For many of you who are lucky enough to play in a head-to-head matchup this week to keep your fantasy drive alive, this column is meant specifically for you. We’ll look at a lucky seven players who could help make your fantasy season, and a dreadful six who could break it for you.


Maaasquito Buzzings…

Players in the last week with the highest production in each category who are less than 50% owned in Yahoo leagues.






Burrows (4)

Colaiacovo (4)

Cleary (4)

Barker (3)

Backes (13)

Vermette (3)

Aucoin (4)

Mitchell (4)

Purcell (2)

Umberger (13)

Perron (3)

Oshie (4)

Nilsson (4)

Vermette (2)

Bergeron (12)

Winchester (2)

McDonald (4)

Oshie (3)

Aucoin (2)

Upshall (11)

Tucker (2)

Kesler (4)

Pyatt (3)

Colaiacovo (2)

Vermette (11)

Who’s Hot

Alex Burrows – Since joining the Sedins on Vancouver’s top line, Burrows has amassed nine goals, six assists, 33 PIMs, 40 SOG and a plus 11 rating this past month. In seven March contests, he’s also averaging 18:55 in overall ice-time, as well as enjoying a bit of time on the Canucks power-play. Burrows is only 46% owned in Yahoo leagues, which is way below the expected mark, considering the amount of production that he’s produced over the last month. He’ll be a great across-the-board addition in many fantasy pools, especially for the head-to-head playoffs.

Antoine Vermette  – Vermette is certainly enjoying his new home in Columbus as he picked up six points and 12 SOG in five contests since joining the Blue Jackets at the trade deadline. He’s averaging 19:32 in overall ice-time, and 2:46 on power-play per contest with the Jackets. The only downside is that the Jackets only play two games this week, which probably won’t help many teams who are currently battling in a head-to-head playoff matchup. At only 17% owned in Yahoo pools, he should readily available on many waiver wires out there.     

Steve Sullivan – Sullivan missed most of the past two seasons with a nagging back injury, but that seems all said and done after his torrid production this past month. He’s garnered seven goals and seven assists as well as 12 PIMs and 33 SOG while playing alongside Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont on the Predators top-line. He’s averaging 18:52 in ice-time for the month of March, which demonstrates his importance to the Predators lineup. Another positive for Sullivan is that he has dual RW-LW eligibility in Yahoo leagues, which makes managing your roster a lot easier especially in head-to-head playoff leagues. At 36% owned, he should be largely available in Yahoo pools.

Ryan Kesler -  The second Canuck to make the list is Kesler. He’s been on fire while registering five goals and eight assists and 42 SOG for the past month. The former first-round pick is finally breaking out, while on staying on course to set a new career-high in points and SOG at the end of the season. He’s averaging 21:33 in ice-time, at the same time as tallying at a greater than point-per-game pace while averaging 3 SOG per contest in the month of March. Kesler’s also averaging 3:47 in ice-time in short-handed situations in the past four contests, which should help in pools that count short-handed points. At 28% owned in Yahoo leagues, he too should be available in a large amount of fantasy pools.

Kyle Quincey – I’ve been harping about this kid for the whole season, but he’s still getting ignored. Quincey has racked up a goal, eight assists and 36 SOG in the past month all while producing as one of the top contributors on the Kings’ power-play. Eight out of his nine points have come on the PP. Over the course of the past 10 contests, he’s averaging 4:14 per contest on the Kings’ power-play and is taking a large amount of shots from the blue-line. With the Kings in desperation mode and fighting for a playoff spot, look for him to keep manning the power-play for the duration of the fantasy season. Many doubters have raised the question, what about Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty in the Kings’ lineup affecting Quincey’s value? Well you can pretty much throw that argument out the window. Pick him up if he’s sitting on your waiver wire, you’ll thank me when you win your championship.

Joe Pavelski – Despite being buried behind the depth in San Jose, Pavelski has really blossomed this past month, as he’s picked up five goals and four assists, along with 22 PIMs while firing 48 SOG. Those 22 PIMs are a bit misleading as 19 of them came from one game, but the three category stud is still worth owning in many fantasy leagues. He’s averaged 18 minutes or more in ice-time for all but two of the last 12 contests. With that much ice-time on a potent Sharks’ offensive lineup, you can’t really go wrong. At 58% Yahoo-owned, he’s a decent pick up for the rest of this season.

