It’s the time of year when the fantasy owners that find themselves at the bottom of their league’s standings need to shake up their roster to make an impact for the second half of the fantasy season. Whether you find yourself down in the dumps or preying on an unfortunate owner, here are some underachieving players you can acquire at bargain-basement prices:
Ilya Kovalchuk – New Jersey Devils
No doubt the king of the underachiever class so far this season but there’s reason to be optimistic. New (sort of) coach Jacques Lemaire recently cited a lack of confidence as the reason for Kovy’s struggles and he hopes to shake the vet out of his slump. If the Devils turn anything around and squeeze something out of what seems to be a long list of aging veterans this season, it’s going to start with Kovalchuk. Disgruntled owners are still holding onto the star forward (98 percent owned) but might be willing to sell for someone who can help contribute right now. Try packaging together some overachievers for a solid risk / reward play.
Marian Gaborik – New York Rangers
Historically plagued by injuries, Gaborik is beginning to make 2010-11 look like one of those seasons. Already missing 14 of his team’s 36 games with various ailments, Gaborik owners may be willing to sell. Fortunately for you, Ryan Callahan’s recent hand injury puts the Rangers’ reliance on Gaborik at a season-high. So far this season, the Rangers have benefitted from smash mouth hockey, often with great contribution from Callahan. His absence leaves the Rangers sporting a skilled top-heavy lineup featuring Dubinsky-Stepan-Gaborik; more than enough skill for Gaborik to turn on the scoring.
Marian Hossa – Chicago Blackhawks
Hossa owners should realize that Patrick Kane is now on IR leaving prime opportunity for Hossa to step in on the top line and start putting up some points. A significant amount of Hossa’s production has come from his first 7 games of the year and he hasn’t played since Novemeber 30 – which may result in fed-up owners or speculation of further injury.