Crashing the Net: Okposo is Heating Up

Updated: December 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm by Bryce Crittenden

Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this tenth week of the season we’re going to take a look at each position and some of the players that you might want to add to your roster. We hope you will be able to utilize this article in order to gain a competitive advantage over your opponents throughout the season. Feel free to add omissions and critique our current choices in comments section as we welcome an open discussion at DailyFaceoff.com.

Nick Foligno, Left Wing, Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators have been one of the more intriguing teams to watch this season. They’re definetly exceeding all expectations with some surprising play thanks to players like Craig Anderson, Milan Michalek, and of course Nick Foligno. Foligno is perhaps having the most unexpected season out of all the Senators players. Michalek has at least put up big numbers before in his career but Foligno has been more of a 30-point player. This season Foligno is on pace to finish with 51 points, last year he finished with 34 points which was a career high. What might be even more intriguiing about Foligno is that he even puts up a decent amount of penalty minutes. You could easily compare him to Ryane Clowe. Foligno has 6 fewer penalty minutes; however, he does have one more point than Clowe. He’s only owned in about 8% of all Yahoo! leagues so if you’re looking for some penalty minutes but don’t want to sacrifice points then Foligno could be a great pick up.

Kyle Brodziak, Center, Minnesota Wild

Another team that’s exceeding expectations is the Minnesota Wild. Helping lead their charge is 27 year-old Kyle Brodziak. The five-year veteran is currently tied for third in Wild scoring with 17 points this season. Brodziak is on pace for 46 points which would be a career high, his previous high was 36 points. Brodziak tends to see more third line minutes but he does get some second unit power with the Wild. Furthermore, with injuries to Cal Clutterbuck and Devin Setoguchi, Brodziak was called upon to fill in on scoring lines. In addition, he averages just over 17 minutes per game which includes over one minute on the power play.

Kyle Okposo, Right Wing, New York Islanders

Kyle Okposo is one of those players that fantasy GM’s hope will break out every year. He tend’s to get drafted but most GM’s drop him due to slow starts and inconsistent scoring. The start of this season would’ve been really frustrating for those who drafted Okposo. Okposo started the season by only scoring 3 points in the first 15 games. He has seemed to find his game though as he’s now scored 4 points in his last 5 games. He can put up impressive numbers when healthy. During the 2009-2010 season he scored 52 points and scored 20 points in 38 games last season after a concussion put him out for most of the year. Okposo is only owned in about 7% of all Yahoo! leagues.

Matt Niskanen, Defence, Pittsburgh Penguins

With all the injuries to the Pens blueline (Letang, Lovejoy, and Michalek), 25-year old Matt Niskanen seems to be taking advantage of some extra playing time. After being acquired from the Dallas Stars last season, the 5 year veteran had a bit of a rough start with the Penguins. Last season he scored 4 points in 18 games after being acquired by Pittsburgh; however, now with the extra playing time he’s scored 4 points in the last 5 games. Niskanen has been averaging just under 20 minutes per game and has been seeing his ice time on the power-play increasing. Niskanen is only owned in 6% of all Yahoo! leagues. He could be a perfect defenceman for you to take a gamble on.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Goaltender, Philadelphia Flyers

Fantasy GM’s who are fortunate enough to own Ilya Bryzgalov were probably sweating during Saturday’s Flyers game. Bryzgalov left the game in the third period with a “lower body injury”. It’s unknown how long Bryzgalov will actually be out for but it’s believed that he could be back for the Flyers next game. With the Flyers playing so well right now you think that they might not want to rush back their $5.6 million man if there is something actually wrong with him. It might be worth it to pick up Flyers back up goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky is having a decent year while appearing in 10 games (not bad for a backup) with a 5-2-1 record and a .906 save percentage. Until you know for sure what’s wrong with Bryzgalov, you might want to look at getting some reliable goaltending insurance for your team. At the very least, he’s guaranteed to get a start this week.

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Bryce Crittenden

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