Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Born Again Fantasy Gamble of the Week . . .

Fantasy sports are just like people. They make mistakes. They sin. They see the error in their ways and they repent and sometimes it sticks for longer periods of time than others.

In this section I will pick a player who has done just that. Under-performed, misbehaved or generally exhibited behavior unbecoming of a fantasy roster spot who I believe will turn it around. These guys can usually be had pretty cheaply and can occasionally pay huge dividends.

My pick this week is Brad Boyes of the Buffalo Sabres. I know, but if you are still reading . . . congratulations. I have three solid reasons why he is worth the gamble.

Factor 1.) He has about 30 games left in his contract year. He wants to get paid. He will show up and play as hard as he ever has. In fantasy hockey, you have no doubt ridden a player in his contract year to the Promised Land. This could be your chance to do it again.

Factor 2.) If he isn't in the Sabres' long-term plans he could be moved to a contender. This will give him a solid boost as well. Even if he stays with the Sabres, if he stays healthy there should be more than enough ice time to go around with a club as snake-bit as they have been this season.

Factor 3) I happen to have long-term split stats backing me up that Brad Boyes has always been a post-All Star break boom.

A visit in the confessional with Boyes looks a little something like this.

As you can see his shots per game increase slightly after the All Star Game. It isn't a huge increase, but couple that with an increase from .117 to .128 in shooting percentage and it can add up quickly.

What it adds up to is the most telling stat of all.

Boyes is a career .67 point per game (PPG) performer. This season he is performing at .35 PPG. Couple this with factors one and two and you have a guy just on the cusp of busting out. Over the course of his career Boyes has performed just below .65 PPG in the first half of the season. In the second half if skyrockets to .72 PPG.

Finally I will rely on a stat that I don't like too much. In my opinion the only time plus/minus tells an interesting and accurate story is when the results are vastly different for a very extended period of time. This just happens to be one of those cases.

You are reading that right. Pre-All Star break Brad Boyes is a career -22. Post-All Star break Brad Boyes is a +4.  That should allude to him being a better player in the second half as well as an increase in special teams work.

So armed with this knowledge is Brad Boyes someone you have a roster spot for? Perhaps due to injury. Perhaps you have an open spot due to a trade where you upgraded in a two for one one deal. If so here is how I recommend going about obtaining him.

Ideally he has been dropped after a mere 11 points in the first half. However, if he happens to be on someone else's roster, and they don't read this blog, here is my advice. Find a different deal you want. Get close in negotiating that trade and try to get Boyes as an add-on. I have a feeling most GMs will have tired by his shenanigans and let him walk quite readily.

So will you roll the dice with Brad Boyes? If you will what is your game plan?

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