Breaking down the fantasy impact of David Backes signing a five-year deal with the Boston Bruins …
Boston adds: A versatile power forward with three consecutive 20-goal campaigns following the lockout-shorted 2012-13 season. Backes is a proven power-play producer who brings reliable defensive acumen and an intimidating physical element.
The 32-year-old veteran also owns admirable leadership qualities and strong possession prowess, which could enable Boston to boast an incredible core down the middle with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Backes.
Fantasy Take: Backes is definitely in the twilight of his fantasy prime, if not complete past it. However, his ability to move the needle across all categories makes him a middle-round target with a high floor.
For comparison purposes, Backes and Scott Hartnell are the only players to score at least 20 goals, 45 points and have at least 75 penalty minutes in each of the past three seasons.
However, if the Bruins do employ the "Big Three" up the middle, Backes will likely line up with his worst wingers in recent memory. And, he has been trending into a shut-down pivot more than an offensive contributor over the past few seasons, including starting a career-high 61.4 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone last season.
There is a chance Backes maintains his offense away from the daunting Central Division for the next couple years, but by the end of this contract, he may prove to be grossly overpaid depending how he ages. Stating the obvious, his keeper/dynasty value is trending in the wrong direction.
All said, for now, Backes remains a middle-round target in rotisserie setups, but a 25-goal, 55-point season is likely the ceiling. The floor could also be as low as 40 points, though.
Fantasy Players Impacted: At even strength, this deal won't have a significant impact on the St. Louis Blues, but it does open up a spot on the No. 1 power-play unit. It’s perfect timing, too, as it looks like Robby Fabbri is ready to become a plus-offensive contributor. Duty on the No. 1 power-play unit stands to help Fabbri fulfill the promise he flashed down the stretch and in the playoffs last year. The arrow is pointing straight up for Fabbri, and he's poised for a breakout season worth reaching for in drafts.
Backes joining the Bruins will ease some of the defensive minutes and wear and tear on Patrice Bergeron, while also opening up more favorable offensive minutes for David Krejci. Additionally, it should allow Ryan Spooner to shift to being an offensive winger and power-play specialist.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Fabbri (profile, stats here)
2. Krejci (profile, stats here)
3. Spooner (profile, stats here)
4. Bergeron (profile, stats here)
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Backes (profile, stats here)