Let’s talk streamers. Every week I post two-ish streamers that I think are going to give you a chance to earn a few extra points. I want to take a moment during this rare downtime in the hockey fantasy world to share a bit about what I mean by recommending a streamer and take a look at how my recommendations are panning out so far.
When I recommend a streamer I am usually looking at a low owned (typically 20% or less in Yahoo) player who I think has a shot at giving you more production than the last man on your roster for the week. The theory being if you are able to swap a player or two out every week to take advantage of schedules, hot streaks, line combinations etc. you might be able to get more production out of that roster spot than keeping a lower end player there all year. To that end you will often see the players recommended here have more scheduled games, or an off-day schedule to allow for more games played during the week. Again, the idea being that the lower ranked player (who may conceivably have fewer points per game) that has more games will provide more production over a week than your player who has fewer games.
The other benefit to this strategy is that there is no saying you have to drop said stream if they are performing well. If you grabbed and kept players from my list you would have gotten in on excellent seasons or at least extended runs from Zach Parise, David Perron, Alex Tuch, and Dylan Strome to name a few.
So how do we assess this? Well I am hoping that my picks will outperform the lowest player on your roster. If we assume a traditional Yahoo set up (12 teams, 16 players) I know about how many players will be rostered at any time. My goal then is to give a player who will get more points than those bottom 10-20 players. For ease of calculation and comparison I used Yahoo’s standard point valuations (six points for a goal, four for an assist etc.). I was able to calculate that the average player in the range we are talking about would generate 4.95 points per game, or 14.86 total over a traditional three game week on average. That is the target then. In order for a recommendation to be counted a success that pick needed to generate more than 14.86 points during the week.
Over the course of the season I have made 24 player recommendations with the above player philosophy in mind. Of those 24, 18 of them have performed at or better than the expected point pace. That is a success rate of 75%. Some notable stand out performances include runs from Zach Parise (47.7 points), Alex Tuch (32.4 points), David Perron (32 Points), and Ondrej Kase (25.6 points). On the flip side some truly terrible recommendations came in the form of Ty Rattie (3.6 points) and Craig Smith (4.7 points).
Some quick additional notes:
Of those 24 players three got injured right at the start of the week (which is impossible to predict). If we remove those players so the data set contains only players that played out the full expected games, then 81% of the picks performed at or above the expected point pace.
If we want to include only players who performed above (excluding those who were about even) the expected point pace the success rate is 76.2%.
Since my baby was born five of my eight most recent recommendations have not panned out – for a success rate about 38% (my apologies to those who have listened to my advice over the last several weeks).
The takeaway? Assuming that the baby correlation is not causation, you’ve got roughly a 75-80% chance that one of my streaming picks can outperform your worst player.
(Full caveat: I have no way to know what your league settings are or the level of competition, so please always take my recommendations into the context of your own league. My selections may be a terrible choice for your specific team or league.)
Potential Streaming Pickups:
Speaking of potential pickups… it is a bit of a waste land in the Western Conference this week. Winnipeg has four games, Dallas has three and that is about it. Western Conference options are a bit thin on the ground if you are trying to get a few extra games. I would stick with Winnipeg.
Brandon Tanev: This recommendation is solely for the multicat leagues. He won’t put a ton of points on the board with third line even strength deployment, and no power play time. He is averaging over two shots, four hits, and one block a game over his last four though.
Bryan Little: Little is seeing even strength time with Patrik Laine, and Jack Roslovic as well as some decent power play deployment. He has been on a great run of late with nine points in his last eight games. I don’t necessarily expect that to continue, but his deployment is good, he has four games this week when a lot of players have one or two, and he is likely available. I would say worth a shot.
Last article’s recommendation:
Conor Garland: With his two games before the All Star break Garland put up a goal, four shots, and one power play point.
Craig Smith: Smith managed three shots over his two games, so was definitely less helpful than Garland.
Drop or Not:
Jason Spezza: Spezza started 2018-19 with eight points in nine games. He lined up with a rotating cast of characters at even strength, but was most productive in the time he spent with Alex Radulov. He was also seeing a significant bump in is power play time, on the first unit with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Radulov. There was definitely a glimmer of hope that at least a shadow of the old Spezza was back in action after an abysmal 2017-18.
Flash forward to now and Spezza has no points in his last ten games, and only three in his last 16. So which is the real Spezza? The obvious answer is neither, but let’s see if we can pin down a better pace projection than that.
Those first nine games Spezza was shooting at 14%, with a shot and a half per game. He was getting 3:00 of top power play time, had an IPP of 61%, and was playing just over 14 minutes on the power play. A 73 point pace isn’t really sustainable for him with only 14 minutes of ice time.
In this recent cold slump, he is still shooting about a shot and a half per game, but is shooting around four percent. He has lost about 30 seconds of power play time, but has the same overall time on ice, which means he has gained a little even strength time. His IPP is down at 25% over this stretch as well.
For the full season he has dropped to a 37 point pace. His shooting percentage is right around his three year average (though 2017-18 was miserable and might not be the best comparison so I might give him a little bump there). The good news is he is still seeing that top power play deployment, and most of his stats (IPP, personal, and team five on five shooting percentage for example) could stand to rise a bit. Even so Spezza is looking to max out at a 45ish point pace. Unfortunately he doesn’t shoot, block, or hit to help fill those peripheral categories. If a 45 point player who has a reasonable shot at power play points is valuable in your league than hang on, otherwise there are plenty of other fish in the sea.
Thanks for reading.