Ramblings: Diving on Batherson and Norris; Palmieri; Ottawa – September 7

Michael Clifford

2021-09-07

Last month we talked about two players that are of great interest this fantasy season in Josh Norris and Drake Batherson. At the time, the reasoning was that they could be part of a great line in Ottawa with Brady Tkachuk and their ADP could be depressed. At the time, though, we didn't have ADP data so it was a bit more conjecture than anything else.

We do have ADP data now, however, so we can be a bit more accurate here. We'll be using Yahoo's stuff, but beware of mock drafters and keeper league owners messing with that a bit. For now, it's just a gauge, not a concrete bit of information.

One thing that Yahoo! has is "percent drafted" or the rate at which a player is drafted in a league. While ADP can be wonky, we can see who is reaching for players that may not be rated inside the top-150 or whatever. So while Nico Hischier and Yanni Gourde have relatively the same Yahoo! ADP (159.4 vs. 159.8), Hischier is 6% drafted while Gourde is 24%, so Gourde is being selected much more often at that ADP than Hischier. Makes sense? Here are our two topics of conversation:

  • Norris: 181.5 ADP, 21% drafted
  • Batherson: 177.7 ADP, 38% drafted

If we want to make sense of these numbers, we have to compare them to others. Here are some centres that are going after pick 160 and are around 21% drafted or less: Nazem Kadri, Jordan Staal, Trevor Zegras, Joel Eriksson Ek. Those four guys have one 60-point season between them in the last decade. Zegras and Eriksson Ek haven't been around long, but you guys get the idea here. There are other centres around this ADP with much higher draft rates like Dylan Larkin and William Karlsson. Those aren't the ADP comparables for Norris. It is guys like Staal and Zegras. Those are the ADP comparables for Josh Norris.

In that sense, for Norris to be worth roughly his draft pick, he doesn't need much. A 40-point season with triple-digit hits is enough, and last year, his rookie year, he paced for 51 points and 105 hits. For him not to be worth his draft slotting, he should be maybe 20% worse than his rookie season. If we're predicting that for Norris, then the Senators are in a world of hurt as a team.

What, exactly, can Norris bring? Well, the 50-point mark should be a good barometer for him. He earned more ice time as the year went on, going from just under 16 minutes a night through March to 17:20 a night from April onward. I think we see a continuation of that trend up to about 18 minutes a night this year. Though Norris is just a second-year player, he's already 22 years old. From traditional aging curves, he's entering his prime. He handled heavier minutes down the stretch just well, and he should get more. He wasn't a fixture of the top PP unit until later in the year and he could get shutdown minutes playing with Tkachuk. That is all good news for his production.</