Forsberg Returning to Nashville; Rankings Fallers DeAngelo, Jones (Jul 10) – DobberHockey

Strike a key name off your free agent board. Several days before free agency begins, Filip Forsberg has agreed to an eight-year contract extension worth $8.5 million per season. Alex MacLean projected $8,394,700 per season for Forsberg, which is pretty darn close. See the rest of his projections here.

I have to be honest: I wasn’t sure this signing was going to happen after the Predators traded for Ryan McDonagh last weekend. I saw the trade as a possible signal that Forsberg had priced himself out of the Preds’ price range and that they would focus on obtaining 1-2 lesser-priced forwards instead. In fact, I had a crazy thought that Forsberg would sign in Calgary with Johnny Gaudreau taking his talents closer to home. Only the latter part of that statement could still happen, with Flames fans still on pins and needles. I don’t profess to be an expert on where players will sign, but it’s fun to speculate.

If Forsberg’s contract seems a little high based on his career production, keep in mind that he is really cashing in on his contract season. Forsberg produced career highs in both goals (42) and assists (42). In fact, Forsberg finished tied for ninth place in goals in spite of missing 13 games due to both an upper-body injury and COVID protocol.

Not surprisingly, some of Forsberg’s advanced stats lean a little higher than expected. In particular, an 18.6 SH%, 11.7 5-on-5 SH%, and 4.0 PTS/60. That and the contract year point to a possible slight regression for Forsberg in 2021-22. You could also tie those advanced stats into the sudden bounceback of Matt Duchene, which I wrote about here. As much as both Forsberg and Duchene could both be potential busts relative to their ADP next season, it’s also entirely possible that these two click so well that they are able to continue their success into next season.

Forsberg is currently #65 on the Top 100 Roto Rankings, which I don’t imagine will change much when the July rankings are posted.

One player that appears destined to slide down the rankings is Tony DeAngelo. In case you missed it, the controversial defenseman was traded from Carolina to Philadelphia, with Mike Clifford taking care of the Fantasy Take. Although DeAngelo might be happy to be playing for his hometown team, I’ll agree with Mike in that his fantasy value will likely take a hit.

A considerable portion of DeAngelo’s value is based on his power-play ability. Of his 51 points from 2021-22, 20 of those points came on the power play. I thought that proportion would be higher relative to other defensemen in that point range, but it is actually quite similar.

Here’s where it gets dicey if you’ve invested in DeAngelo. The Hurricanes as a team scored 278 goals in 2021-22, which was within the league’s top 10. Their power-play success rate was 22.0%, which was just within the top half of the league but also indicative of what a strong even- strength team they are. The Canes as a team also helped DeAngelo to a plus-30 – if you’ve seen DeAngelo struggle defensively, that number doesn’t seem possible at all.

Conversely, the Flyers had the league’s second-worst offense in 2021-22 with 211 goals, along with the league’s worst power play at 12.6%. DeAngelo will help improve the power-play number in particular, while the Flyers shouldn’t be as snakebitten with injuries as they were last season. The quality of the team could have a significant impact on the individual numbers, though.

Mike made the Shayne Gostisbehere comparison, which seems apt in this scenario. TDA could be a 50-point defenseman again, or he could absolutely crap the bed and be healthy scratched a bunch of times because Torts is livid about his lack of commitment to defensive play. DeAngelo is going to walk that fine line more in Philadelphia than he did in Carolina because the Flyers are not constructed as well as the Hurricanes. That makes DeAngelo risky, and I haven’t even gotten into the behavioral issues that made him a risky pick last season (I’ll assume those are behind him now). Regardless, you’ll need to exercise caution again.

Like DeAngelo, Seth Jones also finished with 51 points last season. He might not be worth what he is getting paid by the Blackhawks, but for fantasy purposes he’s still very useful. While DeAngelo is mainly a scoring option, Jones has the opportunity to add plenty of peripherals. His 26:13 TOI led the league, which allowed him to chip in 194 shots, 99 hits, and 155 blocked shots. In addition, he has no real short-term challengers on Chicago’s first-unit power play.

One major cause for concern for Jones is plus-minus. His minus-37 was second-worst in the league in 2021-22 to only Keith Yandle. Since the Blackhawks appear to be tanking, that number could be even worse next season. In fact, it’s possible that Jones could finish with the worst plus-minus in the entire league!

Also, the subtraction of Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach could bring down the overall scoring for the Hawks, which could cut into Jones’ value in both pure points leagues and multicategory leagues. The damage will be lessened in multicat leagues, since at least the peripherals should be there based on volume as the Blackhawks try to get their money’s worth out of Jones.

Also like DeAngelo, Jones seems certain to fall in the Top 100 Roto Rankings – maybe out of the Top 100 completely. He has some solid attributes in the multicategory game, but the Blackhawks are shaping up to be a wasteland of fantasy value next season beyond Kane.

Compare Players: DeAngelo/Jones

One other thing: In cap leagues, that long-term contract with the $9.5 million cap hit kicks in this coming season. Plan accordingly.

Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding for more fantasy hockey.

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