The 2016-17 All Over-Achiever Team (Eastern Conference)

by Eric Daoust on January 17, 2017 | (0 Comments)
  • Eastern Edge
  • The 2016-17 All Over-Achiever Team (Eastern Conference)

 

Every year we go into our fall drafts and manage our keeper-league teams with certain expectations set on each player. However, things rarely go according to plan. Fortunately, sometimes a player performs well above expectations which gives your team a big boost. The key is knowing what to do with that player over the long haul. Is it just a hot start or is he destined to finish the year with a better result than projected? Is it worth trying to sell high or is it better to ride it out and hit the waiver wire later?

Today we will look at the Eastern Conference all-overachiever team. In some cases the player has to be looked at from different angles as his outlook will not be the same in one-year leagues as it will be in keeper leagues. Also, some players thrive in points-only while others are not pure point-producers but excel in multi-category formats.

The figures listed are each player’s projects points-per-game ratio from the Fantasy Guide along with their current points per game.

All-Overachiever Team

 

Name

Pos

GP

G

A

PTS

Actual Pts/G

Proj. Pts/G

Diff

Paul Byron

LW

43

13

14

27

0.63

0.26

0.37

Alexander Wennberg

C

42

8

28

36

0.86

0.67

0.19

Anthony Mantha

RW

28

11

11

22

0.79

0.39

0.40

Nick Holden

D

44

8

15

23

0.52

0.26

0.26

Zach Werenski

D

42

6

20

26

0.62

0.39

0.22

Sergei Bobrovsky

G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Byron – Byron has so far taken hold of a top-six spot with the Canadiens and is already having a career year. Most of us have expected him to slow down for some time as he has been scoring on more than 20 percent of his shots but so far that has not happened. In fact, in both of his years with Montreal he has been over 20 percent. Selling high may be difficult as his point total does not jump off the page yet if he can stay in the top-six he should remain fairly productive. If there is a Habs’ fan in your league that overvalues Byron then by all means sell now but otherwise just ride it out while he remains hot.

Alexander Wennberg – Wennbeg was expected to have a strong year as the Blue Jackets’ most talented center. However, having him push the point-per-game mark in the first half was unexpected. He has cooled off and may eventually finish closer to his preseason projection. In one-year leagues you should try to sell high if you can get someone to bite on the hype. Given his numbers to date Wennberg would fetch a great return which would set you up well for the second half. In keeper leagues you are most likely better off keeping him. He is still just 22 and remains the top center in an organization that possesses many talented wingers.

Anthony Mantha – The flavor of the week has been on a tear with 15 points in his last 12 games and appears to be established as an NHLer for the time being. Mantha has come on strong after his call-up in mid-November powering the hype. There is reason to like him going forward as the Red Wings lack offensive punch and really need what Mantha is currently bringing to the table. Unfortunately, the environment is not strong enough for this level of play to be sustained over the long haul. He is definitely a sell-high in one-year leagues. Meanwhile, in keeper leagues you should at least investigate moving him. If the package is not strong enough then keep him because Mantha does have star potential down the road and will always have strong trade value.

Nick Holden – Holden continues to defy expectations as his 23 points are two short of his career-high set in 2013-14. All of the red flags are in place for him to not play at this level over the long haul – bloated shooting percentage, high overall on-ice shooting percentage, lack of prime power-play minutes and low offensive zone start percentage. With that said, Holden lacks the name value to fetch a great return in a trade although in some multi-category leagues he might be valuable enough to pull it off. Most likely you will be left with him until he eventually cools down.

Zach Werenski – Like his teammate Wennberg, Werenski has cooled off of late now that the Blue Jackets are no longer winning every single game. There may have been a good time to sell high during the team’s big winning streak but at this point you should stick with him. He may not continue at his current rate but should at least score at a 40-point pace moving forward. With that said, it would be interesting to see what you can get in a keeper league at the trade deadline. Rebuilding teams are hungry for young stars and Werenski could potentially land you the final pieces for a big championship run.

