Fantasy Hockey Geek

Deep Analysis: Deep Analysis - The Renegades

Welcome to Hockey Pool Geek’s Deep Analysis. Our goal is to dig deep into the team and league that is being analyzed in order to bring out some insight and push you into really getting the most out of your team and ultimately taking down the rest of the league. 

Ryan Harrison, aka Renegade on the DobberHockey forums, was the third winner of our contest.
 
Ryan feels like his team is I am in win-now mode, needing two young players to step up.  His defense was my strength last year and he’s looking to deal a dman in order to boost his offense.  
 
As for his keepers, he thinks that because it’s a 16 team league, there might not be too much for the picking in the draft besides the 2011 draftees and Jagr.   

Team Name: Renegades                                              
League Name: NFHL

Format: 16 Teams, H2H Roto, No Max- best category record at the end of the year wins
Rosters: 12F,6D,2G,5BN, 2IR
Scoring categories: G, A, PTS, +/-, SHOTS, PIM, SHP, PPP, GWG, W, GAA, SV%, SO
Number of keepers: Keep as many or as little as you want: 25 players need to fill the roster, if you only keep 22- you get to draft 3 players not on a team                
Keepers declared by:  September 15th, 2011
Hosting service:  Yahoo
Roster slot GP:  No limit
Draft: No snake- depends on who you keep on your team
Season add/drop limit: 50 per year, 4 a week
Trade limit: No trade limit                                 
Trade deadline: NHL Trade Deadline

The Roster:
F: Roy, MacArthur, E Kane, Malkin, Gerbe, Nick Palmieri, Datsyuk, Avery, S Kostitsyn, Fleischmann, Ennis, Parise, Konopka, Turris
D: Edler, Seidenberg, Karlsson, Zidlicky, Ekman-Larsson, Kaberle
G:Hiller, Vokoun
Draft Picks: 1st overall, 4th overall, 20th overall

First stop is a look at the scoring system. 

Much like in the Deep Analysis we did on Wendelclark17’s team, this league is a head-to-head multicategory league, which means we’re going to recommend going for balance across all the stat categories. Because it’s based on weekly H2H matchups, there is bound to be scoring volatility that skews the result a bit… but that’s just the nature of the beast. A well-balance team will be much more able to withstand slumps, injuries and suspensions.
 
Four or the thirteen scoring categories are for goaltenders, and there are two starting goaltender spots. That means nearly a third of scoring in two roster spots so, as with many roto-style leagues, goaltending is absolutely critical to success.
 
To understand a league, you simply must know how the different positions are valued relative to each other. The League Breakdown sorts that out for you, showing the average owner player at each position and giving you rough targets for each category. 
 
Position G A P +/- PIM PPP SHP GWG SOG W GAA SV% SO
F 19 30 49 3 42 15 1 3 174 - - - -
D 7 25 32 3 43 12 1 1 125 - - - -
G - - - - - - - - - 28 2.54 0.92 4
 
This table us is telling us a few fairly important things:
 
Because the league is so deep, the average owned forward is only predicted to score 17 more points than the average defender. This is a very small spread compared to many leagues. It implies that: great producing forwards are significantly differentiated against most of the forward population, and great producing defenders are quite valuable, but replacement-level defenders aren’t too hard to come by.
 
There also isn’t much of a spread between forwards and defenders in quite a few categories, which makes understanding the differences between them much easier. Plus/minus, penalty minutes, and shorthanded points are all so close it’s pretty much a saw-off. 
 
You’d want your forwards to put up a couple PPP and GWG more than a defender, but it’s close.
 
Typically, you want a forward to put about 50 more shots on goal than a defender. That’s a nice round number to keep in mind!
 
What can we conclude about goaltenders?
 
In a 16-team league with two goalie slots per roster, there are not enough NHL starters to go around. Especially with the weight of goaltending in the scoring (about 30%), you don’t want to take any chances here.
 
If you have “average” goaltending in this league, you are in great shape. If you’ve got two guys who will produce roughly the numbers shown in the table above, you will be better off than much of the competition. 
 
Controlling (or influencing) supply on the goaltending side in this league will create a ton of value for your team in this league. Even if the goalies aren’t directly contributing to your scoring – but because it’s daily starts they probably will – they will hurt your opponents in a big way by having them scramble to find two players to roster.
 

The Team:

We’ve generated rankings customized for this specific league setup using last year’s statistics as a benchmark, because it would be a jackass move to give away Dobberhockey’s 2011/12 projections for free. HockeyPoolGeek subscribers have access to them! A summary of the results is in the table below, and to guide how we think the players will do in the future, there’s also a column showing the players’ HPG value using Dobberhockey’s projections for the coming season.
 

