Fantasy, NHL

It Ain’t Over ‘Til it’s Over (Week 15 Recap)

January 18, 2016

So we’ve reached the point of the the year where some of us are starting to call this season a bust. Brett’s already put out a message saying he’s open for business and looking to trade for draft picks, so now’s a good time to talk about how that works.

ESPN doesn’t allow us to automatically trade draft picks in season, but we can keep track of it manually, and then adjust the draft order once it opens up. I’ve created a page here where you can see who owns all of the picks.

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding the draft:

  • The first 7 draft rounds will be used to “draft” our designated keepers. If one of us decides to keep less than seven, they will begin choosing players from the available pool once their keepers are all picked.
    • For example, if I have only five keepers, I will begin choosing from the free agent pool in round 6.
  • There will be 26 rounds total, one to fill each of our roster slots.
    • Yes, 26. We’re increasing our rosters for next year. I’ll be talking about this more next week.
  • Because your first 7 picks are keeper slots, if you chose to trade away any of your top 7 picks, you will reduce the amount of keeper slots by that same amount. Additionally, you can only trade from the bottom of your keeper slots; ie, you cannot trade away your 3rd round pick if you intend to keep more than two players.
    • For example, if I trade my 6th round pick to Brett, I can only keep five players come the draft.
  • We will be adding some new teams next year, which will obviously affect the draft order. The new teams will be picking players from the pool in the rounds that we are “drafting” our keepers. We will have somewhere around 8-10 teams next year, so use that to help estimate where in the order your picks would fall.
  • Trades can be made for player-player, a mixture of draft picks and players, or just draft picks.
  • No one can have more draft picks than can fill your roster spots, nor can anyone have less picks, so every time a draft pick is traded, one needs to be going back the other way. Some examples of how that can look:
    • Rhys trades his 6th and 7th round picks to Brett for Player U and Brett’s 9th and 26th round picks
    • Frank trades his 7th round pick and Player V to Jace for Player W and his 9th round pick.
    • Chris trades his 8th, 9th and Player X to Davin for Davin’s 10th and 19th for Player Y and Player Z.

Hopefully I’ve addressed most of the questions that will come up, but if you have anything, please ask and I’ll figure it out.

Matchup Recap

Lots of movement on the last day, with a ton of close categories flipping over the weekend. In the end, all matchups ended up with nearly identical scores with Rhys and Frank finishing 7-4-0 over Brett and Chris, and Davin beating Jace 7-3-1.

In the standings, Rhys (97-60-8) extended his lead in top spot over Jace (86-62-17) who remains in second. Davin’s win (78-74-13) bumped him back into third place over Chris (75-77-13), who slips back into 4th. And in the basement, Frank’s victory (60-89-16) was enough to push him into 5th place over Brett (58-92-15) who slumps to 6th for the first time this year.

Heads up: the next matchup is 2 weeks long because of the all star break, and runs from the 18th to the 31st. We each have 14 acquisitions for the duration of the matchup, rather than the 7 that we usually have. Plan accordingly.

For the two-week matchup, Davin is playing Rhys, Chris takes on Brett, and Jace takes on Frank.

Best and Worst This Week

Goals – Rhys 21 / Jace 8
Assists – Davin 30 / Chris 19
+/- –  Frank +23 / Jace -8
PPP – Rhys 19 / Chris 5
SHP –  Chris 2 / Jace & Frank & Brett 0
FOW – Jace 203 / Brett 126
ATOI – Rhys 21:17 / Davin 19:20
SOG – Rhys 182 / Davin 117
W – Frank 8 / Rhys & Davin & Jace 1
GAA – Brett 1.715 / Jace 2.717
SV% – Brett .9397 / Jace .8972

Wow, when it rains it pours as Chris picks up TWO SHP this week. Good for you, Chris. Frank had a league-leading +23 this week, which is insane and I don’t know how he does it. Frank also picked up 8 (EIGHT!) wins, cruelly hogging them all and leaving Rhys, Davin and Jace with only 1 each. Brett had the better goalie stats though, with a terrific 1.715 GAA and .9397 SV%.

