Geek of the Week: Rising Up Part 2

by Scott Maran on October 14, 2018


Last week was the first part of Rising Up, where we take a look at the players projected to improve on their value from last year. In Part Two, we’ll be covering two more players who should move up the rankings this season. All projections are based on a standard 12-team Yahoo league measuring goals, assists, shots on goal, power play points and hits.
 

Patrick Kane (2017-18: 44th, 2018-19 projected: 16th)
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

2017-18

44

39

82

27

49

285

22

18

2018-19

16

55

82

28

52

288

28

23


Last year was a tough season for almost every player on the Chicago Blackhawks. Jonathan Jonathan Toews finished with the second-least amount of points in his career while Duncan Keith failed to hit 40 points for the first time in 10 years. Patrick Kane also saw himself post his first season with less than a point-per-game average since 2012, only finishing with 27 goals and 49 assists. While the 26th-most points in the league is far from bad, it’s not what we’ve come to expect from one of the game’s highest-paid players.

Expected to be one of the most valuable players to own in fantasy hockey, Kane disappointed with only the 44th-most expected value last season (according to Fantasy Hockey Geek). With his peripherals staying constant, his drop in value was mostly caused by his large drop in points, as he finished the season with 13 less than he scored in the previous year and 30 in the year before that (when he registered 106 points). His shots on goal, hits, and power-play points were all nearly identical from the years past.

So why do we see Kane projected to climb up the rankings all the way back to 16th overall? His history as an elite scorer is too much to ignore. While Chicago is unlikely to be much better than they were last year, all Kane needs is a simply correction in his shooting percentage to see him bounce back. The only main difference between Kane’s 2016-17 campaign and 2017-18 season (where he scored 89 and 76 points respectively) were his goal totals. While he converted on  11.6% of his shots in the 2016-17 season (which is even a little low for him), Kane only ended last season with a 9.5% shooting percentage. That’s criminally low for a player of his caliber. In comparison, over the previous five seasons Kane had converted on an average of 14.1% of his shots. While he was on the ice, the Blackhawks had still been generating high-quality shot attempts at an elite rate, taking an above average rate of shots right by the front of the net as shown in Micah McCurdy’s chart.
 


With just a little less bad luck, Kane should be right back to his usual spot at the top of the rankings.
 

Ryan Getzlaf (2017-18: 178th, 2018-19 projected: 88th)
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

2017-18

188

-9

56

11

50

117

13

96

2018-19

88

16

70

13

58

146

25

97


Despite posting the 12th highest points-per-game rate in the NHL last season, Ryan Getzlaf only finished with the 188th most fantasy value last season. Why? A fractured zygomatic bone forced Getzlaf to miss a lot of time and kept all his counting stats much lower than they would be if he had stayed healthy. However, this could be a good thing for those looking to snatch up Getzlaf at a slightly lower valuation, as his missed time concealed what would have been an amazing season from the 33-year-old center.

Getzlaf actually had one of the most offensively productive campaigns of the 2017-18 season, yet it went relatively unnoticed because of the time he missed due to injury. Even assuming he’ll miss a few games over the course of this season (he hasn’t played over 80 games since 2012), Getzlaf will surely post at least top-100 value. If anything, Getzlaf has the potential to improve upon his 88th overall projection just by maintaining the pace he set last year. It’s unlikely that he’ll be able to maintain the blistering offensive pace Getzlaf set last season, but last year also saw him shooting the puck and recording hits at a much higher rate. If his peripherals stay on track from where they were last year, Getzlaf could provide even more value than where DobberHockey is currently projecting him. It’ll be interesting to see if Getzlaf can keep it up over a full season, but he can provide plenty of value if he can.