Geek of the Week: Blake Wheeler

by Scott Maran on December 10, 2017 | (2 Comments)

Just how good has Blake Wheeler been this season?

It seems like the Winnipeg Jets were forever a team on the rise and were constantly picked as the year’s darkhorse candidate. They had the young scorers, talent on the back line, and an up-and-coming goaltender that made them ooze potential. And even though things didn’t go exactly right for them last year (finishing 20th overall in the league), this year they’ve finally put it all together. With 38 points in 29 games, the Jets are fifth in the league in points and have scored the fifth-most goals out of any team. None of this would arguably be possible though without their captain, star forward Blake Wheeler, who’s continuing to put forward a monster season. But even though this is the Jets’ first year of success, Wheeler has been putting up fantastic seasons for years, both in the NHL and in the fantasy hockey realm.

While Blake Wheeler didn’t make a huge impact on the Boston Bruins when he first entered the league, he instantly became a difference maker once he was traded to the Jets (back then the Atlanta Thrashers). Scoring 17 points in his first 23 games in 2011, since then Wheeler has posted 441 points in only 505 games. Just last year he recorded his second 70+ point season in a row, registering 74 points for the 11th most in the league.

Now this year, at 31 years old, Wheeler has improved on his already-spectacular play, tallying 37 points in only 29 games. Wheeler seems to fall under the radar when people are talking about some of the best skaters in the game, both in the NHL and in fantasy hockey, and he deserves more recognition. Using our trusty Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, we can see just how much of an impact Wheeler has already had in fantasy hockey circles.
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

Steven Stamkos

3

84

29

12

29

81

18

19

Phil Kessel

4

81

31

13

22

114

19

4

Blake Wheeler

5

75

30

8

29

89

16

28

Nikita Kucherov

6

74

29

20

19

98

15

10

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

7

73

32

6

12

89

8

69


According to Fantasy Hockey Geek, in an average Yahoo league Wheeler provides the fifth-most value out of all skaters. In only 29 games this season, Wheeler has already scored eight goals and 29 assists for the fourth-most points in the entire NHL. His 16 power-play points are also near the top of the league, placing third best out of all NHL skaters.

But while Wheeler’s point totals are (very) nice, what has always been a key component of his value are his peripherals. With 89 shots in 30 games, Wheeler is on pace to fire 243 shots on net, looking to shoot at least 240 shots in a season for the fourth straight year. So far he’s taken the 35th most shots in the league while last year he finished with the 13th most shots. Also, Wheeler does an excellent job in the hits category, on pace to end the year with over 80 hits. It’s not phenomenal but hit decent hits and penalty minute numbers will provide that little extra value that puts him into the “elite” fantasy hockey conversation.

Despite getting less recognition than some of the other elite fantasy hockey players, Wheeler is once again showing this season why he’s one of the best fantasy hockey options out there. Besides his consistently solid peripherals, he’s always had excellent point totals that vault him to the top of the pack when it comes to fantasy hockey.

 

  • estarr31

    Big Wheeler fan, has helped my keeper team last few years considerably. How do you project his fantasy value in the next two years? Injuries aside, doesn’t seem like his ability should diminish much in the short-term, especially as a playmaker.
    Safe to expect 70-points as a floor next year? I see no reason not to at the moment.

    EDIT: I say next two years only because, outside of dynasty, if you’re planning three years down the road you’re not winning anything.

    • syrcrunch

      Disagree, my plans three years hence are the only time I win anything.