Fantasy Hockey Week 17-18
In a bad spot? If you don’t like your standing in the league, then let your players go…within reason. Never drop a Zetterberg, but maybe an Ott. If a player isn’t producing, they are dragging you down. Move on and pick up these guys when you need an extra guy:
Damien Brunner (C,RW) Detroit Red Wings– Score. Win-Win. He probably needs to be on your team. His stock is skyrocketed to a healthy 67% ownership in Yahoo leagues. Brunner is a risk worth taking.
Carl Hagelin (LW) New York Rangers– With 6 points in the last 9 games, Hagelin is on the radar. Star quality.
Troy Brouwer (RW) Washington Capitals– Brouwer is a solid player. No fluff, jut an upswing in scoring. With 13 points thus far, he’s not the most consistent, but now he’s hot. Keep him on your watch list for key match-ups at the Caps struggle to get into the playoffs.
Daniel Cleary (LW,RW) Detroit Red Wings– Cleary has taken the role of the retired Holmstrom as the screen guy. He’s been scoring, but not always. Watch list potential to monitor as your spots open up. Put him a rotation when needed. He’s not a permanent fixture on you bench.
Andrew Shaw (C) Chicago Blackhawks– Youngster who is one of the reasons why Chicago has put themselves in a great position in the Western Conference, and the League. While he’s had scoring streaks, it is difficult to tell when he’ll score.
David Perron (LW) St. Louis Blues– He’s back to business, yet not owned in many in leagues, so he’s a free agent most of the time. Only 53% owned, Perron is part of the Blues success story.
The pickings are slim right now with lingering injuries and inconsistent play by top performers. Research time is at a maximum right now. A diamond in the rough is what you want to find for your team strategy. Half a season means every game is crucial to the playoffs. Be proactive and take some risks.
Fantasy Hockey Week 15-16
Call this the year of the rookie. With so many injuries to top-liners, like Evgeni Malkin and Johan Franzen, digging deep has become a challenge. A few players are establishing a scorer attitude and are quite relibable for now.These are your go-to-guys when resources are scarce. Consider you options:
Jakub Voracek (RW)- Philadelphia Flyers– Though the Flyers are flailing, Voracek has been on the upswing. It is undetermined if he can be consistent. Hange on to him until he faults, but keep him on the watch list. He’s on a hot streak, so best to scoop him up.
Michael Ryder (RW)- Dallas Stars– Dallas is in the competition. Ryder is second tier, but you may need that. Ryder has 11 points on the season. He’s solid.
Carl Hagelin (LW)- New York Rangers– As Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider gain their game, Hagelin has shone on the scoring with 10 points thus far. He’s a best bet, despite the Rangers drop.
Jonathan Huberdeau (C) – Florida Panthers– He’s standing out as a rookie who has been lifting the Panthers. Struck with injuries, Florida is relying on the young guns and Huberdeau is one to watch. He has 13 points and igniting with energy.
Brad Boyes (RW)- New York Islanders- He has 14 points. The Islanders are not the stars your team probably needs, but Boyes can score. Just watch his problematic plus/minus stats.
Johnny Oduya (D)-Chicago Blackhawks- Only 6 points, but a fab plus/minus for a defensman. On a great team and has a great name.
Slava Voynov (D)- Los Angeles Kings- With 7 points and a healthy plus/minus, he’s a good catch. He can sit until a better defensman comes along, but he’s being touted as the real deal.
Don’t shy away from the rookies. Keep a rotating spot or two to try out their stuff, because these players are the next stars of the game.
Fantasy Hockey Week 13-14
This season many fantasy hockey participants really led a fast and furious few weeks scrambling for rankings and best bets for their team. Injuries and contracts settled in and now the league has seen some shakedown. It’s safe to start taking draft risks and getting into a groove.
Here are the players who are shining that are your bag of tricks. Put them on your watch list or activate:
Michael Grabner (RW) NY Islanders- The Isalnders have resurrected and are good. Look deep and ponder your options. He’s really a no brainer, yet only 38% owned.
Damien Brunner (C,RW) Detroit Red Wings– compared to Henrik Zetterberg quite a bit by the Deroit commentators, so it would behoove you to grab him now! With the ability in dual positions, he’s very practical and powerful. Only 43% owned in Yahoo fantasy leagues, so you’ve got a shot.
Zach Kassian (RW) Vancouver Canucks-he’s gotten himself into some scruffs, and that’s PIMs your team could use. He’s one of the top rookies to watch.
Nail Yakupov (RW)-Edmonton Oilers– he’s young, excited and wants to play to win. If you have room, consider taking him for a spin or at least on the watch list.
Chris Kunitz (LW)-Pittsburgh Penguins– he probably sat on your team last year briefly, but his year he should be sitting there now. The Pens are one of the best teams with the best talent…Kunitz has stepped up.
Andy Greene (D) New Jersey Devils– he’s looking good and scoring. His stock is low now, but perfect for your watch list to activate when your defense needs a punch.
David Clarkson (RW)- New Jersey Devils– Clarkson has evolved as a real contending champ. While he used to be known for his fighting, he’s become a top scorer in Newark. If he’s free, get him. The Devils are playing well, partly due to Clarkson.
Sheldon Souray(D)- Anaheim Ducks– Wow, this is unexpected. Sourary has been reborn in SoCal and he’s a great defensive deal. Stats are backing your decision, so grab the player most will pass on.
Matt Read (RW)- Philadelphia Flyers- Read impressed last season, and he’s become an integral part of the Flyers scoring. Watch and wait at least.
Teams to Follow:
St. Loius Blues- poised and ready to win the Cup this year. Perron, Berglund, Tarsenko, and the list continues. You get the point.
San Jose Sharks– were you one of those teams who got fed up with Logan Couture? Bummer. Sharks are fierce and looking like the team finally meeting expectations.
Detroit Red Wings- already panned as not in the running for the playoffs, the Wings know how to recruit. Look at how they play and the captain Henrik Zetterberg will lead this team where they have been before.
Research is crucial this year with so many rookies and team changes. An up-to-date watch list is your best tool to keep your roster fresh. Take time mid-week to generate a player list based on where your stats are weak. Revisit the list before the weekend and adjust.
Welcome to the 2012-13 NHL season. I thought we’d never make it to this point. You’ve signed up for a league or two and are getting familiar with the players that are making the grade. With injuries mounting so early in the season, the depth of your bench is crucial.
Teams to watch this week include the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues. Expectations are high for the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers, so clue in on how those teams are doing as the next week progresses. Sloppy play by the Blueshirts have been noticed and are not cause for panic yet, but their defense is downright Swiss Cheese.
Kick back and enjoy the games this week. Look at how your team is shaking out, explore the player stats and start adding to your watch list. We’ll get back on track next week.