Mark Barbour (@18sktrs, 18skaters.com)
This week I’m doing something different than my “typical” A&G article. There won’t be any charts or plots that explore interesting skater data here. Instead, I’m going to talk about some of the skaters climbing my personal skater projections, focusing on skaters who I think might surprise some people. I won’t mention guys like Tage Thompson, Jason Robertson, or (my favourite) Jack Hughes. The focus here will be on guys who don’t generate quite as much chatter (as judged by my personal chatter-meter).
You might find this article interesting if you’re thinking about making long-term moves in your fantasy hockey league. That could mean you’re thinking about the rest of this season as a trade deadline approaches, or maybe you’re looking ahead to next season in a keeper/dynasty format.
If you want more details about the skaters discussed in this article you can go to the source by checking out my skater projections for yourself. The projections are customizable for the most common scoring settings and have other features like a handy skater look-up tool. Note: these projections do not attempt to identify skaters who might make for good short-term pick-ups.
In the discussion that follows I’m going to make some assumptions about scoring settings. It’s impossible to make general statements that apply equally to every league. Like I said, you can go to the source to see how the projections might apply to your particular situation. Alright, let’s go.
Did you know that Elias Pettersson is pacing for over 100 points this season? Pettersson has jumped up my projections, putting himself in the conversation as a late 2nd round draft pick.
There’s a lot of negativity swirling around Vancouver these days, and there’s some uncertainty about what a new coach will mean for EP40. While other people focus on the bad things, you can think about how to acquire Pettersson for less than full value.
Is it possible for a Toronto Maple Leafs skater to get too little attention? My projections show William Nylander as an easy 2nd round selection in a common points league format, comfortably ahead of Mitch Marner. I haven’t heard much chatter about that.
Speaking of Toronto Maple Leafs, John Tavares is having a solid season and has also passed Mitch Marner in my projections. I sense that many people left Tavares for dead in fantasy hockey. He’s not dead. Pick him up for less than full value if you can.
I think my pre-season projections had Zach Hyman ranked higher than consensus, and I made a point of acquiring him in a dynasty league last summer. It turns out my pre-season projections were wrong about Hyman … he should have been ranked even higher.
Hyman is another skater who has risen to a 2nd round value in my projections. He might be harder to acquire at a bargain price given that he regularly plays with the best skater in the world. On the other hand, maybe you can find someone looking to “sell high” on Hyman.
OK, this is a tough one. Eichel’s recent history does not lend itself to projecting future performance. Having said that, he’s rising in my skater projections this season. Meanwhile he’s stuck in a brutal cold streak right now and the Vegas Golden Knights as a team are giving off bad vibes. Maybe that means there’s an opportunity here. If you’re brave now could be a good time to acquire Eichel at a serious discount. It’s far from a risk-free move so act accordingly.
I wanted to include a couple of defensemen on this list but I didn’t want to include the most obvious risers like Erik Karlsson, Rasmus Dahlin, or Josh Morrissey. I’ll start with Dougie Hamilton, though I doubt he will be too “surprising” to readers. He didn’t live up to expectations last season but things are different this year. My projections have him ranked as the 3rd best defenseman in a common points league format. Perhaps you can find a trade partner who doesn’t have him that high.
The defenseman who has made the biggest jump in my projections is Brandon Montour. Somehow he has become a very solid #2 defenseman for your fantasy hockey team … according to my projections.
My projections are 100% driven by the data. I don’t intervene to impose my personal opinions about any of the skaters. That means my projections do not always match my personal opinions, and this is one of those cases where I look at my projections and say “I don’t buy it”. But maybe you buy it, and these differences of opinion are how trades happen. So if you believe in Montour then maybe you can find someone like me who would be willing to trade him away.
The End Of The Article
That’s all for this week. I’ll be back here next week with another original data-driven article. In the meantime you can find more of my content on 18skaters.com. Follow me on Twitter at @18sktrs if you want to be notified about the content I’m creating here, there and anywhere.
Mark (18 Skaters)
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