Frozen Tools Forensics: Helping make fantasy decisions
This week I wanted to highlight a pair of Frozen Tools that help us look at what teams are doing and see if we can find a way to use it to make fantasy decisions.
This week: Frozen Tools: Using Team Performance to Find Player Adds
First off, we are going to take a look at the Team Stats tool. It, like most of the Frozen Tools, allows you to pull data from a varying time frame, but whereas most of the tools we have looked at so far pull player level data, this one pulls team performance. If we run the report for the last three weeks we get something that looks like this.
The default sort is by wins. This is a helpful frame to let us know which teams have been on the best run as of late. Especially when we are getting into playoff race time, this view can be helpful. It is also helpful to consider this view when considering goalies. Most leagues include goalie wins, and while we can certainly look at individual goalies, sometimes the context of the larger team performance can be helpful. For example, the Blues have won nine of their last 11 games for a winning percentage of almost 82 percent. That number is likely a bit over-inflated as an 82 percent winning streak is difficult to maintain for any long period of time. Jordan Binnington's current personal win streak then is going to also take a similar tumble if things change for the team as a whole.
The other view I wanted to note here was the Goals For (GF) column.
Sorting by that column we can see which teams have been scoring the most over the last three weeks. The Rangers and Wild lead the pack, but we also can see that all of the teams have played a varying amount of games. If we export the data so we can get goals-per-game numbers, we get a solid top five.
Added to the Rangers and Wild are the Flyers, Canucks, and the Golden Knights. Sorting this way gives a good read on which teams are getting a lot of goal scoring at the moment. Obviously, these are the teams where it has been great to own players recently, and if we use another Dobber tool we can tell what the point spread has been and who has been benefitting the most.
The next tool to look at is the Line Production tool. It is under the Lines dropdown on the menu bar. If we run the report for the last ten days for the most productive team (Minnesota), we get the following results.
So quick recap here, we have learned that Minnesota is the top-scoring team (on a per-game basis) over the last three weeks and that their line of Mikko Koivu, Ryan Hartman, and Ryan Donato has done the most damage as a line. So why is this helpful? Well, there are times when it is worth grabbing guys in situations that are successful. Players on Minnesota are clearly scoring, and fantasy owners would love to get in on the action. In the case of Minnesota, the value of that top scoring line is dulled a bit by the fact that none of those guys are getting significant power-play deployment, so their point potential is limited to that even-strength time. (Guys like Eric Staal and Kevin Fiala are represented on this list in a number of line combinations (and deployment types) so their totals may exceed this Koivu scoring line.)
This is an opportunity to expand the kinds of situations that we as fantasy owners and managers keep an eye out for. We are also always on the look-out for 'third-wheel' kind of players, the guys who get to play with Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby, but there is an argument to be made for grabbing a guy on a productive line as well.
Ryan Hartman and Mikko Koivu both have six points in their last eight games. Ryan Donato has five. They are Minnesota's most productive single even-strength line, and even if their point totals have not lit the world on fire there has certainly not been a rush to add them or any hype around their performance. Contrast that with Connor Sheary (recently on Crosby's line), Tyler Ennis, and Josh Archibald (both saw time with McDavid). All three saw their ownership move and were featured in many articles and buy-low segments. The comparison? Sheary has four points in his last eight games, Josh Archibald also has four, and Tyler Ennis has two (though four points in his last nine games). Sheary, given he still has his deployment certainly has a higher ceiling and is hotter at the moment all of his damage has come in his last five games. The Minnesota trio is on a downward trend at the moment, but it doesn't change the fact that all of them were the better own over the last few weeks.
Jumping to another team – if we take a quick look at the Rangers, we see that a lot more of their scoring has happened on the power play.
Most casual observers have to know that Mika Zibanejad has been killing it, and yet the most productive line over the last ten games has been Jesper Fast, Artemi Panarin, and Ryan Strome. Unfortunately, in this case, most of the damage from that line happened between eight and 15 games ago and it has gone rather cold since then (spoiler alert – it is because that line was disbanded). Strome only has four points in his last eight games and only one point in his last six. Fast has been just as cold with two points in his last eight games. Panarin is the one lifting up Rangers production at the moment with 10 points in his last eight games largely because of a line change that put him with Mika Zibanejab.
The Rangers' data highlights the third step that needs to be taken here to ensure you are grabbing someone in a good position. The Fast, Strome, Panarin line is the most productive because they have spent the most time together over the sample. In the Ranger's most recent games the power-play performance of Panarin and Zinbanejad, and the changing of the even-strength lines has the potential to dramatically alter this analysis. By checking the most recent game lines as well we can ensure that the players we add are still in the positive scoring positions that they were in during these productive stretches.
Thanks for reading.
Want more tool talk? Check out these recent Frozen Tool Forensics Posts.
No data at this moment.