NHL

Matchup 16 Recap – All The Little Ants Are Marching

February 7, 2017

We’re down to the nitty gritty now. The trade deadline is Thursday (at 10AM Mountain/9AM Pacific <— that’s the morning! Make your trades on Wednesday to avoid frantic last minute calls to Rhys!), and the playoff picture is coming into focus: there are four clear contenders, one just on the outside, and one hanging on for dear life. We’ll get into the details further down, but first: we also have two new charts to display. Both are variations of other charts, but the average is our baseline; these make it easier to see how a team is performing against the average.

First up:

This is similar to the other Total Fantasy Points  chart, but by making the weekly average the center line, it’s shows a little more clearly how teams have done that week, and by extension, over the course of the year.

It also reveals a few interesting things. As you would probably expect, the four teams all holding down playoff spots are currently the top four teams in the chart. Brock is just outside and is the fifth and last team in the positive area.

Davin is the one that’s crazy. He’s got the second lowest cumulative fantasy points, yet he’s still got a shot at making the post-season. That’s truly the story of the year.

Secondly, here’s a variation of our Week-to-Week chart.

It better showcases abnormally good/bad week, and also removes the effect of 2-week matchups that kind of wreck the other charts.

Head-To-Head Recap

Best Forward: Adam Henrique 23.9 (Brock)
Best Defenseman: Erik Karlsson 15.0 (Chris)
Best Goalie: Peter Budaj 21.0 (Brett R)
Best Individual Performance: Sebastian Aho 14.0 (Brock)

This was Chris’ last stand, and his loss to Rhys has effectively eliminated him from playoff contention. As best I can tell there’s at least one scenario in which he could make it, but it involves one of Cal or Jace losing their remaining games, Brock beating one of them but losing the other 3, and…yeah, it’s so complicated I don’t see it happening.

All of the higher ranked teams won this week in fact, as Brett R beat Davin, Brett D beat Brennan, Brock beat Frank, Jace beat Justin and Cal beat Sohayl.

Projected Playoff Bracket

#1 Brett R (12-4) vs #4 Jace (11-5)
#2 Rhys (12-4) vs #3 Cal (11-5)

In the Hunt

Brock (9-7)

Fighting Chance

Davin (8-8)

No change this week to the projected bracket as all four of Brett R, Rhys, Jace and Cal won their matchups. By losing to Brett R, Davin drops to 8-8, barely holding on. With 4 matchups left, Davin needs to win every single week remaining and needs the teams ahead of him to lose out – if both Jace and Cal win this week, Davin is basically out.

Chris’ loss to Rhys drops him to 7-9, effectively eliminating his chance of making the playoffs.

Brock’s win moving him to 9-7 keeps his playoff hopes alive, and while he obviously needs to win most of the remaining games, what he really needs is the teams he’s chasing to start losing. Fortunately for Brock, Brett R plays both Rhys and Jace before seasons end, so there’s two guaranteed losses in the teams he is chasing. There’s a lot of scenarios that can play out if Brock puts together a string of wins, and he may be relying on tie-breakers to advance if he ends up with the same record as someone else.

The first tie breaker is head-to-head record, and right now the only person Brock has the advantage on is Rhys – Jace and Cal both beat Brock in their lone matchups so far, and Brett R and Brock split wins. Brock plays Jace this week and Cal in week 19 – the only way Brock could sneak in on this first tie-breaker is if he’s tied with Rhys for the final wildcard spot.

The second tie-breaker is overall Fantasy Points, and this is where it could get very interesting. Rhys, Cal and Brett R are all leading Brock by over 150 points, but Jace is only about 15 points ahead currently. It’s also only been in the last 4 weeks or so that Jace has surged into the positives. If Brock beats Jace this week and puts up some monster numbers for the rest of the matchups, Brock could win this tie-breaker if he beats Jace this week and ends up with the same record as him at the end of the season.

Whew, okay, that was a lot of what-ifs. Let’s move on.

Watching the Waiver Wire

One recent waiver claim when Brett R picked up Radim Vrbata.

Best Unsigned Forward: Anders Lee 17.5
Best Unsigned Defenseman: Ron Hainsey 9.0
Best Unsigned Goalie: Phillip Grubauer 12.4

The tide might have turned in Calgary. Chad Johnson was the golden boy, but since January 19th he’s allowed 12 goals in only 3 starts. Brian Elliot hasn’t been amazing, but he’s been much better than earlier in the year, getting four starts in a row. He’ll probably get the most starts out of any goaltender in Free Agency right now.

There’s a ton of centers available right now, but players with primary positions on the wing are getting hard to find. The best out there right now is likely Jordan Martinook, back from a stint on the IR. He’s picked up one goal since coming back, and is averaging 1.5 shots per game.

Jaccob Slavin has played for five different teams this year, as he keeps getting picked up out of free agency. He doesn’t shoot much, but he’s got 17 assists on the season, far more than anyone else available. You may not keep him for long, but as many of us have discovered, he can be a very valuable short term piece.

Matchup Precap

Here we are, in Trade Deadline week. The matchup to watch is definitely Jace (11-5) versus Brock (9-7), with a ton of playoff implications here. Also important is Davin (8-8) absolutely needing a win against Rhys (12-4) to keep his playoff hopes alive. We also have Call (11-5) versus Brennan (6-10), Chris (7-9) versus Brett R (12-4), Sohayl (6-10) versus Brett D (7-9), and in the Tank Battle, Justin (4-12) versus Frank (3-13).

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