game pace is for 54 points, 204 shots and 255 hits! Here's how Fantasy Hockey Geek calculates his actual value in the league I originally used:
Dubinsky has been the 61st most valuable player in a league of this format this season! Compare that value to my original article where I used the what-if tool on FHG to estimate that Dubinsky would end up as about the 62nd most valuable player. Dubisnky came through for me in a big way and far exceeded his average draft position of 160th. He is also now 62% owned, which is almost triple where he was when the article was published.
RW – David Backes: I came out with my Backes piece even earlier in September and at the time he was being drafted 120th overall on average. I pegged Backes for about 55 points to go with his beastly peripherals, giving him a projected value around 31st overall. As of Friday morning, Backes has exactly 55 points and take a look at the value:
Backes is the 17th most valuable player in the Dobber Experts league! Here's the rub: despite the fact that my original article came out BEFORE the Dobber Experts' draft and despite the fact that I was PART OF the Dobber Expert's draft, Backes wasn't drafted until 47th overall in that league! (I picked 48th overall and had to settle for Niklas Backstrom….the goalie. Ouch). Backes has proven to be a great value pick for "Lord of the Rinks", providing second round value as a fourth round pick. I am still on tilt about this one!
RW – Claude Giroux: I wrote about Giroux in mid-December when he was at the absolute low of his 2013-14 output. I illustrated how in Giroux's career he has swung from undervalued to overvalued and back again. He had 23 points in 32 games at the time and was a minus 8, with Fantasy Hockey Geek calculating him as the 85th most valuable player. I hypothesized that Giroux was "a point per game player who happened to have a great fourth season and a slow start to this season". I suggested that you treat Giroux as a point per game forward valued around 20th to 30th in the league. Here is how Giroux has come through:
Giroux has not only come through with my point per game prediction, but he has made up for lost ground at an incredible rate. His peripheral numbers were already there in December and once the points caught up, Giroux's value went through the roof. I had him as a 20-30th ranked guy but he has jumped all the way to 4th thanks to his elite PPP totals.
D1 – Eric Gelinas: I brought the 2% owned Gelinas to reader's attention in late November, citing his high SOG and PP utilization as great indicators of future success. I knew that his opportunities could be limited in New Jersey this season but advised you to "add him and ride the production while it lasts". As it turns out, we had 3 or 4 separate opportunities to exactly do that with Gelinas this year. Here is how he panned out:
Despite only playing in 59 contests (some with limited minutes), Gelinas is still the 149th most valuable player in this league, coming in ahead of Kevin Bieksa and Mark Streit. Depending on the time frame you look at, Gelinas' value probably could have been up around 60th or down below 200th, it all comes down to playing time. If you prorate his stat line to 79 games and put him into the What-If tool on Fantasy hockey Geek, here is how he would look:
|65||Eric Gelinas – what if?||9||28||-1||21||165||127|
Had Gelinas played at the same level for 79 games, he would be the 65th most valuable player in this league. If you owned Gelinas at the right times this year, you were definitely rewarded. Keep an eye on this guy for next season as well: he is still only 5% owned so he is under the radar. He could be a great steal late in a 2014 draft.
D2 – Radko Gudas: I had to save the best for last. There were a number of hits on Geek of the Week this year, but Radko Gudas was a walk-off grand slam homerun. He was a running joke amongst my buddies (all of whom drafted him before I did after reading my article) and he was a 2103-14 Dobberhockey darling. When I originally wrote about Gudas back in September, he was so under the radar that his Average Draft Position wasn't even being calculated. He was 0% owned. I showed how if Gudas was able to come through with the numbers that the big man (Dobber) had predicted that Gudas would be the 58th most valuable player in a league that included PIMs and hits. Here is how he has come in:
Gudas is the most 60th most valuable guy in this league! NAILED IT! I am in a league with these exact settings and the guy who owns Gudas is seriously looking at him as one of his keepers. If you were able to draft Gudas in one of the final rounds as I had suggested then START THE CAR because you got yourself a steal. For me, Gudas is the fantasy story of the year. He was nowhere near my radar, but thanks to Dobber's insight and the fact that you can incorporate that insight into FHG rankings – the numbers were right there for me to see and I got in on the ground floor of an absolute fantasy dynamo and pop culture icon. Ok, that last part might be a little over the top.
In my original Gudas article I wrote that "when you draft Gudas you will hear a lot of 'Radko who?'…but by season's end you will get a lot of 'where in the world did you find that guy?'". I hope that prediction came true for you!
There they are, my 2013-14 All-Geek team. Five guys whose actual value FAR exceeded their perceived value at the time of publication. I hope that some of you were able to get in on some of these five guys and if you did, I am sure you weren't disappointed. Finds like these guys are what makes fantasy hockey so fun and it's what makes using Fantasy Hockey Geek so valuable. I used to be able to find two or three guys like this a season just by perusing Yahoo! and NHL.com but thanks to FHG I am now finding at least one of these players each week. To do the same for your team, sign up for Fantasy Hockey Geek and start your prep for the 2014 draft!