This week brings us part two of the series of our summer Capped buy and sell. Here we run through each NHL team, and cover one player that you should be trying to get onto your fantasy team, as well as one player you should be trying to get off of your fantasy team. Teams six through ten (going alphabetically from Chicago through Detroit) are covered this week. I will cover my thoughts on the Leon Draisaitl extension next week with the Edmonton section.
Part one in this series can be found here.
Without further adieu, here are the best value buys and sells from each team.
Buy: Connor Murphy
Cap Hit: $3,850,000 with five years remaining
*Note: 2016-2017 stats are with the Arizona Coyotes.
Take this buy with a grain of salt, as there isn’t really anyone on Chicago that I would be giddy about owning in a cap league. Connor Murphy is a reliable own, and actually has more upside this year than he has in years prior. The hits and blocks will continue to pile up, but it is the points (and specifically the possible power play production) are where there is room for improvement. As the number three defenceman on the Blackhawks there is room for improvement from the 24-year-old. Any defenceman making less than $4 million is worth rostering if they are producing what Murphy can.
Sell: Duncan Keith
Cap Hit: $5,538,462 with six years remaining
The sell on Chicago is taking a couple of things into account. This assumes that the Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews owners are set, and no one else would easily be able to take on their salaries. This also assumes that Brent Seabrook has already been shunned by your cap league for being overpaid relative to his production. Duncan Keith still has the name value of a star player, and his cap hit isn’t too high that it can’t be absorbed with some creative movement from any team.
Now is the time to be selling the 34-year-old defenceman, as he is really going to start showing his age in the next year or two. Keith also doesn’t produce much in peripherals, and the perennial powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks appear to be slowly coming apart at the seams. Jump ship while there is still value here.
A Lottery Ticket Instead Sven Andrighetto
Cap Hit: $1,400,000 with two years remaining
*Note: 2016-2017 stats have 27 games with the Montreal Canadiens.
There really isn’t much that hasn’t already been said about Colorado both with their actual outlook for the season, and with regards to their offerings in fantasy leagues. There is not a lot to offer here, especially when you’re looking for bargains in a salary cap league. Nathan MacKinnon has the ceiling to out-produce his cap hit, but he won’t come cheap in a trade. Therefore we land on Sven Andrighetto as the best buy from the Avalanche. After coming over from the Canadiens at the trade deadline last season, Andrighetto scored at almost a point per game pace. There only notable addition on forward since has been Colin Wilson, so there is lots of room for him to continue to produce. As the old adage goes, “someone has to score on a bad team”… right?
Everyone Matt Duchene
Cap Hit: $6,000,000 with two years remaining
Matt Duchene is a tougher case to analyze considering the uncertainty surrounding his situation with the team. Points-wise, Duchene has a very high ceiling. However, there are trade rumours surrounding him, in part because he has failed to live up to those expectations thus far. After seeing his point totals drop for the last two seasons, owners are saying that they can’t go lower. As a result, his stock actually seems higher than it should be right now, with everyone seeing a bounce back. Sell now on the bounce back hype, because there really isn’t anything saying that a return to form is coming for Duchene. As a bonus, even once his contract expires, he will not be looking to take a pay cut, so there is no bargain to be found here anytime in the near future.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Buy: Artemi Panarin
Cap Hit: $6,000,000 with two years remaining
*Note: 2016-2017 stats are with the Chicago Blackhawks.
For a playoff team that has one of the lower cap hits in the NHL, it was difficult to find a good buy. Artemi Panarin only fits the bill because expectations are lowered this season following his trade from Chicago. In both of his first two seasons in the NHL, Panarin has recorded 77 and 74 points respectively; that is some good consistency. Unfortunately, some view the production as a result of lining up with Patrick Kane. However, Panarin is talented enough to keep his 75-point pace rolling alongside other skilled forwards such as new teammates Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson. At $6 million, the Russian winger doesn’t come cheap, but he is well worth the cap hit.
Sell: Nick Foligno
Cap Hit: $5,500,000 with four years remaining.
This sell will be easier to pull off in league counting hits, penalty minutes, and other peripheral categories where Foligno’s true value shines. At 29 years old (turning 30 on Halloween), it would be ideal to ship him out before your competitors are spooked by his age. With fluctuating point totals over the last few seasons, the trend would be for a little regression back down to a 40-point pace. Reduced point totals paired with the emergence of young winger Oliver Bjorkstrand could just push Foligno out of the top-six forwards altogether. I am not recommending a sell low here, but a soft sell to see what kind of return can be had that will be better for your team in both the short and long term.
Buy: John Klingberg
Cap Hit: $4,250,000 with five years remaining
Over the last three seasons, John Klingberg has been playing at a 55-point pace over an 82 game season, and this over the summer Dallas’ offense got even more potent. Free agent signee Alexander Radulov puts the finishing touches on what should be an absolute dominant power play. With Klingberg running that show, it would not be surprising to see the smooth-skating 25-year-old put up 65 points in a healthy season. All of this on a bargain deal of $4.25 million for the next five (!) years. Klingberg could be putting up 15 points per million dollars. That is astronomical when compared to the eight to 10 points per million dollars benchmark typically used for forwards. Let him pass you by at your own peril.
Sell: Martin Hanzal
Cap Hit: $4,750,000 with three years remaining.
*Note: 2016-2017 stats are with the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild.
Band-aid-boy status does not look good when trying to live up to the production expected on a new contract. Couple that with the fact that the Stars’ offence will be top-heavy, leaving all of the tough minutes for Martin Hanzal, and we have a recipe for disappointment. The 30-year old has topped out at 40 points in his career, and hasn’t played in more than 65 games since the 2009-10 season. Free agency drives up contract prices, and that is exactly what happened here. Hanzal is a good player, but better in real life than in fantasy. Sell on the Dallas hype before the next injury arrives.
Detroit Red Wings
Buy: Anthony Mantha
Cap Hit: $863,333 with one year remaining
Anthony Mantha’s one year remaining on his deal is the last of his entry-level contract. On a disappointing Detroit team, Mantha is one of the few bright stars that will be trying to pull them out of the basement. The view that Mantha is due a new contract at the end of the season may be enough to tempt the Mantha owner into moving him. The fact is, Mantha’s next contract can go one of two ways. One, he could sign a bridge deal for a smaller amount of money than what he’s worth, to earn a big paycheck. Two, he could sign a longer-term deal like the ones that seem to be commonplace this summer, providing certainty and a long term. Mantha has all the talent he needs to really break out in the next year or two, and he should continue to be a bargain for the next few years at least.
Sell: Gustav Nyquist
Cap Hit: $4,750,000 with two years remaining
Gustav Nyquist (Gus) is only a couple years removed from being tabbed as the replacement talent for Pavel Datsyuk. Fast forward to the present day, where Gus has not met expectations, and doesn’t have the talent to do it on his own. In the environment that Detroit is creating now, there isn’t enough support for him to be able to thrive and as such, he will continue to disappoint. Lucky for you, enough fantasy managers have enough belief in his potential that it shouldn’t be extremely difficult to find a deal that gets a piece better for the long term of both your fantasy team, and your sanity.
Thanks for reading. I would be curious to hear if you have any buy/sell candidates on the above teams, and why.
As always, you can find me on twitter @alexdmaclean where I post some of my other smaller musings that don’t make it into the articles.
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