NHL

Matchup 7 Recap – The 90/10 Rule

November 28, 2016

By now you should be pretty familiar with the scoring structure in our fantasy league. Obviously there’s a premium on goals and assists, and a well-timed shutout can give you a big lead over your opponent. But that could be deceiving – how much do shutouts actually contribute to the total fantasy points earned on the average team? And for that matter, what categories are the most important to go after?

I took the raw numbers provided by ESPN and found some interesting details about our the scoring in our league. All of my data is linked here if you’d like to check it out for yourself, but let’s look at a some of the findings:

Fantasy points earned is split 90/10 between Skaters and Goalies.

There are some wild swings for the individual teams, but on average across the league, Skaters account for 89.94% of fantasy points earned while Goalies account for 10.06%. Brock was the closest to average at 90.09/9.91, while Brett R (93.36/6.64) and Sohayl (87.79/12.21) were at the extremes.

60% of fantasy points are earned from Goals and Assists.

Not surprisingly, the majority of fantasy points earned come from skaters scoring points, whether at 5v5 or on special teams. Want to improve your team? Add players that collect goals and assists. Easier said than done, I know.

It was interesting to see that, in a fairly even split, 7 of our teams collect a higher percentage of points from Assists, while 5 collect a higher percentage from Goals. I was also a bit surprised to see that special teams weren’t quite as impactful as I thought. The bonus for Power Play Points only accounted for 6.63% of the average, while Short Handed Points were basically a rounding error at 0.44%.

Shots on Goal are insanely important.

I’ll admit, I was pretty suprised to see how important Shots on Goal are to the totals. For the average team SOG made up 22.46% of fantasy points, and no team was under 20%. In fact, for Chris up to this point, SOG have actually earned more than G!  It’s pretty clear to me that if you’re looking to add players, the SOG category should be one of the places you look first.

Penalty Minutes are rather unimportant.

Seeing a player get docked for taking penalties is annoying, but it probably won’t affect your overall score significantly. Penalties reduced fantasy points by an average of -2.15%, and it’s got a pretty small range from the worst (-2.69) to the best (-1.48).

Goalies will always work out to be positive point earners.

Sure in the short term is can be tough to see a -2.5 after a bad game by your goalie, but know in the long run it always pays to play them. For very single team in our league, the points earned from Goalie Starts and Saves always outweighed the negative Goals Against. Beyond that, points earned from Wins and Shutouts help to pad your point totals.

I’d encourage you to check out the spreadsheets I made to have a look at how your team is doing, both in your individual stat categories, and in relation to the rest of the league. I’ll keep updating it weekly.

Head-To-Head Recap

Best Forward: Mike Cammalleri 27.1 (Frank)
Best Defenseman: Brent Burns 19.8 (Rhys)
Best Goalie: Craig Anderson 26.0 (Brett D)
Best Individual Performance: Milan Lucic 12.5 (Rhys)

Worst Forward: Chris Stewart -0.3 (Davin)
Worst Defenseman: Dan Girardi, Radko Gudas 0.3
Worst Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury -1.9 (Rhys)
Worst Individual Performance: Marc-Andre Fleury -2.0 (Rhys)

It’s encouraging to see that a third of the way through the season, our expansion teams continue to be competitive in the head-to-head matchups. With Brennan, Brett R and Cal winning their matchups this week, the expansion teams are now 14-12 against the original teams.

There were pretty convincing victories all around, with one notable exception. Just like I called it in last week’s post, Justin squeezed out his first win of the season against Brock. It was a pretty impressive final day performance, and it means every team now has at least one win. And the standings sure have compressed – with three teams at 5-2, four at 4-3, and three at 3-4, the whole complexion of the league can change over the course of a week or two.

I’ve created a new chart this week that shows the week-to-week fantasy point totals for each team. Also on this chart (and the Total Fantasy Points chart), I’ve included an Average total so you can see how you compare to the weekly average. I’ve moved the other charts to a separate page where you can see all of the custom info at a glance.

Team In-Depth

Despite handily winning his matchup this week to sit at a respectable 3-4 on the season, McDavin is last overall in total fantasy points collected. The team has benefited from some pretty fortunate matchups thus far, but if Davin wants to make a playoff push, he’ll need a little to find an edge somewhere.

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Best Forward: Leon Draisaitl 75.5
Best Defenseman: Shayne Gostisbehere 44.6
Best Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck 48.9
Notable Injuries: Jack Eichel, Nathan Beaulieu

In a weird twist, goal scoring isn’t actually much of an issue for Davin. Three players (Ovechkin, Pasternak and Hayes) all have double digit goals, more than any other team in the league. He is lacking in assists though; his 108 team assists is the lowest in the league by far. Targeting those playmaking wingers should be the focus in the coming weeks.