 

 

2010/2011 SEASON

Dobber 2011/12

Player

POS

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

GWG

PPP

SHP

SOG

HPG

HPG

Value

Value

Evgeni Malkin

F

43

15

22

37

-4

18

3

14

0

182

-37

118

Zach Parise

F

13

3

3

6

-1

6

1

1

0

49

-120

65

Derek Roy

F

35

10

25

35

-1

16

1

14

0

89

-61

50

Pavel Datsyuk

F

56

23

36

59

11

15

5

18

1

137

18

48

Tomas Fleischmann

F

45

12

19

31

2

18

2

6

0

98

-65

6

Tyler Ennis

F

82

20

29

49

0

30

1

14

0

210

-19

2

Evander Kane

F

73

19

24

43

-12

68

2

8

0

234

-21

-9

Clarke MacArthur

F

82

21

41

62

-3

37

3

19

0

154

4

-12

Sergei Kostitsyn

F

77

23

27

50

10

20

2

13

1

93

-17

-15

Nathan Gerbe

F

64

16

15

31

11

34

3

4

0

171

-38

-16

Sean Avery

F

76

3

21

24

-4

174

1

1

0

137

-26

-19

Zenon Konopka

F

82

2

7

9

-14

307

0

0

0

56

-19

-20

F Summary

198

Erik Karlsson

D

75

13

32

45

-30

50

4

21

1

182

26

27

Alexander Edler

D

51

8

25

33

13

24

1

17

0

121

3

21

Marek Zidlicky

D

46

7

17

24

-6

30

0

9

0

53

-44

1

Tomas Kaberle

D

82

4

43

47

4

18

1

25

0

130

19

-4

Dennis Seidenberg

D

81

7

25

32

3

41

2

11

0

166

4

-6

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

D

48

1

10

11

3

24

0

2

0

50

-63

-39

D Summary

0

Starting Skaters

198

Kyle Turris

F

65

11

14

25

0

16

1

1

0

116

-82

-48

Nick Palmieri

F

43

9

8

17

9

6

2

2

0

66

-89

-54

 
Now on to the goalies:
 
  2010/2011 SEASON Dobber 2011/12
Player GP W SO SV% GAA HPG  HPG 
Value Value
Jonas Hiller 49 26 5 0.924 2.560 4 1
Tomas Vokoun 57 22 6 0.922 2.550 9 1
 
A point of clarification about HPG values: a negative number doesn’t mean bad. It just means that a player is, cumulatively across all the scoring categories, not as good as the average owned player. Similarly, a player with a positive HPG value is, cumulatively, better than the average owned player. The total HPG value of a team should give a rough feel for how well the team will perform.
 
It’s a strong roster, and the strength definitely lies in the skaters. For a 16-team league, the Renegades have some serious top-end talent with Malkin, Datsyuk, Parise, and Roy. Goaltending is a bit risky (more on that later) but for a 16-team league it’s quite strong. 
 
There are some young players being depended on for good steps forward in Kane, Ennis, Gerbe, Ekman-Larsson, and Turris. That’s a risk we’ll talk about later.
 
To get a rough feel for how competitive Ryan’s team is, we ran the numbers for the whole league based on Dobber’s 2011-12 projections and here are the estimated finishes based on a whole-season setup. 
 
To do this, we treated it as a rotisserie league – since the difference between a rotisserie setup and this one is only in the scoring period. A roto league tracks stats over a full season, but this one is just on a single matchup. You’d expect there to be more uncertainty in the prediction because of the shorter stat samples in H2H matchups, but it should be a good guide to understand how the team will do:

Rank

Team

Roto Points

1

Shootem Out

160.5

2

Warriors

144

3

GTA

138

4

Ice wings

132

5

Radical Attack

131.5

6

Flint & Son

126

7

Flashers

125

8

Renegades

117.5

9

Ice Dragons

110.5

10

CityFolk

103.5

11

One Man

95.5

12

Wumpa

86.5

13

Foil

85.5

14

Hookers

83

15

Balsilies Boys

69

16

UGI

60

Essentially the projections indicate that the Renegades are a middle of the pack team.  This is based on a few rough assumptions:

  1. Dobber projections for 2011-12.
  2. That live rosters stay intact for the whole season (which they won’t)

How Ryan does make his team better (because obviously he would want to)?  We’ll take a spin over to the Team Evaluation Tool to get a feel for where his team is weak and where it is strong.  The tool provides target values in each scoring category against which to measure your team, and if you can hit all the targets you’ve got one hell of a team. 

