Welcome to week of the Fantasy Planner, getting you ready for next week's fantasy hockey action. (11/16 through 11/22).
Week 7 Matchups
Teams with 4 Games: Florida, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa Bay
Teams with 2 Games: Minnesota, NY Rangers, Vancouver
This is the week to ride the Coyotes. Phoenix has 4 games, including matchups with Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and St. Louis. The Panthers, Flyers and Lightning also feature four games a piece; however, most of those are road games against decent competition.
You may want to consider giving your Canucks a break, as they only have 2 games: Colorado and Chicago.
Tim Thomas (BOS) - 2 shutouts in a row. Although he's only won 1 game in his last 6, he can't exactly be blamed for that. He's only allowed 6 goals in those 6 games. If the Bruins get healthy and start to score, look for Thomas to climb back up the goalie charts.
Niklas Kronwall (DET) - After going scoreless in 4 straight games, Kronwall has started to heat up with 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 2 contests. Detroit seems to be getting back on their feet, so it may be a good time to load up on Redwings via trade or free agency.
Tim Connolly (BUF) - Connolly started the season off cold, but is back to producing at a point a game. If he can stay healthy, he's worth having in your lineup. He's riding a four game point streak and has 8 in his last 6 games.
Bill Guerin (PIT) - Really, anyone wearing the Black and Gold could be considered cold right now, but let's zero in on Guerin. With Malkin, Gonchar, Letang and others out, and Crosby in a slump, it seems nobody is feeding Guerin those tap in goals these days. He's scoreless in 3 and has just 1 assist in his last 7. Surely the Pens will get on track sooner or later, but Guerin isn't a valuable enough performer to be worth waiting it out. Look for better options.
Kyle Okposo (NYI) - Okposo looks to be a very streaky player this season. He hast point streaks of 6 and 4 games, and pointless streaks of 3 and now 4 games. He's currently down with the flu. Again, you can probably do better and keep an eye out for the next time he gets hot.
Jay Bouwmeester (CGY) - Out of nowhere, Bouwmeester can't buy a goal. Or an assist. He has just 1 assist in his last 7 games and has just 1 goal on the season. It's been a disappointing start to his tenure in Calgary. Still, if you drop him, you'll regret it. It's a good time to trade (buy low, eh) for Jay and bank on his stock rising as the season progresses.
Here are a few other names who may be available in your league and are worth a look:
Peter Forsberg - Yes, it's the eternal agonizing question. Should you take a chance on Forsberg or not? The bottom line is, if you've got room on your bench, it's worth having him fill a spot. I wouldn't go dropping a productive forward for him at this point. Even if he returns, he's the most unreliable fantasy player of all time in terms of health. Then again, come playoff time, you may only need him to get hot for a couple of weeks to help you win a round or two.
Niklas Bergfors (NJ) - It gets harder and harder to find decent free agents as the season goes on, but Bergfors is probably available in your league and is worth a look. He's averaged a point a game for the last couple of weeks, and is seeing a decent amount of ice time lately.
Maxim Afinogenov (ATL) - Afinogenov seems to making a comeback this season after disappearing for the past 2 seasons in Buffalo. He's climbed into the top 80 scorers over the past couple of weeks. No one doubts his talent, just his motivation. Playing with a host of fellow Russians in Atlanta seems to be rejuvenating the speedy winger.
Andy Greene (NJ) - Defenseman Andy Greene is not known by many in fantasy circles. His career best in points is 10, recorded 2 years back. In his fourth season now, Greene is starting to put up the points. He has 9 in 14 games so far and is currently riding a 5 game point streak.
Here are some fantasy players who are down with injury and what you should do about it:
Brandon Dubinsky (NYR) - Fantasy owners are dropping Dubinsky like mad these days. He registered only 2 assists in his last 10 games, and now he's out for 6 weeks. If you're still holding on to him, you're not paying attention. Now that you've read this, dump him.
Chris Osgood (DET) - If you haven't noticed, the Redwings are winning, and Osgood hasn't been in net. Howard has put in a couple of good performances, while Osgood is out with the flu. There are even rumors that Detroit could be trading for Giguere. I have Osgood on my bench and I'm not about to give up on him. He's one of the elite playoff goalies in the league today and as the season goes on, you can bet the Wings will go back to him more often than not. Hang tight and don't be an Osgood hater.
Kris Letang (PIT) - This season has been a disappointing surprise for Letang fans. Even while the Penguins were scoring in bunches, he was missing from the scoresheet. When Gonchar went down, many saw it as an opportunity for Letang to step in, which he didn't. Now, he's out for a few weeks with shoulder trouble, so even when he returns, his shot won't be what it was last season. Time to move on and wait for next year.