David Backes – Lucky last, we have Backes. He probably carries the smallest name out of all the players mentioned in this column, which makes him a perfect candidate to pluck off the waiver wire easily. In this past month, Backes has put together five goals and six assists along with 18 PIMs and 35 SOG. He’s also chipped in with 49 faceoff wins, as a winger, for those who count them in their pools that’s a huge bonus. He’s on pace to finish this season with 51 points, 179 PIMs and 197 SOG which is very “Morrow-like” if you ask me. You’d be crazy to not pick him up if he’s available on your waiver wire.

Who’s Not

Ryan Getzlaf – Getzlaf has struggled immensely this past month, as he’s only tallied three goals, six assists and fired 27 SOG in 12 contests. His minus eight rating will probably hurt more teams than help them, especially in tight head-to-head leagues where every little stat counts. I’m not saying go and outright drop him, but if things are getting down to the wire and you desperately need the production, you have to toy with the idea of dropping him for one of the hot players mentioned above. The saving grace might be that the Ducks play the Coyotes twice this week, which should help boost his offensive production during the first round of the head-to-head playoffs.

Brian Campbell – I don’t know if you can consider a guy who has seven points in the past month a “cold” player, but the fact that he only has six PIMs and 18 SOG might just deem him “droppable” in desperate situations. Chicago does play four times this week, which might make you think twice about dropping him, but if you ask me to choose between Quincey or Campbell, I’d go with Quincey.

Shane Doan – The Coyotes have pretty much packed it in for this season, as they threw in the white flag when they dealt Olli Jokinen to the Flames at the deadline. Although, Doan’s overall monthly numbers don’t look too bad (seven points, six PIMs, and 45 SOG), the past eight really have been (three points, minus four, four PIMs, 23 SOG) He’s averaging 20:39 in ice-time this season, but has only cracked that mark once in the past 10 contests. It looks like the additions of Petr Prucha, Matthew Lombardi, Scottie Upshall and Nigel Daws have really hindered his offensive production. Both Sullivan and Backes would be more productive during the head-to-head playoffs than Doan if you ask me. OH, Dobber, OH, Dobber, why did you turn down my offer?

Peter Mueller – Another Coyote that was hard-hit by the trade deadline was Mueller. He’s picked up a whopping three points, minus nine rating, and 18 SOG in a largely disappointing month. Wasn’t this the kid that was poised to have a huge breakout season this year? He’s seen his ice-time average drop to 14:16 in the past five contests, while watching his fantasy value plummet. I don’t understand why he’s still owned in 46% of Yahoo leagues? Drop him already…

Paul Kariya – Not so much a cold player, but I was personally shocked when I saw that he’s still 37% owned in Yahoo leagues. The guy’s done for the season drop him already.

Daymond Langkow – If anyone’s fantasy value took a huge hit in Calgary from the trade deadline its Langkow. He’s averaging 17:16 in ice-time so far this season, but since his return to the Flames lineup from his bruised hand, he’s averaging only 15:47 in overall ice-time. The arrival of Jokinen certainly decreased the fantasy value of Langkow for the stretch run of this season. The Flames only have two games this week, so in head-to-head playoff pools, you’re better off dropping Langkow for Kesler, Vermette, Pavelski or Ribeiro if you can.

Ed Jovanovski – Finally, we have a third Coyote to finish off this list, and it’s the man they call Jovocop. He’s tallied a mind-boggling four points, minus nine rating, and 21 SOG in this past month and like the other Coyotes on this list, there are just better options available on the waiver wire. The Yotes have nothing to play for, but a better draft position, which means that Jovo will be pretty much expendable in many leagues this week. The Yotes play the Sharks, Canucks and the Ducks twice this week, which Jovo hasn’t fared well against anyways. If you own Jovo and are in a playoff matchup you’re better off picking up Quincey, Colaiacovo or Zach Bogosian to replace him this week.

With head-to-head playoff hockey pools being as tight as they are, a single point here, a PIM there, and a SOG possibly could make or break your fantasy season. That’s why it is essential to take advantage of the players that you have at your disposal, and cut loose any of the dead weight that is dragging your fantasy squad down. After all this is your last opportunity to claim the crown even though you might not have had a great regular season. It’s not about emotions, but purely based on stats from here on in. Good luck! See ya next week, if you are still alive in your leagues.     


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