Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fantasy Preview: Valtteri Filppula

Fifty Mission Cap Sports Blog dedicated an entire piece of fantasy forecast to our favorite Finnish Detroit Center...

On any other team, Filppula would have been a regular contributor for the last two seasons. Due to Detroit’s depth, Filppula is simply a skilled centerman who has the potential to be a top six forward, but is more concentrated on taking care of his own end.

Everyone was expecting last year to be his coming out party. We signed him to a nice contract extension, and he was going to be spending time with either Zetterberg or Hossa. 40 points is nothing to sneeze at, but I think we were all a little least I was.

Filppula didn’t have to move a muscle and in a matter of months, he instantly moves into a top six role on a very potent offense. Most importantly, he is surely to receive a career high in minutes, including powerplay time.

Agreed. Filppula's a good face-off guy, making him the prime candidate for that second powerplay unit if Babcock relents a little on this "no Flying Circus" trip that he's currently on.

What was impressive and encouraging about Filppula’s 2009 season was his playoff performance. He was third in playoff scoring on the Red Wings with 16 points (3 goals) in 23 games. If he can continue his play making abilities in his increased role on the second line that he showed in the playoffs, he is surely going to make a fantasy impact.

Hmmm...guess I didn't even notice that. Good for you, Wally. I see flashes of both Zetterberg and Datsyuk at times from this guy, which is probably why I'm being so impatient with him to turn the corner in the points department. I know that he's improved his point totals every year that he's been in the league, but I truly believe that he's capable of better than 60 points in a full regular season.

Putting it all together: 82 goals to make up from last season, increased ice time, increased powerplay time, top six forward on a very effective offensive team, and an improvement of production for three years running. 50MC fearlessly forecasts 17 goals, 39 assists for 58 points (THN predicts: 79 games – 20/30/50). This production makes him a solid fantasy late round pick and a must have in deep leagues.

I'm thinking he's going to fall somewhere in between 50MC and THN's prediction. This is based mostly on the fact he'll be playing third line center points in the mid 50's for a center out of your top six would be just wonderful. A lot will depend on how Leino and himself click with Jason Williams. Filppula will be centering two snipers, with his play-making ability, an increase of around 15 points from last season isn't asking too much. Or is it?


  1. Unless VF, Leino, and Williams--which seems to be the third line right now--REALLY click, I don't see this as VF's breakout year, again. If he gets to center the second line, THEN he will do very big things. Until then, not as good as he can be. However, that being said, I think he is probably a late bloomer like Datsyuk was. Give him a couple of more years and there may be no stopping him.

  2. A couple more years? If he developed any slower he'd be...well, Tomas Kopecky.

  3. Hey, I will defend him to the end of time. Maybe. ;)