|Seven Lucky Changes to Alter Your Fantasy Fate (Part 2)||Tweet|
|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 23 March 2010 10:24|
Depending on your league settings you could be heading down a few different paths. Among them: those who are gunning for a money spot in Roto leagues, or those in the playoffs for H2H leagues. If you are in a tight league where every little stat matters, making the smart adds/drops could definitely determine whether you are the league champion or just another one of the nine to 13 disappointed losers in your fantasy pool. .
Brendan Morrow – I was quite critical of the Stars last week, but seven days later it seems as though I have pulled a 180. Morrow picked up six points, four PIMs and eight SOG in four contests this past week, but it might just be too little too late for Dallas to salvage their season. He does have five points in four contests against the Sharks this season, so even if you don’t plan on utilizing his services for the entire week it might not be a bad idea to “stream” Morrow for Thursday night’s contest at the Shark Tank.
Peter Mueller – I mentioned Mueller last week, but his status of being under-rated is still pretty prevalent. In the last three contests, he’s spent 87.1 percent of his overall shifts alongside both Matt Duchene and Milan Hejduk. With that much ice-time alongside two fairly talented players, it’s no wonder why he tallied five points along with 12 SOG in four contests last week. The fact that he’ll play on both Wednesday and Sunday (traditionally slow days) should make him a great rental player for this week.
Adrian Aucoin – It seems as though the trade deadline acquisition of Mathieu Schneider has started to pay its dividends as the Coyotes are shockingly outpacing the Sharks (by one point) at the moment. The Phoenix defenseman picked up three points along with 12 SOG and 2:25 on the PP in the last three contests, so if you are looking for a replacement for Brian Campbell definitely look no further than Aucoin.
Radim Vrbata – Sticking with the Coyotes, Vrbata is well known for his streaks and he seems to be on the verge of starting one fairly soon. If you are looking for a big boost in SOG for this week then look no further than the player that’s ranked 11th in the league in that department. Vrbata has a 3.1 SOG per contest average for the month of March, so expect another double digit SOG output this week.
Patric Hornqvist – One of the main reasons why the Preds are sitting pretty in the playoff race at this juncture of the season is because of the play of Hornqvist. The 23-year old Swede is leading the team, by a fairly large margin, in goals scored as well as SOG. The Preds have three contests at the Bridgestone Arena this week, so that might make a bit of a difference to the production for the player who was ranked 26th overall in last week’s Yahoo! rankings.
Alex Steen – For those of you, who are desperately looking for C replacements, definitely take a stab at the Steen train. Last week he had a fantasy line of five points, plus one rating, two PIMs, along with 11 SOG, which outranked all of his fellow peers like Ryan Getzlaf, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Elias, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and even Henrik Sedin. Either way I just wanted to put his numbers into perspective, so if you are scrambling to find a replacement for Marc Savard or Jeff Carter, definitely consider the former 24th overall pick.
Pavel Datsyuk – I know you can’t really outright just drop a “star” player of Datsyuk’s calibre, but hear me out first. These are the fantasy lines for Datsyuk in the last three weeks: (two points, plus one, zero PIMs, zero PPP and five SOG), (three points, plus one, two PIMs, one PPP and nine SOG) and (six points, minus one, two PIMs, three PPP and eight SOG. Although the points are there, it’s the peripheral stuff that really is lacking for the Russian. If you juxtapose Datsyuk’s stats to that of Ryan Kesler’s stats (two points, minus three, six PIMs, two PPP and six SOG), (five points, plus one, two PIMS, zero PPP and 13 SOG), and (five points, plus one, two PIMs, 1 PPP, and 11 SOG) it really brings the lack of production into perspective...
Patrick Marleau – Marleau continues to struggle in the month of March as his career plus/minus rating has plummeted even further to a minus 26. Last week, Marleau also averaged just 1.75 SOG per contest in four games, which is the lowest production for a week this season. He almost always seems to disappear between the end of March and early April, so I wouldn’t hold your breathe for him to be productive for the next two weeks.
Alex Frolov – We discussed hot/cold streaks earlier with Vrbata, but the bipolar Russian is in an opposite boat as Vrbata, as he’s currently mirred in a four-game pointless drought. During that span he has only registered four SOG, which just shows how much he really is slumping. It’s definitely surprising to see that he’s still 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues, and there are definitely a few better options out there instead of Frolov.
Kris Versteeg – Since the Olympic break, Versteeg has been relegated to third line checking duties alongside John Madden and Andrew Ladd for the last few contests, which really has dramatically dropped his fantasy production for the last 10 games. Another downer is the fact that he’s averaging just 15:13 per contest, which isn’t enough time for a player to be productive. Third line checking players don’t tend to produce all that much, so unless his situation changes it’s probably not worthwhile fantasy wise for you to hang onto Versteeg any longer, especially when your season depends heavily on much needed production.
Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi has just four points in his last nine contests despite spending a smidge over half of his overall ice-time alongside either Dany Heatley or Joe Thornton. His 2.44 SOG per contest average probably isn’t all that impressive either. I generally don’t like making the suggestion of dropping top-six players, but this far into the season I would easily take four of the RW listed above over Seto for the remainder of this fantasy campaign.
Marek Zidlicky – Mirred in a five-game pointless drought, Zidlicky had a really rough three contests last week as he combined for a minus eight rating along with an unimpressive one SOG per contest average. The Czech has just three points and eight SOG in six contests this season, and 34 points and 98 SOG in 60 games career-wise, against the Sharks, Flyers and Red Wings so you’re probably not going to miss much if you decide to drop the six-year NHL veteran this week.
Evgeni Nabokov – Since the Olympic break, Nabby has a 3-6 record along with a 3.70 GAA and a .874 save percentage in nine starts. The Olympics showing really destroyed his confidence as he seems to be fighting the puck a lot more than he did at the beginning of the season. It’s probably not a smart idea to drop him outright, since goalies are probably at a premium in your pool, but it might be a smart idea to keep him benched for the next week or at least until he rights the ship.
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 might be 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.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 March 2010 12:52|