Fantasizing looks to uncover some of the excellent potential buy-low options, free agent pickups and some other trends that could help your fantasy team get an edge.
Some fantasy buy low options
Ryan Suter (51% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – After struggling through most of November, Suter has 4 points in his last 4 games, and +3 over that same stretch. He’s still sharing the top D pairing and powerplay unit with Shea Weber so he’ll have plenty of value, especially with his forwards finally starting to step up.
Jason Arnott (40% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – The Preds’ top line is clicking and it’s about time some Predators get some Fantasy consideration. Arnott has 13 points in 12 games and is clicking well with new linemate Martin Erat.
Niklas Hagman (34% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – With the “saviour” getting all of the attention, it’s easy for a hot streak like Hagman’s to go unnoticed. He has 6 points in a 5-game point streak and 12 points in his last 11 games, not to mention +8 over that stretch.
Kyle Okposo (34% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – Ignore the fact that Okposo is playing on the third line right now and focus on the Islanders’ top powerplay unit. Okposo plays the point with Marc Streit and has potted in 5 powerplay helpers over the last 4 games. You are taking a +/- risk with Okposo but if you are after powerplay points he may be worth a look.
Jarret Stoll (30% owned in Yahoo! Leagues)- As long as he’s sharing the Kings’ powerplay point with Drew Doughty, Stoll has some serious value. The Kings’ top powerplay unit is full of natural goal scorers and Stoll is bound to set up more than his fair share. He’s also got 7 points over a 6-game point streak with a nice +7.
Joni Pitkanen (26% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – As Carolina is starting to improve their play, so is Pitkanen. He has 5 assists in 3 games in December so far but you’re taking a real +/- risk with Pitkanen (-12 on the season).
Andy Greene (24% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – It’s easy to overlook a Devils defenseman but a rare turn of events on the season, the Devils are actually scoring goals – and lots of them. He’s turned himself into a staple on the Devils’ blueline in the absence of Paul Martin and Johnny Oduya, scoring 6 points in his last 6 games and getting time on the Devils’ top powerplay.
Martin Erat (18% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – We all know Erat has a ceiling but he’s playing like he’s going to have a career year. He displaced J.P. Dumont on the top line, contributing 9 points over a 5-game point streak. This streak might not last but you might as well ride him while he’s hot.
Antti Miettinen (6% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – Thankfully the Wild have Miettinen stepping up in Havlat’s scoring slump. He’s got 7 goals and 10 points over his last 8 games, +7 and even 12 PIMs. Despite playing on the top powerplay unit, he’s only got 1 powerplay point over that stretch but should still be looked at in all leagues.
Jack Johnson (5% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – After getting only 2 points in all of November, Johnson is flying under the radar with 7 points in 6 games this month.
Dragging their heels:
Devin Setoguchi – He’s been back for 5 games now and compiled a great big goose egg on the scoresheet. To help matters, he’s -2 over that same stretch. Setoguchi hasn’t had a point since Nov 10 and while everyone recognizes his potential on the second line of the Sharks’ potent lineup, he simply hasn’t produced of late. In an effort to get him (and his team) going, Coach Todd McLellan bumped Setoguchi up to the top line but still no dice. Keep an eye on him but keep him benched for now.
Jason Spezza – As the Sens struggle, so does Spezza. He’s only registered a point in 4 of his past 17 games – 6 points total. With Fisher playing as well as he is, there’s obviously other weapons in Ottawa you can use on your teams. It’s possible that he’s no longer a top-10 forward in the league or that his value was really inflated by Dany Heatley (we’ve all seen what that guy can do down in San Jose) but either way, Spezza won’t be meeting your expectations.
Nicklas Lidstrom – The plan was never for Lidstrom to see the kind of ice-time and powerplay time that he’s forced to see this year. Unfortunately, massive amounts of injuries to the Wings have put the onus on what’s left of the talented team to step up and play at the level that fans have expected of them. Lidstrom is struggling right now along with the Wings and it’s something we’ll just have to ride out. There’s better options on defense right now but you don’t want to give up on the Hall of Famer just yet. At least not while he still owns his top D-line and powerplay spot.
Martin Havlat – Wasn’t he supposed to replace most of the offense lost when Marian Gaborik took off to the Rangers? He’s had an injury-riddled 11 point season so far and seen time on the third and fourth line. Maybe Havlat needs a change of scenery but for right now he’s in Todd Richards’ bad book and he should be in yours, too.
Vaclav Prospal – Prospal was shifted to center this season to play with Marian Gaborik on the Rangers’ top line but I think it’s becoming clear to the entire Rangers organization that they need a real top-6 center. Prospal is long past his 15 point October and has only accumulated 9 points since. The Rangers appear to be taking a more defensive focus and rely on their goaltending strengths which only hurt Prospal’s stock even more. Prospal still has a lot of value as a winger but we’ll see what the Rangers do to try and get out of their slump.
Keep your eye on:
Andrei Markov – He’s only owned in 65% of Yahoo! leagues and he’s due back within the next two weeks from his ankle surgery. He’s arguably the top powerplay quarterback in the league and he’s going to be put right back in that role when he’s healthy again – displacing either Marc-Andre Bergeron or Roman Hamrlik. If you have a free IR spot and he’s available, you know what to do.
Rick DiPietro – He’s going through some rehab starts right now in Bridgeport and then the Islanders’ goalie carousel will commence. It’s pretty clear that Biron will get the short end of the stick thanks to his contract and poor play so Roloson and DiPietro will be the winners. Roloson is playing well right now but DiPietro is the Islanders’ franchise goaltender so he will get his fair share of starts until he resumes his role as the number 1. He’s available in 85% of Yahoo! leagues and could really help you if your goaltenders are weighing you down or in deeper leagues.