Fantasy Hockey Geek

Poisoned Pills

Everybody knows that Ovechkin and Malkin are great players to own in a fantasy hockey league, but what about the guys that get all the press, everybody loves, but actually hurt your team? In this article, we take a look at a few players that we call poisoned pills in the most common fantasy league setup.

The most popular fantasy hockey site on the web and official partner of the NHL, Yahoo, has a standard category totals 12-team league setup:
 
Rosters: 2 centres, 2 left wing, 2 right wing, 4 defense, 2 goalies, 2 bench
Scoring Categories: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG, W, SV%, GAA, SO
 
You’ll notice a common theme in these articles: when talking about player value, it’s all relative. You need a common point of comparison for each position in order to make sense of real player value. We’ll use averages for each position, based on the stats for last year’s NHL season:
 
Position
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
C
28
51
11
51
29
225
LW
33
39
7
48
25
244
RW
28
38
4
44
23
224
D
11
33
3
56
21
154
 
The players listed below, typically go much higher in a draft than their real worth because they hurt you in some categories as much as they help you in others.
 
Centre
 
Joe Thornton  – San Jose Sharks:
 
Compared to other C - Points rank: #7. Real Value rank: #10. 
 
 
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
2008/2009
25
61
16
56
35
139
 
Thornton isn’t on this list based on his performance last season – he is here because he is considered by many fantasy GMs to be a top-5 centre. That’s true in a points-only league, but this isn’t that kind of league. The bottom line is that Big Joe shows very poorly in the G and SOG categories, and it’s not offset by his PP and A.
 
Outlook for 2009/2010: Joe is a solid option on a solid team. He should produce in the 80-90 point range again, and is a good player to have on your fantasy team – he’s just not a top-5 centre in this league setup and should be drafted accordingly.
 
 
Mike Ribeiro – Dallas Stars:
 
Compared to other C - Points rank: #11. Real Value rank: #21.  
 
 
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
2008/2009
22
56
-4
52
23
163
 
Like Thornton, Ribeiro is worth less than one might think because he often passes instead of shooting – in a league that credits shots on goal, that isn’t a good player to have!
 
Outlook for 2009/2010:Dallas shouldn’t stink this year, so that +/- should improve, along with his production in general… something in the 75-85 point range.   That should bring him into the top 20 in terms of real value, but be careful not to draft him too soon.
 
 
Left Wing
 
Loui Eriksson – Dallas Stars:
 
Compared to other LW - Points rank: #14. Real Value rank: #31.
 
 
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
2008/2009
36
27
14
14
12
178
 
Despite great goalscoring, Eriksson was a poisoned pill in the 2008/2009 season. His PIM totals are Lady Byng –like, and really hurt him. He also doesn’t shoot the puck nearly as much as other 35 goal scorers. His powerplay points are middling.
 
Outlook for 2009/2010: Stay away from Eriksson. He got the icetime last year because Brenden Morrow was injured. In addition to his awful PIM totals, he also is unlikely to be able to maintain his ridiculous shooting percentage of 20%! Most snipers fit somewhere in the 12-15% range, so if he’s shooting a similar amount (which he won’t be because he won’t have the ice time), he’ll only put in something around 25 goals.
 
Right Wing
 
Brad Boyes – St. Louis Blues:
 
Compared to other RW - Points rank: #6. Real Value rank: #15. 
 
 
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
2008/2009
33
39
-20
26
35
220
 
That +/- sticks out like an eyesore, and should be a massive red flag to GMs in leagues that count that stat. Boyes doesn’t take penalties, which in the backwards world of fantasy hockey is a bad thing. 
 
Outlook for 2009/2010: Expect St. Louis to improve its team +/-, but that still won’t bring Boyes out of the hole. He’s a decent player in this format, but the +/- and lack of PIM really hurt him. Expect his real value to stay around where it is… he is definitely not a top-10 RW in this format!
 
 
J.P. Dumont – Nashville Predators:
 
Compared to other RW – Points rank: #13. Real Value rank: #24. 
 
 
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
2008/2009
16
49
1
20
22
176
 
Dumont is massively underrated in points only league, but his poor totals in the G, PIM, and SOG categories can torpedo your team if you’re not careful.
 
Outlook for 2009/2010: More of the same from Dumont – steady, unspectacular production that will hurt your team’s peripheral stats more than it will help you catch up in the assists department. This guy is a classic definition of a poisoned pill.
 
 
Defense
 
Brian Rafalski – Detroit Red Wings:
 
Compared to other D - Points rank: tied for #3. Real Value rank: #11. 
 
 
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
2008/2009
10
49
17
20
28
141
 
Rafalski is a steady, dependable player. He is still a very valuable player in this format (the #11 defender), but his points rank is deceivingly high. Be careful of his meager PIM and SOG totals.
 
Outlook for 2009/2010: Steady as she goes, look for more of the same in 2009/2010 from Rafalski.
 
Brian Campbell – Chicago Blackhawks:
 
Compared to other D - Points rank: #10. Real Value rank: #28. 
 
 
G
A
+/-
PIM
PPP
SOG
2008/2009
7
45
5
22
24
108
 
Brian Campbell is also a classic poisoned pill. Many GMs think great, a 50 point defender, but fail to see that his abysmal PIM and SOG totals will hurt their team far more than the extra points will help.
 
Outlook for 2009/2010: Expect Campbell to continue producing in a similar way with the kids in Chicago, putting up nice points but not much else. There are much better options for your team in a standard Yahoo league.
 
 
Which players have the highest value in your league? What scoring categories should you focus on as your draft unfolds? Check out the features on www.hockeypoolgeek.com to find out!

 

Published Wed, Sep 30th, 2009