Most leagues are pretty much settled, but if you’re looking for a few final tips to get you over that last hurdle then this final column of the fantasy season should provide a final helping hand.
If ice-time and SOG are any indicators of fantasy success, this week’s column will be a good accompaniment in identifying a few trends moving forward. We’ll examine several advancers and decliners out West to help get you through that mid-season lull. Remember, we’re now in the portion of the season where it’s win and move on or lose and go home. So when it comes down to making the tough decisions, think of the “here and now” implications because there’s no next week.
R.J. Umberger – LW – Columbus– 25% Yahoo! owned
Umberger was pretty much dormant for the first five months of the season, but has since returned back to fantasy relevance with 13 points and 42 SOG in 16 March contests. During that span he’s averaging 18:19 overall as well as 3:47 with the man advantage. The Jackets don’t have much to play for except pride, so many Blue Jackets will be trying to make an impression to Todd Richards heading into 2012-13. Keep him in mind for Saturday night’s contest as he has 21 points in 26 career contests against the Islanders.
Devin Setoguchi – RW – Minnesota – 18% Yahoo! owned
The Wild have been playing spoilers lately, as they’ve strung together a mini three-game winning streak during the last week. Much like Umberger, Seto was quiet until February, but has since posted 10 points and 39 SOG during the last 16 contests. The Wild essentially face three playoff bound teams, so they might be thinking of utilizing the Wild matchup as an opportunity to rest their “star” players for the post-season, which then might result in Seto being freed up offensively to put up some notable numbers this final week. Double check your waiver wires to see if he’s still available.
Viktor Stalberg – LW – Chicago – 12% Yahoo! owned
Stalberg has been acting like a man possessed during the last six contests, especially on the SOG front, as he’s registered a whopping 28 SOG against opposition goalies. What’s interesting is that the offensive production (four points in six contests), has also increased as a result. Jonathan Toews has been cleared to return to the Hawks line up sometime this week, which might result in Stalberg losing some ice-time. Either way if you’re looking for some help in the SOG front definitely spare Stalberg a thought.
Derek Dorsett - RW –Columbus – 6% Yahoo! owned
If you’re looking for more of an across-the-board type of production then definitely give Dorsett a whirl. Over the course of the last 13 contests, he has posted a line of four points, 33 SOG, a minus two rating, along with 39 PIMs. On top of that he’s also garnering a respectable amount of ice-time (16:19) as well as PP TOI (2:07), which should help out the production on the fantasy front. Dorsett has participated in three fights against the Avs during the last two seasons, as well as one earlier this season against Pyatt of the Coyotes. If things get out of hand in on Tuesday or Thursday night, Dorsett could certainly increase is PIM total.
Nikita Nikitin – D – Columbus – 9% Yahoo! owned
Nikitin is also someone who’ll try to finish off the year attempting to impress the coaching staff and management heading into next campaign. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw his current stat-line. Since the trade from the Blues, he’s posted 31 points, a minus four rating (impressive for being on the Jackets), along with nine PPP and 85 SOG in 51 contests with Columbus. If you pro-rated that over a course of a full 82-game season, it’d equate to 49 points, a minus six rating, 14 PPP and 136 SOG. Definitely keep his name in mind for the next campaign, but he certainly could be a candidate to help turn the scales in your favour this week.
Anton Babchuk – D – Calgary – 6% Yahoo! owned
Babchuk has had a dismal season this campaign with his numerous healthy scratches, which has left me scratching my head as to why GM Jay Feaster signed him to a two-year $5 million deal in the first place? Either way, if you’re looking for help on the SOG front, then Babchuk is certainly a great option. Since March 20th, he has averaged 3.29 SOG per contest while averaging a whopping 4:47 on the PP. The Flames don’t have any early week games, so you should be able to utilize your current defensive set up until Wednesday night and then add Babchuk for the final two contests to finish the season.
Allen York – G – Columbus – 4% Yahoo! owned
I know it’s a very Blue Jacket’s filled column this week, but I just can’t leave York off the list. With Steve Mason possibly on the shelf for the remainder of this fantasy season, York should receive plenty of attention this week. During the last two weeks he has posted a 3-0-1 record, along with a blazing 1.56 GAA and .950 SP. Dobber currently has a poll on the front page regarding who the number one will be for the Jackets next season. My initial pick would be York, as he’s done everything to prove that he can be a number one in the world’s best hockey league. For this week, it doesn’t hurt that he faces the 20th (Phoenix), 23rd (Colorado) and 27th (Islanders) ranked offenses in the league so add away!
I won’t include a list of dropsies this week as you’ll pretty much know who you need to drop from your team if you’re in a close tight-knit matchup come Thursday or Saturday. Best of luck!
I also want to take this time to thank all the loyal followers of my columns over the course of this fantasy year. There have been tonnes of positive comments from the columns throughout the fantasy season, which makes me appreciate the work that I do here at DobberHockey. Readership, (understandably), does tend to drop off dramatically over the course of the summer, but as you know, a smart fantasy poolie recognizes that the job is never done. Here are a few samples of the pieces that I write over the summer period.
April Flowers (Fantasy Awards)
Recap of Not with a 10-foot Pole (West 2011)
Recap of Enlightend You Shall Be (West 2011)
Recap of Pre-Season Guide (West 2011)
Probably the most important of them all Projections, Projections, We All Love our Projections (West 2011)
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