This article is one in a series that uses the FantasyLabs Tools to build daily fantasy scouting reports for each of the NHL’s brightest stars.
This probably wasn’t the season the Calgary Flames had in mind for Johnny Gaudreau after signing him to a six-year, $40.5 million deal, effectively ending his holdout two days before opening night. What have his struggles meant for DFS players?
Here are Gaudreau’s per-game averages since he entered the league:
For context, this is how the rest of the league’s power play (PP) wingers have done over the past two seasons:
In terms of value and Consistency, Gaudreau has been a poor fantasy play this season.
Gaudreau has struggled most of this season, but his recent turnaround may carry upside in guaranteed prize pools. Let’s see if there are particular situations in which he has historically provided an edge.
Over the last two years, Gaudreau has performed dramatically better at home with perhaps the largest split of any scouting report thus far:
In 2016-17, however, he’s gone the other way:
There probably isn’t enough clarity to provide an edge here, as Gaudreau has been subpar at home and on the road.
Division games typically have little impact on a PP wingers:
Gaudreau on the other hand has been far more productive in non-division games over the last two years:
In 2016-17, this split has applied:
Like Derek Stepan, Gaudreau has provided a ton of value against the Central Division:
Additionally, his Consistency in non-division games is notably high. Gaudreau, much like Alex Ovechkin, seems to perform his best in games that mean less for his team.
It’s possible that he benefits against teams outside the division because they have less experience at defending him — or maybe Johnny Hockey just prefers to play golf in April.
There’s a decent edge on in targeting FanDuel wingers as Vegas favorites:
Overall, Gaudreau is much better as a favorite:
Despite his down year, he probably deserves consideration when the Flames are favored, especially since he could potentially be rostered at an ownership discount.
NHL players tend to perform better when they have at least a day to rest between games:
Compared to the average player, Gaudreau has really underperformed in back-to-back series:
The sample size is small — but it’s also probably big enough to know that Gaudreau deserves some serious fade consideration on the back end of a B2B.
Gaudreau showed signs of life in December before the Christmas break, but then he faded back to mediocrity in January:
Thankfully for Calgary fans, Gaudreau has turned it on a bit as of late. He was a big part of his team’s recent 10-1 run.
It’s very possible that Gaudreau’s salary-adjusted hot streak could continue throughout March, making him worth some shots in guaranteed prize pools.
Recent Peripheral Stats
Let’s dig into Gaudreau’s recent peripheral stats to see if we can trust his March production.
The middling Consistency isn’t necessarily what you want for cash games, but the ceiling is definitely still there with Gaudreau even though his recent production hasn’t matched his long-term numbers.
Salary Sweet Spot
Based on his 2016-17 average of 12.03 FanDuel points per game (PPG), we would expect Gaudreau to cost $6,200. His price has yet to fall below that threshold all season.
Since Feb. 1, Gaudreau’s production-based expected salary has been $7,400:
Unsurprisingly, he has provided more value this season when priced no higher than $7,400, and he hasn’t crossed above the $7,400 threshold since Feb. 1:
In the home stretch of the season, Gaudreau may have finally settled into a reasonable price range on FanDuel.
Based on his 2016-17 average of 3.38 DraftKings PPG, we would expect Gaudreau to cost $6,300. He has been priced at that salary or lower in just 23.3 percent of his games this season. Since Feb. 1, Gaudreau’s production-based expected salary has been $6,700:
His price on DraftKings has been slightly more reasonable this year, but a salary of $6,700 is probably still too high.
That said, Gaudreau has been priced no higher than $6,700 in 17 of 18 games since the start of February:
As he has on FanDuel, Gaudreau has fallen into a reasonable DraftKings salary range as the season nears the end.
Stacking the Flames
Here’s the average production for Calgary players during Gaudreau’s 20 best fantasy performances over the past two seasons:
These tables are littered with goaltenders (Brian Elliott, Jonas Hiller, Chad Johnson, Karri Ramo), but that may say more about the Flames than it does Gaudreau. In terms of skaters, the most value has come with stacking Gaudreau with his line-mate Sean Monahan and a defenseman on the powe rplay.
Gaudreau’s correlations tab (in our Player Models) more or less reflects the data we see above outside of some small samples.
Gaudreau has fallen short of his real and DFS expectations most of this season. He’s been subpar at home this season, but he has excelled outside of division games and when he’s not in a B2B series. While Gaudreau may still be risky for cash games, the recent combination of his increased production and decreased salary makes him an intriguing option in guaranteed prize pools, especially since his early-season funk might result in lower ownership.