West: Mining for Multi-Cat Forwards

by chriskane on November 19, 2018

 

This week I spent some time poking around the old Wild West Columns to see what types of things kept coming up. One theme that emerged was depth, particularly in leagues that count more categories (things like hits and blocks). The fabled multi-category stud. I struggled a bit with the definition of who that player is though. When we say multi-cat offensive player I think of Alex Ovechkin, Evander Kane, Patric Hornqvist, Vincent Trocheck, just to name a few. What do all of those guys have in common? Well they shot more than three times a game and hit at least once per game (or at least they did in 2017-18). The full list of who met that criteria in 2017-18 is below (I started with just the Western Conference guys, but the list was better with everyone. The Western guys are bolded).

 

Player

Points/G

Shots/G

Hit/G

Alex Ovechkin

1.06

4.33

1.70

Blake Wheeler

1.12

3.04

1.16

Vincent Trocheck

0.91

3.50

1.77

Jonathan Marchessault

0.97

3.48

1.29

Evander Kane

0.69

3.94

2.04

Vladimir Tarasenko

0.83

3.83

1.11

Patric Hornqvist

0.70

3.53

1.96

Brendan Gallagher

0.66

3.39

1.10

 

But what about blocks? Ryan Getzlaf often comes up as a forward who contributes in that category and he was averaging about a block per game in 2017-18. Unfortunately there are only seven players who averaged that rate (and none of the above). If we lower the criteria to .75 then there are 47, which seems more likely to give us some players to work with. By the same token (lower the criteria a bit to broaden our net), if we assume 2.5 shots a game, plus .75 hits and .75 blocks we have a new list.

 

 

Player

P/G

S/G

H/G

B/G

Blake Wheeler

1.12

3.04

1.16

0.81

Jamie Benn

0.96

2.94

1.71

0.76

Joe Pavelski

0.80

2.73

1.13

0.85

Alexander Radulov

0.88

2.65

0.94

0.78

Patric Hornqvist

0.70

3.53

1.96

0.91

Mika Zibanejad

0.65

2.94

1.28

0.89

Kyle Palmieri

0.71

2.92

1.52

0.81

 

Still though all of these players were likely owned in your league in 2017-18 (and again this season), so if our goal is to be able to identify depth players who might be able to help in peripheral categories we haven’t quite hit the mark yet.

 

Some writers and poolies will combine hits and blocks to create a slightly more flexible system. That makes some sense, because if we are honest most of our blocks come from defensemen and very few forwards contribute to a helpful degree. If we do that and set that criteria at 1.5 for hits plus blocks a game we have a nice spread of players and finally a couple who might be available in your leagues.

 

 

Player

P/G

S/G

H/G

B/G

B+S/G

Alex Ovechkin

1.06

4.33

1.70

0.26

1.95

Blake Wheeler

1.12

3.04

1.16

0.81

1.98

Taylor Hall

1.22

3.66

0.95

0.58

1.53

Vincent Trocheck

0.91

3.50

1.77

0.67

2.44

Jamie Benn

0.96

2.94

1.71

0.76

2.46

Joe Pavelski

0.80

2.73

1.13

0.85

1.99

Jonathan Marchessault

0.97

3.48

1.29

0.34

1.62

Evander Kane

0.69

3.94

2.04

0.44

2.47

Brayden Schenn

0.85

2.56

1.88

0.45

2.33

Rickard Rakell

0.90

2.99

1.49

0.39

1.88

Vladimir Tarasenko

0.83

3.83

1.11

0.46

1.58

Dustin Brown

0.75

2.74

2.33

0.41

2.74

Alexander Radulov

0.88

2.65

0.94

0.78

1.72

Patric Hornqvist

0.70

3.53

1.96

0.91

2.87

Anders Lee

0.76

2.54

1.24

0.46

1.71

Brendan Gallagher

0.66

3.39

1.10

0.50

1.60

Jason Zucker

0.78

2.71

0.98

0.57

1.55

Filip Forsberg

0.96

2.67

1.28

0.55

1.84

Mika Zibanejad

0.65

2.94

1.28

0.89

2.17

Kyle Palmieri

0.71

2.92

1.52

0.81

2.32

Max Pacioretty

0.58

3.31

1.84

0.42

2.27

Timo Meier

0.44

2.59

1.30

0.59

1.89

Josh Anderson

0.48

2.98

1.73

0.38

2.11

Derick Brassard

0.64

2.74

1.33

0.35

1.68

David Backes

0.58

2.81

2.40

0.44

2.84

 

Unfortunately historical data only illuminates a couple of additional players. Using the same criteria over the last three years highlights most of the same players as the 2017-18 data.

