Arizona Coyotes: Fantasy Hockey Friday

Barrett Hayton leads a list of players who could be fantasy sleepers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Barrett Hayton leads a list of players who could be fantasy sleepers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

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 forward Barrett Hayton.

2021-22 Season Review

Entering the 2021-22 season it is safe to assume that Hayton was on zero fantasy radars. The former 5th overall pick in the 2018 draft had yet to live up to any of the expectations that came with being taken top five in a draft. Between injuries and inconsistency, Hayton been limited to less than 26 AHL or NHL games in a season. As much as fans (and ownership I’m sure) have wanted him to turn into a stud, it had not happened yet.

Prior to the 2021-22 season, Hayton a total of 7 career points. Thus him not even sniffing fantasy radars in any league format or size (number of teams in the league). In the 60 game sample last season, Hayton scored 10 goals, 14 assists and 24 points. Finally some signs of life, but nothing to really write home about. The offensive numbers were pedestrian, but his intangibles and secondary stats were much more impressive.

Hayton registered 88 hits, 33 blocked shots, and won 48.1% of his faceoffs, making him a solid 3rd or 4th line center for the rebuilding squad. Being drafted 5th overall means that Hayton still has some considerable upside and therefor should eventually have a breakout season. He just needs that one big game to help put it all together.

Could this be the year he takes that step?

If you are the gambling type, taking him deep in your draft could payoff.

Standard Scoring

Hayton’s 10 goal, 14 assist, 24 point season resulted in 59 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues. On the surface, there is nothing eye catching about that. What intrigues me is the fact that he ended the season hot. Scoring 6 points in the final 6 games. Could this be a sign of things to come? Or did we just witness a player on a hot streak? Hard to tell. His level of consistency is low, but he has incredible upside. Plus Barrett Hayton is only 22 years old.

22 years old. 

My guess is, he is just coming into his own and should be on fantasy radars deeper in drafts, in standard scoring leagues with 12-teams or more. Most hockey publications have him scoring around 45 points. If he is paired with the right line mates he could very well exceed those projections. Remember that this team is in a re-build, they are going to give him every chance to find his game and succeed. The Coyotes invested a high draft pick in him and are banking that he pans out.

If he does not start to produce, do not be surprised if he is moved at some point in the season (see Dylan Strome) at which point his fantasy value would increase heavily. Opportunity and situational hockey will ultimately determine the outcome of Hayton’s 2022-23 season.

Modified Stats/Category

Looking at advanced stats, Barrett Hayton had 88 hits, 33 blocked shots, and 82 shots on goal. The hand injury he suffered in January really derailed the progress he had made. This seemed to be the theme for many of the Coyotes players last season. Way too many man games lost to injury.

In my 12-team modified stats league (Yahoo), Barrett Hayton scored 234.75 points. In standard scoring that would have made him a must have but in modified scoring he was rostered in just 5% of the Yahoo leagues. Yikes. That number should change significantly if Hayton’s development continues.

He will get every opportunity to show that drafting him in the top 5 was a smart move by the Coyotes. If Hayton meets his 45 point expectations and has around 100 hits and 40 blocked shots, he would then be in the Jordan Greenway range of about 361 points.

That would make him worthy of a roster spot in modified stats/scoring leagues with 12 or more teams. In all 10-team there are much better options. In leagues with more than 12 teams take a late flyer on him. It could pay off.

In dynasty formats he could be worth a late pick and bench stash if you have the roster space.

Being a Coyotes’ fan do not be fooled by your love for the team when you are drafting. Barrett Hayton should turn out to be a solid NHL center, but it might take another year or two. Hayton can be drafted in leagues with more than 12 teams, just use your last pick on him. Incredibly high ceiling, very low floor (fantasy wise).

Happy Howlin’!