Player Showcase

Oliver Ekman-Larsson is having an outstanding year for the Coyotes, and is starting to generate Norris buzz. Now, OEL remains a long-shot for actually winning the trophy considering that Erik Karlsson is running away with it (and let’s not forget the crazy good seasons that Klingberg, Burns and Josi are having), but that doesn’t diminish how important OEL has been to the surprising success for the Coyotes this season.

OEL has 33 points this season, 4th among defensemen and tied for 41st overall. He eats tons of minutes for the Coyotes, averaging well over 25 minutes a night, the 10th highest in the league. He quarterbacks the first power play unit, and his 15 PPP are 15th best in the league.

Like Karlsson, OEL hails from Sweden, and is the latest in a line of Swedish defensemen that are re-defining the role of defenseman. OEL and his ilk (Karlsson, Alex Edler, Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman, John Klingberg, Hampus Lindholm, and Oscar Klefbom just to name a few) are very offensively minded, puck moving defensemen who drive possession and focus less on hitting and other traditionally defensive focuses.

On some pretty terrible Coyotes teams, OEL has been a positive Corsi player, with 51.2% over his career. He’s only been below 50% once, in 2013-14, and he was just below as 49.6%.

And he’s doing it agains really tough competition, with most of his starts in the defensive zone against the opponent’s top lines.

And now that All Star John Scott, Arizona’s lone entry to the game, has been traded away to be stashed in the AHL in Newfoundland, OEL is the most likely choice to take his place.

Watching the Waiver Wire

There’s been a flurry of waiver action in the last little while. Rhys picked up Mike Hoffman from…well, himself. Rhys then waived Hoffman again a few days later, and Davin picked him up from Rhys. Davin also picked up Brendan Gallagher after Rhys waived him. Chris claimed James Neal from Jace, and Frank claimed Joe Thornton from Davin.

Justin Williams has 5 G 2 A and an astounding 24 SOG in the last 5 games. He’s on an absolute tear lately, culminating with Sunday’s hat trick against the Rangers. The Caps are comfortably in first place in the league, and guys like Williams are an important part of that winning formula. Interestingly, Williams hasn’t spent much time on rosters this year, only five days in total; Chris had him for three days in November, and Rhys recently dropped him after just two days.

Bobby Ryan is back on the market after a long stint on Chris’ team. Ryan is pointless in 7 of his last 10, but he picks them up in bunches. 2 G and 1 A last week, and then another 1 G 1 A this week. Ottawa has sagged a bit, but with four games next week (including against struggling teams like the Devils and the Rangers), this could be the time to pick him up.

The Avs also have four games this week, and Carl Soderberg looks like he’s ready for a breakout. He’s getting regular power play time, and has already picked up 11 PPP on the year. He’s 4 shots away from cracking 100 on the season, and he also chips in on FOW. A pretty good all-around fantasy player, he’s only spent a week on Brett’s roster earlier this year.

Brock Nelson has been a little under the radar this year, but that all changed after a massive 3 G 1 A night last week. He’s now got 18 G on the season, the most of any free agent available. He’s nearly at 100 SOG on the season as well, and while his shooting percentage is a little higher than his career average, there’s no reason to expect his production to drop off dramatically.

Even lower under the radar is Mikkel Boedker . He’s got 12 G 21 A for 33 points on the season, and of the available free agents, he’s behind only Bobby Ryan and the injured Mike Cammalleri and David Krejci. With such a young team, Boedker has been getting tons of ice time, and it’s showing up on the stats sheet. He’s regularly picking up 6-7 shots on goal in a game in just over 19 minutes per night.

Michael Neuvirth is back! He’s missed a fair number of games this year, but he seems to be back on the mend. This is good news if you’re looking for help in goal, as Neuvirth has a .934 SV% and a paltry 2.12 GAA in 16 games played this year. Steve Mason has been getting the majority of starts in Philly, but he’s been struggling lately after putting up a stellar run in the beginning of January. Could Neuvirth be the guy they go to?

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