As we begin to gear into the fantasy stretch and the final third of the season, there are plenty of reasons to dig a little deeper to find some consistent contribution. While I reference it often, I haven’t done a dive into BSHS since the beginning of the season in October.
Isolating fantasy points to just blocked shots, hits and shots can help identify some under-the-radar players that are both widely available and producing enough fantasy points to hold down a roster spot in deeper leagues.
For defensemen, 1.7 fantasy points per game (FPPG) is enough to qualify for fantasy consideration in a 12-team league, which have at least 60 active defensemen on ESPN.com. There are 65 defensemen with at least 20 games played that are at that threshold this season and only 51 finished at that threshold last season.
It’s a similar threshold for forwards, with at least 108 active in ESPN formats for 12 teams and only 116 (with 20 games played) that are currently posting 1.7 FPPG.
Factor in the utility role on default rosters, and you can see that some teams will need to have players with only 1.6 FPPG as starters.
Why bring this threshold up? Because we are looking at six players that teeter on the verge of relevance, but manage to do so on the back of almost no scoring. Stats are accurate through Feb. 5 games.
Jared Spurgeon, D, Minnesota Wild (104.5 fantasy points; 69.5 BSHS fantasy points; 82.2% rostership): His rostership percentage has been rocketing upward, and rightly so. Spurgeon is posting 2.6 FPPG in the past 10 games with his FPPG on the season now up to 2.2. Much of that success is coming from the BSHS statistics. In the past 10 games, his BSHS fantasy points have been 4.43 per 60, which works out to pretty close to 1.5 FPPG for a defenseman that plays 20 minutes. This kind of consistent output that can be spiked by points can go a long way to stabilizing fantasy rosters. Calen Addison has clung onto his role as the Wild’s power-play quarterback, but Spurgeon gets secondary dibs on the advantage, too.
Ondrej Palat, W, New Jersey Devils (28.0; 16.0; 44.4%): These stats were cribbed before Palat had a two-goal outburst on Monday, so if you like what you see, you need to act fast. Palat is getting top minutes on a line with Nico Hischier, has recently joined the top power-play unit and, as implied by his inclusion here, has a nice base of blocked shots, hits and shots to lean on. While his 3.44 BSHS per 60 is a touch on the low end (that’s close to 1.0 fantasy point for an 18-minute forward), he’s upped it to 4.09 BSHS per 60 in the past month. That’s a great base to work with, but what really makes Palat attractive is his veteran, scoring-line role on this playoff-bound Devils squad.
Ben Chiarot, D, Detroit Red Wings (89.0; 72.0; 44.0%): When you simply say the words “blocked shots plus hits,” Chiarot enters the chat. As you can see, 81% of all his fantasy points have come from the BSHS categories this season. His 1.9 FPPG overall makes him roster worthy and his 2.1 FPPG since switching away from Moritz Seider as a defense partner makes him starter worthy. In fact, just drop the “per 60” for a second and note that only seven players have more fantasy points from BSHS than Chiarot does.
Joel Edmundson, D, Montreal Canadiens (73.7; 66.7; 10.6%): If you crunch those numbers you’ll see that Edmundson is posting 1.9 FPPG despite 91% of his fantasy points coming from blocked shots, hits and shots. Alec Martinez has 2.0 FPPG with 90% of his fantasy points from BSHS, but the difference is that Martinez is rostered in almost 80% of leagues. Edmundson is basically doing what Martinez is doing, but is under the radar because he’s missed some time and doesn’t have a resume with peak fantasy seasons on it. The Habs aren’t a great source of fantasy points for scoring, but Edmundson doesn’t need goals or assists to be a contributor on your roster.
Tanner Jeannot, W, Nashville Predators (66.5; 48.5; 53.4%): Lost in the fact that Jeannot has only 1.4 FPPG this season is that he’s been turning things around. For the past 10 games, Jeannot has raised his fantasy points from BSHS to 4.20 per 60 from 4.01, which is enough to push his FPPG to 1.7 during that span. Given that we have a reference to last season, when Jeannot finished with 1.8 FPPG, there is enough reason to believe he is on the path to contributing again and worthy of an investment. He’s still not getting top-six minutes with the Predators again, but maybe that’s why he’s been slow to coming around: it’s an adjustment to being a bottom-six winger and still finding ways to contribute.
Garnet Hathaway, W, Washington Capitals (77.1; 54.1; 4.1%): Driving the third line for the Capitals, Hathaway throws body checks with reckless abandon — and it’s working in his favor. It’s unlikely he starts getting more than the 12 minutes of ice time he’s averaging this season, but he’s been efficient with those minutes. His 5.07 BSHS per 60 is tops among all forwards and gives him a baseline of 1.0 fantasy point per game to work with before any points are counted. That means that when Hathaway starts finding the net, as he’s done three times in the past 10 games, his fantasy profile rises to the threshold of relevancy. Does he make the cut as a regular starter? Probably not. But you could do worse knowing you’ve got a fantasy point in the bag from BSHS when you start him and target weaker opponents that are liable to give up a third-line goal.
Ryan Graves, D, New Jersey Devils (76.4; 54.9; 22.7%): With the Devils top lines always a threat to score on the rush, Graves can fuel an already strong BSHS base with many of his outlet passes finding their way into the net.
Radko Gudas, D, Florida Panthers (71.1; 60.1; 18.2%): Fantasy relevant thanks to his BSHS contributions, Gudas is also very consistent and could be a fifth defenseman for any fantasy team in a 12-team league.
David Savard, D, Montreal Canadiens (76.0; 62.5; 32.0%): Like Edmundson, Savard also drives his play through BSHS stats. But unlike Edmundson, he is also liable to collect a few points in the process, further fueling his fantasy contributions.
Connor Murphy, D, Chicago Blackhawks (79.6; 67.1; 7.9%): A beast in the BSHS departments, Murphy also has a dangerous shot that has him leading all Blackhawks blueliners in goals this season. I mean, Seth Jones will catch and pass him at some point, but it’s still an impressive five goals to add to a fantasy relevant profile.
Simon Benoit, D, Anaheim Ducks (66.2; 57.2; 0.9%): With his overall totals muted from a slow start with the club, Benoit has come on strong in the past month. Not only has he posted 2.0 FPPG in the past month from a strong BSHS base, but he picked up five points in the month of January to contribute to that total. Surprisingly, he’s arguably the most fantasy relevant of all the Ducks blue-liners at the moment.