Fantasizing is a post looking to uncover some excellent potential buy-low options, free agent pickups and some other trends that can help your fantasy team.
Joe Thornton – Featuring a monster 9 points in the past week and a league-best 24 assists through Saturday’s games. He’s a must-start in all formats and the Marleau-Thornton-Heatley line will only continue to flourish.
Ryan Getzlaf – Remember that slow start? Getzlaf followed that up with an insane 18 points in 11 games and the RPG line is threatening NHL goalies again. Good job if you took advantage of his buy-low opportunity when he had 3 points in his first 7.
Some fantasy buy low options
Maxim Afinogenov (51% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – He’s made a jump in ownership since the last Fantasizing but is still available in a lot of leagues. He’s skating with Ilya Kovalchuk on the top line and the first powerplay and thriving – 14 points in his last 10 games and a 5 game goal streak. He’s already matched his goal total from last season and can only get better (until he gets injured).
Mike Fisher (41% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – Mr. Carrie Underwood is picking up his game with 5 points over his last 3 and seeing a lot of time on the top powerplay with Jason Spezza. He hasn’t recorded a PPP in his last 4 games but as long as he’s on that line, he has value.
Stephen Weiss (33% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – A former 4th overall pick, Weiss is finally getting some returns on the Panthers’ top line and powerplay. He’s got 5 points in his last 3 games but Florida has juggled their top line around so much it’s possible Weiss could get bumped.
Claude Giroux (19% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – The Flyers have to be happy with Giroux’s 7 points in his last 4 games and he’ll only get better seeing time on the top powerplay unit. As the Flyers continue to grind games out, Giroux will get more ice time and a promotion from third line is likely if he keeps this up.
Filip Kuba (17% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – He’s never topped more than 40 points in a season (last season) but he’s got 8 points in 12 games this season and is suiting up on the top defensive pairing and sharing the first powerplay point with Daniel Alfredsson. He’s got a ceiling but can get you through some injuries or rough patches in deeper leagues.
Anton Stralman (6% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – Thriving on the top powerplay unit, Stralman has tons of upside as an offensive, puck moving defenceman fitting well in the Ken Hitchcock system. He has 5 points in his past 4 games and has tons of value as long as he’s on the Rick Nash-led powerplay.
Brandon Sutter (3% owned in Yahoo! Leagues) – As much as I hate to admit it, Carolina is winning games without Cam Ward but Brandon Sutter is filling the Eric Staal void nicely. He’s got 6 points over his past 5 and has clicked nicely with Ray Whitney. His time window is running out but in deep leagues he could give you some great returns.
Dragging their heels:
Alexei Kovalev – Whether it’s personal issues or health, Kovalev is simply not putting up the numbers expected of him in Ottawa. He’s only got 10 points in 19 games on the year but shouldn’t have been counted on to give any more than a 65-point season. Adjust your expectations accordingly but he does have 5 points in 7 November games.
David Backes – 4 points in 20 games. ‘Nuff said. Looks like that 54-point season last year was an anomaly.
Ryan Callahan – Just 2 points in his last 13 games and is seeing time on the third line. Callahan, Higgins and Brashear aren’t out there to score goals so you shouldn’t be counting on him either.
Slava Kozlov – Age might be getting to the 37 year old who notched 76 points last season. He’s not skating on the top line anymore and hasn’t put up anything close to resembling the 43 powerplay points he had last season. The Thrashers are getting scoring from plenty other places.
Keep your eye on:
Devin Setoguchi – Injuries have limited him to only 15 games so far this season but he’s put up 8 goals and 2 assists when he’s played. He’s a top-six forward and top powerplay unit guy so if you can spare a roster spot and somebody is looking to dump him, take advantage.
Jordan Staal – There were high hopes for Staal at the beginning of the season but he’s been a bit of a dud on the scoresheet. Instead of thriving when Malkin went down, he struggled and is actually thriving since Malkin has been back in the lineup – 5 points in 4 games. He’s owned in 59% of leagues so he might be on your wire but you could probably grab him for a very low price if you are willing to take a chance.
Rich Peverley – If you bought into the Peverley hype, you might want to consider selling him high. He’s been playing back on the third line with Evander Kane and Derek Armstrong, two guys struggling to put the puck in the net. Peverley is still going to get some powerplay time but it appears his heyday might be behind him.