Eastern Edge: Overvalued and Undervalued Florida Panthers

by Cam Metz on July 10, 2018
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Edge: Overvalued and Undervalued Florida Panthers

 

It was an exciting free agency period with Tavares moving on to his boyhood team.  You can check out the recaps of all the moves in our section on fantasy impacts here

I’m counting down the days until the 2018-2019 Dobber Fantasy Guide is released on August 1st.  Dobber will have you covered as you start preparing for your drafts on key strategies and players to target to gain a leg up on your league.   I highly recommend grabbing a copy earlier so you have time to read and prepare.  I heard recently on a podcast that your league is not won at the draft table, that may be the case but you certainly can lose it by overvaluing players due to regress – so grab a copy and make sure you’re all set!

Returning to the summer series we’ll take a look at the undervalued and overvalued players on each team.  I hope to combine this commentary with some of my previous analysis on why a specific stat is relevant and what it could mean for the player this coming season. This is not to say a specific player is not valuable to their own team, it is an attempt to show how value can change our mindset on the draft positions for these players, so that you can make sure you pick valuable players throughout the entire draft. 

I’ll preface that my mindset on counting stats is that they are nice, but during the draft I won’t use them to heavily weight the value of my draft board. Why? Having a lot of hits is great, but I’d rather take the 30 goal scorer and the player positioned to break 70 points than worry about whether or not they are going to contribute in FW or hits.

This week we will stick with Atlantic and take a look at the Florida Panthers.

Like for the Wild West series, the ranks are based on a 12-team, head-to-head league, using the categories of goals, assists, power play points, shots, hits and blocks for forwards/defensemen and wins, saves, save percentage and goals against average for goalies. Player eligibility for this series is based on Yahoo, and draft ranks are based on average draft positions compiled from Yahoo, ESPN and CBS by FantasyPros.  Once we can flip the switch and start getting 2018 ADPs we’ll be sure to cover you on the value plays for this season.

 

Recap

Florida JUST missed the playoffs this last year and certainly proved to everyone that down the center of the ice this is a team that has explosive players. Aleksander Barkov put up 76 points in 77 games often gaining these points in an extraordinary fashion. Pittsburgh native, Vincent Trocheck kept firing pucks on net in route to a career high 73 points.  The wingers also showed up this year and if it weren’t for some goaltending struggles, they may have been able to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Florida ranked 20th on the power play last year and given the talent they are able to ice we’ll likely see them score a few more goals this year.

 

Undervalued

Florida presented poolies with a lot of value at the close of the season compared to where many of the players were picked at the draft table last year.

 

Vincent Trocheck was being drafted around spot 154, even last year the position of the pick didn’t make sense with his shot totals. I just missed out on him last year and only had myself to blame, as I tried to pick him one round before his ADP.   Trocheck was valued as the 45th-most important player even though he was drafted just outside 150.  Check out these advanced stats:

 

Year

PDO

5 on 5 S%

Off. Zone Start%

PTS/60

%PP

IPP

CF%

2017-18

989

7.32

41.65

2.6

67.6

73.5

48.31

 

He found himself very close to scoring what his expected goal totals predicted (ixGF) and his shooting percentage in all situations was actually below his 3-year average. The most impressive thing about his season is his zone starts of 41% in the offensive zone. Typically we look for players who start in the offensive zone more, but it sure looks like Trocheck is able to consistently put up value from his own zone. Trocheck also fired almost 300 shots on goal with 287 placing him amongst the very best in the league. The extensive time on the PP only helps make sure that his floor doesn’t go too low for this year.  I’m buying Trocheck this year – I think he is bound to repeat and will continue to slide under a lot of radars this year.  

 

Aleksander Barkov, as I mentioned, had quite the year as he put up a point-per-game pace.  Surprisingly, even if you take out the hits and blocks from the value ranking Barkov was not able to usurp his teammate Trocheck in fantasy value. When considering hits and blocks Barkov is ranked 111.  I’ve double checked this and somehow it is true – mind boggling.  When you strip out the hits and blocks he shoots up to 78th.  Why is he not able to climb higher? Unfortunately he didn’t produce a lot of points on the power play, even though he is receiving over three minutes a night.  Barkov without hits and blocks exceeded his ADP of 93, and given that I enjoy points I’m not willing to say that he was overvalued.

The more I look at these numbers the more I feel like Barkov is going to be an absolute steal at the draft table. Hear me out on this one.

Over the last three years the top-100 power play performances have averaged 26 power-play points. Those players have averaged 3.2 minutes per game and capture 64% of their team’s power play time. Last year Barkov had 3.23 minutes per game of power-play time, 66% of his team’s share, and ONLY produced 17 points!  I’ll be following up on this one before the start of the season, but it sure seems like Barkov given his electrifying skill set is about to get to the next level.

 

Keith Yandle provided immense value compared to his ADP of 142 in point considerations, but when adding in blocks and hits found himself right around that ADP with an overall rank of 135.   I covered scoring from the back end a couple weeks ago and for a player like Yandle I think it is especially important to revisit. For those not willing to click the link, it basically contends that because D scoring is down, you shouldn’t value the category as that important for the position.  What should you value? You should try to draft as many Keith Yandles as you can; late ADP with high assists.  Yandle put up 48 assists last year and with over three minutes a game on the power play. His advanced stats all fall in line with career averages and he seems likely to pick up additional points if Barkov & Co. can get the power play firing on all cylinders. 

 

Aaron Ekblad also out-produced his ADP of 137 as the 112th ranked skate, sure seems like a trend with the players on this team.  Unfortunately Ekblad was able to inflate his value by potting 16 goals, something that is a risky bet to happen again. It seems unlikely that he will win the quarterback duties on this power play unit and as a result make it unlikely that he will be able to significantly improve his output this year.

 

Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgeny Dadonov both produced similar outputs and were able to make good on their ADP. I’d say roughly the same point range for these two players point this year and they certainly could break through into the mid-seventies, but it will most likely be on the heels of the power play gaining efficiency.

 

Overvalued

Last but not least the one player that wasn’t even on the team last year, but someone who let a lot of poolies down: Mike Hoffman!

This is what I wrote about Hoffman pre-trade etc. “Mike Hoffman has an expected goal total below his actual total – given it was a disappointing season for his owners this has plenty of cause for concern for next year as well.  The hope is that this drives his ADP back a little and his shooting percentage picks back up a couple percentages – the lack of talent evaluation in the expected goals metric is always a reason to temper using this analysis as a hard rule – Hoffman’s shot volume, release, and likely regression has me anticipating a BUY.”

Hoffman was being drafted at 38 and fell outside the top 100 in a hits and blocks format.  When looking at just points and shots he did salvage his ranking by placing at 78.   Mike Clifford covered the trade that took him the west coast to sunny Florida in the span of a few hours.  I agree that it is very possible that Hoffman finds himself outside the top-6.  Unless the opportunity risk of his on ice deployment is significantly added to his ADP this year, he certainly seems like a player that is poised to provide similar to worse value this coming season. 

 

See you back here next week.

Last week: Montreal Canadiens