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. -- The Bishops Gaiters are showing they belong among the countrys top varsity football teams. Value over replacement player (VORP) is a valuable tool when trying to compare the apples and oranges of positions in fantasy hockey. Most rankings are happy to say, Whatever, they are both fruits. Close enough. This approach lumps everyone together for a look at their value. Thats fine and definitely a justifiable approach to your season, but when we break down the apples and oranges for closer comparison, things change quickly.For this exercise, we are using ESPN.coms fantasy hockey projections for the 2016-17 season and the associated ESPN Player Rater value of those projections. Remember, this uses our seven standard offensive categories (goals, assists, shots, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power-play points and average time on ice) and three goalie categories (wins, save percentage, goals-against average).Run the projections through the ESPN Player Rater and you get a fairly standard ranking that should be generally accepted by most fantasy hockey owners. Jamie Benn is at the top, followed by Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Braden Holtby, Carey Price, Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Quick, Connor McDavid, Joe Pavelski and Erik Karlsson to round out the top 10. Maybe Quick is a little high, but certainly nothing you wouldnt expect here.Its key to remember that the rankings are not tailored to any league. These are rankings of which player produces the most fantasy value in a vacuum. It doesnt account for which player can actually contribute those points based on the roster setup in your league and position eligibility. For that, we need to turn to value over replacement player.When we have a tool like the ESPN Player Rater, value over replacement player is very simple to calculate. In a 12-team league that starts two centers, you can take the ESPN Player Rater value of the 25th-best center and subtract it from the value of the 24 centers ahead of him who deserve a starting roster spot. Done. The number you are left with is -- quite literally -- that players value over the replacement player that doesnt qualify for a roster spot based on projections.In a shallower 12-team league with specific position requirements, you might be starting two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, four defensemen and two goalies, for a total of 12 active players. This will be our example for a shallow league.That league would be starting 24 centers, so Dylan Larkin is our replacement player. His projected ESPN Player Rater value trails 24 other centers in the league who should be starting ahead of him. Your first thought might be, But Dylan Larkin is pretty good, isnt he? That thought is exactly the point we are trying to make. Based on the ESPN Player Rater in a vacuum, Larkin is the 77th-best player projected for the coming season. You might think that would easily be high enough to be considered in a 12-team league, which would feature 144 active fantasy roster spots. But its possible, if not probable, that you can draft two centers with more value than Larkin, which means he would be sitting on your bench all season, unless you have an injury or he gains different eligibility during the season.Furthermore, because Larkins value as a replacement is so high, he impacts the rest of the centers when you consider them for their value over replacement player. Crosby might be the projected second-most valuable player this season in a vacuum, but when accounting for position and value over replacement player, he falls to No. 15. Why? He has less value over the 25th-best center (Larkin) than other positions have over their equivalent replacement player.Our new top-10 fantasy players based on value over replacement player looks like this: Holtby, Price, Quick, Martin Jones, Ben Bishop, Benn, Karlsson, Kane, Brent Burns and Cory Schneider. You can see that both goaltenders and defensemen are more prized when you start to consider who you can replace them with. Karlsson and Burns are so much better than the 49th-best defenseman (or replacement defenseman), that they leap up the rankings. The elite goaltenders are valued even more, based on what you might get if you are stuck with the 25th-ranked goaltender.But this type of player evaluation is extremely specific to your league setup and depth. Tweak our example to a deeper pool of players, and the top 10 looks different again. Heres how the value-over-replacement rankings would start for a 12-team league starting three centers, three left wingers, three right wingers, six defensemen and two goalies: Holtby, Karlsson, Price, Burns, Kane, Benn, Quick, Jones, Bishop and Dustin Byfuglien. As you can see, deepening the pool of active skaters pushes our elite defensemen even higher and, interestingly, switches the order of Kane and Benn from our shallower pool.Positional scarcity takeawaysLeft wing is weak: In our shallow pool example, Phil Kessel is the No. 8 right winger and ranks 37th in value over replacement player. Wayne Simmonds is the No. 3 left winger and ranks 40th. As you can infer, the value over replacement player puts an onus on getting a right winger early and waiting on the port side. That bears out when we chart the value.Click here to expand this chart.Click here to expand this chart.Looking at the ESPN Player Rater value of our top 24 right and left wingers separately, you can see the right wing value drops in a steady decline, whereas the left wing slope is sharp, before leveling out somewhat. That means if you arent grabbing Benn or Johnny Gaudreau, theres a strong