Geek of the Week: Regression in the Projections Part 2

by Scott Maran on September 2, 2018


Last week was Part 1 of Regression in the Projections (Check it outif you missed it) so this week we’ll be tackling Part 2. Similar to last week, we’ll be taking a look at which players are projected to provide less value than they did the year before. All projections are based on a standard 12-team Yahoo league measuring goals, assists, shots on goal, power play points, and hits.

Mike Hoffman (2017-18: 75th, 2018-19 projected: 158th)

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

2017-18

75

23

82

22

34

257

21

31

2018-19

158

-6

77

26

31

244

14

31

What a tumultuous year it’s been for Mike Hoffman. After being a star on the Ottawa Senators for years, he quickly became toxic to the touch in the NHL after it was accused that Hoffman’s fiancée had been harassing Erik Karlsson’s wife. The Senators were forced to trade him for peanuts and (after a few brief seconds of being on the San Jose Sharks) Hoffman found himself on the Florida Panthers.

Despite the issues surrounding him off-ice, Hoffman is still quite the same capable hockey player he was before. Hoffman’s had three consecutive 20+ goal, 50+ assist seasons and that kind of talent doesn’t go away overnight. Over the last three seasons Hoffman’s 77 goals are tied for the 36thmost in the NHL. If anything, we could expect Hoffman to rebound slightly after finally moving away from the tire-fire that is the Ottawa Senators. Before last season, Hoffman had 55 goals and 120 points in only 152 games. Hoffman’s projection of 26 goals and 31 assists is completely reasonable when looking at his past performance with the Sens.

So why has his projected rank fallen so far according to Fantasy Hockey Geek? Especially when his shots on goal are only slightly worse and his hits are projected to be exactly the same as last year? It all boils down to Hoffman’s power-play time, and that will be the key to how much fantasy value Hoffman provides next year. Where Hoffman was one of the top dogs in Ottawa and averaged over three minutes of power-play time per game, he’s coming into Florida locked behind several established forwards. Unless Hoffman can replace one of Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov or Evgenii Dadonov, he’ll be looking at second-unit duties with less than two minutes of average power-play time per game. This huge drop in power-play time will severely hurt his power-play production, and for a player who doesn’t produce much in hits or assists, that type of drop is devastating. While there were only 61 players who recorded more than 20 power-play points last season, there were 123 players who scored at least 14 power-play points. And that’s looking at Hoffman with 14 power-play points. If he scores even less than that, his value will plummet even further. After the first four Panthers I previously mentioned who all averaged at least three minutes of power-play time per game, the next highest power play production from a Panther forward was six power-play points. Six, from Nick Bjugstad. Even though Hoffman is still the same talented player he’s always been, his new situation in Florida will unfortunately make it a lot harder for him to keep up his fantasy value. 

Josh Bailey (2017-18: 76th, 2018-19 projected: 148th)

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

2017-18

76

23

76

18

53

151

31

12

2018-19

148

-4

79

15

47

150

22

31

It took him a few seasons after entering the NHL but for the first time in his career Josh Bailey broke the 70-point mark. After looking like he’d only be a 30-40 point player in the league, Bailey started his ascent to the top of the scoring charts two seasons ago, when he tallied 56 points in the 2016-17 season. Then last year he dominated on the top line with John Tavares, recording the 33rdmost points in the league by any skater.

Similar to Anders Lee though (who we talked about last week), Josh Bailey’s point totals have the potential to take a huge hit with John Tavares now gone. Bailey’s a fine player but it’s no stretch to the imagination that Tavares was the driving force behind that line. It’s hard to say what’ll happen to the Islander skaters without Tavares, but usually when a player of that skill level leaves, it’s not a good thing.

Also, and maybe even more importantly, Bailey’s production was fueled by a huge spike in power-play points. Bailey actually has a history of racking up even-strength assists, hinting at a sustainability in some level of offensive production, registering the 28thmost over the last four seasons combined. However, after never scoring more than 15 power-play points in a season, Bailey posted 31 last season! Even after projecting a modest 22 power-play points for him next season, combined with a slight decrease in production (mostly due to the power-play points), Bailey’s value craters. He doesn’t score, he barely shoots, and he doesn’t hit. What makes him valuable are his assist totals (which are relatively easy to find in fantasy players) and power-play points. If both of those areas are question marks for Bailey entering the season, it’ll be tough for him to sustain the fantasy value he provided last season. 

*Data from naturalstattrick.com and fantasyhockeygeek.com