Ramblings: Thoughts on Mantha, Injuries, and Media Hype Impacting Fantasy Value (Oct. 18)

Brennan Des

2020-10-19

The first NHL game I attended was between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Carey Price has always been my favourite player, so 10-year-old me was absolutely ecstatic to see him play live. I'll never forget the feeling of disappointment I experienced after finding my seat and seeing Alex Auld in net for the Habs (no disrespect to Alex Auld). I mention this story to show you that I can relate to your current emotions: You clicked on this article expecting fantasy analysis and words of wisdom from Dobber himself, but instead, you're stuck with me.

Now, Alex Auld ended up winning that game* for the Habs, so my disappointment ultimately turned to elation – hopefully you can say the same after reading these Ramblings!

*He didn't actually win that game

After a hectic few days of trades and free agent signings, Sunday was a quiet day in the NHL. Without any new moves to break down, I thought I'd share a couple of my fantasy hockey philosophies to hopefully challenge the way you think about our favourite game.

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Injuries

Over the past few years, I've had the pleasure of providing injury updates here at Dobber Hockey. I think the experience has provided me with unique insight into how injuries should affect a player's fantasy hockey value. Initially, I believed that injury history was an integral component of player evaluation. I had a misguided mindset that if a player missed games in the past, they were more likely to miss games in the future. However, my opinion on the topic has evolved over time, as I came to realize that I was oversimplifying a complex situation. When factoring injuries into a player's fantasy hockey value, it's extremely important to consider context.

For example, let's look at Anthony Mantha. At first glance, you'll see that he missed 28 games last season, 15 games the year before that, and 22 games during the 2016-2017 campaign. Missing significant time in three of four seasons seems like cause for concern; he appears injury-prone and you may want to steer clear of him in fantasy formats. However, a closer look provides a lot more context and may change your perspective.

In 2016-2017, Mantha's stats show that he played 60 NHL games. Since we know a typical regular season consists of 82 games, it's