Week 14 brought about even more injuries to fantasy rosters. There were reports of teams losing two or three players at a clip. In order to get ready for Week 15, one has to look at the injury reports.
Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams (Los Angeles) – This trio was amongst the Week 14 leaders with 13 points. Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar each had five points while Dustin Brown had four. The problem with this top line is finding the consistency to be a viable fantasy producer. Los Angeles has severe problems scoring at a solid clip. So while these players may produce one night, they may not for two or three others. Week 15 is a crapshoot with this line.
Nathan Horton-David Krejci-Milan Lucic (Boston) – The line benefits from the suspension of Brad Marchand. Boston plays five games in the next seven days so it may be prudent to find ways to get Boston players in your lineup, especially considering this trio put up 11 points in Week 14 and has a favorable schedule this week (@FLA, @TB, @NJ, NYR, @PHI). It does not look like it is favorable but these are all teams Boston can manhandle and produce points on. That is the bottom line in fantasy.
Colin Greening-Jason Spezza-Milan Michalek (Ottawa) – There is a line that people can get behind as they performed well in their 12 point week. Jason Spezza had six points while Colin Greening and Milan Michalek both had five points. This line was a major reason why Ottawa has surged in the last few weeks and Week 15 has Ottawa playing four times in six nights which means more opportunities (WPG, @TOR, @SJ, @ANA. Greening is the physical component (94 hits) needed to help the two playmakers stay in the lineup. However, Colin Greening does have above average hands to go with the grit and a player highly sought after in leagues.
Martin Erat-Mike Fisher- Patric Hornqvist (Nashville) – Have you ever had the feeling that a line just never got the respect it should have? Well this line in Nashville is a prime example. Mike Fisher is kind of the grit of this trio although Patric Hornqvist has an ability to get down and dirty around the net. Martin Erat is the prototypical playmaker. Together they had nine points last week and their Week 15 schedule features four games in six nights (@NYI, @NYR, @CBJ, CHI). This trio on the power play could be particularly dangerous.
Chris Kunitz-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal (Pittsburgh) – This will be as short and sweet as Evgeni Malkin’s five point afternoon against Tampa on Sunday (3 G 2 A). James Neal added two goals in Sunday’s game also. They play so often together when compared to the other lines in Pittsburgh that the percentages are not even close (45.2% EV, 80% PP). With all the injuries, the eggs are almost all in one basket but as long as they produce in Week 15, fantasy owners simply do not care as long as the results come.
Lead Us Defenders…….
Jay Harrison-Justin Faulk (Carolina) – The Erik Karlsson and Filip Kuba pairing from Ottawa seemed too easy to put here because Karlsson had seven points. However, Jay Harrison had four goals last week and this production is not a fluke. Justin Faulk provides an excellent setup component which gets him in the game offensive and defensively. Harrison had five points while Faulk did have three and this Carolina pairing has the chance to stick around for quite awhile. Take a flier on them for Week 15 and beyond.
Jay Bouwmeester-T.J. Brodie (Calgary) – This one caught many off guard but the duo had a five point week in Week 14. T.J. Brodie seems to set up players well and it helped Jay Bouwmeester to a four point fantasy week which has not occurred in what feels like forever. Brodie seems to work very well with the talented defenseman on his pairing. Maybe this is what Bouwmeester really needed after all. We will see if the spike continues or if it was just a fluke this week.
Aaron Johnson-David Savard (Columbus) – This is truly a risk for any week but Aaron Johnson did have four points in Week 14 and merits serious Week 15 consideration. Granted, Johnson is considered quite the liability defensively but he seems to move the puck to the right players often enough that he keeps on playing pretty good minutes. David Savard is a more responsible defenseman in his own end and has seemed to help Johnson. Keep an eye on these two in the weeks ahead.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @TheProgramBTR and fire away your questions. Thanks again and good luck this week.