Fantasy Hockey Geek

Geek of the Week: Alexander Semin

Earlier this year, I wrote a piece which identified some buy-low and sell high candidates. Today, I am going to take a deeper look at one of the players profiled: Alexander Semin.

At the time the article was published, Semin’s average draft position was 140. I asserted that Semin could easily provide top 50 value in the coming season and had the upside to even surpass that. Let’s run the same league through Fantasy Hockey Geek using 2013 stats and take a look at how he is doing so far:

(Yahoo! standard 12 team league measuring: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG)

Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

40

Alexander Semin

4

12

11

12

65

5

41

Jonathan Toews

8

7

8

19

54

4

We are almost half way through the shortened season and Semin is currently the 40th most valuable player in a league of this format, just ahead of Jonathan Toews whose ADP was more than 100 spots higher than Semin’s.  If you were able to take advantage of the undervaluing of Semin at the beginning of this season then you are certainly reaping the rewards now.  If you didn’t take advantage back then though, there is still hope now. 

Inexplicably, Semin is only 87% owned in Yahoo! leagues. If you are reading this article then I highly doubt you are part of the remaining 13%; but if you are – pick him up now! Chances are though, that Semin is already owned in your league and you may have to work a bit harder to obtain him.  So let’s take a further look inside the numbers to see how badly you should want to get him:

  • For me, the most important (and most telling) number for Semin is his SOG total. Not only does his high SOG total provide tremendous value in that category but it also points to the potential to contribute more in other categories.  Generally speaking, when players shoot more - they score more.  Take a look at Semin’s shot per game total and point per game total by year.

 

Shots/Game

Points/ Game

2009-09

3.6

1.27

2009-10

3.8

1.15

2010-11

3.0

0.83

2011-12

2.4

0.70

2013

3.6

0.89

Clearly, when Semin shoots more, he accumulates more points.  His shots this season are back to the level when he was scoring over a point per game.  He isn’t scoring a point per game yet, but the shots are a good indication that there may be even more upside with Semin than his current 2013 production. 

  • His 12 assists are also a great number; only 13 players with wing eligibility have more. Semin is surrounded by guys who can score and this will continue to help him for the remainder of the season. In particular, having a center who shoots and scores at the rate that Eric Staal does is very rare and it really helps Semin with his assist output. 
  • Semin’s PPP output is solid and he is a staple on the ‘Canes PP1 so there is no reason to expect any sort of decline here. If anything, Carolina’s powerplay (14.7%) is underachieving so far this season, so there may be some room for improvement here.
  • Semin has contributed well to +/-, which we all know can be an unreliable stat. Semin consistently delivers in the +/- category though, so in his case I am a little more comfortable assuming that his strong performance is sustainable. He has averaged +23 over the past 4 seasons and was even +9 last year on a Caps team that allowed 8 more goals than they scored. Semin is often considered a defensive liability but it is indisputable that his teams consistently score more goals than they allow while Semin is on the ice.
  • Semin has been a consistent PIM contributor throughout his career and you can count on him for about 1min per game, which is a very good number for a goal scorer.
  • When it comes to goals, Semin is a little bit low with 4 so far this season.  This brings me back to the point on shots: Semin is shooting the puck, so his goals will come eventually. Semin has one of the best shots in the game, so I am confident that his current shooting percentage of 6.1% will rise over the remainder of the season. The fact that he has converted almost 14% of his shots into goals over the course of his career tells me that Semin’s goal scoring should see a nice spike so long as he keeps shooting.

Given all of the above, I would treat Semin as a point per game player for the remainder of the season who will score at over a 30G pace and contribute well in all other categories. In this Yahoo! standard league, I think Semin could end up being close to the 30th most valuable player. Note: I am referring to Semin’s value in a league of the above settings. In leagues that include hits or blocked shots, Semin still provides good value but certainly not as much as he does in the above league format.

Using FHG you can see the value that Semin is currently providing great value and has the potential to contribute even more value throughout the rest of this season. Now, how do you use that information to your advantage? I am sure that many Semin owners out there don’t recognize the extent of the value that he is providing. In trade discussions, you could point to his last two seasons’ production, his low goal total this year and his injury history to try to decrease Semin’s perceived value. It is quite conceivable that some managers may think that now is a great time to “sell high” on Semin, and I would say you should take advantage of these managers. They may even be more willing to move him due to the fact that they didn’t spend a high pick on him. Here are a couple of examples of players I would use in an effort to acquire Semin:

  • Jakub Voracek:  If I owned Voracek, I wouldn’t move him for Semin straight, but FHG calculates Voracek as the 47th most valuable player in this league (7 slots behind Semin). Voracek’s perceived value is at an all-time high but he is not without flaws. He is a -2, he shoots less than Semin and he is almost a non-contributor in PIMs. He has double the goals that Semin has on 13 less shots. I think it is a very good bet that Semin will get more goals than Voracek over the remainder of the season. I think there is a huge opportunity right now for somebody in a league of this format to turn Voracek into Semin plus another useful piece.  
  • Martin St.Louis: Pointing to MSL’s 22 points (compared to Semin’s 16) will go a long way in your sell job on this one. What you know that the other manager doesn’t though, is that FHG currently calculates MSL’s value as 88th overall. His goals (3), EVEN rating and PIMs (2) are all very low results. His assists and PPPs will always be elite but let’s face it MSL has started about as well as he could have and he is still already providing far less value than Semin. If they both continue what they are doing for the rest of the season, you already come out ahead in the deal. If Semin improves or MSL slows down, you will win the deal by even more. I would also guess that in a lot of leagues you could get the other manager to add something along with Semin to get your MSL. 

Alexander Semin is back and he is once again proving to be a top fantasy option. Not all managers will have bought in yet, so now is the time to take advantage. Using the tools at FHG, I have helped to identify some options of good value trades you can make to acquire Semin. To take a look at some more options of your own sign up for Fantasy Hockey Geek today and enter your league settings!

 

Published Sun, Mar 03rd, 2013