NHL

Matchup 6 – Down In A Hole

November 17, 2017

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No one ever wants to hear about travel delays, but I’m claiming two cancelled flights, delays on rebooked flights and lost luggage as my excuse for putting up the recap late this week.

Which is too bad, because I want to talk about it bad beats. This week Brett D’s team scored 183.8 points, good for second overall this week and over 30 points more than the next closest team.

But of course he’s matched up against the one guy who got more points than he did. So despite dominating the week, Brett D takes a loss. Brett has been a little unlucky this year, as he sits 3rd overall in Fantasy Points Against with 912.7 – compared to the league average of 854.6. This will average out over the course of the season, but that’s slim consolation right now.

You can find stats like this in two places for our league – first, the Standings tab in the desktop site has all of the basic stats in our league with sortable columns. You can find out fun stats like which team has the most shots on goal (Rhys), the fewest power play points (Brett R), whose goalies have been scored on the most (Sohayl), etc. One interesting thing to note from this page: the teams in our league with the best records right now are Chris (6-0), Sohayl (5-1), and Frank (5-1). They all rank as the top 3 in Points For, which is good, but interestingly, those are also the three teams that have been scored on the least. It’s not often we see such dominant teams having played such comparatively  weak competition.

The second place for stats is our Charts and Statistics page. I’ve simplified our charts this year, so that you can quickly and easily see if your  team is performing above or below average per weekly matchup and over the course of the season. Additionally, you can find a link to our Custom Stats doc that I update weekly. You’ll find instructions on how to read the charts on the right side of the columns, but if you ever have questions, feel free to ask me.

Matchup Recap

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Best Forward: Jason Zucker 26.1 (Cal)
Best Defenseman: Morgan Reilly 15.1 (Chris)
Best Goalie: Devan Dubnyk 19.8 (Cal)
Best Individual Performance: Miles Wood 14.5 (Free Agent)
Best Team Performance: Blades of Glory 188.2

Besides Cal’s stunning victory/Brett D’s bitter defeat, we saw Sohayl and Frank continue their winning streaks against Rhys and Brett D respectively. Brock picked up his third win in a row against Brennan, Steve kept his winning season going with a victory over Jace, and Davin came up painfully short against Chris, leaving both winning and losing streaks intact.

Team In-Depth

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Davin finished second overall in our inaugural season, slipped to 6th last season, and finds himself near the basement to start this year. How did he get here, and what can he do to get back on top?

Best Forward: Alex Ovechkin 74.7
Best Defenseman: Shayne Gostisbehere 48.0
Best Goaltender: Matt Murray 50.2
Notable Injuries: Rasmus Ristolainen

I’ve written previously how Davin’s had a bit of bad luck this year, and the more time I spent looking at Davin’s roster and matchups, I’ve become convinced this is the unluckiest start to a season I’ve seen so far in our league.

First off, Davin’s roster is chock full of pretty impressive players at every position. Ovechkin is on a tear to start the season, Ghost Bear has been great, Pastrnak has been phenomenal, and he has three starting goalies in Murray, Bishop and Howard. He also has picked up a number of hotshot rookies like Barzal, DeBrincat and Milano. This is a roster that should be winning matchups.

But Davin’s been losing each week by a slimmest of margins, and it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where some of his slumping players have been the difference. Ryan Johansen has only 1 goal this year, and Leon Draisaitl has only just started to heat up. Justin Schultz is collecting points at about half the rate he was last season, and while it’s hard to say Eichel has been struggling with 16 points in 18 games, he’s stuck on a bad team and one wonders what he could do with support.

There are some warning signs, as after week 3 Davin’s Cumulative Fantasy Points have dropped down to second-to-last in the league. He’s dead last in goals scored and shots on goal, and has been relying heavily on his goaltenders, with 13.7% of his points coming from goalies, the highest percentage in the league and far above the average of 10.3%

But the good news is, there’s still time to come back and make the playoffs. If we’d used our current 6 playoff-spot structure last season, both Brock (12-8) and Davin (11-9) would have made the playoffs. Assuming it’s the same this year, that means Davin has to win about 11 of the remaining 14 matchups to make it. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable.

But regardless, he’s gotta make some decisions soon. Does Davin try and make the playoffs, or does he start to cash in his non-keepers for draft picks?

Waiver Wire

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This is a bit of a strange week with tons of games being played on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with very few teams playing off days. One of those is Detroit, and woof are they bad, but with Friday and Sunday games, it’s a good way to pick up points from guys that would otherwise be sitting on your bench.

I don’t know if I can confirm it, but I’m pretty sure Frans Nielsen is the most added-and-dropped player in BOTP history. As a second or third line center for a couple of okay-to-bad teams in the Islanders and Red Wings, he seems to always get picked up for a few weeks and then dropped again. Already this year he’s played for Brennan and Rhys’ teams, and this weekend may add a third. He’s a decent volume shooter, has 6G 3A in 19 games, and plays about 15-16 minutes per night.

Petr Mrazek is definitely playing second fiddle to Jimmy Howard this year, but he’s due to get another start soon. He’s having a decent season on a bad team, with a .911 SV% and a GAA under 3.00. I expect he’ll play against Colorado on Sunday, so consider him if you’re looking to pad your stats in a close matchup.

Matchup Precap

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This week we’ve got a couple of hot matchups, as Chris (6-0) looks to extend his unbeaten run against Brett D (2-4). Sohayl (5-1) plays Jace (3-3) and Frank (5-1) plays Rhys (2-4) as the Albrechts try to get back to the winning side of the standings. Brennan (2-4) takes on Cal (2-4) in what is looking like the most lopsided matchup so far this week, while Steve (4-2) and Brock (4-2) are locked in a pretty close struggle. Finally, Davin (0-6) is in tough looking for his first win of the season against Brett R (1-5) who is having the best matchup of his season.

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