2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Unsustainable Players

by Justin Cheng
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Unsustainable Players

Congratulations on making it to the quarter-mark of the NHL campaign. With December just around the corner, here are the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Unsustainable Players to help you pick up a couple more wins before the New Year.

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 8 Unsustainable Players!

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Unsustainable Players

Unsustainably High

David Krejci, C, Boston Bruins (21% rostered)

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As singers approach the end of their touring careers, they will often go on one last Farewell Tour. It is hard not to think that the 2022-23 season is the start of David Krejci's farewell tour.

The Czechia native who will be 37 years by the season's end has been playing some lights-out hockey as of late. Over the past two weeks, Krejci has scored six goals and added a couple of assists across five games. He also has brought some solid peripheral value, notching 11 shots, four blocks, and two hits over that span.

If Krejci could somehow manage to keep up this scoring pace over the course of a season, he would be in line for a career year. His 77-point pace on the season would surpass his previous career high of 73 points put up in the 2008-09 season in his first full season as an NHLer.

Unfortunately, every single advanced metric suggests that this is not sustainable.

With six goals on 11 shots, Krejci's 54.6% shooting percentage will come down. I would expect it to fall closer to the 12.7% that he has averaged since the 2020-21  season. Additionally, both of his assists have been secondary assists. Advanced analysis of secondary assists seems to indicate that points that come as a result of secondary assists are more attributable to luck than individual skill.

Further, Krejci's individual points percentage (IPP) is sitting at 80% over the past two weeks, while his on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) sits at 16.7%. Some modest regression should be expected in both of these figures, as I would expect to see Krejci finish the year slightly below the 70.9% IPP and 10.8% oiSH% that he has averaged over the past three seasons. On the aggregate, this would likely result in a decrease in point totals by 20-30%, which would put Krejci in the 55-60 point range for the rest of the season.

Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins (100% rostered)

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Speaking of grizzled, old veterans, it would be amiss if Sidney Crosby did not crack this week's Unsustainable article. Sid the not-so-young-Kid has been single-handedly willing an aging Penguins team to victory over the past couple of weeks.

His five goals and eight assists have resulted in a league-leading 13 points over the past seven contests. He also has 17 shots, 44 shot attempts, and 91 faceoff wins over that stretch. In leagues that cover the whole spectrum of categories, Crosby has likely single-handedly won you the past couple of weeks.

However, we are not talking about 25-year-old Crosby who could reasonably be expected to keep up this 152-point pace over the course of a season. In his age-36 season, there are signs that Crosby is outperforming expectations.

For starters, with five goals on 17 shots, his shooting percentage is sitting at 29.4% over the past two weeks. This is double the 14.9% that he both finished the season with last year and has averaged over the past three seasons. This has resulted in a 2.5 goals-above-expected, which is second worst in the league over the past two weeks, behind only Krejci.

Additionally, it looks like Mike Sullivan has been trying to balance the Penguins' ice time a little bit more this year. Call it "load management" or attribute it to the fact that the Penguins are fully healthy for the first time in five years, but Crosby has been seeing less playing time this year. He has averaged just 18:35 over the past two weeks, down from the 20:11 that he has averaged over the past three seasons. Inevitably, less ice time will lead to less production.

Unsustainably Low

Zach Hyman, LW/RW, Edmonton Oilers (90% rostered)

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When you play alongside Leon Draisaitl, you have two jobs. First, get the puck to Draisaitl. Second, get to the front of the net to clean up any rebounds. These skills are Zach Hyman's bread and butter, which led to him signing a big-ticket contract with the Oilers a season ago.

In his first season in the Oilers' lineup, Hyman scored 27 goals and 27 assists while adding 213 shots and 80 hits in just 76 games. This was a solid, well-rounded production for his first year with a new team.

Hyman started this season off on an even better note but has fallen into a bit of a rut as of late. Over the past two weeks, Hyman has just two goals over five games - a 33-point pace.

Playing alongside Draisaitl, this dry spell can only continue for so long.

While Hyman's IPP is sitting at 66.7% - slightly higher than the 60.7% he finished with last season - his oiSH% is an abysmal 4.8%. Playing alongside one of the league's best finishers, this will not continue. I would expect the Oilers to score almost three times as often when Hyman is on the ice, bringing his oiSH% closer to 14-15%. This would likely result in Hyman closing in on a point-per-game pace if he can maintain a 60-70% IPP. This kind of production is worth holding onto in most leagues.

Chandler Stephenson, C/LW/RW, Vegas Golden Knights (78% rostered)

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At the start of every season when Yahoo does the "Great Position Reshuffle", most players lose their dual-position eligibility. Yahoo's current policy is to switch a player to dual eligibility once they have played 9 games at a certain position. Thus, as the year goes on, more players are granted dual eligibility. Dual eligibility increases the odds that you will be able to fit a player in your lineup on any given night, increasing their value to your team.

