2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 18 Unsustainable Players

by Justin Cheng
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 18 Unsustainable Players

We are in the final quarter of the Fantasy season. In just three or four short weeks, playoffs will be starting. A champion will be crowned within six weeks. Now is the time to dial in so that you are the one wearing the crown at the end of the year. Sit back and buckle up as we dive into the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 18 Unsustainable Players.

As there have not been very many games since the last Unsustainable article, this week's piece will be a little bit condensed!

If you are looking for further add/drop guidance, make sure to check out Kyle's stock watch or Michael's Weekly Planner from earlier this week.

And as always, if you have any players that you want me to cover in future weeks, be sure to leave a comment down below or reach out to me via Twitter - @jchengWPG.

Without further ado, let's jump into the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 18 Unsustainable Players!

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 18 Unsustainable Players

Unsustainably High

Adrian Kempe, C/LW/RW, Los Angeles Kings (78% rostered)

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It is not every day that someone scores four goals in a game. It makes it even more incredible that this happened twice on Saturday. First, Artemi Panarin led the New York Rangers to a win with four. Then in the late game, Adrian Kempe scored four in a row to lift the Kings over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And Kempe hasn't just been hot for one game. Over the past month, Kempe has scored eight goals and logged two assists in eight games. He has also added 29 shots, nine hits, and a pair of blocks over that span.

While it is almost guaranteed that Kempe will not have another four-goal game this year, the heater that he has been on is unsustainable.

His shooting percentage over the last month sits at 27.6% - nearly double the 14.2% he finished with last year. This is also well in excess of the 11.5% shooting percentage he has averaged over the past three years.

Kempe's on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) and individual points percentage (IPP) are both unsustainably high, sitting at 17.1% and 71.4%, respectively. Compare this to the 8.6% oiSH% and 64.6% IPP he has averaged since 2020, and it is no question as to whether his current pace is sustainable. These will eventually come back down to earth. When they do, Kempe's production will take the brunt of the regression.

P. O. Joseph, D, Pittsburgh Penguins (1% rostered)

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When P. O. Joseph was acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the deal that sent Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes, he was lauded as the future successor to Kris Letang. Despite the hype, Joseph has yet to live up to the expectations.

In his first full season with the big club, Joseph has been average at best. He has four goals and 11 assists in 48 games - on pace for just 26 points on the season.

However, since returning from the All-Star Break, he has been playing very well. He has scored two goals and added an assist across three games. He has done this, despite averaging just 14:57 per game and playing just over a minute on the powerplay.

The first major concern I have is the fact that Joseph is stuck down the Penguins' depth chart. Ahead of him are both Letang and Jeff Petry - both of whom the Penguins are relying on to be the offensive drivers from the back end. Unless Joseph can find a spot in the Penguins' top four via injury to one of those two, he will simply not have the opportunity to be fantasy-relevant.

Additionally, is worth noting that none of Joseph's underlying numbers are sustainable. He has a shooting percentage of 28.6% and an oiSH% of 15.8% during this hot streak. I would expect this to fall closer to the 2.94% shooting percentage that he averaged over the past three seasons. His oiSH% will likely fall closer to the 10.3% that he has averaged this season.

Unfortunately, barring a flurry of injuries to the Penguins' defensive corps (which is possible), Joseph should not be relevant in any fantasy leagues.

Unsustainably Low

Steven Stamkos, C/LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (100% rostered)

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It is not often that you see a player have the best season of their career at the age of 32. Steven Stamkos is the exception, scoring 42 goals and 106 points in 81 games last year. He has followed his performance up this year with another impressive season. In 52 games, Stamkos has scored 24 goals and added 33 assists. This puts him on pace for the sixth 90+-point campaign of his career.

Despite the strong season, the past couple of weeks has been difficult for the aging sniper. Through four games, he has not registered a single point. His plus-minus is an even zero over that stretch.

I don't believe that teams will manage to keep him off the scoresheet for much longer.

For starters, Stamkos is playing as much as ever for head coach Jon Cooper. He is playing on the left wing of Tampa's first line alongside Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. Playing alongside these linemates alone is a recipe for success. Add to that the fact that he is averaging nearly 19:30 per game and over four minutes on the powerplay, and Stamkos will start to score soon.

Additionally, Stamkos continues to shoot the puck. He has 12 shots over his past four games - an even average of three shots per game. This is right in line with the 2.98 shots per game he averaged last season, and the 2.89 he has averaged over the past three. I would not be surprised to see Stamkos eclipse the 40-goal mark for the second straight season.

