Geek of the Week returns with a treatise on Dustin Byfuglien and positional eligibility
After a summer hiatus, Geek of the Week is back and primed for the upcoming season. Preseason is only three weeks away and I am pumped to bring some analysis on key players who will help you win (or lose) at the draft table. Some big news came out recently on one player that will drastically affect his 2014 value and he is this season's first Geek of the Week: Dustin Byfuglien.
One thing that I have noticed in my years of playing in Fantasy Hockey leagues is the divide between people who understand hockey and people who understand fantasy hockey. They are not one and the same and the key to being a successful fantasy hockey GM is to have a thorough understand both. Trust me, there are plenty of people out there who know more than me about hockey but that doesn't necessarily mean that they could touch me in a Fantasy Hockey league. I would wager a decent sum of money that Mike Babcock (who is a great coach and hockey mind) wouldn't be able to make the playoffs in a fantasy league with myself and some of the other strong GMs I play with. I'll use Byfuglien to explain why.
Over the course of the summer a seemingly small thing happened with Big Buff: he was given D eligibility in Yahoo! leagues. By now, most of us know that the plan is for Byfuglien to play the wing in Winnipeg and Dobber's point predictions in the guide are based on this fact. Yahoo! adding D eligibility has absolutely 0 impact on what his actual production will be. I know this, you know this, Mike Babcock knows this. What Babcock may not know though, is that the implications of Big Buff's D eligibility in fantasy hockey are absolutely HUGE:
To understand just how big the D designation is for Buff, I ran the numbers for my keeper league (Widowmakers Fantasy Hockey League) in Fantasy Hockey Geek to see how Byfuglien stacks up.
12 team Yahoo! league measuring G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, Hits, SHP using Dobber's projections for the upcoming season
You can see from the output above that Dustin Byfuglien is projected to be the 12th most valuable player in the WFHL and he’s the 9th most valuable skater. He has been a top 15 fantasy own in our format for years. He provides elite output from the D position in many categories, particularly shots, hits and goals. You simply cannot find another defenceman out there who will break 50 points while firing 240+ shots and 200+ hits. You know what you can find though? A RW who does all that.
So what if Byfuglien hadn’t been given his D designation in Yahoo!? What would his value be then? Intuitively, I think we all would know that his value would decline but figuring out how much is next to impossible. Luckily, we have access to the what-if tool on Fantasy Hockey Geek, which allows you to change a player’s output or position to see how it would affect their value. Look what happens to Buff’s value when the only change I make is to his posit