Frozen Tool Forensics: Most Valuable Center

Chris Kane

2022-05-06

Well, that's a wrap on the regular season. Playoffs have begun, and while there are certainly some story lines, we will be reviewing games at a series level, so expect some playoff content once some of the rounds have wrapped. For now, I want to take a look back over the full season and find out which players provided the most, and best value at each position.

Most Valuable is a tricky term that is going to be completely dependent on the league specific context. For the purposes of this article, we are going to use standard Yahoo point scoring to come up with a value for each player. That (unfortunately) includes plus/minus, and categories like hits and penalty minutes, which means there are some instances of players with increased value who did not have the best scoring seasons (and several players who are more pure point producers who dropped a little in the standings).

Once we have the fantasy point totals, we can rank those players to get an idea of how well our top players performed and then develop an estimated points number based on their draft position. We will be able to use those comparisons to show which players performed a lot better or worse than their draft positions.

A quick note on average draft position: The data was pulled from Yahoo earlier in the season, and only for the top 200 players. 200 was picked as it is a round number that is a reasonable (if slightly low) approximation for a lot of leagues and it is a pain to export data from Yahoo. It also will not completely match Yahoo's current ADPs as those will take into account drafts that took place once the year began and will boost the ADPs of guys like Ryan Hartman or Nazem Kadri who significantly outperformed expectations so were drafted much higher through in-season drafts.

As well, we are pulling all of the season data from Frozen Tool's Multi-Cat report to ensure we get those hits, blocks, PIMs, and plus/minus.

Preamble done, now on to the highest performing centers.

NamePosTeamGPPTS/GFantasy PtsFantasy Rank
CONNOR MCDAVIDCEDM801.54840.62
J.T. MILLERCVAN801.24788.26
LEON DRAISAITLCEDM801.38753.97
STEVEN STAMKOSCT.B811.31751.49
AUSTON MATTHEWSCTOR731.45713.114

Not sure how much of a surprise any of these names are at this point. J.T. Miller certainly took off this season, putting up a 101-point pace and providing a ton of value from the power play. He also leads this group in hits by at least double and by a factor of three in some cases, which is another boost in value for him. He is the second-ranked center with 788.2 fantasy points, and the sixth-ranked skater overall (the far-left column).

The other note here is Auston Matthews and the surprise is that the league's only 60-goal scorer is listed as the fifth most productive center.