It’s always a difficult process making player projections at the start of a fantasy season but what happens when we think the world of a player and he falls completely short of his lofty expectations? When making preseason projections, analysts take everything into account – past trends, a previous season’s playoff performance, their team, their age, and anything else we can justify. We’re defining a disappointing season as a player who finished at a final season ranking about 100 off of their Yahoo! O-Rank. Here are the notable ones:
O-Rank: 50; Final Rank: 148
What’s weird about Huet is that his aggregate numbers aren’t all that bad. He was just vilified by Hawks fans and media everytime he put up a poor start and as a result, Antti Niemi became the “saviour” of the Hawks. Huet posted a career-high in wins, 26, and kept his GAA of 2.50 consistent with his career GAA of 2.46. Huet owners were actually pleased with his first half of the season but likely caving to the pressure of Niemi, Huet lost his starters role and sported a 4.21 GAA post-Olympics. Huet’s hefty contract won’t get him many looks by other teams but given the Hawks’ offseason salary cap situation, something’s got to give. The Hawks will win plenty of games next season and sporting a Huet-Niemi tandem on your deeper fantasy league next season wouldn’t be the worst move – especially given Huet’s likely discounted rate.
O-Rank: 53; Final Rank: 195
You mean Havlat didn’t come anywhere close to his career high in points and have an injury-free year? Are you REALLY that surprised? He came nowhere near filling the Gaborik void and even put up a paltry -19. One lone bright spot, 19 of his 54 points came on the powerplay. Expect more of the same production next season.
O-Rank: 55; Final Rank: 174
Two straight declining seasons bring Kovalev back down the to sub-50 point mark, not to mention half of the powerplay points that he put up last season. A 17 point January is the lone bright spot in the 37-year old’s season and it looks like you’ll need to steer clear of him next year.
O-Rank: 58; Final Rank: 569
An awkward season for the young power forward as he dealt with some very public injuries hindering what many thought would be his breakout year. 11 points in 12 March games should not go unnoticed so we’re looking at next season for a potential breakout. We’d still like to see some more powerplay points but a pickup in the 6-7th round or later wouldn’t be terrible.
O-Rank: 68; Final Rank: 360
Sophomore slump? Better hope so. After Mason’s stellar rookie season, the Blue Jackets expected a lot from the young goalie and rode through some very tough stretches before finally giving Mathieu Garon equal play. There’s rumblings of Mason’s poor work ethic and attitude so hopefully a coaching change in Columbus will help resolve things. The second year goalie also had to deal with the distractions of him trying out for Team Canada for the Olympics and virtually no Canadian goalies had a great season by any stretch. After all, Brodeur’s worst full season was his sophomore year – but don’t quote me as saying Mason is the next Brodeur. Garon is virtually no threat to the starting role and the Jackets will still have a lot of patience leaving Mason a decent gamble on a bounce-back year.