2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 2 Unsustainable Players

by Justin Cheng
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 2 Unsustainable Players

The NHL season is back, and it could not be more exciting. This is the time of the year when 32 fan bases across North America are brimming with hope. Now that your draft is complete, it is time to manage your way to a Fantasy victory. Here to help you finish first in your pool are the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 2 Unsustainable Players.

With one week in the books, we can start to draw some (way too) early conclusions. First, a John Tortorella-led Flyers team may actually be a playoff contender. Second, despite only playing their first game at Mullett Arena on October 28, the Coyotes team appears to have received the memo - play like a college team. And finally, the Tampa Bay Lightning will finally miss the playoffs.

If you are looking for further add/drop guidance, make sure to check out Kyle's stock watch or Tyler's Waiver Wire article 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 2 Unsustainable Players!

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 2 Unsustainable Players

Unsustainably High

Nino Niederreiter, LW, Nashville Predators (33% rostered)

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The Nashville Predators had an early start to the season, playing in the 2022 NHL Global Series in Prague. Over the course of these two games, Nino Niederreiter stood out, finding the back of the net three times.  As a result, Niederreiter has seen his stock surge, as Fantasy GMs try to get their hands on the Preds' forward.

A few troubling signs with Niederreiter's situation suggest he has caught lightning in a bottle.

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For starters, he will not be able to maintain his 37.5% shooting percentage. While he has historically been a relatively deadly shooter (he has a 14.3% SH% over the past three seasons), this is bound to come down. As a result, he currently has the highest goals-scored-above-expected (GSAx) in the league with 2.52. Compare that to last season when he finished with just 1.60 GSAx over 75 games. He is bound to start cooling off.

Additionally, he is only playing on the Preds' second powerplay unit. Unfortunately, that means Niederreiter will not have any exposure to the team's top guns. With limited powerplay time and exposure to Nashville's elite forwards (and Roman Josi), Niederreiter is likely to go cold sooner than later.

Travis Konecny, RW, Philadelphia Flyers (24% rostered)

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So this is the John Tortorella effect, eh? After a disappointing season last year that saw Travis Konecny put up just 52 points in 79 games while finishing a -23. This year, it looks like he is enjoying a bit of a bounceback. He already has three goals and an assist through just two games this season.

He also has been a multi-category monster, adding six shots, three hits, and a couple of blocks to his impressive point totals.

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I am skeptical that Konecny will be able to maintain this level of production going forward. He has put up three goals on six shots, good for a 50% shooting percentage. This will inevitably come back down to earth, and likely settle around the 11% SH% that he has averaged over the past three seasons.

Despite averaging more shots per game than last season, Konecny's shots-per-60 is down. This suggests that Konecny's increase in shot generation comes as a result of increased ice time. If Konecny starts to cool off or starts to deviate from Torts' strict system, he may see his ice time fall which would hurt fantasy GMs.

Additionally, the Flyers' have scored on 23% of shots that have taken place while Konecny has been on the ice. This is way too high for a Flyers team that is devoid of any meaningful talent. I would expect this to fall around (or slightly lower than) the 8.3% oiSH% that Konecny finished with last season.

Unsustainably Low

Timo Meier, LW/RW, San Jose Sharks (99% rostered)

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I was very high on Timo Meier heading into the 2022-23 season. I figured the Sharks would struggle, but Meier appeared to be the one bright spot amidst the darkness.

However, through four games Meier has not lived up to the expectations. He has managed to put up just one assist. And while his peripherals have been solid, I had come to expect more from the young power forward.

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I am very encouraged to see that he is among the league leaders in terms of average ice time, having logged over 20 minutes in three of the first four games.

Further, while he has not been hitting as much as I expected going into the season, he has been shooting the puck a ton. He is on pace for nearly 400 shots. If he can maintain close to this pace over 82 games (and stay healthy) we could see Timo Meier finish with a top-30 season all-time for most shots in a season.

Eventually, these shots will start to find the back of the net. Meier can only shoot at 0% for so long, and his team can only shoot at 2.7% while he is on the ice for so long. I expect to see a big statement game soon from the budding star.

Roman Josi, D, Nashville Predators (100% rostered)

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Remember when Roman Josi finished second in Norris voting after having the greatest offensive season for a defenseman in a decade? Oh, that was only last year? I almost forgot, given how lacklustre Josi has been to start this year.

Through four games, the Preds' captain has managed to put up one assist. This is supremely disappointing for a defenseman that you likely drafted in the second round.

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Before you press the panic button, consider that Josi may just be a victim of bad puck luck.

Josi is shooting the puck just as much as last season. With 14 shots through four games, he is on pace for 287 shots on the season. This is just one shy of the 288 shots that he finished last season with. Additionally, Josi has an individual points percentage (IPP) of just 20% - down from the 63% he finished with last season. Josi is too important to Nashville's offence to stay at 20% for long.

Before you go panic trading Josi for a second-line winger on a bad team, give him some time to let some bounces go his way. Don't be the GM that gives up on Josi in the first couple weeks of the season, only to have him burn you come playoff time.

Sustainably High

Artturi Lehkonen, LW/RW, Colorado Avalanche (67% rostered)

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When I am looking to add scoring talent to my roster, I will often find myself tirelessly scouring each team's projected lines. And every so often, a diamond such as Artturi Lehkonen will show itself amidst the rough.

After struggling to break through on a Montreal Canadiens team that lacked a high-end supporting cast, Lehkonen has settled in nicely in Colorado. Through the first two games, he has two goals and two assists while playing on the Avs' top line.

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When you are playing with the likes of Nathan Mackinnon and Mikko Rantanen, you will inevitably find the scoresheet. What I find particularly intriguing about Lehkonen is that his strong performance is not coming as a result of over-inflated underlying statistics. Yes, his shooting percentage is unsustainable (40% vs. 12.3% last season), but his IPP is actually due for some statistical improvement.

In addition to skating on the top line, he has also found a home on the team's top powerplay unit and has averaged nearly six minutes on the powerplay through the first two games. This is up from just one minute last season.

So long as Gabriel Landeskog remains sidelined due to injury, Lehkonen is one of my favorite targets.

Sustainably Low

Jamie Drysdale, D, Anaheim Ducks (15% rostered)

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After a solid rookie season that saw the Ducks' former sixth-overall pick pot four goals and add 28 assists, many were expecting big things this year. In deeper leagues where scoring defensemen are hard to come by, Jamie Drysdale was coveted as a late-round steal that you could pick up in the 13th or 14th round.

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Despite the lofty expectations, Drysdale has struggled out of the gate, failing to register a point in his first two showings. He also has not provided much in the way of peripherals, putting up just three shots and two blocks.

There are two reasons why I am avoiding Drysdale in all of my leagues. For starters, the Ducks are a bad team. While they do have some exciting young players and are clearly on the rise, they are still very clearly in the midst of a rebuild. There will not be a lot of scoring coming from this Ducks team in 2022-23. Check back in two years.

Secondly, with the addition of John Klingberg on a one-year contract, Drysdale has been relegated to the second powerplay unit. Now, instead of playing with the likes of Trevor Zegras and Ryan Strome, Drysdale will be quarterbacking a powerplay headlined by an aging Adam Henrique.

Summary

And with that, we wrap up our coverage of the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 2 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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