Happy Friday Arizona Coyotes fans! On Fridays we will look at Coyotes players from a fantasy hockey perspective in Friday Fantasy Hockey (cue the epic, cheesy music), and provide analysis and insights on where you should draft him in your league.
Fantasy hockey has a slightly more intricate scoring system compared to fantasy football and requires a larger time commitment. Having to set your lineup every day and multiple scoring categories is required.
Standard scoring leagues award points (+/-) for goals, assists, points, powerplay goals, powerplay assists, powerplay points, short handed points, goals against, saves, wins, loses, shutouts, and overtime loses.
There are modified stats/category leagues that in addition to the standard scoring system, award points (+/-) for advanced stats like shots, hits, blocked shots, faceoff wins, penalty minutes, and more (depending on the league commissioner).
The Arizona Coyotes feature players who fly under the radar but have fantasy value.
This Friday Fantasy Hockey we look at defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
2021-22 Season Review
Entering the 2021-22 season Jakob Chychrun was predicted to have a monster year, in spite of the fact that he played for the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes. Coming off a shortened season where he established himself as a legitimate top paring defenseman with a booming shot and puck moving ability, Chychrun entered the 2021-22 season intrenched as the top blue liner on the ‘Yotes.
Chychrun had an incredible 2020-21, scoring 18 goals, 23 assists, and 41 points in a 56 games. The departure of captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson opened the door for Chychrun to raise the bar and his role with the team. Chychrun failed to meet those expectations, scoring 7 goals, 14 assists, and 21 points in an injury ridden, trade rumor filled 2021-22.
Oh, and pssst! He played on a rebuilding team (pass that along).
How much of his decline in point production was due to injuries or off-ice stress? We will find out this year. Typically a defenseman with 21 points (7 goals) is considered a lower-end fantasy player, but for someone like Chychrun, an elite defenseman entering his prime, it seemed like a let down. In most leagues he was dropped by midseason. If you are a team owner in a dynasty league, adding him and stashing him on your bench could have been a move that will payoff this season.
Chychrun’s stat line of 7-14-21 was good for 70.75 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues. In most 10-team leagues he should not have been rostered, and for good reason. If you ignore the name on the back of his jersey, he did not hold much fantasy value. The problem is the name on the back of his jersey.
You can’t ignore who he is or what his fantasy ceiling is.
He has the potential to be a top 10 scoring defenseman, but by many media outlets (The Hockey News, ESPN, Yahoo) he is predicted to score about 44 points this season.
I do not agree with this and here is why; he wants out of Arizona. On a very team friendly contract (6 years, $27.6 million, $4.6 million annual average), all teams will be salivating at the chance of adding a player of his stature. Having a productive season, one that resembles the Chychrun from 2021-22 will drive his value through the roof, and some team will go all in on the chance to acquire his services.
The instant he is traded to a contender his fantasy value will sky rocket.
Based off of his production last season, he is ranked as #77 in drafts, meaning he should go in the 7th round in 10-team leagues, and 5th or 6th rounds in 12-team or higher leagues. This prediction is pretty accurate. If you can snag him in the 6th or 7th round, he will be a steal as he could be the top defenseman on your roster.
Grab him in the 5th round if he is there.
Looking at advanced stats, Chychrun had 141 shots, 66 blocks, 51 hits, and 47 penalty minutes. That ankle injury really impacted his scoring ability. In my 12-team modified stats league (Yahoo), Chychrun scored 262 points, making him the 190th ranked player in fantasy. He was rostered in 61% of Yahoo leagues with modified scoring.
He is predicted to score 365.25 points next season making him a mid-level fantasy defenseman. Going off of his ceiling, I believe that he will score much more than this, making his a sneaky steal in modified stats drafts, unless you have multiple Coyotes fans in your league.
In 12-team modified stats leagues he is predicted to go in the 15th round. At that draft position he is a steal.
He will bounce back this season and should be rostered in all leagues. Safely draft him in the 9th or 10th round, any round higher than that and you are reaching big time. As a Coyotes fan, you want him on your roster, but not at the expense of a better fantasy player.