Geek of the Week: Regression in the Projections Part 1

by Scott Maran on August 26, 2018


It’s already the end of August and the fantasy hockey season is starting to ramp up. With mock drafts on the way and preseason games less than a month away, it’s time to start focusing on your fantasy draft strategies. One of the most important things you can do to be prepared is targeting players who you think will either build on their previous season or regress. Combined with Dobber’s projections for the 2018-19 season, over the next few weeks I’ll be looking at which players are projected to fall and which are projected to rise in fantasy value for the 2018-19 season. Starting with this week, we’ll be looking at which players are projected to provide less value than they did the year before. All projections are based off a standard, 12-team Yahoo league measuring goals, assists, shots on goal, power play points, and hits. 

David Perron (2017-18: 83rd, 2018-19 projected: 168th

 

Rank 

FHG Value 

GP 

SOG 

PPP 

HITS 

2017-18 

83 

18 

68 

16 

48 

121 

17 

116 

2018-19 

168 

-10 

75 

15 

39 

139 

14 

105 


David Perron had never been a top offensive threat in the league until last season, as he rarely even cracked the 50-point mark in previous years. With 198 points in his first 340 games with the St. Louis Blues (.582 pts/g), Perron showed some potential but he failed to go much farther after that. He bounced around for the next three seasons between Edmonton, Pittsburgh, and Anaheim before finding his way back on the Blues in the 2016-17 season, where he only posted 46 points. Yet after being selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, he exploded for 66 points in only 70 games. 

How did Perron do it? He only scored 16 goals last year, which is right in line with what we would expect from such a low-volume shooter. The key explanation is that Perron saw a huge increase in his assist totals, both with the man advantage and during even-strength. This will be almost impossible for him to replicate this season, as moving from the Knights back to the Blues is going to kill most of his fantasy value. On the Knights, Perron was one of the go-to offensive threats and received plenty of power play time than in year’s past. In St. Louis, where players like Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, and Jaden Schwartz will eat up most of the prime offensive opportunities, Perron will be left with less ice time and opportunity to produce at such a high rate. With Perron likely back in a depth role rather than a first-line attacking role, expect his point totals to plummet. Combine that with his absymal hit totals and shot rate and it’ll be tough for Perron to provide value anywhere near what he produced last season. 

Anders Lee (2017-18: 50th, 2018-19 projected: 88th

 

Rank 

FHG Value 

GP 

SOG 

PPP 

HITS 

2017-18 

50 

37 

82 

40 

22 

208 

22 

102 

2018-19 

88 

15 

81 

33 

20 

216 

19 

131 


After a 34-goal breakout season in 2016-17, Lee managed to build on his impressive season by posting his first 40-goal season of his career last year. Even though he ended with only 62 points, Lee was only one of eight players to score at least 40 goals last season. But after a career year, Lee is projected to slightly drop in terms of value. Even though Lee’s shots and hit rates are projected to slightly improve, he’s projected to drop down to only 33 goals. That’s far from a bad number (it would have tied him for the 23rd most goals last season), but for a player who’s value is almost entirely dependent on his goal total, a drop like that is substantial. John Tavares leaving will affect every Islander’s fantasy value and Lee, Tavares’s well-known partner in crime, will find it more difficult to score without the superstar center lined up next to him. Lee will still provide plenty of fantasy value (evidenced by his 88th overall projection) but don’t be expecting another 40-goal season out of him again. 

Justin Faulk (2017-18: 51st, 2018-19 projected: 153rd

 

Rank 

FHG Value 

GP 

SOG 

PPP 

HITS 

2017-18 

51 

36 

76 

23 

211 

19 

128 

2018-19 

153 

-5 

74 

10 

21 

151 

122 


In what may be the biggest drop in the rankings from last season, Justin Faulk is projected to take a huge hit in fantasy value next season. Even during a down year the Carolina defender managed to recorded the 51st most fantasy value out of all skaters last season. Despite only recording 31 points (a five-year low), Faulk once again did well in plenty of other categories. As long as you’re not counting plus/minus, Faulk contributed nearly everywhere else, racking up good totals in power-play points, hits, and shots on goal.

However, with it looking like the Hurricanes are ready to move on from the defender and Dougie Hamilton now in the fold, Faulk may lose even more power play time as other defenders are expected to see increased roles. Combined with seeing a diminished role at even strength, this will further hurt his point totals and power-play points. What saved Faulk last year was his 19 power-play points, which were still good for the 19th most in the NHL. However, if Hamilton eats into those power play minutes and Faulk really does only end up with only a projected five power-play points, he’ll be losing a lot of what made him such a valuable fantasy contributor. If Faulk manages to keep his coveted spot on the power play than he could still retain his value (making him a good late-round pick to take a chance on), but don’t come in expecting what we’ve seen from Faulk in the past. The Hurricanes may not put him in such a great position to succeed offensively next year, making him a risky pick this year.