If you are a contender looking to make a deep Fantasy playoff run, now might be the best time to acquire Steven Stamkos. If you catch a GM getting a little bit lazy, you may be able to snatch him for a little cheaper than normal.

Joe Pavelski, C/RW, Dallas Stars (94% rostered)

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I have been calling it for years that Joe Pavelski is due for some negative regression. The 38-year-old is one of the oldest players in the league, and yet is playing some of the most productive hockey of his career. This season, he is still on pace for 73 points and is a key fixture on a Dallas team that is first in the Western Conference.

Despite the strong season, some have begun to wonder if Pavelski is starting to show his age. At this point in the season, fatigue becomes a real devil lurking in the shadows, especially for the older players. Pavelski has been snakebitten over his past five games, registering just one assist and going -5 during that stretch.

Despite the struggles, I do believe Pavelski will turn it around yet this season.

He is still playing on the Stars' top line with Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson. While Robertson has not been scoring at the same rate as earlier in the season, there is no reason to believe he won't find his scoring touch soon. When he does, that will inevitably mean more assists for Pavelski.

Pavelski also has been the victim of bad luck. His IPP is sitting at 0% while his oiSH% is just 3.2%. These should revert closer to normal in the coming weeks. I would expect his IPP to return closer to the 64.2% he averaged over the last three seasons. His oiSH% should revert closer to 12% playing with one of the league's premier snipers.

Sooner or later, Pavelski will find the scoresheet. I think it is reasonable to expect him to finish around the 70-point mark this season.

Sustainably High

Michael Bunting, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs (66% rostered)

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Michael Bunting is a polarizing player. The Toronto fan base is split, with some absolutely adoring the man while others call for him to be shipped out for bigger and better fish. Those outside the Toronto market remember Bunting for his Calder bid at the (not so) young age of 26.

This season has been up and down for Bunting, with the forward registering just 37 points in 54 games so far. However, over the past two weeks, Bunting has been playing at a point-per-game pace with two goals and two assists through four games.

Several factors point towards Bunting being a good long-term addition to your Fantasy team.

His recent increase in point production is coming off of a significant boost in ice time as he lines up alongside Auston Matthews on the first line. Over the past two weeks, he has averaged 18:00 per game, up from the 16:21 he has averaged on the season. He has also been seeing about 2:13 per game on the powerplay, which is a good sign for his continued success.

Additionally, all of his advanced stats are in the realm of sustainability. His IPP is a little bit low at 50.0%, but this is offset but a slightly high oiSH% of 16.7%. If the decrease in oiSH% is balanced out by an increase in IPP, we should not see too much variation in Bunting's scoring.

The final case for Bunting is Toronto's very attractive playoff schedule. In the final two weeks of the Fantasy season, the Leafs play the Red Wings, Senators, Canadiens, and Blue Jackets - all teams that will be squarely in tank mode. This should give Bunting plenty of opportunity to rack up points when it matters most.

Sustainably Low

Matty Beniers, C, Seattle Kraken (44% rostered)

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It was not long ago that Matty Beniers was considered the odds-on favorite to win the Calder. Most pundits considered the race over, and Beniers to be bringing home the hardware in June.

However, the last 10 games have not been kind to Beniers. He has not recorded a point since January 16 and has been a -8 in 10 games over that span. He has also missed a couple of games due to injury, which hasn't helped his point totals.

With Mason McTavish and Cole Perfetti on his heels for the rookie scoring lead, I would expect the Calder race to be a nail-biter over the last third of the season.

Over this scoreless streak, Beniers has been playing just 16:28 per game. This is slightly lower than the 16:59 he averaged this season and last.

As well, Beniers' hot streak to start the season was propelled by an exceptionally high shooting percentage. Despite being held off the scoresheet for nearly a month, his shooting percentage on the season still sits at 17.5%. By comparison, Alex Ovechkin is shooting at just 14.1% this season.

Overall, Beniers has not been impressive as of late. With just over a shot per game, you can likely find better value elsewhere.

Closing

And with that, we wrap up our coverage of the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 18 Unsustainable Players.

Every Tuesday throughout this season we will be looking at the hottest and coldest players in the league. If you have any players that you want me to cover, be sure to leave a comment down below or reach out to me via Twitter @jchengWPG.

Advanced stats and analytics are taken from Natural Stat Trick.


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