Fantasy owners deal with injuries and slumping players in different ways throughout the season. Some spend time searching for the next best thing while others simply pickup the hottest player available in their leagues. Below are some options that can help you deal with your recently injured or slumping players. On last week’s Crashing the Net, we discussed players like Derick Brassard, Logan Couture, and Milan Hejduk. Hopefully you had a chance to pick them up.
Brian Gionta – RW, Montral Canadians (38% Yahoo! / 73% CBS)
After scoring just one goal in thirteen games, Gionta has scored three in his past four games. The Habs’ brass made some line changes with he and Scott Gomez, but Gionta is now benefiting from playing on the top line with Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri. As fellow colleague Alexander Monaghan points out – “Gionta is a consistent scorer who has failed to reach 20 goals just once over the past four years.” With that said, Gionta is a solid pickup for your offensive needs.
Andy McDonald – LW/C, St. Louis Blues (24% Yahoo! / 48% CBS)
With T.J. Oshie being down for three months due to a broken ankle, McDonald was slotted on the top line to partner with David Backes and has responded well. After starting the season with just five points, McDonald has four points in his last two games since Oshie went out. Winger David Perron is expected back soon for the Blues, which means that McDonald could move between Perron and Backes with Vladimir Sobotka moving out.
Cody Franson – D, Nashville Predators (9% Yahoo! / 47% CBS)
With offensive defenseman like Shea Weber and Ryan Suter on the Preds, Franson has quietly put together solid numbers to start the year. Cody has eight points and plus-minus rating of plus-6 through the team’s first 15 games and is averaging close to 15 minutes of ice time per game, including time on the power play. Given Franson’s current pace, he could see 25-30 points this season.
Brian Elliott – G, Ottawa Sentators (52% Yahoo! / 61% CBS)
There isn’t much time left to acquire Elliott in your league, so be sure act fast. Elliott has won his last five starts while posting solid peripherals numbers this season (2.58 GAA and a .918 SV%). Even with Pascal Leclaire back from a groin injury, Elliott has earned the number one spot for the Senators.
Michael Frolik – RW, Florida Panthers (16% Yahoo! / 53% CBS)
Like most of the Florida Panthers, Frolik started out on the wrong foot by collecting just one point over his first five games. The former first rounder has scored 21 goals each in his previous two seasons with the Panthers, so there’s no reason to think he will not reach the 20 goal mark again. Frolik has three goals and six points over his last five games and should continue to climb out of his current scoring funk.
Todd Bertuzzi – LW, Detroit Red Wings (42% Yahoo! / 53% CBS)
Bertuzzi is not only playing on a team that knows how to win, but he’s playing on a team that is scoring at will right now. While Todd himself may have just three goals this season, he’s third on the team with 11 assists this year. Sure, he may be 35-years-old, but he still knows how to get the job done. He’s collected five points over his last three games and has posted a plus-minus rating of plus-11, which puts him within the top three among NHL players in the league.
Others to Monitor
Curtis McElhinney – G, Anaheim Ducks
I’ve added “McGlovin” to the players to monitor for this week for two reasons. One, the injury to Jonas Hiller is a cut below his left eye. Two, the fact that the Ducks play four games this week and three will be at the Honda Center. Despite his 2-2-0 record, he’s faced a ton of shots over his five games (170) and has a .924 SV% and a 2.98 GAA. If you need a goalie in a daily league, don’t hesitate to take McElhinney on a day he starts.
Jason Demers – D, San Jose Sharks
Demers is a part of a Sharks team that features plenty of offensive from their defenseman. Demers won’t be a goal-scoring threat this season, but should contribute plenty of helpers along the way. Demers is also seeing increased time on the power play thus far, making him a player to monitor who is owned in a low percentage of leagues.
Dan Cleary – RW, Detroit Red Wings
Having scored a career high of just twenty goals, Cleary has emerged as a pleasant surprise for the Red Wings this season. Cleary is currently riding a five-game goal streak and has collected eight points during the five-game streak. If you need a quick filler, add him. If you already own him, trade him while his stock is high.
Ray Whitney – LW, Phoenix Coyotes
The 38-year old winger has gotten off to a slow start this season, but with Shane Doan out with an injury, Whitney and Wojtek Wolski will see plenty of ice time. Whitney has seven points over his last five games including a hat trick last night.
Cal O’Reilly – C, Nashville Predators
This forward has posted big point totals in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals in the past, but has yet to transition those numbers to the NHL in past seasons. Through 15 games, O’ Reilly has 12 points with five of them coming over his last five played. On a team that struggles to score from their forwards, O’ Reilly leads the team in points and assists and constantly sees time on the Preds’ top line.
You can follow @dailyfaceoff on Twitter for hockey news and notes. You can also follow Reggie on Twitter at @fakehockey. Be sure to check out the Starting Goalies section for your fantasy starters tonight and the Team Lineups page.