Sometimes it’s not the player you draft but the player you don’t draft, or at least don’t draft too early. Every year fantasy owners jump the gun on players who are past their prime, just came off a career year or are boosted by the logo on their chest. Many of the players listed can be valuable pieces on your fantasy team, but deciding when to draft these players can be just as important as who to draft. Here are Blue Steam Hockey’s picks for this year potential NHL Fantasy Busts.
For this piece, the definition of a NHL Fantasy Bust was pulled from ESPN.com.
Bust: A player who who is expected to be a solid starter in standard leagues but will fail to live up to those expectations this season.
In addition, to put more context into why we chose the following players, below are the listed fantasy categories that we were operating under.
Player Fantasy Categories: Goals, Assists, PIMs, Plus/Minus, PPP, Shots
Goalie Fantasy Categories: Wins, GAA, SV%, Shutouts
NHL Fantasy Busts
Spencer’s NHL Fantasy Busts
Tomas Vanek, DET, LW
Vanek is only one year removed from scoring 21 goals and can still produce offensively. However, Detroit can’t. The Red Wings ranked 23rd with a 2.55 GPG last year and 6 members of its offensive core (Nyquist, Tatar, Abdelkader, Zetterberg, Helm, and Glendening) saw their goal production drop from 2014-15. Slotted on a third-line pairing with Darren Helm and Riley Sheahan, don’t expect too much from the 32-year-old.
Mike Ribeiro, NSH, C
Most of Ribeiro’s offence last year was produced on a line with Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg, good for 43 assists and 50 points. But since Ryan Johansen is now the team’s uncontested top centreman and newly-appointed captain Mike Fisher is battling for that second line spot, the 36-year-old Ribeiro could slip to the third or fourth line. His poor finish last season doesn’t help his cause: he only had 3 assists in his last 14 games and was a healthy scratch multiple times in the playoffs. The Pred’s roster could have 16 players under 26 this year, insinuating Ribeiro’s time in Smashville could be up.
Nick’s NHL Fantasy Busts
John Gibson, G, ANA
Zach Smith, C, OTT
Andrew’s NHL Fantasy Busts
Artemi Panarin, RW, CHI
Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL
David’s NHL Fantasy Busts
Auston Matthews, C, TOR
Loui Eriksson, LW, VAN
Brendan’s NHL Fantasy Busts
Shea Weber, D, MTL
Marc Bergevin is a bad GM
Shea Weber succeeded in Nashville for many years, and had developed some serious chemistry with Roman Josi. Then, Marc Bergevin decided to make a horrible trade, and now Weber is no longer in Nashville. Without the superior supporting cast, Weber will fail to meet expectations this season.
Michel Therrien is a bad coach
It is widely accepted in society today, that Michel Therrien does not know what he is doing. As long as he is in charge, the Canadiens are just treading water. With Therrien at the helm, Weber will likely not replicate the success of years past.
Shea Weber is a bad player (well, not yet.)
Let’s get this straight, Shea Weber has long been a defensive force in the NHL and has been widely accepted as the prototypical first pair shutdown defenseman. However, like all athletes, Weber’s performance has slowly begun to diminish as the years pass. Even though he is only 31, Weber is past the prime years of his career. Weber benefited from a strong defensive team in Nashville, and will be forced to carry more of the load in Montreal.
While he will likely post respectable numbers due to an abundance of power play time, I have a hard time believing he will be worth a high round selection. Avoid selecting him too close to his ADP.
Jaromir Jagr, RW, FLA
I might be the only one betting against the future hall of famer this season, but I’m predicting the 89-year-old takes a step back in 2016-2017. After posting 66 points last season, Jagr will likely be one of the top 10 RW’s in drafts this season. However, with a shooting percentage of 18.9%, I prefer other, younger, options on the right side this year. I would love for him to prove me wrong, but I bet that father time catches up to everyone’s favourite old timer. I’m projecting 18 goals and 30 assists for Jagr this year.