Has Sean Monahan justified his Yahoo ranking, or was he simply lucky last season?

As we gear up for drafts season (my first one is today!) all fantasy GMs are working their hardest to find that gem to target who will push their team to the top. Sometimes though, avoiding a bad pick can be just as important as finding a good one, so today I am going to show you why Sean Monahan is one such player who I would avoid.

Monahan was one of the great stories of last season, posting an impressively symmetrical 31 goals and 31 assists in 81 games on the upstart Flames. Monahan has talent to burn and by all accounts is just scratching the surface, so why am I proposing that you should stay away from him? Let’s run his numbers through Fantasy Hockey Geek for a Yahoo! standard 12 team league (G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, PIM)

Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

31

Andrew Ladd

24

38

9

72

224

19

48

Alexander Steen

24

40

8

33

223

24

53

Tomas Plekanec

26

34

8

46

248

16

114

Sean Monahan

31

31

8

12

191

19

 

Despite Monahan’s impressive scoring stats last season, FHG calculates him to have only been the 114th most valuable player in the league, far behind other low 60s scorers like Andrew Ladd, Alexander Steen or even Tomas Plekanec. Monahan can score with those guys, but as you can see his deficiencies in other categories make him worth considerably less. Monahan is a virtual non-factor in PIMs and his SOG total was putrid at 191. I would also consider 19 PPPs to be underwhelming for a player who was among the lead leaders in goals scored. Monahan’s lack of output in these other categories cause his value to plummet drastically.

Before writing off Monahan completely based on last season’s value alone, I decided to look a little further into his untapped potential because I never want to leave talent on the table by not considering all options. So I reran the same league in FHG using Dobber’s predictions (FHG allows you to use Dobber’s projections as a data set) for the upcoming season. Dobber has Monahan pegged for 30 goals and 65 points and here is how FHG calculates his value based on that:

Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

134

Sean Monahan

30

35

0

18

185

18

 

Based on Dobber’s projections, FHG actually has Monahan valued slightly worse than last season, all the way down at 134 overall. Despite the projected uptick in points, Monahan’s peripheral stats continue to be a hinder Monahan’s projected value. Currently, Monahan has an average draft position of 105 in Yahoo! leagues which actually isn’t that bad, but it is still a reach for the value that he will provide you and there are certainly better centre options that are being drafted later than him.

That right there is enough for me to know to stay away from Monahan but to be honest, I think that the situation is even worse than that! Not only will you have to pay a pick that is slightly higher than Monahan’s value in order to acquire him but I think that Dobber’s projections are actually a best case scenario and that Monahan could actually underperform his already modest value. Here’s why:

There is some evidence to suggest that Monahan’s strong totals from last year benefited from a bit of good fortune. Yes, he is a great talent, but I don’t believe that he has shown enough to indicate that he will continue to score 30 goals a season. Before the all-star break last season, Monahan had 30 points in 47 games, which is a season pace of 52 and a level that I would suggest is closer to his likely output for 2015-16. After the break, Monahan caught fire posting 32 points in 34 games, signaling that his breakout was here…or was it?

Looking deeper into the numbers you can see that he accumulated those points while shooting a ridiculous 21.9% post all-star, which is completely unsustainable. The only thing crazier than that is the 22.4% his linemate Jiri Hudler shot over the same period. This all tells me that this line is due for a huge letdown this season.

I like Monahan as a player but I think it’s entirely possible that he finishes the year with about 25 goals and 30 assists. A total of 55 points to go along with minimal PIMs and sub 200 shots and I think what we have here is more of a JAG (just a guy) than an up and coming star. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of Monahan this season – use the pick on Ryan Kesler, Eric Staal or the aforementioned Plekanec, all of whom are being drafted later and have a much stronger history of providing value to your fantasy hockey team.

Finding the good picks of the draft is always critical, but avoiding the bad picks is equally important. Using a tool like Fantasy Hockey Geek really helps you to distinguish between players with similar point outputs and determine which are good picks and which should be avoided. Enter your league into Fantasy Hockey Geek today and find out who are some players to avoid at your draft table. Some quick prep now can help to avoid a big mistake later.