Chandler Stephenson is a unicorn when it comes to position eligibility. For some reason, the staff at Yahoo decided to list Stephenson as not just dual-eligible, but rather marked him as playing all three forward positions.

And to add to the massive flexibility this gives you as a Fantasy GM, he has had the production to justify a roster spot. Playing on Vegas' top line alongside Jack Eichel, Stephenson is on pace for a 70-point season.

Despite the strong season, the past couple of weeks have been difficult for Stephenson. He has just three assists and 10 shots over his past seven games. This is not the level of production that we have come to expect from the Vegas forward.

There are some encouraging signs that things will turn around soon. For starters, Stephenson has seen an increase in ice time over the past two weeks, despite his struggles. He has averaged 20:28 over the past two weeks - up from the 17:19 he has averaged over the past three seasons and the 19:31 he has averaged so far this season.

Additionally, he has a -1.2 goals-above-expected. This is out of character for a player who has typically exceeded his expected goals metric by 20-25%. He should start to score soon. Additionally, his IPP and oiSH% are sitting at just 37.5% and 8.7%, respectively (vs. 64% and 11.5% last season). If you add 2-3 goals and an assist or two as would be expected based on his advanced metrics, Stephenson would be right in line with the 70-75 points that we have come to expect.

Sustainably High

Trevor Zegras, C, Anaheim Ducks (80% rostered)

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While Anaheim has had a rough season, the one bright spot has been the youth movement that is being ushered in. Leading this movement amongst the forward core is young phenom Trevor Zegras. The 21-year-old is following up an outstanding rookie campaign with an even better sophomore season. On the year, Zegras has 20 points in 22 games, putting him on pace for his first 70+ point season.

Over the past two weeks, he has continued his strong play. Zegras has one goal and six assists over seven games. He also has 17 shots, five hits, and three blocks over that span, bringing value across the category spectrum.

There are several factors that suggest to me that Zegras is the real deal.

First, Zegras is seeing increased responsibility on the ice. Over the past two weeks, Zegras has averaged 19:52 time on ice, with 3:37 of this coming on the man advantage. This is a marked increase from the 17:55 and 2:37 he was averaging last season.

Further, there is still room for statistical improvement for Zegras. Despite going point-per-game, Zegras' shooting percentage is sitting at just 5.9% - less than half of the 12.7% he finished last season with. When the puck starts to bounce Zegras' way, he will find his way onto the scoresheet with even more frequency.

Finally, Zegras' secondary assists rate is sitting at just 33%, lower than the 44.7% that he finished with last season. This suggests that Zegras' increase in assists this year is due to him developing his elite playmaking abilities and sharp vision at the NHL level, as opposed to him just getting lucky.

Sustainably Low

Tony DeAngelo, D, Philadelphia Flyers (73% rostered)

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The 2022-23 year has been a tale of two seasons for the Philadelphia Flyers. They started the year off hot. Since then, they are on 10-game losing skid that has them sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. While no one on the team has been particularly good as of late, one player who has stood out in a bad way is Tony DeAngelo.

After a resurgent season as the Canes' go-to guy on the powerplay, he signed a 2-year, $10 million contract to play for the Broad Street Bullies. So far, he has yet to live up to this contract with just 10 points in 22 games - a 37-point pace.

Over the past two weeks, the story has been even more depressing for the defenseman. DeAngelo has just one assist in seven games.

The biggest issue for DeAngelo is the fact that the Flyers stink. His oiSH% is sitting at 6.9%, compared to 12.6% last season. While in most cases I would expect this to rebound, I don't have the same expectations for the Flyers. Consider Travis Konecny, the Flyers' go-to forward, who finished with an 8.3% oiSH% last season. I would expect DeAngelo to struggle without the elite supporting cast that he had when he played in Carolina.

Closing

And with that, we wrap up our coverage of the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 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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2 comments

Saj November 30, 2022 - 6:45 pm

At 5 on 5 Sid’s results might not be sustainable, but check out how cold PIT powerplay has been. He may not continue scoring goals at the current rate but one might expect him to rack up more PP points than he has been.

Reply
Justin Cheng November 30, 2022 - 6:49 pm

That is true. They currently sit at a 16.2% conversion rate – 28th in the league only ahead of Columbus, Montreal, Anaheim, and Philadelphia. I suspect this is why we are seeing Malkin & Rust struggle. Crosby should see a scoring bump when the powerplay picks up again (which is not a guarantee in light of the Letang news). I do very much like Crosby rest-of-season, I just would not expect vintage, in-his-prime-Crosby who would put up 130+ points like we see from McDavid now.

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