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Fantasy Hockey Overrated Players for 2012-13

by chewy 14. September 2012 10:09

If you're that guy that drafts your team based purely on last season's stats, you're inevitably going to waste early picks on players who won't give you the same return this time around.   Don't get caught up in the hype. Sit back and let the less-informed GM's waste a pick, while you go for value.   Here is a bucket full of players that may be worth drafting (eventually), but will likely be picked earlier than they should.

 

Offense

 

David Clarkson                     NJD         

Clarkson has never been known for racking up the points, so try not to get too excited about those 30 goals he scored last year. That number, combined with a healthy dose of PIMs was enough for him to finish ranked 56th in total fantasy value. Don't expect a jump from there, or even a repeat. It's too much to look for Clarkson to get back to 30 goals again this time around. Don't overpay for one good season…

 

Patrik Elias                     NJD         

Every few years Elias shows up and has a crazy good campaign, only to slide down into average for a couple years between. Last season was one of those crazy good ones. You see where I'm going here... In other words, do not expect a repeat of those 78 points in 2012-13. 20 goals and 60 points is a safer bet.

 

Scott Hartnell                     PHI         

For those who know their history from the other side of the state, think Robbie Brown. Few players in recent memory have had such dramatic success that is so clearly tied to lining up next to a superstar. Hartnell pieced together a fantastic season, finishing 4th among forwards in total fantasy value. None of this would have been remotely possible on the 2nd line, but lined up next to Giroux, he was money. Should he retain that sweet spot this season, he has considerable worth; however, there are a handful of up and coming youngsters that will press for a chance on the top line. Don't overpay based on one great season.

 

Chris Kunitz                     PIT         

While he's a key contributor the Penguins success, his style of play doesn't translate well to fantasy success. Despite regularly playing with Crosby (when #87 is healthy), the best he's managed in his 8 year career is 26 goals and 61 points, which he did last season. It's tough to see him rising above those numbers at this point. As long as Crosby is healthy, he'll have some value, but his upside is limited.

 

Radim Vrbata                     PHO         

Vrbata was perhaps the biggest surprise of the year in 2011-12, coming out of nowhere to produce 35 goals. He was actually on pace for 40-45, before cooling off in the final 6 weeks. This came after a decade of 20-goal production. So where do we go from here? Keep in mind, Ray Whitney will not be back to dish him the puck. Let others draft him early and watch him slide back down to 20 goal territory again.

 

Ray Whitney                     PHO         

Every few seasons, Whitney emerges with a solid point per game season on a new club. He did it again last year, climbing all the way up to 14th in overall fantasy value on offense. Entering the season at age 40 on yet another new team, it seems like a crazy long-shot to expect it to happen again this season. He will be drafted way too early. If he falls to round 10, give him a look. But he won't…

 

 

Defense

 

Brian Campbell                     FLA         

With Campbell, you need to know your system to assess his value. If points are all that matter, he's a valuable commodity. What holds him back is his goal production. He averages about 6 goals a season, while his assists are near tops in the league. At age 33, he's still a workhorse for the Panthers, averaging close to 30 minutes a game. Regardless of your point system, he obviously has value. It's up to you to determine how much.

 

Jason Garrison                     VAN         

Garrison timed his career-season perfectly. He cashed in with a big deal with his hometown Canucks. As a fantasy GM, it's going to take more than one good season to sell me. A look back at his college career, his minor season with Rochester and his first few years with the Panthers shows little history of offensive production. You can't completely overlook the fact that he was a beast for Florida last season, racking up 16 goals, but he managed just 17 assists. Goal scoring is harder to reproduce for defensemen, particularly in new environment. Don't overvalue him until he repeats this success.

 

Ryan Suter                     NAS         

Due to the frenzy that surrounded Suter over the summer, some GMs may be tempted to overvalue him on their draft lists. He wasn't highly coveted for his fantasy value alone, but he can contribute as a solid #2 option. He's been very consistent throughout his career, producing a handful of goals and 30-some assists a year. His situation in Minnesota should mimic what he was accustomed to in Nashville. Both teams have a healthy respect for defensive play and lack superstars on offense to help pad his stats. Another 40+ point campaign is all but certain here.

 

 

Goalies

 

Craig Anderson                     OTT         

The Senators were perhaps the most surprising team of the year, with Anderson racking up an impressive 33 wins in the process. On paper, they still seem more likley to miss the playoffs than to make it. It will be a challenge for Anderson to crack 30 wins again this time around. Besides, carrying a 2.83 GAA again last season did little to help anyone's fantasy squad. Count him as a low-end #2 goalie for your draft with more downside than upside.

 

Brian Elliott                     STL         

A case could be made that Brian Elliot was the best goalie in the NHL last season. The only thing that held him back from serious Vezina consideration was his lack of games played. 9 shutouts in 38 starts certainly raises a brow. So why not rank him with the elite heading into 2012-13? At best, Elliot will split starts with the team's true #1, Jaroslav Halak. At worst, he is remembered for that one great season where he almost become a #1 goalie. Assuming Halak gets healthy and stays hot, you can expect Elliot to take more of a backseat this time around. Don't overrate his one great season.

 

Jimmy Howard                     DET         

Howard has been remarkably consistent during his three years as Detroit's #1 man. He has hit the 35 win marker in all 3 seasons. This year, Detroit threw Gustavsson into the mix as Howard's backup, but don't expect that to bite into Howard's games played. He hasn't topped 63 games played in his career to this date. Detroit won't be the same team without Lidstrom, and nobody will feel that pain more than the goalie. It seems unlikely that Howard will get back to 35 wins again this time around. Overrated.

 

Miikka Kiprusoff                     CGY         

Kiprusoff continues to exceed expectations. He's one of the few goalies who provide consistent fantasy value on a consistently poor NHL team. One man can't continue to carry the load forever and Calgary has done little to show they're serious about turning the ship around any time soon. Kiprusoff tends to get drafted a bit too early for my taste. Too much working against the aging veteran to trust beyond a bench spot.

 

Ondrej Pavelec                     WIN         

Pavelec remains the #1 goalie in Winnepeg by default. He's done little in his career thus far to get fantasy owners excited with career GAA of 2.99. On the plus side, he has seen his playing time, and wins, increase steadily over each of his 5 NHL seasons. He's entering his prime and faces only a slight challenge from Montoya for the job. Draft him if you're in dire need of goalie starts. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

 

Cam Ward                     CAR         

With Ward, it's important to know your particular league's point system. If saves are heavily rewarded, he's your man. Ward faces more rubber each night than most, playing behind the pourous Carolina defense. However, if more traditional stats, such as GAA and Wins drive your point system, Ward may be a bit overrated. Through 7 seasons, he has gone below a 2.5 GAA just once. Last season, his numbers inflated to 2.74. His job in Carolina is never in doubt, so he will get his chances. Consider him a servicable #2 goalie option.

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