Eating Pucks for a Living

Blocking shots isn’t glamorous, in real life or in daily fantasy hockey. Most people want to roster sexy players — offensive defensemen, for example — or at the very least elite shooters.

Can we effectively leverage the lack of sex appeal in defensive defensemen without sacrificing too much value?

Baseline Trend

Unsurprisingly, defensemen who are on the power play and elite at blocking and taking shots are awesome (per our Trends tool):

s/b 80

These guys probably have high-ish ownership because they’re elite at shooting (for defensemen), but some (or much) of their value (via Plus/Minus) and Consistency is likely derived from their ability to block a ton of shots.

Can we find guys throughout the salary scale on DraftKings who provide comparable value at lower ownership if we look at guys who aren’t quite as elite at shooting but still block a ton of shots?

Where is The Edge?

I have broken down five salary tiers on DK. From there, we’re looking at defensemen who blocked shots in the 80th percentile over the past month (BLK % – Month) yet failed to reach the same threshold for shots on goal. Shots (Shot % – Month) are broken down into four equal groups (the top quintile is excluded).

Per usual, the only defensemen considered are those who play on the power play.

pp d blk 80 shot lower 80

Here are some items that stand out:

  1. I have faded the samples with counts under 50. Narrow ranges can be useful, but we don’t want to get carried away.
  2. The 60-79 percent cohort in Shots % – Month represents a ton of value at low ownership, especially at lower salaries.
  3. Defensemen priced $3,200 – $4,300 in the 60-79 percent cohort have typically provided more value and higher Consistency than the defensemen who match for the baseline trend (80th percentile in blocks and shots) — and they’ve also had lower ownership.
  4. Players who fell just below the 80th percentile in SOG offer the most value, but cheap defensemen under $4,300 still provide strong value in the 40-59 percent range. It’s possible that these players could be superior tournament punt options, as their ownership is typically very low.
  5. Defensemen who fail to meet the 40th percentile threshold in Shot % – Month have historically offered little value even if they block shots at an elite rate.

Conclusion

Defensemen who shoot and block shots at an elite level have a ton of value, but they typically carry higher ownership. (By the way, be sure to check out our DFS Ownership Dashboard for NHL after your contests have started. Monitoring ownership is important.)

Some defensive defensemen offer a ton of value at reduced ownership if they still block shots at an elite level yet fail to reach the 80th percentile in shots on goal, especially those in the 60-79 percent cohort.

Cheap options at $4,3oo and below are preferable in the 40-59 cohort, but there is less value in this range as salaries increase.