Welcome once again to “An Expert’s Audit”. This audit will be posted here as well as on my fantasy hockey blog at Hockey Analysis . During the season I also do weekly reviews of teams for people who email in to me for a look-see, they’re less indepth but just as much fun. Dobber audits will continue to appear here monthly and if you’re interested in having your keeper team “worked over” then you can begin by emailing
about it BEFORE February 19th.
This month, and every month through March, not only does a lucky entrant get his or her team audited, but he or she also receives a FREE book courtesy of Firefly Books . The winner will receive either "Shooting From the Lip " or "Hockey Now! "
Adam Glass is a good Kitchener Ontario kid (I say "kid" because he’s 25 and … I’m not) who plays in a 16 team H2H keep 8 player league with a bunch of buddies from Tillsonburg. Yes I asked him if his back still ached when he heard that word (Tillsonburg). The stat categories in his league are: G, A, P, +/-, PIM, PPP, GWG, W, GAA, SV%, and SHO. I don’t like tracking P when you already track G and A, and I think that GWG and SHO are rare to track in H2H when 1 GWG or SHO would probably win you the category in a week but overall, it’s a decent setup.
Let’s take a look at Nothing-man. (*) is your 8 keeps.
C Derek Roy * BUF – I think he has 90 pt upside. He’s on pace for 79 pts as I write this but I honestly think there’s more here that he brings to the table.
C Shawn Horcoff EDM – he provided pt/game production last year and he could still provide that. At his present pace he won’t even reach 60 pts on the season but I think that 70ish is still possible if he puts some chemistry together over the 2nd half.
C Ryan Kesler VAN – when the nucks matched that offer sheet a couple years back my reaction was that it was an incredible waste of salary. Now I just think it’s a semi-waste of salary but that’s because he has some really nice value as a defensively conscious forward. If his ice time stays with Mats then his value increases every game.
LW Zach Parise * NJ – I heard one talking head call him one of the top 5 offensive options in the game right now. I don’t agree with that but he’s definitely carrying their offense and he’ll keep doing that for a lot of years to come.
LW Niklas Hagman TOR – at the beginning of the year I compared Loui Ericksson to Hagman … now I wish Hagman was on Loui’s level. He’s got some nice two way play that I can respect and in a 16 team league you could do a lot worse than rostering him.
LW Sergei Samsonov CAR – he went pointless in October, an OK November, a very nice December and then fell asleep again in January with 6 points the entire month. I’ve just never really liked him and I don’t remember ever having him on one of my teams, even when he was good.
RW Trent Hunter NYI – there are few Isles on many fantasy rosters but in a 16 team league Hunter has value since he’s eligible as a wing and puts up some points. Beware +/- but I think you’ll notice a difference now that he’s past his hand injury.
RW Tomas Fleischmann WAS – in a team full of dishers you’ll notice that Fleischmann has more goals than anyone else in the secondary attack for the Caps. He’s not a keeper option but he’s got a shot at 30 goals (25 is more realistic) so that’s invaluable.
RW Blake Wheeler * BOS – his +/- is phenomenal but that’s hard to predict from year to year. He’s a keep because he’s a rook and he produces. He’ll keep producing for your team for a lot of years.
D Ryan Suter * NAS – he’s a tougher Rafalski in my books. He’s the last option for a keeper on your list and there’s some debate whether Selanne should get that honour or not.
D Brian Campbell * CHI – he’s top 10 in D scoring and I don’t see that changing for many years to come. As that Hawks team matures offensively his stat totals are going to increase with it.
D Tom Gilbert EDM – I really like this kid. He’ll be a solid D option in the NHL for a lot of years to come. Since you only keep 8 he doesn’t make the cut but he has a good deal of value for your team. Don’t forget that.
D Ian White TOR – ok, I’m a Leaf fan but there’s no way I’m rostering him in any league, even in a 16 teamer.
G Henrik Lundqvist * NYR – if I can’t have Luongo anchoring my goaltending in a keeper league then I want King Henrik there. A lot of guys have been down on him a bit this year but he’s still elite.
G Dwayne Roloson EDM –the Oil moved Garon this month and in so doing you solidified your goaltending for the rest of this season.
BN Scott Clemmenson NJ – he’s got a month’s worth of value left ... maybe. I think the time to move him for something of value has passed.
BN Kyle Turris * PHX – he’s a keeper but I think he’s a better keeper option for NEXT year. When your team is back to full strength I think you’ll have a decent shot at a championship, that’s looking like a better prospect for another year than it is for this year though.
BN Brendan Morrison ANA – has-been. Jettison him as soon as you can.
BN George Parros ANA – well … he’s got the best porn mustache in the game … and I hear he’s really smart … and he expresses himself very well … but as a fantasy hockey option, you don’t want him on your team. The PIMs will be there but he doesn’t really contribute anywhere else so what’s the point?
IR Teemu Selanne ANA – arguably he’s a keep but I put him on the bubble. I think he may call it quits at the end of his contract next year and it’d be better to have another option instead of relying too much here.
IR Erik Johnson * STL – I still heart EJ. Next year you’ll see what I mean.
This is your roster as it appeared when I came on the scene. Obviously Teemu has been off IR for a couple weeks now and we dealt with that situation. My biggest issue here is that you’re playing one keep short this season because EJ is shelved. I’m against trading him since you won’t get full value and you still have to try and make due on the season without an 8th keeper rostered. Other guys simply roster a better team this year while you play a keep short. That’ll make your chances at success slimmer but I still think you have a shot to finish in the money if we can make the right moves.
