Buy or Sell: Analyzing early season trends (Part 1/2)

Updated: October 31, 2010 at 10:35 pm by Alexander Monaghan

Jason Spezza – Spezza returns to the lineup tonight so there should be no time better to buy low on the playmaking pivot.  Last season, Spezza looked bad in October/November, with only five points over 12 games before rebounding, finishing with 57 points in 60 games.  His inconsistency on the ice has yet to translate onto fantasy teams as he has five points in five games, but you still might be able to pry him from a worried owner at a lesser price.  The Sens were a very strong team last season so expect them to be better than their current 12th seed.  When they do improve, you can also expect it to be mostly because of the young Spezza.

DF Prognosis: Strong Buy

Danny Briere – The diminutive yet versatile forward has been streaky the majority of his tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers.  His effort cannot be discounted but to be the most valuable fantasy player on the team; that is another story.  Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and probably Claude Giroux will probably lead frog the current playoff hero line in both the scoring department and the depth chart.  Sell Briere while you still can as he will not be an elite forward and likely fall between the 50-60 point range.

DF Prognosis: Sell High

Travis Zajac – Coming into the season, most fantasy pundits labeled Zajac primed for a breakout season.  Originally paired with longtime linemate Zach Parise and superstar Ilya Kovalchuk the sky was the limit for the young pivot.  However, inconsistency following a strong pre-season has moved Kovalchuk off the line and puts Zajac with only four points over 11 games.  There are some things working in Zajac’s favor. 1) He still plays with Parise. 2) The Devils can’t be this bad all season, they are simply too talented. 3) Regardless of everything surrounding him he has remained the top line center all year.  Sit tight on Zajac, even bench him; but definitely do not give up on him just yet.

DF Prognosis: Hold

Justin Williams – Williams has been great, just as he has most of his career.  Through his first 10 games he has collected a tidy nine points.  However, it is not his ability to put up points that is being questioned, but his ability to stay healthy.  In his first full year with the Los Angeles Kings he only managed to play 49 games.  Similarly, he got off to an excellent start then with 24 points over his first 33 games before missing a significant portion of time and only potting five points over his final 16 games.  Sell now while he has value, especially since he neither plays on the top line nor sees time on the top powerplay unit.

DF Prognosis: Sell

Ryan Callahan – This season should be the indicator whether or not Callahan will break out offensively. With Marian Gaborik on injured reserve, Cally’s line has become the top, goto unit; flanking both Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov.  So far he has done nothing but show he can produce with 10 points in his first nine games thanks to a five-game scoring streak where he has collected eight points.   In short, he is on fire.  The difference between this year and year’s past is simply finding the back of the net as his effort is always there, night in and night out.  Grab Callahan if you still can.

DF Prognosis: Buy

We hope you enjoyed our most recent feature, Buy or Sell, which will run every other Saturday and Sunday.  Be sure to check out the second part of the article posted tomorrow and plenty more of new material moving forward.  You can follow us on twitter @dailyfaceoff as we continue to bring you information on starting goalies, team lineups and up-to-the-minute major injury updates as well as provide in-depth injury updates in the future.

Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Claude Giroux, Daniel Briere, Jason Spezza, Jeff Carter, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Ryan Callahan, Travis Zajac