Antoine Vermette: Geek of the Week

by Terry Campkin on October 13, 2014 | (0 Comments)

AntoineVermette

This week's in-depth player analysis - Antoine Vermette is underrated in fantasy hockey

Wow, is it ever nice to have NHL hockey back. The summer flew by for me so all of this NHL action sort of hit me like a fire hose and I was a little less prepared for my drafts than I am accustomed to (but probably still did 10 x more prep than a reasonable person would). Now that all of our drafts are over though, we enter a very critical point of the fantasy season that is often overlooked: the first month. A lot of people like to watch their team for a month before and there is certainly a lot of merit to doing that; but there is a ton of information on un-owned players available in the first couple weeks (powerplay lines, TOI etc) that can allow you to be ahead of the curve and grab some value players to help make up for some of your shortfalls at the draft table. Today I take an in-depth look at one of them to take advantage of: Antoine Vermette.

Antoine Vermette to me is the prototypical depth fantasy add. He’s good for 20 goals

and 45ish points while chipping in with decent peripherals in hits, blocked shots and PIMs and also contributing on both special teams. He does all this with dual eligibility at C and LW, making him a very versatile bench player who I have no hesitation putting in for a spot start or two each week in almost any league format. Vermette is only 17% owned in Yahoo! leagues and I would fathom a guess that in about 50% of the leagues where he isn’t owned, there are players on rosters who are providing far less value than Antoine would be. Let’s take a look at his value in my main keeper league (Widowmaker Fantasy Hockey League “the dub”: 12 team Yahoo! league measuring G, A, +/-, PPP, SHP, GWG, SOG, Hits. Using 2013-14 season stat set)

 

 

Rank

Player

Pos

G

A

+/-

SOG

PPP

SHP

Hits

120

Antoine Vermette

C/LW

21

21

0

160

13

3

90

 

Looking above, you can see that Vermette was the 120th most valuable player in my keeper league last season. In our league each team rosters 30 players and we keep 15, so in total 180 players are kept each season. Based on the FHG value, there is an argument to be made for Vermette being a keeper! Of course there are other considerations, such as keeping prospects whose value hasn’t been shown yet that result in Vermette NOT being keeper worthy but his FHG calculated value of 120 in a league this deep just shows how good of a depth add he can be.

 

Why so valuable?

In my league, Vermette’s value is slightly overstated vs. most leagues because of our inclusion of SHP. A shorthanded point is a very rare stat and in many weekly matchups, getting 1 SHP means you win the category. This being the case, Vermette’s 3SHPs may very well have led to six points in the standings for his owner last season. It almost certainly led to at least three. It can be tough to bank on SHPs carrying over from year to year but Vermette has 28 in his career so I think he is a safe bet to snag a few again this season.

Shorties notwithstanding, Vermette is a solid offensive contributor with 45 points, 13 of which came on the powerplay. That compares pretty closely with other C2s out there such as Plekanec and Shaw who are owned in almost twice as many leagues as Vermette.  Coming in at over one hit per game also helps Vermette’s value as he contributes to virtually every category in my league aside from maybe +/- which I place very little weight on.

 

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Another huge advantage with Vermette in some leagues is his FOW. He won over 1,000 draws last season and has a phenomenal career rate of 56% FOW. The best part with Vermette though, is that he adds that faceoff goodness out of the LW position. This is yet another underrated but important point: anytime you can add FOW from a position other than C it is a huge advantage. Vermette is literally getting about 1,000 more FOW than another LW out there like Andrew Ladd. It’s an entire category that Vermette dominates against ALL other LW eligible players (the closest to him was Pavelski and Filppula who each had over 300 FOW less than Vermette) Look what happens if I add FOW as a category in the WFHL:

 

 

Rank

Player

Pos

G

A

+/-

SOG

PPP

SHP

Hits

FOW

75

Antoine Vermette

C/LW

21

21

0

160

13

3

90

1005

 

Simply by adding FOW as a category, FHG shows that Vermette would have jumped 45 spots to the 75th most valuable player last season. That’s incredible (7th round) value for a player who is only 17% owned. Granted, this league setup with FOW included is pretty much the best possible league Vermette could be owned in but Vermette also contributes decently in PIMs and blocked shots so there are many other leagues where he would be a great own. He literally does it all.

Now on to my favorite part: the opportunity. Everything I have written to this point on Vermette has been using last season’s actual numbers. The values I have shown are real, they are math and they happened. They aren’t really disputable. Since last season though, Ribeiro and Vrbata have left the dessert, opening up huge opportunities on offence and Vermette is poised to be the 2nd line centre, behind that band-aid boy Martin Hanzal. Vermette has never had a better look at quality minutes.

Last season, Vermette averaged 2:26 on the powerplay per game which was 5th amongst Coyote forwards. In game one this season he saw 3:23 on the man advantage which was tops amongst Arizona forwards. He also saw an identical 3:23 on the PK (again, tops amongst forwards). All of this special team action is fantasy gold for Vermette owners. If the extra PP time keeps up and his production benefits, Vermette would be an even better own. What would Vermette’s value look like if his additional PP time netted him say… 8 more points, 15 more shots and 4 more PPP? Take a look:

 

 

Rank

Player

FHG Value

G

A

+/-

SOG

PPP

SHP

Hits

FOW

75

Antoine Vermette

73.3

21

21

0

160

13

3

90

1005

48

Antoine Vermette

89.9

28

25

0

175

17

3

90

1005

 

Suddenly, Vermette would be the 48th most valuable player in my league! Now let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here and start trading Alexander Steen for Antoine Vermette. Let’s keep some perspective. What I am saying is that in a league with the categories above if Vermette hits his upside he would be the 48th most valuable guy. There’s a lot of stuff that would have to happen for it to come to fruition, I just wanted to show his absolute upside….and it is high. Don’t try to acquire Vermette as a highly ranked guy – try to get him cheap, preferably off the waiver wire and then hope the upside comes in.

The bottom-line takeaway for Vermette is that there is a good chance he deserves to be owned in your league and he definitely deserves to be owned in more than 17% of leagues out there. At his 2013 output (and depending on your league settings) his value could easily be around 100-120 and even higher in FOW leagues. With the opportunity in front of him this season though, he could easily outperform that and have some solid mid-level value… To find out how much he is worth in your specific league sign on to FHG today and have a look. Then, take your analysis to the next level, open the what-if? tool and put in some upside scenarios for Vermette to see just how valuable he could become. You will probably be surprised to see the value…don’t trip over yourself rushing to hit the add button.

 

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