Waiver Wire Options
Streaming or cycling is a common strategy in H2H leagues like yours. That’s where you cycle guys into your lineup from off of the wire in order to maximize your weekly games played. Some guys REALLY hate it, but I don’t. I think it’s a viable opportunity to improve your weekly performance provided you keep streaming for the bottom of your roster that you don’t really utilize anyway and you also guard against a plummeting +/- as you roster guys for a day that nobody else wants. I’m going to suggest you do a little cycling although there will be no spandex allowed because nobody wants to see that, even from a nothing-man.
We were having our streaming discussion when I noticed in your league settings that you have a maximum moves requirement of 90 and you’d already used up over 70 of them. Not pretty. We had to ration 2 moves a week during the H2H playoffs (the max allowed in the playoffs) and that left us with 9 moves for half a season of hockey. Not fun.
I list a bunch of options below but that’s only because you’ll need streaming options as the season ends.
Alexander Radulov – keep this idea in your back pocket in case your team crashes and burns over the 2nd half. I expect Rad to be back in the league next year and I’d add him to the bottom of your roster late in the season should you not qualify for the playoffs or your season has ended. That way you at least have an option on him for a keep going into next year.
Ian Laperriere – you’re in a bit of a search for PIMs since we jettisoned Parros pretty early into the process. He’s an interesting middleweight who gets the occasional point.
Cody McLeod – he exploded in January for some goals and if he keeps that up then he’s very viable as a pickup whether you’re streaming him or not.
Ethan Moreau – he provides a surprising amount of offense for a hard-nosed plumber type.
Manny Malhotra – if you had a faceoff category then I like him even more but in January he looked to be on a bit of a roll and he’d be certainly worth a look as a streaming option. You have a lot of C’s though so I doubt he has much value for you beyond streaming.
Chris Neil – he’s one of my all time faves for a combination of PIMs and points. It just doesn’t seem like the points are coming this season. Usually my standard for goons is that I want 30 pts and 200 PIMs, he won’t get anywhere near that point level this season but the PIMs will be there.
Jere Lehtinen – he’s had an injury plagued season but he also had a red-hot January when you compare it to his regular production. He’s producing about as much as the lower end of your RW anyway so he’s certainly worth rostering as a streamer.
Mark Giordano – he’s on pace for just shy of 30 pts for the season and any 30 pt D has value in fantasy hockey. He’s definitely worth a streaming option.
Nick Boynton – a lot of people were saying that the Cats got a steal in getting Boynton and Ballard for Jokinen but I didn’t see it that way at all. Boynton has value for points in the teens and PIMs for 120 or so. That PIM value is very good for a D but there’s little else for me to pursue here.
Steve Ott – he went on a hot streak this month and he’d have all sorts of value if he were eligible on a wing in your league but since he’s listed as a C only then the best case scenario is as a stream option for a week or so when you need it.
James Neal – there’s all sorts of upside here and I think he has value as a keep option or at the very least he’d be on the bubble as a keep if he were on your team. I like him and watch him closely.
Robert Nilsson – he can be really frustrating to have on your team because he has so much talent and he gets so little opportunity. If he gets in the right situation he can really help a fantasy team.
Johnny Oduya – if you ever need a boost in +/- in a given week then you can do a lot worse than rostering Johnny O.
Craig Rivet – he’s been a bit invisible due to injury this season but he’s a 30 pt D who’ll chip in PIMs and is a valuable leader in Buffalo.
Teemu Selanne, Brendan Morrison and Ian White to The D-Train for Johan Franzen, Braydon Coburn and Niklas Kronwall – I was giddy for days after this deal. You got 3 guys that arguably could be keepers for a guy who was on the bubble because of his age and 2 more guys that you didn’t want anyway. I now suggest that Franzen is a keeper for you and he should take Suter’s keeper slot. You also have the option of shopping Kronwall around a bit more to see if there’s an upgrade on the wing that you can get out of this whole thing.
There are some pretty stacked teams in this league, 2 of them that I think are pretty much untouchable but one of the fun things about H2H is that once you get to the dance then anything can happen. You need to finish in the top 6 to qualify for the playoffs and you’ve fluctuated between 4th and 6th over the last month so I really don’t think it’ll be much of an issue making the playoffs. My worry for your team this year is for your non-keeper wings. Samsonov, Hagman, Hunter and Fleischmann have some upside (some more than others) but they could also ALL crash and burn in the playoffs. I’m most worried about Samsonov disappearing like he has for periods all season long. If there was a viable LW option on the wire who had a shot at producing better than him then I’d be suggesting you pursue that, the closest guy for that is Robert Nilsson.
Some guys inquired about getting EJ off you but we weren’t selling low and discussions didn’t really go far. DO NOT SELL LOW ON EJ! He’ll return next season and will anchor your D along with Campbell for a lot of years to come.
Streaming is your only hope for success this season but you’ll have to be careful. Streaming wreaks havoc on a +/- because you run guys out there that nobody else wants. When you’re deciding who to run out there for a certain week then I’d be looking for guys playing more games than others, who’ll contribute in a category that I think I’ll need and I’ll also hope to find someone that won’t hurt in +/-.
The one trade you made this month is really good. It doesn’t hurt you now but it REALLY helps you for next year. You now have the option of keeping any one of Franzen, Coburn or Kronwall and it only cost you Selanne who you probably weren’t keeping anyway. I’ll argue that Franzen becomes your last keep ahead of Suter.
Well, that’s it for me this month. Normally I’d thank you for the opportunity to look around your team but I know what your response would be, it was nothing man. See ya Adam. Good luck.