After producing a career high of 23 points in each of the prior two seasons, Justin Braun disappointed by recording just 13 in 2016-17. While his offense took a hit, his physical stats were both at career-high levels, as he dished out 136 hits and blocked 161 shots. Additionally, as teammate Brent Burns continued to emerge as a dominant force en route to winning the Norris Trophy, Braun saw his power play time drop from 0:40 to 0:08 per game. Braun skates on a pairing with defensive stalwart Marc-Edouard Vlasic most of the time, which puts him in position to be a good option for extremely deep leagues and those that value physical stats, or as a depth option in more typical settings in the event of injury to another defenseman on your roster.
Braun posted four blocked shots in Friday's 6-1 loss against the Stars. Braun has set a new career high with 150 blocked shots. He also has managed a career-best 126 hits, but those are about the only two categories in which he steadily contributes for fantasy owners.
Braun has racked up a career-high 99 hits (and counting) in 60 games this season. The rearguard has added triple-digit blocked shots (110) to complement his affinity for laying the body this year. Unfortunately, Braun's paltry nine points and basically non-existent power-play time seriously hinder his fantasy value in the vast majority of formats.
Braun has just seven points in 47 games this season. The rearguard was able to put up an identical 23 points in each of the last two seasons, but has taken a major step back offensively in 2016-17. Where his game is developing, however, is on the defensive side of the puck, as his 84 hits and 82 blocked shots will attest. Braun had 95 and 140, respectively, last year, so perhaps the Sharks' coaching staff has asked him to take on more of a shutdown role. Nonetheless, his lack of scoring makes him a fringe fantasy commodity at best, even in leagues that count hits and blocks.
Braun scored a third-period goal during Friday's win over Philadelphia. It was just the second tally of the season for Braun, and with only six points, 36 shots and a minus-3 rating, he doesn't provide a lot of fantasy value. Additionally, he entered Friday's game starting just 39.6 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone, which further hinders his upside.
Braun notched his first goal of the year in Tuesday's shootout win over the Leafs. He's not much of a fantasy asset, as Braun now owns a mere five points in 29 games this year, and he doesn't contribute enough in the defensive stats to make up for that in specialty formats. At 29 years old, Braun's already probably about as good as he'll ever be, so there's no need to keep holding out hope for him if there's an interesting candidate on your waiver wire.
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Last 7 Games
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