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The Puck Pastor suggests six moves for fantasy hockey managers with nothing to lose.
Belief is a wise wager. Granted, faith cannot be proved, but what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and if it proves false? If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing.
- Blaise Pascal
The above quote by mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal was the topic of the recent talk I had with our local Jr. "A" hockey team are the Portage Terriers. Pretty frequently the team is represented at the national RBC Cup and we actually get to host the tournament in 2015 that everyone is pretty excited about. I’ve gotten to know some of these guys pretty good and there is nothing they like talking about more than 17th century mathematicians.
Pascal's Wager is mathematician Blaise Pascal's argument for why a human being ought to ask ultimate questions of faith and reality. Pascal here was not arguing for any particular beliefs, rather he was pointing out that ultimate questions matter and to not examine them is to bet your life without even considering upside and downside. Because there is much at stake, says Pascal, at least think about these things. Find the upside, minimize the downside, and bet your life accordingly.
For most areas of life this approach is wise. Although I think there are certain times when it needs to be abandoned. You might be in, or getting close to, one of those times. In fact, if you are not in the top tier of your pool at this stage of the season it is probably time to change your approach because there is no real downside for you right now. Because frankly, if you sink from third last to last because of your high risk, high reward, low percentage efforts - who cares? But if the moves pay off you might be poised for a comeback that looks like genius. This is not the time for basement dwellers to play it safe. It’s time to make the boom or bust play that could either make your already terrible season worse, or else save it!
Here are a few names for your consideration. A few would have to be traded for. Where you have a shot at finding them on the waiver wire, I've included their ownership %.
Dallas is a very intriguing team for the second half. If the young talent settles in and stays injury free Lehtonen could post 40+ wins for the season. Or, if the inconsistency remains he may not crack 30.
Remember, I'm not talking about sleepers. Everyone knows Evander is a pretty good multi-cat guy. I'm talking about trading someone you could very well regret - Steen, Pominville, Ryan. If you were trying to stay atop your league you wouldn't think of it, but if you are a basement dweller willing to really roll the dice and offer up something his owner can't resist Kane is one of the few guys out there who can go on a difference making hot streak for you.
Mike Cammalleri (41% Yahoo!)
His plus / minus is a killer, but he has a quiet 10 goals and a knack for scoring in bunches. A ton of questions continue to surround the Flames, but Cammalleri should get 15 more goals and may manage 30.
Appears headed for the worst numbers of his career taking him from a fantasy relevance to obscurity. However, if he bounces back to his previous levels over the next 40 games he'll be worth looking at. He's been too consistent to not cost you something, but you can probably get him at an all time low.
Michael Ryder (11% Yahoo!)
Will he get 30 goals? Probably not. But that he conceivably could means you need to pay attention over the next couple weeks.
Jakob Silfverberg (19% Yahoo!)
My first article ever at DobberHockey made the case for Franzen over Silfverberg. It's now the time of the season to bet on Silfverberg's upside in the second half of the season. If I'm a bottom dweller in my league right now I'd give up steady Franzen for the potential of Silfverberg. (Editor's update - with Sunday's head injury to Franzen, this point becomes even better)
Maybe it's premature to start making these high-risk moves, but it's not too early to start thinking about them. When you have nothing to lose, it's time to bet big. In areas where you have much to lose, stick with Mr. Pascal.
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