His center depth is very strong, featuring Kopitar, Kuznetzov, Johansen, Draisaitl and the injured Jack Eichel. And even Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, despite collecting a disappointing 3 goals and 7 assists, has a very healthy 65 SOG to go with 155 FOW.

In fact, RNH’s SOG is a positive sign that Davin should look for in other players. SOG, as we discovered in the first section, is a surprisingly important aspect of scoring. He should look at who on his roster is under-performing in this area, and if we do that….we find defenseman Ryan Murray with gigantic red warning lights flashing over his head. Despite the Blue Jackets having a great start to their season, Murray has only 2 assists on the year and 9 shots on goal. Nine. That’s it. There are 85 free agent defensemen that have earned more fantasy points than Murray has. Just…get rid of him. And consider giving the boot to Karl Alzner and Mattias Ekholm too.  Keep Gostisbehere though, he’s killing it.

Another area of potential improvement is goaltending. Matt Murray, Hellebuyck and Miller are all pretty good goalies, but none of them came into the season as the unquestioned starter; in each situation, Davin’s goalies are part of a platoon, which restricts the number of games Davin can actually collect points from these roster slots. Hellebuyck seems to be the closest to a starter with 16 games played, and Murray seems to be the future of the Penguins, but Davin might consider dropping Ryan Miller (who, let’s face it, isn’t going to win too many games in Vancouver) in favor of a goalie that is starting more games. Steve Mason seems to be getting the majority of starts in Philly now, or a team with three full-time starters might be amenable to a trade.

Strengths: G, GA
Weaknesses: A, SOG
Keep ‘Em: Alex Ovechkin, David Pastrnak, Ryan Johansen, Shayne Gostisbehere
Dump ‘Em: Ryan Murray, Ryan Miller, Karl Alzner
Target: goalie(s) with a ton of starts, defensemen with high shot volume, playmaking wingers with lots of assists.

Watching the Waiver Wire

The only transaction this week was Davin picking up Jeff Petry. No trades happened this week.

I did find out an interesting wrinkle about waiver rules, however: on Saturday afternoon at 3:45pm Chris picked up Jonathan Bernier from free agency to play him that night. Bernier didn’t have a game on Sunday, so when Chris dropped him at 12:30 the next day, he went straight to free agency again without having to pass through waivers. The reason? He was on a roster for less than 24 hours. And if a player is held less than 24 hours, waivers aren’t required. The more you know.

Best Unsigned Forward: Mikael Backlund 13.7
Best Unsigned Defenseman: John Moore 10.0
Best Unsigned Goalie: Thomas Greiss, Jonathan Bernier 6.4
Best Unsigned Individual Performance: Sven Baertchi 8.0

Beau Bennett had a second position added to his eligibility this week, as well as getting promoted to the power play. New Jersey is desperately searching for goals this year, and if Bennett can keep producing, they are bound to ride with the hot streak. With a goal, an assist, and 9 shots on goal, he’s definitely streaking.

Zack Hyman received his third position this week, and can slot into every forward position. He’s a center first, but he’s been getting tons of wing time with Auston Matthews. He picked up 3 assists on Matthews goals this week, and if the chemistry sticks, Hyman will be getting an awful lot of secondary points this year.

What the heck is going on with the goaltending in Long Island? Jaroslav Halak has had the majority of starts, but Thomas Greiss has the better stats. The Islanders have four games this week, and I suspect Greiss will get 2 of them, with Halak getting one and JF Berube getting the last.

And lastly, there’s a ton of games on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday this week, so you may have too many players for roster slots. Try targeting players on teams that play on off nights, like Calgary (Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun), the Islanders (Mon-Wed-Thurs-Sun), Minnesota (Tues-Fri-Sun), Montreal (Tues-Fri-Sun) or LA (Wed-Thurs-Sun).

Matchup Precap

This week I’ll be watching Justin (1-6) v Brett (3-4) to see if Justin can keep this winning streak going. On the other side, Rhys (4-3) will try to end a 3 game losing streak against Brennan (4-3) who has won 4 of his last 5. Also on a winning streak is Brett R (5-2), who is looking to give Sohayl (4-3) his second loss in a row. Jace (5-2) takes on Davin (3-4), Cal (3-4) takes on Brock (5-2), and Chris (3-4) takes on Frank (1-6).

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