|Looking Ahead: Week 9||Tweet|
|Written by Bob Fisher|
|Thursday, 14 March 2013 19:18|
Fisher takes a look at the schedule for next week and breaks down the teams with favorable/unfavorable workloads.
* This article was written before NHL games took place on Thursday, March 14, 2013.
Don’t worry, everything has returned back to normal. The Eastern Conference is back to having more than double the amount of “Best Bets” appearances than the Western Conference with a 24-11 advantage. The Eastern Conference also recovered in the “Steer Clear” section to the tune of 22-13 (the West with the 22). It’s safe to go back to loading up on Eastern Conference talent once again.
Things are Looking Up on the Island
The Isles really aren’t that bad of a team, they have some good pieces; they just need to pull it all together. In the next few days, the Islanders start a nice little home stand against some opponents who may be vulnerable to surrender some goals. Before their four-game home stand starts, the Isles travel to Florida on Saturday to face a team who is in a complete free fall.
Their schedule brings them back to Nassau Coliseum with games against Ottawa, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Florida again. While they’re all potentially playoff teams, except Florida, the Islanders have the second most goals for on the powerplay while at home (tied with a few other teams). Pittsburgh has the sixth worst penalty kill in the league and Florida is dead last (by almost a full four percent). Their fantasy-friendly schedule then takes them back on the road to face the second worst PK team in the Washington Capitals.
Expect the Islanders to put up some points in the next several games and maybe inch closer to a playoff spot.
Jets Prepare to Take Off
They have a seven-day span where they play five games, which includes back-to-back home games against Washington. This is the time where we’ll learn if the Jets will fly or crash and burn. Watch for guys like Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom (who will be back soon) to shine. Ondrej Pavelec is uninspiring, but he’s a workhorse.
Winnipeg is a market that lives and dies by their team, so they really need a playoff run to satisfy the frenzied fan base. If you need to fill some lineup spots, Winnipeg is a great choice for the rest of the month.
Philly’s Falling into a Black Hole
The Flyers have many great pieces, but their team is brutal right now. Danny Briere can’t seem to do anything lately; Ilya Bryzgalov is a crazy mess (more than normal). While they have some good depth, past the known commodities of Briere, Jake Voracek, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read, there’s only Brayden Schenn who has double digits in points among forwards and that’s it.
The Flyers need some time to clear their head and this is the week to do it. They have only two games in the next nine days. And in those nine days, they’ll see their chances of making the playoffs shrivel up and die. Bench your Flyers if you can only make roster updates once a week, Giroux’s two assists aren’t going to help you.
All Downhill from Here
Visits to Dallas and Colorado are the appetizer before the main course showdown Wednesday night at Anaheim, which could help determine the Western Conference throne, right before Corey Perry makes his return and Anaheim goes on their typical late-season charge.
A pretty sparse schedule for the Hawks coupled with the massive mental letdown that has to accompany coming off of a 24-game season-starting win streak makes starting some of their players less enticing in the near future. Steer clear until their ship has been righted.
Here’s a list of some players, owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues, to target during the upcoming Monday through Sunday week.
Vancouver: Mason Raymond (7%) – With Ryan Kesler out and David Booth slumping, Vancouver doesn’t have a clear cut second line. Their most successful line (other than the Twins’ line) is the Raymond-Jannik Hansen-Chris Higgins line. They’re all less than 10% owned in Yahoo leagues. Personally, I’d go with Raymond.
NY Rangers: Derek Stepan (29%) – Eight points in his past seven games. Lining up with Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan. Top unit PP time. Second most average ice time among forwards on the team. Why is he only owned in less than a third of Yahoo leagues? He’s owned in all the leagues I play in.
NY Islanders: Brad Boyes (19%) – On the top line with John Tavares and Matt Moulson at even strength and the man advantage. Three points in his past two and six in his past five. Dual eligibility. Enough said.
Winnipeg: Bryan Little (20%) – Three points in his last four. Skating with Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd in all situations. Second on the team among forwards in average ice time. Plus, if you pick up him and Boyes, your team name possibilities are endless.
Los Angeles: Jake Muzzin (6%) – I don’t normally suggest defensemen in this section, but Muzzin has been too good to ignore. Seven points in his past five, including four in his past three. He’s +8 in the month of March and hasn’t had a negative game since February 20th. In fact, he’s only had two negative games all season.
|Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 10:45|