As you sit back on Saturday and (hopefully) enjoy the Winter Classic, don't forget to give your fantasy roster a little attention. Here is what you need to know as you set your fantasy hockey roster for week 14 (1/3 to 1/9):
Teams with 2 Games: Montreal, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Washington
Teams with 4 Games: Carolina, Chicago, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, NY Islanders, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Vancouver
Plenty of teams with 4 games to choose from. Best to avoid Montreal this week, as they have just two games: Pittsburgh and Boston. Although the Flyers have just 2 games, they are both against New Jersey. Feeding frenzy.
Vancouver may very well be at the top of the NHL standings after next week, with 3 of 4 games at home, including matchups with the floundering Sharks, Flames and Oilers.
Aside from Crosby… Here are some players on a hot streak over the past two weeks:
- Dustin Brown - 12 points (6/6)
- Loui Eriksson - 12 points (4/8)
- Martin St. Louis - 11 points (4/7)
- Niklas Lidstrom - 9 points (4/5)
- Jack Johnson - 8 points (1/7)
- Drew Doughty - 8 points (1/7)
- Cam Ward - 4 wins, 1 shutout
- Niklas Backstrom - 4 wins
- Jonathan Quick - 4 wins, 2 shutouts
- Scott Hartnell - pointless in his last 4 games
- Rich Peverley - pointless in 5
- Tomas Fleischmann - after a tremendous start in Colorado, he's cooled off. 1 assist in his last 4 games.
- Jordan Eberle - 4 games. No points.
- Thomas Vanek - 7 games without a point. Ouch.
- Carey Price - lost 3 of his last 4 games with a GAA of 3.26
Here are some forwards to plug the holes in your lineup with this week:
Jordan Staal (F-PIT)
Staal's been sitting on my bench all season and I'm happy to activate him this week in anticipation of his likely return. A look at the wires out there show he's still available in roughly 1/3 of leagues. If he's there in your league, stop reading and pick him up now. I'll wait...
Jamie Benn (F-DAL)
Benn has been on the bubble all season, but is starting to really emerge as a viable fantasy forward. After a rough stretch in early December, he has come on in the past two weeks with 7 points in 6 games.
Brian Little (F-ATL)
Little has been inconsistent in his NHL career to this point, going from 31 goals in his sophomore season down to 13 last year. He's been turning up the heat lately with 5 game point streak, during which he's totaled up 7 points. He's topping 21 minutes of ice time lately with Atlanta and seems to be on top of his game right now.
Evander Kane (F-ATL)
Kane has come along faster than most expected. He's now one of the top forward options in Atlanta. The power forward has 7 points in his last 7 games, and is averaging about 3 shots on goal a night.
Mikhail Grabovski (F-TOR)
Grabovski has become the source of light in Toronto. He has points in 9 of his last 10 games. Over that stretch, he has 8 goals, giving him 13 on the season. Grab him while you can.
Keep or Drop?
Fantasy owners are facing decisions on several injured or struggling players. Here's my take on what to do.
Dan Cleary (F-DET)
Cleary was on a tear when he busted his foot last Sunday night. He's likely out for a month or more. When he returns, it's questionable how effective he will be, or what his role will be on the team when he returns. There are better options out there. Drop him and check back when he's healthy.
Anders Lindback (G-NAS)
The Preds have a chronic history of splitting the crease, and it doesn't seem like there's any cure in sight. With Rinne returning from injury, Lindback is relegated to 50/50 duty at best. Despite his hot streak in Rinne's absence, won't get enough starts to be a #1 fantasy option in the near future. Keep him on the bench if you don't have a 3rd #1 with more playing time.
Jason Spezza (F-OTT)
It's hard to believe Spezza could be a solid drop candidate, but at this point, he's not going to help your team much this season. He's out about 6 weeks. Fantasy owners were already frustrated with his lousy 9 goals of production through 32 games. Drop and check back in February if he's still on the wire.
Take note: Fanduel is running a $1k contest on Saturday. Sign up and win some New Year's cash.