To follow up on my recent analysis of ADPs, a Twitter follower messaged me that Mark Scheifele’s ADP was as low as it is due to his reduced value in multi-category leagues compared to points-only leagues. Granted, Scheifele is more valuable in the points leagues. In fact, Dobber predicted him to be a top 25 scorer. Scheifele has been a reliable points-per-game scorer for each of the past six seasons, and he’s still just 29 years old. Although not in the McDavid/Draisaitl/Kucherov scoring stratosphere during this period, Scheifele has been in the top 20 in points (432) and points per game (1.04) during these six years.
Again, it is understood that Scheifele would fall in multi-category leagues due to light peripheral coverage. He’s clearly not a top-25 option in multi-category leagues, due to light hitting totals (less than one per game), good power-play point totals (outside the top 50 last season) and a relatively low shot total (never took 200 shots in a season). However, Scheifele being rated below 100 for these reasons seems excessive. It appeared at #60 on a Fantasy Hockey Geek report I ran for one of my multi-category leagues (G, A, +/-, SOG, PPP, HITS, BKS).
It’s been a while since I’ve written about some of the best Frozen Tools research of the week. There were some interesting names at the top of the list this week, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to discuss why they might be players of interest.
This is perhaps the most surprising name, and it tops the list. Not surprising Alexei Melnichuk (if you remember a few years ago when he topped the list for some weird reason), but probably not the one you were expecting. In case you’ve never heard of Tarasov, he’s the Blue Jackets’ hottest prospect. Although his numbers in the AHL last season were relatively average (3.06 GAA, 0.893 SV%), he could appear in many searches because his save percentage in four NHL seasons was rather high (0.937 SV %).
The Jackets already have their two goaltenders for the season in Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo. The latter keeper posted abysmal numbers (4.15 GAA, 0.877 SV%), although a hip issue requiring surgery may have had something to do with it. Coincidentally, Tarasov also had hip surgery, so the AHL might be the best place for him to come back and gain some experience. If Elvis gets injured, watch Tarasov, especially later in the season. Under normal circumstances, however, he’s more likely to make an impact in the NHL in 2023-24.
Pettersson’s fourth season was last season, and it didn’t start well. After 22 games, Petey had scored just three goals with seven assists. Bruce Boudreau was only two games into his tenure as Canucks coach at the time, and Canucks fans and Pettersson’s owners were crossing their fingers that his fortunes were about to change under the new enthusiastic trainer. They did, as Pettersson was a points-per-game player for the rest of the season (58 points in 58 games, including 29 goals).
During the COVID-shortened season, Pettersson had struggled with his wrist, which forced his season to end in early March. Rehab for that wrist issue combined with an unresolved contract situation that nearly dragged into the regular season seemed to cause a slow start. The thinking with Pettersson is that with a proper offseason schedule, he should be on track to perform to his full potential, which would translate to his first points-per-game season.
Pettersson isn’t strong in peripherals, and he seems to have a similar profile to the aforementioned Scheifele in categories like jabs and jabs. For that reason, he’s not usually a player I target in single-season multi-category drafts (though I’ve admitted time and time again that I’m a Canucks fan). His ADP in Yahoo and Fantrax is around 50, and I’d wait for him to drop to at least that spot until I pick him. A breakout season would put him well in that top 50, so you can pick him before 50 if you’re extremely optimistic about him. Yet the Frozen Tools Player Compare (link below) shows them as extremely similar players despite the wide gap in their Yahoo ADPs (Scheifele Yahoo ADP 132).
Player comparison: Pettersson/Scheifele
If you’re looking for players who are likely to come out this season, Stutzle seems like a good choice to bet on. Stutzle started his second 2021-22 season slowly with just one goal and eight points in his first 21 games. He then managed to slowly increase his production to 31 points over his last 27 games. Part of that had to do with Drake Batherson’s injury, although Stutzle managed to keep it going even after Batherson’s return.
That Stutzle is actually ready, the future is now for him. The Sens recently signed him to an eight-year contract extension with an $8.35 AAV. These contracts reward the player, but they also carry the weight of high expectations. Fantasy leaguers are starting to take notice, as Stutzle has an ADP just under 100 in Yahoo and Fantrax. I picked him at 92 in a mock draft because he fit a positional need for me both at center and left wing. Should his second-half production continue this season on what is now a loaded Senators offense, Stutzle could be drafted much higher than that at this time next season.
I finally tried a Fantrax dummy draft on Saturday. Here are my results:
Scoring categories are A, G, Hit, SHG, SOG, PPP, GA, SW, SHO, W and even goalie assists. Also note that Fantrax does not distinguish between C, LW and RW, but instead uses the F position. Also, the results are held all season in a “best ball” league, which might provide a little extra incentive . After all, you wouldn’t want to lose to an auto picker!
Here are my best and worst picks over their Fantrax ADPs:
Top Pick: Josh Norris (ADP 80) – I think the ADP here is a bit high for Norris, as he has an ADP of 90 on Yahoo. I really like Norris, so I was more than happy to add him here. He seems like a solid bet to build on last season, especially with the Senators’ upgrades.
Honorable mention: Zach Werenski, who I was able to catch at pick 95 even though he had an ADP of 61. I think the ADP is too high, but Werenski makes sense as a pick around that time .
Worst Pick: Jeremy Swayman (ADP 161) – Personally, I think the ADP is weak for Swayman, who has posted great numbers at the NHL level. The only problem is how many starts he will receive in what appears to be a timeshare with Linus Ullmark, who may even have the upper hand due to his larger contract. I wanted to choose a goalkeeper here, but they seemed to be dropping like flies at this point. Cam Talbot, Elvis Merzlikins, Jordan Binnington, Matt Murray, Ville Husso, John Gibson, Logan Thompson and Ilya Samsonov had all been drafted in this round and the previous one. I probably should have just drafted my goalie in the previous round instead of catching Torey Krug to complete my defense.
Honorable mention: The aforementioned Krug, who I realized had an ADP of 133 after the draft. Not my best part of the draft, obviously.