Eastern Edge: Over- and Under-Performing Fantasy Players

by Cam Metz on November 27, 2018
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Edge: Over- and Under-Performing Fantasy Players

 

It’s time to sit down and take a good long look at your fantasy hockey team this week.  As Michael Clifford pointed out in last night’s ramblings there will be a lot of talk about buy/sell players and that is exactly what I’m going to load up on this week in the East.

Obviously you’re not going to trade Auston Matthews in a one for one trade in a one-year league unless you’re getting McDavid in return.  However if you could squeeze his impressive start for Tyson Barrie and Sebastian Aho– without knowing very much else about your league settings, I’d say you’ve upgraded your team. Granted maybe you’ll need to throw in a lower pairing defender but you catch my drift. I hate saying you’ll lose the trade if you’re giving up the best player, because if you’re already at the bottom of the pack in your league, you need to get moving if you hope to make the playoffs.

With that being said, hopefully you’ll remember some nice plots I made in the middle of draft season regarding expected point projections from Expert forecasters and their ADPs.  Using the same data I wanted to take a look at who is over/under performing point projections by a significant margin.  Teasing out these players in the East here are the two graphs I’ll be referencing to give you an idea on how significant the difference is between Expert minus Actual on a per game basis.

 

 

Ok let’s get cracking because there are plenty of players who are missing the mark this year.

Victor Hedman – Injury aside Hedman has been up to snuff compared to expert predictions and I have personally felt the burn so far.  He’s currently on a 48-point pace of which four points can be attributed to goals, a stat that is nice for a blueliner but certainly not where they generate the majority of their points.   The concern is that he only has 6 assists through 17 games, and 3 assists in the first quarter (13gp)! Last year he has 13 assists in the first quarter alone (20 gp).  The good news is that Hedman is shooting at roughly the same pace, which should see him break the 200 SOG plateau.  Another stat leaving poolies wondering is the lack of PPP production, again it’s a mystery.  One possible explanation for the volume reduction is the roughly four minutes (21min vs 24ish) per game less that Hedman is playing, numbers he hasn’t see in many years.  Digging deeper TB as a whole has performed much lower than expected while Hedman has been on the ice, shooting only 6.62% versus around mid 8 to low 9%.  His PDO indicates a being unlucky as well – 964.  Bottom line is this is a guy who has all the tell-tale signs of a buy low. 

 

Shayne Gostisbehere – I’d like to personally thank Beric for drafting GhostBear a round before I would have selected him.  He has helped ensure that my early picks spent on the blueline have been productive, unlike Ghost.  First the good news – he’s shooting at basically the same clip that he did last year a pace of 224 SOG. He has a slightly depressed shooting percentage, given his skill level we can expect it to increase a little but that’s the funny thing about blueliners, the variance between year to year can be a reason that including goal predictions can be fickle (again I reference this article).  So what does it mean – currently Gostisbehere has three goals and a slight increase in S% could find his goals around 4 in total.  Obviously that is not what the problem is; instead we point to the PP assists and assists in general and for that we can see that the team in Philly isn’t shooting like they were last year. Collectively they are shooting much like T.B. at 5.91% with Ghost on the ice instead of the 8.73 last year.  So putting it all together – actually quick shout out to the guy sitting behind the color analysts in the lounge at the Panthers game in the middle of the second intermission (11/26) – Beauty.  Ok back to putting it all together given the SOG volume, it’s likely that Ghost like Hedman has some more to give.  The concern being of course that Philly as a whole is not half the team that Tampa in terms of quality.   I’d move cautiously here but if I could swing a Pionk+ for Ghost, I think that’s a bet that would fall in your favor.

 

Jordan Eberle – The experts had him landing around 60 points in total and he’s on pace for only 39 points so far.  What’s the problem? He’s shooting 12.8% normal enough, he’s stacking his PP minutes compared to previous years – so no issues there, the team is shooting 8.5%  – no real issues there, and then we land on IPP and PDO.  It appears that Eberle is not getting in on the scoring, he’s missing almost 20% of his normal 68-72% IPP.  This should have a market correction soon.  So what do you do with Eberle? He’s probably on the waiver wire but I think with some confidence you should be able to trade a 60-point guy and maybe a D or G and get a pretty nice winger, jump back and replace your skater with Eberle.   I’ll probably get crushed by others for this advice but the only thing that is stopping Eberle from picking up those points is an overall goal drop from the Islanders.  Right now the Islanders have scored 70 goals and have been expected to score 61 based on the irreplaceable Manny over at Corsica.

 

Shea Weber– Weber returns to Montreal tonight, double check if he is available in shallower leagues.

 

Kevin Shattenkirk – Trade him now – send an offer to every team in your league and recoup anything for him.  He’s on pace for 27 points, stream hot blueliners instead of waiting for this guy to get going.  He’s seeing only 18 minutes a night. While he’s never been a SOG machine – 156 SOG is his season pace if that sort of thing works for you.  He’s seeing only 50% of his teams PP minutes, realistically his 5v5 S% isn’t even terrible at 7.19%.   Sometimes the experts are collectively wrong and given what we’re seeing from Shatty this year, which appears to be the case.

                                                                                   

 

 

Sebastian Aho – Aho is on pace to crush Expert predictions; absolutely destroy them.  Right now he is on an 89 point pace vs the 65ish predicted by experts. So what is going on here for the tri-eligible center in Yahoo!?  He’s shooting at a perfectly normal 11% compared to his career numbers. He’s shooting at a healthy 210 SOG pace.  His IPP at 78 is slightly high but not going to result in a 20-point drop in this point totals. His team has certainly been lucky at a PDO of 1013, but his 5v5 S% is healthy at 8.79%.   This looks like a guy who is ready to continue at the pace he is exhibiting thus far. The red glad is that he’s looking at about 3.4 PT/60 – it’ll be interesting what will ultimately bring that rate down.

I think we can sum up the players in the over performing plot fairly easily:

 

Brayden Point –  I’ll raise my hand as someone who did not see the continued dominance of Point.  He was pegged 65 points but right now is on pace for 105 points!   Ahhh at least an easy player to deal with.  Sell high now.  See how much you can get for Point+.  He’s shooting at 27% – there is no way that is going to continue. Take the goals he’s scored with your team, remember them fondly and punt him to first owner willing to make a deal.  His team is shooting (not surprisingly) at 13% while he is on the ice, his IPP is high compared to last year at 73% compared to 66% so this certainly could result in a dip.  For my money it looks like a lucky player that you should look at moving.   For what it’s worth I find it really hard to sell high on players, when do you pull the trigger?  What if the fun continues?  It’s a numbers game, might as well play the averages and expect that in the end those moves will fall in your favor.

 

Cam Atkinson – Curious case here – longtime Dobber favorite or so I’ve read – his shot volume is on pace to eclipse 300 so volume is helping him use brute force to increase his point totals. On top of that he’s shooting 17%.  So in the end you can expect to see the shooting percentage to come back but the shot volume should help Atkinson reach new heights, there is less room to sell high than I expected.

 

I think the below players in the above graph can be summarized below; if you’ve read this far I think you can connect the dots on how to treat these players if they are on your team.

Player

18-19 S%

3 Year Career S%

Jeff Skinner

22.5

12.4

Morgan Rielly

13.6

5.0

Max Domi

20.5

9.3

Matt Duchene

17.2

13.5