With the regular season now over, it’s time for me to face the music on the 15 Fearless Forecasts I made right before the 2017-18 season kicked off. Rather than just listing the results, I’ll talk about lessons that can be learned from my correct and incorrect predictions and the logic I used in making them. That way all of us – myself included – can use the results to make better fantasy decisions going forward.
For each of the 15 forecasts, I’ll assign a grade of:
HIT – the forecast turned out correct
CLOSE CALL – I was almost correct and had sound logic
MISS – I was incorrect but some aspects of my logic may have held true
AIR BALL – I was wrong in my prediction plus with most – if not all – of my accompanying logic
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
1) At least 15 defensemen will score 50+ points
Result = HIT (19 tallied at least 50 points)
Seeing that 19 had 50+ points might make this seem like not such a fearless forecast; but remember, over the last six years there’d only been 9, 5, 9, 11, 12, and 9 who tallied 50+ points, so a jump to 15 was indeed a bold prediction. Plus, any “at least“ scoring forecast is always vulnerable to injuries.
So why the increase, and can we count on it being the new normal? The number of rearguards who averaged 3:00+ of PP Time didn’t rise (19 this season and last), but fewer averaged 2:30-2:59 (14, versus 17 in 2016-17). That suggests I was correct about more teams embracing the idea of using just 1D on PP1, and, as a result, that lone D factoring into scoring slightly more. But I think the key in this prediction was the peak age factor, as when you look at those who scored 50+ this season, 15 of the 19 were age 23 to 28, which is in the sweet spot in terms of production.
I was also correct about the number of 40-49 point d-men dropping (11, versus 14 in 2016-17 and none had 46-49 points) due to the same factors. I’d look for a similar pattern next season as well, so keep that in mind when making your keeper selections and assigning rankings for next year’s drafts.
2) No Sharks forward will score 60+ points
Result = MISS (Joe Pavelski finished with 66 points after a nearly point per game second half, and Logan Couture posted a steady 61 points)
Not even a major injury to Joe Thornton and weak early season for Pavelski (24 points in his first 38 games) was enough to make this prediction come true, as Pavelski surged in the second half and Couture was a steady eddie all season, which was enough for both to finish above 60 points. Even still, Pavelski&rsq