We’re nearing a third of the way into the 2010-11 fantasy season and there has been a few busts to start the year. We’ll discuss a few that have caught my attention and see if a deviation from the norm is expected or are things going to remain status quo to drive you further insane.
I generally don’t like placing players who have sustained an injury as part of a bust list, but I think I can make an exception for Doughty. If you look at the overall numbers (seven points and 31 SOG in 19 contests) they aren’t exactly horrendous, but what makes him a bust is the initial cost at the draft table. In Yahoo! leagues he was, on average, drafted with the 18th overall pick (round 2.3). When you are spending that high of a pick, especially a defenseman, you are definitely expecting encouraging results. His current 30-point clip just won’t cut it if you’re after a league championship in April. The bad news is that despite averaging 27:34 per contest for the last eight contests, Doughty has a giant gooseegg along with paltry 11 SOG during that span. He’s turning into more of a Brian Campbell than a Mike Green, which isn’t exactly a positive thing for fantasy purposes. The main difference between this season and last, is that the Kings’ PP ran through DD in 2009-10. This season it’s running mainly through Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, leaving Doughty with the short end of the stick. Maaaasquito Buzz: Doughty owners are kind of between a rock and a hard place. If you try to deal him, you’re not going to get anywhere near full value for him and you can’t exactly just outright drop your second round pick. My suggestion is to hang tough and hope for the best, but I’m not confident that things will deviate much from the current situation.
Much like the situation with Doughty, those who invested just as high of a pick (22.1 overall) on Keith is probably feeling the pain as well. He started the 2010-11 season in blazing style with 12 points in the first 14 contests, but has slowed to a crawl with just five in the last 15. A lot of the drop-off could be attributed to him being overworked from averaging 29:10 per contest in October. The medicine to fix his problem is probably just some extra rest. The schedule becomes much more favourable to the Hawks (10 contests in the next 27 days), so look for him to get back to scoring at a more productive rate as the season progresses. Maaaasquito Buzz: With Marian Hossa, and possibly Patrick Kane out for an extended period of time, the forwards of the Hawks are looking pretty thin. Don’t expect similar numbers from 2009-10, but 30 points in the remaining 53 contests seem pretty reasonable.
The bust factor isn’t as big with EJ as it is with the two names above. You’re probably allowed to make a few small mistakes with the mid-round picks and still come out okay in April. He’s starting to lose his number one blue-liner title in St. Louis as teammates Carlo Colaiacovo and Alex Pietrangelo are starting to gather momentum especially on the PP front. I mentioned earlier in the season that EJ is starting to resemble a certain someone by the name of Jay Bouwmeester. Both have a “big name” attachment to them, but are much more valuable in “real-life” than for fantasy purposes. Maaaasquito Buzz: The Blues are an offense-by-committee team, so I don’t see a lot of room, with CC and AP in the mix, for EJ to really bust out. I’d use his “big name” and see if you can land a bigger fish or package him in a deal for an upgrade in somewhere else.
Drafted in the slot just after EJ (71.6) in Yahoo! leagues, it’s kind of interesting to see how both have flopped this early in their campaign. Weber has a bit more upside in SOG (3.2 per contest), but it’s the current pace of 32 points that’s starting to scare me. If you look at the overall numbers 25:06 overall and 4:20 on the PP, there really isn’t any solid evidence to explain why he’s producing at such a low pace. Maaaasquito Buzz: Much like EJ’s situation, the offense-by-committee, as well as the defense-first mentality of the Nashville coaching staff, will hurt Weber’s fantasy value. I’d expect him to tally close to last season’s point total of 43 points, but probably not the 53 point plateau that he hit two seasons ago, so look for around 30 points in the remaining 57 contests.
With the death of the wicked “Hitch” of the West in Columbus, many poolies thought that it was just the opening Filatov needed to make a huge splash in the NHL. 26 contests into 2010-11, and we’re still waiting for that boat to set sail. 30 SOG and a 12:13 per contest ice-time average just aren’t cutting it for fantasy poolies. Maaaasquito Buzz: Huselius’ injury did open up a small crack for Filatov to try to sneak through, but the Jackets’ coaching staff continues to keep a short leash on him as he’s averaging just 11:51 per contest. The lack of ice-time makes him an immediate drop as there are probably better and more viable options available on the ww.
Jokinen was mostly written off at the beginning of the season, as he didn’t even make the Yahoo! pre-season draft list amongst centers, which is very mind-boggling considering just four seasons ago he was one of 14 players to eclipse the 90-point barrier. How the mighty have fallen! As I have mentioned a few times in my past articles, with Jokinen you pretty much own him for the peripheral stats. If you pro-rate his current numbers, he’d have a pretty healthy line of 98 PIMs, 78 HITs, 37 BS, and 205 SOG, which isn’t bad at all in the grand scheme of things. Maaaasquito Buzz: The Flames don’t have much to play for this campaign, so I could very easily see them be major sellers come deadline time. A bubble team, like Atlanta, Phoenix or LA, could certainly use a cheap $3 mil option for a late-playoff run. I’d keep Jokinen’s name in the back of my head and maybe pick him up around the ASB.
