Welcome to the wilderness of fantasy hockey that is January. Week 14 begins a stretch that we call the “dog days of fantasy hockey”. Week 13 featured some interesting fantasy scoring and much more. Let’s get down to business and quickly.
Tim Connolly-Phil Kessel-Joffrey Lupul (Toronto) – With the injury to Tyler Bozak, Tim Connolly clearly was going to have to step up and he did as the Toronto first line teamed up for 10 points together in Week 13. Honestly a veteran like Connolly makes this line even more dangerous because it keeps Connolly protected and helps Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel roam free. A home and home against the Buffalo Sabres and a weekend tilt with the New York Rangers may mean a very good Week 14. These are teams Lupul and Kessel have excelled against this year.
Val Filppula-Jiri Hudler-Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit) – Detroit can just produce points at a frightening rate which is good if you own their players. This line combo produced 13 points during Week 13 when together. Henrik Zetterberg led the way with five points with Jiri Hudler and Val Filppula netting four points each. Detroit plays Chicago twice on the bookends of the week, at the Islanders, and home to the Phoenix Coyotes. This could be another nice Week 14 for this trio.
Lars Eller-Andrei Kostitsyn-Travis Moen (Montreal) – It is not often that you see a “Bottom Six” line here, yet here they are. Granted, Lars Eller had five points (four goals, one assist) in one game but the addition of Andrei Kostitsyn to this line helps the fantasy dynamic. This is the most featured line at EV for Montreal at 40.4% so do not be surprised to see them all of Week 14 and beyond even with the return of Brian Gionta and eventual return of Scott Gomez. If you are an Eller owner, one may not get consistent production but at least significant production going forward.
Joe Pavelski-Patrick Marleau-Joe Thornton (San Jose) – They not only teamed for 10 points this week but this trio keyed San Jose to a huge Week 13. Patrick Marleau did lead the way with six points and Joe Thornton clearly created lots of space on this line for Joe Pavelski to operate. The chances were there for Thornton and Pavelski so it will be interesting to see what transpires in Week 14. This is a line to watch at the very least. Their key going forward will be taking what opponents give them.
Jamie Benn-Loui Eriksson-Michael Ryder (Dallas) – It is safe to say that Jamie Benn’s scoring drought is over in a big way as he totaled nine points during Week 13. Dallas had a big offensive week from their two main scoring lines but more importantly Benn. Loui Eriksson had a whopping six assists while Michael Ryder not only create space but netted a couple goals himself. They will need all the points they can muster if goalie Kari Lehtonen is out for any extended amount of time.
Lead Us Defenders…….
Carlo Colaiacovo-Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis) – Alex Pietrangelo was one of your top producing defensemen in Week 13 tallying six points (1 G 5 A). That is a little more than a third of his YTD (Year To Date) numbers. Will this continue in Week 14? The answer is maybe. With three games next week and opponents keying on Kevin Shattenkirk, it may be a pretty decent week for not only Pietrangelo but Carlo Colaiacovo also. The bigger question may just be can this pairing stay healthy? That answer is unknown at this time. So stay tuned.
Zach Bogosian-Tobias Enstrom (Winnipeg) – With Dustin Byfuglien out, Zach Bogosian and Tobias Enstrom have become the #1 defense pairing for the Jets. When paired together, they combined for five points this week and people forget that Enstrom is a top ten defenseman. Bogosian is gradually coming into his own and with the uncertainty of Byfuglien’s injury for Week 14, the Bogosian-Enstrom duo could keep on going. Also take note that Bogosian racks up a good number of shots, hits, and blocks on top of his increasing offensive numbers.
Erik Karlsson-Filip Kuba (Ottawa) – While Dion Phaneuf had six points in Week 13, the relatively new pairing of Erik Karlsson and Filip Kuba could provide some fantasy surprises for those during Week 14 and beyond. While Karlsson and Kuba combined for only four points (when together) in Week 13, it should be noted the duo was all over the ice creating a ton of scoring chances all week. Yes they are high risk and high reward but in fantasy circles it is all about the reward. Kuba may even be worth a late add this week.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @TheProgramBTR and fire away your questions. Thanks again and good luck this week.