Buy Low on Pavelski and These Six Targets

by Chris Liggio on November 3, 2017


Now several weeks into the season like any year there are several players who to this point have not delivered the production owners expect. This makes for an opportunity where you can potentially capitalize on an impatient owner and acquire yourself an asset in line to improve as the season moves forward. Though there are many players who fit this mold a few that seemingly have the best chances of rebounding from here on out are as follows.


Viktor Arvidsson


Though it is not to say he has been horrendous with three goals and two assists through twelve games, when you are coming off a season in which you eclipsed the 30-goal plateau the expectations for your production go up significantly as does your draft round. Currently no owner of Arvidsson can muster the confidence to say they are not worried at least a little as recently his minutes have plummeted and he no longer rides shotgun with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. Though the cards are seemingly stacked against him this is one of the hardest working players in the game with a relentless engine. Despite the underwhelming points he is still boasting a very strong PDO and CF%. His shooting percentage currently sits at 7% compared to 12.6% in the season prior and like last year he is still providing ample shots with forty 43 through 12 games played. If he can get some regression towards the mean the points are bound to come so inquire with a disgruntled owner who may be ready to offload him for a bag of pucks.


Rasmus Ristolainen


The defenseman is certainly receiving some menacing looks from his owners for his slow start. Overall the Sabres have come out of the gate lethargically but at some point the tide has to turn. Possessing the best power play unit last season, the results are bound to improve and Ristolainen will be a focal point in doing so. A phenomenal power play quarterback he is one of the rare defenders last season to post 150 plus hits, shots and blocks. In multi-category leagues he is an absolute gold mine and any trepidation of decreased ice time this year has been nullified as he is logging the heavy minutes we’ve become accustomed to. No other player on Buffalo’s blueline compares to Ristolainen so he is in no danger of losing said minutes either. Boasting the best CF% of his career through 12 games and seeing just under four minutes per game on the power play on average, the chances are strong he will start generating more point production. Do not expect 50 points this season but he is more than capable of getting hot and returning to the 40-point plateau with excellent peripherals by season’s end


Joe Pavelski


Captain America is at the age now where you can start scaring his owners with the “Father Time” angle. Not everyone is Joe Thornton and Pavelski’s diminutive size plus lack of fleet footedness does not bode well for his game as he continues towards his mid-thirties. Not to say the wheels have fallen off the wagon completely but the inevitable decline may potentially be starting this year. And although this may be the case that is not to say he can’t turn it around as a go to player on the Sharks who will probably never lose his top line assignment. Pavelski’s PDO has dropped by almost 100 this season compared to last yet his CF% still stands above 53% which suggests he is experiencing some bad luck out on the ice despite his line driving play. Most of his owners probably are not looking at this and just see an aging asset they might have invested in at the wrong time. Now’s your chance to acquire at a reasonable price and see some statistical normalization as the season progresses. Act fast as Pavelski has now scored goals in two straight and seems to be awaking from hibernation.


Mats Zuccarello


The Rangers as a whole have just been brutal in 2017-18 and Zuccarello is certainly catching some of the blame for this. Although he has quietly amassed 10 points in thirteen games he could still potentially be had at a reasonable price because of the team’s start. Not the fastest starter by any means himself his game is returning to form, but his swing from plus-15 last season to minus-nine currently this year is making his owners cringe. Like Pavelski, Zuccarello’s PDO has dropped by 100 compared to last season yet his CF% remains above 50 therefore he too is not getting any help from the hockey gods. Be encouraged that despite this train wreck of a season so far in Manhattan he is receiving his highest offensive zone starting percentage since 2010-11 and his Pts/60 is in line with the last two seasons rate of 2.4. The hobbit is one of the most consistent assets out there in fantasy land so he is afforded a long leash. With right wing being a thin position, he would be a nice addition to your squad to bolster your depth at the right price.


Mitch Marner


After bursting onto the scene in his rookie season it has been underwhelming thus far for Marner. Though he is still seeing time with Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk it is not as consistent a deployment as last season. For Marner to be of the utmost effectiveness he needs skilled linemates to finish his passes so if he keeps seeing time with the likes of Dominic Moore and Matt Martin do not count on a repeat of last season’s 61 points. This is a team run by Mike Babcock though and he knows what he has in Marner. If any coach is adamant about rolling four consistent lines it’s Babcock. Like Arvidsson, Marner’s shooting percentage is at about half of what it was last season so a little regression towards the mean will do him well and take solace in the fact he is still seeing powerplay time in line with last season. The ball will get rolling for this kid he is simply too skilled not to produce in time so see if his owner is ready to cut the cord at a bargain price.


Ivan Provorov


If there is one person on this list to strongly consider bringing into the fold it’s Provorov. To be honest if I hear “What about Shayne Gostisbehere?” anymore I am going to regurgitate. One day very soon Provorov will be contending for Norris trophies year in and year out and right now the Russian is providing phenomenal category coverage for his owners. Currently sitting on eight points in thirteen games played, 33 shots, 23 hits, 31 blocks, and averaging over 24 minutes a night, this kid is a stud already. Because of Gostisbehere being at the helm of power play one he gets all the love and it is warranted to a degree but people should give Provorov the respect he deserves both in real life and fantasy. It is still early on so before he goes out and posts a 40-point season see if you can snag him away from his owner on the cheap. To put into perspective, my keeper league defense consists of Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nick Leddy, Provorov, and Radko Gudas. So far Provorov is providing more value than any of the “premiere” names listed. This kid is 20, he will only get better, try to board the train before it leaves the station.


