Geek of the Week: Can Ryan Suter Repeat Last Year’s Performance?

Scott Maran

2018-09-23


With our Regression in the Projection series over (where parts one, two, three, and four can be found here), this week I’ll be taking a look at defenseman Ryan Suter from the Minnesota Wild. Drafted by the Nashville Predators seventh overall, Suter flourished next to his partner in crime Shea Weber for over seven years. He’s now been on the Minnesota Wild for six seasons and has consistently been a top defenseman to own in fantasy hockey. However, after tying his career high in points at 33 years old, can Ryan Suter repeat his performance?

After only recording 40 points in the 2016-17 campaign, Ryan Suter bounced back strong with (another) 50+ point season. His 51 points were tied for the 17th most by a defender while his 23 power play points were tied for the 10th most. Even though he never broke 50 points with the Nashville Predators, Suter may be starting to show that his 51-point season with the Wild in 2016 may not have been a fluke.

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

2017-18

59

33

78

6

45

149

23

78

2018-19

90

15

74

8

36

153

18

67


However, despite providing the 59th most value last year, Suter’s projected to only provide the 90th most value this season*. Dobber’s projections have Suter finishing with seven less points and five less power-play points. He’s also projected to finish with a slight decrease in hits and slight increase in goals and shots on net. If this is accurate, Suter would only be the 33rd most valuable defender in fantasy hockey, as opposed to being the 24th most valuable just last season.

Even though I usually agree with most of DobberHockey’s projections, I differ in my thoughts about Suter. I project him to play around 78-82 games, as he’s only missed nine games over the last six seasons. He’s proven to be a very durable player even as he takes on massive minutes for Minnesota, so I see no reason why we should expect something different this year. It’s also more likely to see Suter take less shots than more shots, as his total shots on net have been declining for the past three years in a row. After taking 188 shots in 2016 and 164 in 2017, he only finished with 149 last year. While I don’t think we’ll see another huge drop, if this trend continues Suter might finish with around 145 shots in 80 games.

I do agree about the power-play point totals though, as it may be tough for Suter to score more than 20 power-play assists again (something he’s only done twice in his career, last year and in 2012). It’s tough to predict how many points Suter will score with the man-advantage because of such a wide range of possibilities, as he’s finished with power play points as low as 12 in a season and as high as 23 with the Wild. Suter’s got plenty of skill so he’s sure to end with decent totals again, but it seems more probable that Suter won’t break 20 power-play points.

Using the What If tool at Fantasy Hockey Geek, I can simulate Suter’s fantasy value using my own projections. In an average Yahoo fantasy league, Suter ends up with the 74th most value of all skaters. It’s still a bit of a drop from where he finished last year but it’s not nearly as big of a decline as DobberHockey’s projections predict.
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

2017-18

59

33

78

6

45

149

23

78

2018-19 -What If

74

22

80

6

41

145

18

75


Suter’s projected value goes up even further if he scores only one more goal and two more power-play points from my projection, finishing with the 66th most overall value in this scenario. Even if Suter sees a slight decline in most of the fantasy categories, he can still provide close to the same value as last year.

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

2017-18

59

33

78

6

45

149

23

78

2018-19 -What If

66

25

80

7

41

145

20

75


If things don’t go right for him (like DobberHockey predicts), the possibility is there for him to drop a lot in the rankings. At 33 years old, there’s also the possibility that age and an intense workload finally catches up with Suter (as he’s routinely averaged some of the most minutes by a defenseman). Either way though, Suter should be a relatively safe bet to provide solid value.

*in an average 12-team Yahoo league measuring goals, assists, shots on goal, power-play points, and hits

UPCOMING GAMES

Mar 27 - 19:03 T.B vs CBJ
Mar 27 - 20:03 STL vs L.A
Mar 27 - 20:03 WPG vs COL
Mar 27 - 20:03 CHI vs DAL
Mar 27 - 21:03 EDM vs S.J
Mar 27 - 22:03 VAN vs CGY

STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency ARI Players
23.4% CHRISTIAN DVORAK TAYLOR HALL CLAYTON KELLER
22.6% PHIL KESSEL NICK SCHMALTZ CARL SODERBERG
17.4% CHRISTIAN FISCHER MICHAEL GRABNER BRAD RICHARDSON

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