Geek of the Week – Michael Stone

by Terry Campkin on November 1, 2015

Mark isn't the only Stone brother that can help fantasy teams.

We are three weeks into the hockey season and I’ll be honest – I have not had the opportunity to stay as in tune with the happenings of the NHL as I would like. Typically, I would be all over every game each night with stat tracker loaded and multiple games on my TV but a combination of playoff baseball, day job priorities, and fall weddings has kept me occupied while my fantasy team has been on autopilot. If you want to win a championship though, you need to be on top of things and weeks 2-8 are prime weeks for adding breakout players before your competition catches on. Despite my lack of NHL viewing, I have managed to find just such a player: Michael Stone.

The lesser known brother of Sens’ forward Mark Stone, Michael has quietly been developing a fine career (and fantasy profile) of his own. Having only ever eclipsed 20 points once in his career, Michael has far less notoriety than his little brother who scored more points last season alone than Michael has in his five-year career. Playing more of a shut-down role on a hockey team in Arizona has probably also contributed to Michael’s anonymity, but make no mistake, this guy has value and upside.

I discovered Stone randomly when I decided to sit down and review my team after being a neglectful owner over the past few weeks. I knew that I needed some depth on D, but I wasn’t sure which direction to go. For me, when I go through periods of less hockey exposure I don’t check in on players on NHL.com or even in my league page (which is Yahoo!). I go straight to Fantasy Hockey Geek. Why would I look at a list sorted by points when my league counts three other categories as well?

Logging into FHG, I ran my league (G, A, PPP, SOG, Hits) and ran the player rankings for month to date (up to October 29). Below is a selection of what came out:

Rank

Player

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

51

Scott Hartnell

3

3

19

2

27

52

Keith Yandle

1

5

17

2

11

53

Michael Stone

1

3

20

2

15

 

Michael Stone is currently contributing the 53rd most value of any player in my league and the most of any unowned defenseman.   At a quick glance, I can see why the FHG math values him so high: he shoots and hits at an above average rate and his four points are a decent 32 point pace. I know from my experience using FHG, though, that the main difference between Stone of old and Stone this season is the 2 PPP he has. That’s not a huge number, but it is a 16 PPP pace, and PPP are a very valuable commodity in this particular league. Stone’s career high in powerplay points is six, though, so I wasn’t quite ready to mark him for 16 just yet. I needed to look a little deeper to be sure that it wasn’t a blip, so I went onto frozen pool to check out his usage:

POWER PLAY

FORWARDS

#1

47.6%

BOEDKER,MIKKEL – DOAN,SHANE – RIEDER,TOBIAS

#2

23.8%

DOMI,MAX – DUCLAIR,ANTHONY – HANZAL,MARTIN

#3

19%

DOMI,MAX – DUCLAIR,ANTHONY – MARTINOOK,JORDAN

#4

9.5%

GORDON,BOYD – MARTINOOK,JORDAN

DEFENCE

#1

71.4%

EKMAN-LARSSON,OLIVER – STONE,MICHAEL

#2

14.3%

EKMAN-LARSSON,OLIVER – MURPHY,CONNOR

#3

4.8%

DAHLBECK,KLAS – MICHALEK,ZBYNEK

Stone is on the top powerplay unit and playing over 70 percent of the Coyotes’ time with the man advantage over the past three games. I didn’t witness it happening myself, but FHG and Frozen Pool show me that while I was busy in real life, Stone has usurped Mikkel Boedker on the powerplay and he is putting the time to good use. A quick look at Stone’s game log, and I see that all four of his points have come in the past seven games (47 point pace) and he has also been firing pucks at a 187 shot pace in that time span.  This got me really curious, so I hopped back to FHG to run the numbers over the past two weeks (October 15-29):

Rank

Player

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

29

Michael Stone

0

3

13

2

10

30

John Carlson

1

5

4

3

1

32

Brendan Gallagher

4

2

16

3

2

 

Michael Stone was the 29th most valuable player in my league over this small sample size, earning himself bragging rights over brother Mark who sits way down at 480th. Now I would never advocate for making big decisions based on only a handful of games, but the FHG value rankings combined with the Frozen Pool line information tells enough to know that this guy is at least worthy of a waiver claim and there is enough of a story there that I have reason to believe I could have something bigger here.

When it comes to finding players to help your fantasy team, watching the games, seeing how a player is used and how they look can be a really huge asset and a great way to go about shaping your team. Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and you don’t have that luxury. So if you are like me and are looking to help your team despite having fallen out of touch for a few days – jump onto FHG and Frozen Pool to see what players like Stone have been up to in recent weeks. You may not see them on your TV, but these tools can help paint the picture for you and aid you in your add decisions. In the meantime – go grab Stone now and wait for him to come through with 35+ points this season.