Ramblings: Three targets and my three favorite parts of the Draft Guide (Aug. 2)

by Neil Parker on August 2, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Three targets and my three favorite parts of the Draft Guide (Aug. 2)
Sean Monahan - USA TODAY Sports Images

 

Three of my favorite fantasy targets this fall along with three awesome features of this year's Dobber Fantasy Hockey Guide …

 

Monday was a big day. 178 pages of fantasy hockey goodness were released, and I've been looking it over for a few hours, and I'm still sitting on the tip of the iceberg. It's incredible. It's also cut into my allotted Ramblings time.

So, on top of the obvious draws (Sleepers, Busts, Rookies, Projections, etc etc.), I've added a few notes on my early favorite parts of the Dobber Fantasy Hockey Guide.

 

 

Three Reasons to grab the Dobber Fantasy Hockey Guide

 

2015-16 per 60 minutes statistics for each team

Each team has a list ranked by points per 60 minutes with its top seven scorers. Additionally, each player's ranking across the entire league is also included. It's a small and subtle add at the bottom of each team's profile, but per 60 minutes statistics can be extremely helpful.

One quick example is Tobias Rieder's 1.56 P/60, which ranked seventh for the Coyotes and 234th in the league. It's no wonder Arizona isn't lining up to pad his pockets this summer. Additionally, how confident are you now in selecting Rieder? He's a much better real-world player than fantasy asset, in all likelihood. 

Or, what about Thomas Vanek ranking second for the Wild in P/60? Perhaps, he could maintain some value in deep points-only settings, as he should have some added motivation in his new digs. Clearly, offensively, he still has some game.

 

Dobber's personal notes and review of each team's usage and possession results

When looking at Nashville, he pointed out the absence of Eric Nystrom and Paul Gaustad will likely mean more defense-zone starts for Mike Fisher. It's not a fantasy deal breaker, but over the course of an 82-game schedule, it could be the culprit for Fisher failing to hit 40 points. So, next to his inability to stay healthy, the 36-year-old pivot is likely a player to avoid.

Another player highlighted that stood out was Nikita Nesterov's unimpressive season. He played extremely sheltered minutes, yet he still couldn't push the possession. For his dynasty/keeper owners, this will likely be a telling season for the future value of the 23-year-old defenseman.

These charts highlight how coaches are deploying players, and having a firm grasp on how players are being utilized can help separate you from the pack. Teuvo Teravainen started 57 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone last year, how much offensive growth will he have in 2016-17 when his zone starts are flipped?

 

Schedule analysis from Terry Campkin

It's always foolish to look too far ahead into the unknown and pin values to teams when so much changes throughout the season. The 2015-16 campaign highlighted that perfectly.

Still, while everything might change around it, the schedule won't. You know, barring some unforeseen catastrophe. And becuase it isn't changing, you're passing up a potential advantage if you ignore it.

In any fantasy format where you have the ability to edit your lineup daily and don't have a limitation on games played, having players on teams playing a lot of off-nights (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday) is a huge advantage. This is especially true in weekly settings.

Additionally, back-to-back games should be monitored closely, too. It has a significant impact on goaltenders. Both No. 1 goalies who could see four or five fewer starts over the season with the backup grabbing more fantasy value with an uptick in volume. Five fewer starts isn't huge for a starter, perhaps they drop from 60 to 55, but a backup jumping from 22 starts to 27 could be huge.

The favorable and unfavorable scheduling is all laid out nicely in the guide.

 

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One of the most annoying things I hear and read in fantasy analysis, and I'm also guilty of it, is the "Why draft Player X in Round 2, when you can grab Player Y four rounds later." I will often write, "He'll suffice as your No. 2 goalie, but he looks a lot better as your No. 3." It's annoyingly similar, and something I'm going to try and cut out of my analysis.

It’s the time of the season when we're hit with an influx of fantasy football know-it-alls sharing their groundbreaking theories and believe they own all encompassing knowledge despite the fact that the best rankers typically check out with an accuracy of about 60 percent. So, this spotty analysis is on overdrive.

Why the "I'm just going to take Player Y later" analysis annoys me is because you have to take someone. You can't pass. Where are the guys planting their flag and saying, "I don't care where the general consensus is, I'm reaching for Player Y now and not risking he's gone."

It's just so rare.

So, with that said, I've already highlighted Nathan MacKinnon, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Alexander Radulov as players I'm aggressively targeting.

Here are are a few more:

 

Sean Monahan

Yes, the production is boosted by playing with Johnny Gaudreau, but last I checked, Monahan is still the No. 1 center in Calgary with Gaudreau by his side. Over the past three seasons, only seven players under the age of 22 have hit 60 points, and Monahan is the only one to do it twice.

He's just now entering his offensive prime, and he'll continue to receive top offensive minutes in all situations. Plus, the landscape of the Pacific Division is shifting quickly. Anaheim and Los Angeles are in a decline, and Edmonton shouldn't yet be viewed as daunting opponent. Rounding out the division, Vancouver is a basement dweller, and San Jose stands as the only tough draw.

Monahan should finish among the top 30 scorers in the league, and while he doesn't significantly move the needle in some of the peripheral categories, he is one of just a handful of players with the upside to score 75 points. In Round 5, he's a sound target, especially if you went with wingers early.

 

Jonathan Huberdeau

With just four goals and a 4.4 shooting percentage through the first three months of the 2014-15 campaign, Huberdeau exploded to finish the season with 16 goals and a 20.3 S% through the final 37 games of the season.

With maturity comes better consistency, which will help Huberdeau's fantasy stock. And, he did take another step forward offensively and finish with a career-best 20 goals and 59 points. Huberdeau enters his age-23 season atop the depth chart and on one of the best lines in the league. It's a cushy fantasy setup.

After starting just 42.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone last season, there is room for more production if Huberdeau is deployed more frequently in the offensive zone. There are no guarantees, but it would be surprising if he wasn't closer to a 50-50 split.

With Florida beefing up around Huberdeau, expect another modest step forward this season.

 

Sam Reinhart

Post All-Star break, Reinhart scored 11 goals and 22 points through 32 games for an 82-game pace of 56.4 points. He should slot into a top-six role and play softer minutes alongside Jack Eichel, as Ryan O'Reilly projects to face the opponent's top guns most nights. Reinhart started 62.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone last season, and he shouldn't see a huge drop.

Buffalo is headed in the right direction, and Reinhart is a big piece going forward. He also had a lot of success registering high-danger scoring chances with 13.57 per 60 minutes last season. His 51.4 CorsiFor percentage at even strength was a solid mark, too.

This isn't a recommended early-round reach, though, and Reinhart is likely still at least one more season from his big breakout showing. Still, assuming Jack Eichel also takes a step forward, Reinhart is set to take a run at 55 points with a floor of 45, barring injury. 

Talent and opportunity are hand in hand here.

 

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Grab that Guide, Dobberheads.