Geek of the Week: Goals Aren’t Everything

by Scott Maran on October 15, 2017 | (5 Comments)

Alex Ovechkin is on a goal-scoring binge, but has he added much in other categories?

It’s only been about two weeks but Alex Ovechkin has already been making waves. With a hat trick in his first game of the season against Ottawa and a four-goal night in the next game against Montreal, Ovechkin became the first player since the NHL’s inaugural season to open the season with back-to-back hat tricks. Combine that with another two goals against the Penguins and the Devils and Ovechkin’s nine goals are by far the most in the league. His offensive outburst seems to have already shattered people’s concerns that he would only further decline as he gets older and people are rightly praising Ovechkin’s hot start.

Along with Ovechkin’s impact throughout the NHL, he has also had an immense impact throughout fantasy circles. The fantasy owners who were lucky enough to snag Ovechkin reaped the rewards as he tallied seven goals in only his first two games, likely being a huge factor for the week’s matchup (in H2H leagues). It also only helped that Ovechkin was a solid +6 and managed to put up 14 shots.

However, for all the hype he’s been getting, you might be surprised to see that he hasn’t been the most valuable fantasy player this so far (in most leagues). In fact, he isn’t even as high as you would think. Using our Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, we can see that Ovechkin doesn’t even crack the top 20 most valuable skaters (using an average 12-team H2H Yahoo league measuring G, A, PPP, SOG, Hits, W, SV%, GAA, and SO in our rankings).

*Note: stats are through 10/10/17*
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

Hits

Brandon Saad

21

53

6

6

2

26

1

4

Rasmus Ristolainen

22

51

5

0

2

13

1

16

Alex Ovechkin

23

50

4

7

0

24

1

6

Sean Couturier

24

49

5

3

3

15

0

12

Jamie Benn

25

47

5

2

2

18

3

11


Despite all the notoriety Ovechkin has gotten so far, he doesn’t rank as well as you’d expect, coming in at only 23rd overall. And yes, 23rd overall is still very good, but you’d think Ovechkin would at least be in the top 10 in skaters. As impressive as his goal totals are (which make no mistake are very, very impressive), the fact is that there are plenty of other categories that are accounted for in fantasy hockey. Ovechkin only has one assist and his +5 rating is bested by many other players, such as Bobby Ryan, Erik Johnson, and Nikita Zaitsev. And despite usually being a beast on the power play, Ovechkin’s power play point totals so far are lacking. His shots are great (tied for first) but in leagues that account for other stats like hits and penalty minutes, Ovechkin’s low totals hurt his overall value immensely. His six total hits are a lot lower than what we usually expect from Ovechkin and his zero penalty minutes so far pales in comparison to players who can score but also put up penalty minutes like Scott Hartnell and Brayden Schenn.

All of this isn’t supposed to be about bashing Ovechkin though. His scoring binge this early in the season is beyond impressive and deserves praise. But it’s interesting to notice how Ovechkin’s fantasy value isn’t as incredible as his recent goal totals. There’s obviously nothing wrong with being a top-25 fantasy option but for all the attention Ovechkin’s goals are getting, there are still plenty of players who are outperforming him in different fantasy league setups. It’s still very early in the season, but it’s an important reminder to consider the other categories that your league counts other than goals and assists because they can be just as important. Goals and assists are the most popular, but it’s just as important to be able to score well in the other categories too.

 

  • Invictus350

    Honestly FHG seems to put a little too much weight on the hits category..

    • Dobber

      FHG puts whatever weight the user gives it

      • invictus

        Agg. Had two paragraphs as to why these results are semi flawed but it appears to have disappeared.

      • Dobber

        It was actually emailed to me, so I’ll paste them here. Let me know if you don’t want that (I’ll delete this, if so):


        Okay, but say your doing a roto league.. All categories are the same weight.
        I think it uses an average of hits as a baseline in its calculations ( I could be wrong). But if you draft the player with best FHG score.. in the end you will end up with an abundance of hits and the rest of your categories will suffer compared to other teams. This is because it’s trying to hit a certain level of hits which other GM’s aren’t trying to hit.
        The issue is that its a static FHG score and doesn’t compare your team to the other teams in live time as the draft is going on.

        Also imo high end players that hit a lot will have a little inflated FHG score. My top players are the point getter’s. You can easily make up the hits in the later rounds with players that can hit, but its harder to do so for points. Chances are you drafted Ovi for goals and will have other players to fill out assists.
        Sure in a vacuum you can compare like this, but taking an overall team and practicality its not exactly right.
        Also its unfair to say he isnt ranked well when he’s only played 4 games where everyone else (at least on the chart) has 5-6. I don’t think games played is taken into account?? o

        – invictus

      • Dobber

        Some people just really like to micro-manage. I just run the rankings once, go into my draft with them, and use my brain to adjust. I agree with your statement.
        Yes, hits are ranked high – but properly so. And yes, you are correct in saying that you can bump those players down your list to draft – but that’s the fault of everyone else. They don’t know the value of these players and you can take advantage by getting them later.

        As for running something this early in the season – I wouldn’t even consider it. Run projections based on season to date? Now? But again, some people like that. But they have no right to complain at the results presented haha