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Using IPP in Fantasy Drafts

Introduction

Before we jump into our discussion, let this serve as a quick reminder that you should download our 2019 Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit to help you win your fantasy league this season. Our kit includes projections in more than 25 statistical categories for over 600 NHL players. Our draft kit clients consistently finish at the top of their leagues and we want you bringing home the trophy at the end of the season. Grab your copy today!

A simple metric that we can take advantage of in fantasy hockey drafts is that of Individual Points Percentage (IPP). IPP measures the contribution of a player toward his team scoring a goal. The calculation for IPP is rather simple; you take the number of points awarded to Player X and divide it by the number of goals scored by Player X's team while he was on the ice. Multiply that fraction by 100 and you have your IPP value. Typical values of IPP are 70% for forwards and 30% for defensemen; of course, elite players will exceed these values (for example, Evgeni Malkin maintains IPP values in the 75%-85% range).

If Player X scores a goal or assists on a goal, he earns a contribution toward his IPP. Since goal scoring and playmaking are considered talents in the NHL, then IPP serves as a metric for player talent. But, since goal scoring and assist generation are both processes that are subject to random fluctuations (luck), the overall IPP of a player is also subject to random fluctuations. And it is these random fluctuations that we will use to our advantage when drafting in fantasy hockey leagues. Similar to the techniques we pioneered involving shooting percentage (SH%), penalty kill save percentage (PKSV%), and SHSV, we're going to try to find players with IPP values way beyond their career norms and use these numbers to predict a regression in points in the 2019-2020 season.

Case Study: Alex Goligoski

Alex Goligoski finished the 2017-2018 season with 14 power play points and a career-high 12 goals. Despite offering very little to fantasy hockey managers in peripheral categories, Goligoski found himself being drafted in most leagues entering the 2018-2019 season.

Evidently, managers saw his offensive production in 2017-2018 as repeatable and worthy of a draft pick. This would turn out to be a mistake - and a predictable one at that. Figure 1 is a seven-year history of Goligoski's IPP. As is typical, Goligoski's annual IPP values bounced around slightly above and below his career average by about 10%. But in 2017-2018 (the year he set a career high in goals), Goligoski's IPP skyrockets to 36% above his career average. This was your warning sign - and draft kit users from last Summer were alerted to this potential problem in the Arizona Coyotes chapter.

Alex Goligoski IPP
Figure 1: Alex Goligoski's Historical IPP Values

In 2018-2019, Goligoski saw his goal production drop by 75% and his point production drop by 23%. Managers who used that 15th round pick on Goligoski were left holding the bag on a defenseman who generated very little offense, almost no penalty minutes, and 1.2 shots per game. A 15th round pick isn't going to kill your fantasy season by any stretch. But imagine having used that 15th round pick on Erik Gustafsson, TJ Brodie, or Vince Dunn (all of whom were available at that spot in fantasy drafts last Summer).

Case Study: Claude Giroux

In the fantasy hockey drafts leading up to the 2017-2018 season, Claude Giroux was being selected late in the sixth round. Managers had grown weary as Giroux's point production had dropped from 86 to 73 to 67 to 58 during a four-year span. His shot production in 2016-2017 reached levels not seen in six years and his shooting percentage dipped to just 7%. Giroux was just 29 years old heading into fantasy drafts last Summer, but managers were behaving as if he were in significant decline.

There were signs, though, that Giroux was not in a precipitous drop; instead, he may have been on the receiving end of seriously bad luck in 2016-2017. One of these signs was Giroux's IPP value. Figure 2 reveals the career history of Giroux's IPP values heading into the 2017-2018 season. His career average IPP value heading into the 2017-2018 season was 72.5%.

Claude Giroux IPP
Figure 2: Claude Giroux's Historical IPP Values

Over the course of his career, Giroux had stayed roughly within ± 10% of that average. But something tremendous happened in 2016-2017. Giroux’s IPP value plummeted to 52.9%. Only two players on that Flyers team had lower IPP values that season: Dale Weise and Pierre-Edouard Bellamare.

Giroux's IPP value in 2016-2017 was nearly 30% lower than his career average. This was a clear sign that his point production during that season was an anomaly and that he would likely experience a significant bounce-back season in 2017-2018. As early as August of 2017, we were promoting Giroux on social media (and in our draft kit) as a player who was being selected way too late in drafts.

Giroux's massive drop in IPP gave us confidence to continue our public push for managers to draft Giroux earlier than his sixth round position well into September. His case was one of the most extreme examples of an IPP shift that we had come across in a decade and Giroux did not disappoint managers who heeded the call. He finished second in NHL scoring with 102 points.

Using IPP in Fantasy Hockey

If you're wondering which NHL players will see huge gains or drops in point production in the 2019-2020 season, then your research should start with individual points percentage. Our 2019 Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit is the only draft kit that includes career IPP data and last year's IPP data - allowing you to make an informed decision on which players will see the biggest changes.

If you're looking for a chance to draft players with great projections that are being ignored by the other fantasy hockey websites, then consider downloading one of our fantasy hockey draft kits this season. You won't be disappointed. We'll use your scoring system to craft customized player projections and rankings so that you can dominate your fantasy hockey draft.

For 13 years, you've trusted Left Wing Lock as a reliable source to bring you accurate starting goalie information, line combinations, and player news alerts. That same passion and dedication fuels us as we create what we believe are the best fantasy hockey draft kits available. We invite you to let us build your customized fantasy hockey draft kit for the 2019-2020 season. Order your kit today!