I’m generally not a big fan of rookies, as there’s just too much insecurity/fluctuation with their production. Such is the case with Hall, as he’s started off fairly slow with just five points in the first nine contests, but has turned the corner with eight points in the last nine contests. If you look at the recent trends from rookies, Steven Stamkos had a 10-game breakdown of four, three, four, two, six, 10, 11 and six points. John Tavares had 10-game breakdown of seven, 11, six, four, three, two, eight, nine and four points. So the up-and-down, roller-coaster production will certainly exist with youngsters. Since his 7-1 benching in Carolina, he has averaged over 18 minutes per contest in 10 of the last 13 contests, which is definitely the ice-time that he needs to produce at a decent pace (pretty much what Stamkos was averaging at the end of his rookie year). Maaaasquito Buzz: With his slow start, I still think that 70 points is out of the question, but I wouldn’t rule out 40 points in the remaining 56 contests for a nice healthy total of 55 points come April.
Doan’s start to the 2010-11 season has certainly been a up-and-down ride taking into account a questionable three-game suspension, as well as dealing with a lower-body injury. It appears that things are back on track as his six-points in the last six contests confirms. He is the undeniable leader of the Coyotes so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lead the team in the scoring department by the end of the season. Maaaasquito Buzz: The 70+ point days are well and truly behind him, but the 17:11 and 3:35 numbers should guarantee him to reach the 49-point plateau for a 11th consecutive season.
After a sensational 2009-10 season, there were plenty of people with high hopes for Robidas, but so far this campaign he’s mostly disappointed. He’s still on pace to repeat his 41-point performance from last season, but it’s the massive drop in SOG, HITs, and BS that’s the major worry (pro-rated to 102, 167 and 126 respectively by the end of the year). Maaaasquito Buzz: I’d shop him around just to see what the market value is. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to package him in a deal to see if you can land Brent Seabrook or Mark Giordano as a replacement.
Seto was on the inside track to be a fantasy force when he tallied 65 points in his sophomore year. 91 contests since and he has a grand total of 43 points to show for it. To make matters worse he’s missed the last four contests due to an upper body injury. Tack on the recent success of youngster Logan Couture, and there isn’t much room for Seto to be of fantasy value this campaign. Maaaasquito Buzz: If you are a Seto owner, drop now!
With just seven points from 23 contests, Bolland could be considered a bust to start the season but then again, Bolland was pretty much mostly a late-round pick anyways. With those picks, owners are generally swinging for the fence for a chance to nail a dinger, so striking out probably isn’t such a big deal. What could help his cause might be the recent injuries sustained by a few of the Blackhawk stars. For much of the season, Bolland has spent the majority of his time alongside Bryan Bickell and Fernado Pisani (13.88 percent), Bickell and Troy Brouwer (10.57 percent), or Hossa and Patrick Sharp (10.14 percent). With the injuries to Hossa and Kane, it opens the door for Bolland to possibly slide into a top-six winger role (I just don’t know if Jeremy Morin, Tomas Kopecky, or Viktor Stalberg are good top-six fits). Maaaasquito Buzz: Bolland isn’t exactly going to completely change your fantasy squad, but he could see more responsibility with the injuries to Kane and Hossa while being a good temporary pickup in deep leagues looking for a small boost in the third/fourth C position.
Hornqvist led the Predators in team scoring last campaign by tallying 51 points. This season he’s only on pace for 41 points, which is a bit of a downer. The SOG are certainly there for him to see an increase in offensive production as the season progresses, but the ice-time will need to see a significant increase in order for him to really explode. Barry Trotz is a very tough coach to please, but if you get into his good books you’ll generally receive good things (Cal O’Reilly, Steve Sullivan, and Martin Erat for example), so if Horny can manage to get out of the doghouse and into the master bedroom (sorry just moved into a new house had to chuck it in here!), his numbers could become very impressive. Maaaasquito Buzz: At 70 percent Yahoo! owned, it’s probably a bit late to snag him off the ww in competitive leagues, but I’d send an offer to the Horny-owner as his early season bust status could net you a nice return come April.
With how things have shaped up this season, there weren’t really any sure fire goalie bust candidates that flew out of my head. If I were forced to select one it’d probably have to go to Turco. Seasoned veteran, with a pretty good track record, playing for a defending Stanley Cup champions sounded like a match made in heaven, but 30 contests in and we have a full-blown goalie controversy on our hands. I know that Dobber has had many heated discussions about Turco’s status with fellow Dobberites, and I’m backing him on this one. Turco is a “good” goalie, but also one that has plenty of holes in his play. Those holes were shrouded by Ken Hitchcock’s and Dave Tippet’s strong defense-first philosophy from the early 2000’s onwards which in turn inflated Turco’s stats. Those flaws have now been revealed and also being taken advantaged of by the opposition as identified by his very run of the mill .904 save percentage and 2.79 GAA from the last three seasons. On the flip side, you have very young up-and-comer in Corey Crawford sporting a dazzling 2.34 GAA along with a very respectable .914 save percentage causing plenty of headaches for many Turco-owners. Maaaasquito Buzz: If you are a Turco-owner, you probably don’t need me to tell you twice to pick up Crawford as the immediate handcuff. At just 30 percent Yahoo! owned, he’s widely available in plenty of fantasy pools out there. As for Turco, only time will tell what will happen to his status this season. Your guess is probably as good as mine.
Any busts of your own? Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below. We’ll see you here, back again next week.