Sergei Bobrovsky – Bobrovsky has had his best year since he won the Vezina trophy back in 2012-13. With that said there are two major reasons to sell now especially in keeper leagues. One is his injury history which includes 82 games in the infirmary since the start of the 2013-14 campaign. Simply put, Bobrovsky’s durability cannot be trusted. The other factor impacting his value moving forward is his winning percentage which is going to take a hit now that the Blue Jackets’ historical winning streak is over. Use the team’s newly-found popularity to your advantage and either land a struggling established starter or try to bolster your roster elsewhere.

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Name

Pos

GP

G

A

PTS

Actual Pts/G

Proj. Pts/G

Diff

Michael Grabner

LW

43

19

8

27

0.63

0.31

0.32

Valtteri Filppula

C

42

6

21

27

0.64

0.47

0.17

Thomas Vanek

RW

32

11

18

29

0.91

0.57

0.33

Victor Hedman

D

44

7

31

38

0.86

0.68

0.19

Jeff Petry

D

43

8

14

22

0.51

0.35

0.16

Cam Ward

G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Grabner – A recent run of seven points over two games extended Grabner’s bounce-back campaign after being an afterthought for a few years. The conditions are not there for him to produce at this level as his ice time is at the third-line level and he is not playing a role on the power play so in an ideal situation you would sell high. Unfortunately, due to the years of disappointment his name does not carry much value so even with his latest surge it will be difficult to get anything out of trading him. Rather, if he is still worthy of a roster spot on your team just ride it out and see how much more you can get out of this improbably campaign.

Valtteri Filppula – Oddly enough, Filppula is playing fewer minutes both overall and on the power play than he did a year ago despite the absence of Steven Stamkos. Still, he has bounced back in a big way after last season’s disappointing 31-point effort and is currently on pace for his best total since 2013-14. The Lightning have a lot of talent up front which will help keep his production up moving forward. There is a chance the eventual return of Stamkos could negatively impact Filppula but in that case just hit the wire for help when the situation arises.

Thomas Vanek – Another forward on pace for his best output since 2013-14 is Vanek who has been the Red Wings’ best offensive player this year. However, there are a couple red flags indicating he is producing a bit over his head at the moment. Mainly, his average ice time is down to just 15:02, hardly the usual role of a player pushing the point-per-game mark. Also, his shooting percentage stands above 15 percent which is quite high for him. That said, Vanek is typically viewed negatively by hockey fans due to his inconsistent effort so it might be difficult to take advantage of the situation and sell high. He is probably worth more to your team than he is in a trade.

Victor Hedman – After years of teasing us with elite-level potential on the stat sheet, Hedman decided to go nutty this year and start keeping pace with the league’s best defensemen. Statistically there are no red flags aside from his reliance on the power play where almost have of his points have been tallied and his lack of history producing at this level. There is also the possibility of injuries which have been a factor for him at times in the past. As far as selling high goes, unless you are somehow landing Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns do not bother trading Hedman. Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Even when he slows down he will still be very good.

Jeff Petry – Petry has played an important offensive role this year and even saw time on the Canadiens’ top power-play unit with Andrei Markov still on the shelf. His eight goals are already a career-best while his 22 points are just three short of the mark he set back in 2011-12. His run will not last forever as he does not play on the team’s top pair and Markov’s return will take away any potential of prime power-play minutes. Still, Petry is averaging well over two shots per game which shows he is focusing more on the offensive side. Meanwhile, in multi-category leagues he is must-own. In addition to the points and shots, Petry gets a lot of his, blocks, power-play points and he even has a strong plus/minus rating this year.

Cam Ward – Most people did not think highly of the Hurricanes re-signing Ward rather than moving on. Despite his history in Carolina, the results have not been there the last few years. Surprisingly, he has been excellent this year with 18 wins already and a .915 save percentage, his highest number since 2011-12. Like Bobrovsky, Ward has a tendency to get hurt but his numbers are not eye-popping and his recent poor campaigns have left a bad taste in many people’s mouths so a sell-high trade is unlikely to happen. In the event Ward falters the damage to your team should not be overly significant as he should not be your main goaltender.

What would be your all-overachiever team for the first half of 2016-17?

*

Follow me on Twitter @DH_EricDaoust.

 

Comments are closed.