argument for waiting..ddddddddddddou can wait on center, too: Before Crosby appears as our No. 1 center for value over replacement player in the shallow league example, there are nine goalies, two defensemen, two right wingers and one left winger ahead of him. McDavid is the No. 2 center, with 14 goalies, eight defensemen, four right wingers, two left wingers and Crosby ahead of him. The other positions all clearly break out ahead of center and left wing for overall value.Once again, a chart can illustrate it. Below is the sum of all 120 roster-worthy skaters based on their value over replacement player. The total defensemen value has been adjusted to reflect the same sample size as the forward positions.Click here to expand this chart.As with our premise with Larkin to introduce this concept, its clear you can also wait a bit on your center this season and not make out too badly. If you wanted to tier them, Crosby, McDavid and Pavelski are at the top. There is a bit of a drop off then to John Tavares, Artemi Panarin, Tyler Seguin, Nicklas Backstrom, Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin. The next group starts with Steven Stamkos and follows a fairly steady decline from there. Heres another handy chart with the left wing value-over-replacement player line included for scale.Click here to expand this chart.Take goaltender value with a grain of salt: Goaltenders finish atop the ESPN Player Rater every season, and the best ones easily outperform most skaters for fantasy value. So why do we tend to rank them lower every season? Volatility and injury.How many goaltenders in the top 10 for save percentage last season were also in the top 10 in 2014-15? Three. Of those three, were any in the top 10 for 2013-14? No. Of the top 10 from 2014-15, how many were in the top 10 from 2013-14? Two.As you can see, there is a lot of turnover every season from poor performance, changes in team system, slumps, playing time, competition and injury. While goaltenders shine when projecting value over replacement player, the projections we use wont pan out with quite as much confidence as we have in the skaters. If you really, really think a goaltender is a lock for a great year, they would instantly soar up your personal fantasy rankings, but things happen. Ask Price owners from last season.When tiering your goaltenders, there is a pretty clear duo at the top in Holtby and Price, followed by Quick, Jones and Bishop. Then there is another gap to Schneider, Corey Crawford, Henrik Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne. Those top nine should arguably be your targets for including a No. 1 fantasy goaltender.The next couplet is Tuukka Rask and Jake Allen, followed by Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury and John Gibson, then there is another gap until we can group Brian Elliott and Petr Mrazek. If you manage to get one goaltender from the first group and another from this second group, you should be leading the way at the end of the season.Of course, as we mentioned, take these goaltender rankings and projections with a grain of salt, as they fluctuate more than the other positions. We might debate a few of the projections too. For example, Devan Dubnyk on a Bruce Boudreau-coached Minnesota Wild team feels like he would be better than the 18th-best goaltender.Dont worry too much about tiering defensemen: The slope for the value-over-replacement player chart for defensemen starts a little steeper but very quickly becomes a nice gentle ride down. That is to say, Karlsson and Burns are your elite; Byfuglien, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and P.K. Subban are your next class; and everybody else, more or less, falls in line from there.Its easier to see with a bar chart this time, starting at the top and working our way down through all 48 active defensemen from our shallow-pool example.Click here to expand this chart.The key takeaway with defensemen, however, is that they tend to be ranked too low, compared to their forward counterparts, because their overall Player Rater value is lower. But as we discussed already, it doesnt matter as much that Larkins overall Player Rater value is better than 36 of the defensemen on the chart above if you cant get Larkin into your lineup because you play in a league with just two centers. Defensemen as a group take the largest leap up the rankings when we move from a straight Player Rater ranking to a value-over-replacement player ranking. Victor Hedman is No. 101 on the Player Rater projections, but No. 56 for value over replacement player.Again, these type of rankings would have to be based on your leagues active-roster settings, maximum-games-played rules and number of teams. But the bottom line is that we tend to undervalue defensemen, assuming the ratio of forwards to defensemen in your league is somewhere in the usual ballpark of 3:2 (i.e., six forwards and four defensemen or nine forwards and six defensemen).Bottom lineOnce more, a reminder that even the slightest nuance to a fantasy hockey league skews value-over-replacement-player rankings in a different direction. That is to say, you should use these thoughts as a general guide only.But generally speaking:Left wing is weaker than right wing, which means you go big or wait.Center is full of great players, which means you can wait a little more.There are only about 10 No. 1 fantasy goaltenders -- even for a 12-team league.Defensemen, as a group, are being undervalued in most leagues. Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China Jerseys NFL China Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Stitched Jerseys Jerseys Wholesale
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