 
As with the rankings, we won’t give away the detailed results (which include Dobber’s projections) for free, but here’s the high level view of where the Renegades stand:
 
Priority Category Selected Required Remaining
1 W 58 100 42
2 PPP 310 407 97
3 SOG 3178 4105 927
4 PIM 860 1173 313
5 P 1009 1264 255
6 G 349 433 84
7 A 660 831 171
8 +/- 34 68 34
9 SHP 11 21 10
10 SO 10 14 4
11 GWG 58 71 13
12 SV% 0.92 0.92 0
13 GAA 2.311 2.41 -0.1
 

Though goalie wins show up at the top of the needs list, you can also see that SV% and GAA are at the very very bottom. It’s extremely hard to pick up wins without sacrificing those other two stats, so as far as goaltending goes this team is in pretty good shape.

The biggest needs of this team are SOG, G, and PIM.   If Ryan can pick up a stud in this area then he stands to jump up to the top 4 in the league.  But since all his categories are asking for more production, any gains he can make in skater cats will go towards improving his standing in the league – so while targeting SOG, G and PIM, it behooves him to look at stats on a broader scale as well.

 

Roster Review:

It’s not surprising that this team finished near the bottom last year, looking at the bigtime injuries that were sustained by the key players on the Renegades.  Those guys should all be healthy and ready to go now, so this is a fairly strong team.

In order to make a serious run at the title, we think he would have to pick up a stud and a half.  With every move, Ryan should be targeting players who produce goals and shots with decent PIM's and +/-.  His weak links at forward are Nick Palmieri and maybe Gerbe this year. 

We’re not fans of “specialist” players like Konopka because they might not be in play when they explode, and more than that an injury can completely derail you.  We favour a well-rounded team! 

So for the Renegades to seriously make some noise in the league this year he needs two things to happen: good health for his players, and all of his youth to take a pretty serious step forward.  There are quite a few players that could really make some noise, but it’s almost always a mistake to rely on young players to break out in order for a team to be successful.  Much better to have other plans in place, and if they work out, then it’s gravy.  On Ryan’s team, that refers to Kane, Ennis, Gerbe, Ekman-Larsson, and Turris.  With team needs of G, SOG, and PIM, Evander Kane should be on the “pry him from my cold dead hands or make me an offer that’s so lopsided I can’t possibly say no” list… when he matures, he will be outstanding in those areas.

Goalies are important but not super important in this setup.  Ryan is in good shape for now - he needs to think about succession for sure but he is close enough to the brass ring to not want to make an expensive move to land a goalie.  Whatever he does, he must not grab a goalie for the sake of more wins at the expense of GAA and SV%.  Neuvirth might be a nice target actually, as would Eddie Lack, who could probably be had more cheaply.

 
 

The Next Moves:

With the 1st and 4th overall picks in the draft, the Renegades have some good trade bait to move to make the team more competitive in the short term, or keeping them means some solid building for the future.  If he trades that first pick away then he has to make damn sure he gets full value back – anything less than a goalscorer with grit and the trade really isn’t worth it. 

It’s tough for us to tell if Ryan is close enough to make a run for the money.  He isn't far off if his roster stays healthy - so it's 50-50 that he should trade those picks.  After all, tucking in Nugent-Hopkins and perhaps a good D guy from this year's prospects would not be the worst thing in the world.  Failing landing a G/SOG stud via trade, it’s probably wise to keep his draft picks and reel in two soon to be stars from this last draft.  If Nugent-Hopkins makes it and plays with Hall and Eberle, then watch out!

That 20th pick is going to be tough to land much, but he should research the draft carefully - we suspect he does anyway.  He has to face the reality of 25 keepers next year again so a prospect goalie while building insurance is just going to take up a valuable roster spot for a run.  Whatever he does in the way of making picks, he needs to start thinking about trade values and what kind of deals he can make during the season to inch his way up.

One more big factor, if he sets the table for 2012-13: he can afford to release his first round pick for next year, so he has that card to play in trade as well.  Now it might be doable to get the player he needs with that pick, especially if he hypes the next years talented draft pool.  Since he placed 15th this season, someone might be foolish enough to think he is going to end up with a top 10 pick - he won't.

 
 

Wrapping It Up:

Well, Ryan has his options open.  If he wants to make a serious push for this year, he can do it by moving some of his future assets (picks and prospects) to fill in his team needs, which are G, SOG, and PIM.  If he can do that, he should be a strong competitor for the title.

On the other hand, he could just as easily address those categories if his youth take a step forward, this season – and most certainly for the next few seasons. 

The Geek team thinks that shopping to see what might come Ryan’s way for those primo picks in the draft is the starting point to making a decision as to the direction to go – if the return is satisfactory, then the push might be warranted.  But if the return looks to be marginal, then it’s probably best to hang onto the picks and grab the best fit players in the draft.  That doesn’t preclude trading those players at some point in the season if the price is right and a challenge for the cash is looking like a possibility.  

Over to you, Ryan!


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