Capped: Players providing above- and below-market production – Part 3

Logan Doyle

2021-06-24

Same as the last two weeks, I will review two players that fall into each category. The good will cover players that produced over expectations and provided really good-to-exceptional value to their cap hit. The 'bad' – perhaps better viewed as fair market value, or players that produced on par with salary expectations. The ugly, is just that, players that performed poorly and created an unexpected anchor on your roster.

For those tuning in for the first time in this series or those that don't want to go back to previous articles – the base method I am using for determining a players value is 10-points of production per one million AAV. In multi-cat pools this calculation gets a whole lot muddier as you need to consider many more statistical categories.

A quick review on players I've eliminated from consideration. Your elite-studs – both on expensive contracts (Connor McDavid) and cap-friendly deals (Nathan MacKinnon); entry-level contracts (Jason Robertson); and players that missed the majority of the season due to injury (Tyler Seguin).

Now that we've refreshed the basic ground rules. Here are two players that gave incredible return on their cap hit:

The Good

Sean Couturier – Center – Philadelphia Flyers ($4.33M)

Over the last four seasons Couturier has been one of the best value contracts in the league. A clear tier or two below your superstar bargains, at $4.33M and three seasons of .9 points per game or better he has turned into almost an assured 70-point-per-season, or better, player.

As poor as the Flyers performed as a team, Couturier did not miss a step. With 41 points in 45 games, he again provided a safety net for fantasy owners. 

In fact, statistically he seems completely unfazed by the Flyers poor play. Mind you, most of the teams issues were defensive. His shots and hits, power-play points were on par with his previous three seasons. And he again was a top face-off center in the league with a 56.9 percent winning percentage. His shooting percentage was slightly inflated this year at 3.4 percent above his career average. For multi-cat leagues, he provided strong coverage across all your categories.

He is entering the last year of his contract, so enjoy this bargain while you can. Come 2021-22 off-season Couturier is going to get paid. The bargain will be gone. I expect his next deal to be in the $7M-plus range. On the bright side, you have one more year to enjoy this bargain player.

Alex DeBrincat – Left Wing – Chicago Black Hawks ($6.4M)

2019-20 was a down year. It made some ask if expectations on DeBrincat had been set too high. Clearly the were not. While he's not the incredible value as other players I've included over the past couple weeks, an 88-point pace at $6.4M he still provided great value.

A lot of his poor season was due to a porous sh