 

Player

P/G

S/G

H/G

B/G

H+B/G

Alex Ovechkin

0.91

4.55

2.88

0.04

2.91

Joe Pavelski

0.88

2.92

1.52

0.02

1.54

Jamie Benn

1.02

2.92

1.53

0.02

1.54

Wayne Simmonds

0.69

2.70

2.20

0.03

2.23

Patric Hornqvist

0.68

3.24

2.19

0.03

2.22

Nazem Kadri

0.63

2.91

1.69

0.02

1.71

Boone Jenner

0.51

2.66

2.72

0.04

2.76

Evander Kane

0.58

3.84

2.33

0.04

2.37

 

 

What about 2018-19 then, who should you target? If we run a search for players who are shooting more than 2.5 times per game, plus have at least 1.5 blocks/hits per game, unsurprisingly, it is most of the players listed above, but as already stated, that list is definitely owned. If we cut away all of the highly owned players we are left with a combination of guys who might be owned, but are potential trade targets, and some free agents. (I was out of town for the weekend so the data is from end of the week).

 

Player

P/G

S/G

H/G

B/G

H+B/G

Micheal Ferland

0.71

3.47

3.06

0.41

3.47

Jordan Staal

0.47

3.35

2.53

0.47

3.00

Pierre-Luc Dubois

0.71

2.53

1.24

1.00

2.24

Brendan Gallagher

0.71

3.35

1.82

0.47

2.29

Boone Jenner

0.41

3.12

1.76

1.00

2.76

Josh Anderson

0.53

2.82

2.65

0.41

3.06

Joel Armia

0.47

2.80

2.40

0.27

2.67

Alex Tuch

0.90

3.70

1.60

0.60

2.20

Brady Tkachuk

1.14

2.86

3.43

0.43

3.86

Max Pacioretty

0.14

2.86

1.93

0.43

2.36

Dustin Brown

0.83

2.67

3.00

0.33

3.33

 

Of this bunch I am probably the most excited about Alex Tuch. He is looking great for Vegas since his return. A quick glance at some of his numbers indicate that some of the offense might even be for real as well. He is quickly becoming owned in leagues so you may already be late to the party, but it is definitely worth a look.

 

Next week we will tackle some defensemen.

 

Western Conference Quick Hits

 

Potential Streaming Pickups:

It is a busy coming week in the Western Conference with Calgary, Dallas, LA, Nashville, St. Louis, Vancouver, Las Vegas, and Winnipeg all playing four times. That means there are a lot of options if you are looking for a player to pick up for the week.

 

At 30% owned (in Yahoo) this may one be of the last times we can write about Alex Tuch as a streaming options. As mentioned above he has been great in his shortened season with 12 points in 13 games. He has four games coming up this week, and has been spending over three minutes a game on the power play. His shot count has been slightly low the last couple of games, but hopefully a four game week will compensate for that.

 

While he doesn’t have points in his last two, Craig Smith has 20 shots, one goal and two assists over his last four games. He is getting a decent amount of power play time on the top unit with Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen. He is only 18% owned, so we might want to work on changing that number for this week.

 

Last article’s recommendation:

 

Pontus Aberg: Last week Aberg put together one goal, one assist and seven shots (plus 3 hits if you count those). A decent showing, but I was hoping for slightly higher shot totals.

 

Jake Virtanen: I recommended Virtanen as he was playing with Elias Pettersson, and then we went and got juggled around the lineup a bit. He did still see some time with Pettersson and managed a goal, a power play point and 11 shots over four games.

 

 

Drop or Not:

 

Cam Fowler: Now that he is on the IR your decision point may be less pressing than it was. Prior to that, Fowler’s season was raising some question marks for owners. Luckily his recent hattrick started to quell some of those worries and helps make the point I was going to make anyway. Given that we are still early in the season one game can completely change our impressions of a player. Prior to that hattrick, Fowler had no goals and looked to be on his lowers point pace in five years. That was obviously worrying to owners. Just like that though (well actually several games later now) Fowler had six points in his final seven games before the injury and is now on his highest point pace since his rookie year.

 

During that beginning of the season lull he was still shooting about twice per game and was getting the lion’s share of the power play time. There were signs that he was going to be fine, and he was..

 

The takeaway? He is still definitely worth owning. Stash him if you can and hope for speedy recovery.

 

 

Thanks for reading.