Ryan Johansen


Not to pick on the Predators but it is hard to avoid the fact that two thirds of their top line from last season have started off in meager fashion. Always a slow starter himself Johansen will hit his stride soon as he has established his floor at the 60-point mark throughout the prior four seasons. Yes, he is going to need to get going soon to reach that plateau once again but this is a supremely talented number one center with size and quality offensive talent around him. At this point we all must accept the fact he has morphed into a playmaker much more than a sniper but consistency is something to value and Johansen brings this to the table. He is currently rocking a 60% offensive zone start and maintains a strong CF% in line with last season. Also, to take notice of is his obscene amount of power play time so far with over four minutes on average. Therefore, despite the shortcomings in production so far it is comforting to know that he is still being put in situations to promote scoring. Nashville has been dormant offensively but that cannot stay the case forever with all the talent they possess. This team started slow last season and ended up in the Stanley Cup Final so bank on an emergence soon and buy in now.


  • Kevin Hébert

    My Provorov for his Risto ?
    12H2H Cat : G, A, PPP, SOG, HIT, BLK, W, SO, SAVES

    • Chris Liggio

      Yes because Risto does not have a Ghost impeding him but be aware that currently Provorov is blowing him out of the water in peripheral stats so far. If you are doing this trade it’s for the PP points more than anything.

  • Juice

    Drafted the top 3 guys on your list plus Johansen. Also drafted Burns, Dougie Hamilton, and Carlson – FML. Just barely holding down the fort at the moment with my team shooting 5% collectively.

    • Chris Liggio

      well Arvidsson has scored in two straight now and getting bigger minutes again so that is a great sign and Pavelski two games prior to last scored each one so they both seem to be coming around. Burns and Hamilton you just have to be patient Hamilton usually erupts as the season progresses. Carlson situation too good being at helm of PP1 with the howitzer to his left and the best distributor in hockey to his right he will get his points. Johansen ALWAYS lame to start but four straight seasons of sixty plus prior to this season give him the long leash and keep the faith. 5% is unsustainable unluckiness for an entire squad so positive regression is coming.

  • Allan Phillips

    In a challenge trade, would you swap Getzlaf & Pavelski? 14-team roto, mostly scoring cats with Plm and Hits+Blocks combined, similar salaries.

    • Chris Liggio

      with Getzlaf’s inability to stay healthy I would swap for Pavelski but no denying Getz’s dominance when playing. If you have IR I would stash and hit the wire but if not I cannot knock the trade for someone who can be of service now.

  • MarkRM16

    Great article.

    I’m skeptical about Arvidsson for 2 reasons: 1st, he comes out of nowhere to post amazing numbers when his team makes an unexpected Cup run. Often when this happens, the player crashes back to earth the season after, along with a number of his teammates. I know it’s still early in the season, but the only forward posting good numbers is Forsberg.

    I predicted a slump for Marner, but not on this level!

    I’m sure glad I drafted Provorov this year. I agree that he’s going to be a beast some day, but I’m worried he won’t rack up the points he could because Ghost sees such a high % of the PP TOI. Due to his better overall play,Provorov is the Flyers’ equivalent of Pietrangelo to Ghost’s Shattenkirk.

    BTW, You mean to say “premier” not “premiere”, which is when something debuts, like a movie

    • Chris Liggio

      whoops thanks for catching that! Arvidsson and Marner could go either way, Marner is crippled by the arrival of Marleau who takes away from his time with Bozak and JVR consistently last season. Arvidsson in what I have seen is snake bitten but his shot attempts are what you want to see. If he was slumping and the shots dissipated then I would be more concerned. I cannot see Babcock keeping Marner out of offensive scenario long term. Provorov will not be a fifty point D with Ghost in the picture but I have no problem owning a 35-40 point guy with elite peripherals. I mean 10 blocked shots last night 10!

  • Dave Harding

    Well I think I’m going to make you regurgitate. Provorov as good as he is will be a far better real life player than fantasy as long as Gostibehere is on the same team. Provorov will never take Gostibehere’s pp time which will limit Provorov’s offensive upside. Provorov has no where near the offensive skill as Gostibehere it’s really not close. This will be Pietrangelo and Shanttenkirk. I think you should be telling people to cash in on the hype of Provorov and trade him for a better fantasy asset.

    • Chris Liggio

      hey i respect your angle but all I see is a multi-cat dynamo going back to his rookie season and until he tapers off which is doubtful I shall continue to boast about his tremendous value. No points last night but 2 PIM, 2 shots, 5 hits, 10 blocks, 27:08 ATOI. Sorry my friend that carries some real value in many fantasy circles. I never mention anything regarding power play for he has never been featured there but still he put up thirty points as rookie defender which is significant and is on pace for forties territory this year with or without Ghost. Fact of the matter is the guy is making a name for himself. Take a stab at writing in the Black Aces section of the forum let’s see what the masses think of your logic.

      • MarkRM16

        I never said anything about his peripheral stats and his value there. I drafted him in his rookie year and have him this year also, so I’m aware of his fantasy value now and in the future.

      • Chris Liggio

        this was not directed towards you but the original comment from Dave Harding.

      • MarkRM16

        D’oh! Sorry ’bout that!

      • Chris Liggio

        all good believe me I am not one for trolling but if that guy wanted to take a stab at it I am just going to have to bury him with facts.

    • MarkRM16

      If you take a look at Provorov’s WHL stats, it’s clear that he is just as good offensively as Ghost. The reason why Provorov’s offense will be suppressed with Ghost in the fold is that Provorov plays a complete, physical, 2-way game, whereas Ghost is poor defensively and doesn’t block shots or hit.