Geek of the Week – Leo Komarov

by Terry Campkin on January 3, 2016 | (0 Comments)

Leo Komarov has been an unexpected scoring star. But does he have even more to offer fantasy teams?

A little while back, Ian rambled about the sneaky good value of Leo Komarov and nominated him as a Geek of the Week candidate. I just happen to have a Komarov anecdote ready, so today I am going to take Ian’s advice and do a deeper dive on Uncle Leo.

I drafted Leo Komarov in my main keeper this year because our league counts hits and Leo is an absolute beast when it comes to that category. but I have been pleasantly surprised by his offensive output. When Komarov started out with 14 points in October and November I immediately tried to sell him. (Some background: I am going through a one-year rebuild in this league because after finishing in the top three for three straight seasons I was subject to a dynasty draft which decimated my depth and left my chances of winning this season very low. My goal this season has been to parlay non-keepers into picks for next season and I planned on executing this strategy with Komarov.)

With Komarov’s hot start and excellent output in hits, I figured he would be an easy sell in my league but for some reason I had very few takers. I had Komarov on the block for two weeks with no nibbles until one GM finally stepped up and gave me the pick I was looking for to move Komarov. Since then, all Komarov has done is accumulate 11 points (three on the powerplay) and 49 hits in  12 December games as his new owner built a commanding lead in our league’s standings. I have not hesitated to drop the “I told you so’s” as much as possible and right now I want to use Fantasy Hockey Geek as the ultimate “I told you so”:

Rank

Player

G

A

SOG

PPP

SHP

HITS

19

Leo Komarov

15

10

76

6

1

163

20

Claude Giroux

12

17

96

13

2

48

21

Dustin Byfuglien

9

13

120

7

0

102

 

As a guy who has averaged over four hits per game, Komarov has always had some value in my keeper league, but you can see that with his newfound offensive flair, his value is shooting way up. Looking at his ranking of 19th overall, I don’t know who dropped the ball more – the rival GMs who wouldn’t offer me for Komarov, or me for not considering Komarov as a keeper! I know that Komarov won’t end the year as the 19th most valuable player, but our league keeps 180 players (15 per team) and it is definitely reasonable to assume that Leo’s value will fall well inside that range. He may indeed be keeper-worthy in my league.

A few things to consider with Uncle Leo:

This is the perfect league for Komarov: Leo’s obvious value comes from his hits as mentioned, but another underrated aspect of Komarov’s game is his shorties. Not a lot of leagues count shorthanded points, but mine does and that helps Komarov’s value as well. Over the past two seasons, Komarov has averaged a shortie about every 20 games. That may not seem like much, but shorthanded points are so rare that each one usually translates into a category win and consequently an extra point in the standings, which is huge in a very competitive league. My league’s settings make Leo Komarov an absolute dynamo, but it should be noted that he is one player whose value can vary widely from fantasy league to fantasy league. This is what he looks like in a Yahoo! standard league:

Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

127

Leo Komarov

15

10

2

18

76

6

 

You can see that in this league, Komarov’s value is way down at 127th overall, which is a far cry from his value in my league. This is why I always say that understanding your league’s categories and the effect that they have on players’ value is paramount. Having a good handle on this and using tools like FHG to help pinpoint values is essential if you want to win your league.

He doesn’t shoot, he scores: Komarov does not shoot a ton, which is never good in fantasy hockey. He has 15 goals despite taking only 76 shots, which is a rate that almost certainly not be maintained. You should keep this in mind when proceeding on Komarov.  Even if he had only scored a more reasonable 10 goals on those 76 shots though, Komarov’s value would still be good because of his other output – as evidenced by the what-if tool on FHG:

Rank

Player

FHG Value

G

A

SOG

PPP

SHP

HITS

19

Leo Komarov

94

15

10

76

6

1

163

32

Leo Komarov - what if?

79

10

10

76

4

1

163

 

The what-if tool shows us that Komarov doesn’t have to keep up his insanely torrid pace to remain valuable. His elite hit output will make him a valuable fantasy hockey own if he only maintains moderate offensive production levels.

LW eligibility: Komarov’s C/LW eligibility is a benefit in terms of flexibility getting him into your lineup and even more importantly he can chip in a bit to your faceoffs won category from the LW position if your league happens to count faceoffs.

Leo Komarov is a must-own in any league that counts hits, and you should try to acquire him immediately. I would target Komarov by offering what would seem like an overpayment (a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jason Spezza -ish offer) and cash in on some of Komarov’s good value for the balance of the season. And please, if somebody is shopping Komarov for a pick in your keeper league – pony up because (as FHG shows us) this guy is going to contribute to a lot of fantasy hockey championships this season.

 

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