That got me thinking quite a bit. Doughty’s season last year was the real Doughty. So why do so many people keep expecting more out of Doughty?
It all comes down to name value. There are numerous players out there whose value is much higher than it should be, based solely on their name. Below are 10 of those players.
10. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
OEL is one of those guys where you always feel like he has more potential, and then you wake up one day and realize he’s 28 years old and entering his 10th year in the league. OEL is exactly who his numbers say he is: A number one power-play quarterback who will top out in the mid-40s for points. In his last seven years in the league, he’s had a point pace of 45, 42, 40, 60, 44, 45 and 41. Every year people wait for him to break out, and aside from that one season, he never does.
McAvoy is like many young players, where their name and upside means drafting them higher than they should be. Even though McAvoy is clearly the second power-play option in Boston and that he has battled injuries in each of his first two years in the league, he’s still being selected as if he is guaranteed a breakthrough season this coming year. He needs Torey Krug to spend a significant amount of time on the injured reserve or be traded for McAvoy to finally have that great season.
8. Juuse Saros
Imagine if you will, two once-highly-touted netminders in their mid-20s stuck behind elite netminders in their mid-30s. Yet one backup is much loved and drafted every season waiting for that breakout, while the other is constantly left on the waiver wire. That’s the difference between Saros and Malcolm Subban. Saros just had an offseason in his age-24 season, but they are similar to ones posted by Subban two years ago in his age-24 season. Yet Saros still has plenty of name value, so he is the one that most fantasy general managers talk highly of. Saros has been a popular pick for years, but he has yet to breakthrough in any way that would make him worthy of a fantasy own.
7. Carey Price
Jaroslav Halak was traded from Montreal before the 2010-11 season, all designed to let Price be the number one guy in Montreal. Since then, even though there have been some great seasons, there have been just as many frustrating ones. Much of that has to do with his injury history, but the arrival of Keith Kinkaid should help reduce Price’s workload. Less starts means fewer wins and fewer saves. Remember, Price played 29 of 30 games down the stretch last year because the team didn’t trust Antti Niemi. Don’t bank on that happening again.
Last year, I was leading the crusade against Pacioretty being able to produce much offensively, and it seems like many are starting to agree with me. While there are still a few holdouts (I see them in the comments anytime I mention Pacioretty being a disappointment), for the most part, many are projecting MaxPac to finish in the 40s for points. Since he used to be a consistent 30-goals, 60-point player, Pacioretty still has plenty of name value, but that value should be diminishing greatly with each passing season.
5. Tyson Barrie
This is the first time I’ve written a list on this topic, but there’s no way Barrie would have been here in previous years. His inclusion on this list is only happening because he was dealt to Toronto. Because he’s been viewed as an offensive defenseman for most of his career, and now he’s on the Maple Leafs, people are still expecting big things from him. Enough so that he is, on average, the 12th defenseman selected in Yahoo pools, ahead of much better options such as Torey Krug, Mark Giordano and Keith Yandle.
4. Matt Duchene
Matt Duchene has always been treated as a 70-point player that can improve a team’s power play, but the numbers don’t really back that up. He has a tendency to score 70 points in contract years, but every other year he’s a sub-60-point guy. In a good year, he’ll hit the teens in power-play points, and he hasn’t had more than 17 PPP since his rookie season in 2009-10. Don’t buy into the name recognition.
Ever since he first made the lineup with the Bruins seven years ago, many fantasy general managers believe that this is the season that Hamilton will get all the power-play time and really breakthrough, but truth is, it just never works out that way. Last year, he was a great option in leagues with peripherals as he put up PIMs, shots, hits and blocked shots, but those seven power-play points stick out like an eyesore. Now he has more competition for that power-play time with Jake Gardiner in town.
Holtby is great for fantasy when it comes to wins, but that’s all he’s really contributed the last two seasons. In those two years, he has 66 wins (which is great) to go along with three shutouts, a .909 SV % and a 2.90 GAA (not-so-great). Thanks to playing on a dynamite powerhouse team that gets plenty of media attention, Holtby is generally a top-10 goalie chosen in drafts, despite posting average to below-average numbers.
1. Drew Doughty
It seems fitting that the man who inspired this list makes it number one. And it was really an easy selection. I pointed it out in the forum, but in the last six seasons, Doughty has had point totals of 37, 46, 51, 44, 60 and 45. That 60-point season is a huge aberration, and you really should be expecting about 45-50 points from Doughty. Although many think of Doughty as an awesome fantasy option, in reality, he’s not the stud many make him out to be.