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End of line - Washed Up Fantasy Hockey Veterans

by chewy 6. December 2011 07:52

Nothing last forever.  As much as we'd all still like to believe that our favorite NHL stars from 2003 are the same players today, the reality just isn't so.  There comes a time in every player's career, when superstar production starts to tank, never to be seen again.  This week, I'll take a hard look at some former fantasy studs who are struggling so far this season, according to their standards.  I'll look at the facts and make a call as to whether we should relegate them to "veteran role player" status, or whether they still have a 2nd or 3rd wind, in the mold of Teemu Selanne.  This isn't to say that these players have zero value on Fanduel; however, you shouldn't base your decision on last year's or last decade's production.



Dany Heatley (MIN)

It's been a slow, but steady demise over the past couple seasons.  Even Joe Thornton, who turned  Jonathan Cheechoo into a Rocket Richard man, couldn't keep Heatley near his Ottawa/Atlanta pace of goal scoring.  He dropped to 26 goals last season, his worst full-season total since 2002-03.  He's dropped or stayed even in goals for each of the past 5 seasons.   He's on pace to do that once more in his Minnesota debut, with just 8 goals in 27 games.  He's still perhaps the most dangerous scorer on his team, but he's far from the fantasy master that he was just a couple years back.

Verdict: Almost Washed Up.  $7,400 price tag needs to come down.



Jarome Iginla (CGY)

It's tough to consider writing off Iginla this at this point, considering how dominant he was in the second half of last season.  However, Iginla is now in his mid-30's, has almost no help around him in Calgary, and seems unable to do it himself the way he did when he was a younger man.  If he earns a ticket out of town, or if the Flames strengthen the help around him, I'm willing to reconsider.  But with just 7 goals and 15 points in 26 games, coupled with an ugly -8 rating, I think it's time to at least consider him on the serious end of a decline.

Verdict: Very Nearly Washed Up.  $7,300 is too much to spend.



Henrik Zetterberg (DET)

Seems like Zetterberg has been tearing up the NHL for a long, long time; yet, he's still just 31 years old.  It was certainly tempting to write him off after the horrendous start to this season.  7 points in 18 games?  Could he be making the transition from one of the elite 2-way players, to all-out defensive specialist?  There's a fine tradition of such conversions throughout Detroit's recent history (Yzerman, Fedorov…)  That said, I'm not quite ready to toss Hank out to the curb.  Maybe it's his recent hot streak weighing on my mind, but it seems early to write off #40.

Verdict: Best days behind him, but still a top notch forward in the NHL.  At $7,400, he's probably overpriced right now.



Eric Staal (CAR)

I'll keep this brief.  I'm including Staal here only because a season this bad cannot be ignored.  Just 4 goals and 10 points through his first 24 games. And currently sitting at a -17?  Yes, this season has been a train-wreck, but you'd be a fool to write off one of the best centers in the game at age 27.  He's a steal right now at just $6,600.

Verdict:  Seriously.  Best is yet to come from this guy.  Look for a turnaround by Christmas.



Tomas Kaberle (D-CAR)

Seems like everyone in the hockey world saw this party coming to an end.  Everyone but Jim Rutherford.  Giving a multi-year deal at $4 million per was overpaying for past success.  Fond memories of brother Fran lifting the Cup must have clouded his judgment.  Kaberle was once a steady fantasy option on defense.  Even at a fair $4,900 cap hit, I can't justify putting him on my roster at this point.

Verdict:  Extremely Washed Up



Lubomir Visnovsky (D-ANA)

The Lube should have gone out on top.  After a dominating 18 goal, 68 point season last year, there was virtually no chance of getting back there again.  At age 35, and battling injuries once again, it's safe to say we'll never see that again.  He has just 1 goal and 4 points in 16 games on the year.

Verdict: End of the Line



Dwayne Roloson (G-TB)

Don't let last season's playoffs fool you.  It's over for Roloson.  With a 3.5 GAA, .887 save percentage, and a 42 next to the age column, it's time to move on.  At $8,500, he may well be the most overpriced player on Fanduel.

Verdict: Definition of Over.



Martin Brodeur (G-NJ)

Out of respect for the greatest to ever strap on the pads, I won't use the words "washed up" here.  I'll just say that I'm looking outside of New Jersey for my goalie needs this year.  He'll have to play some seriously good net to dodge a 3+ GAA for the first time in two decades.  At $8,100, you can do better on any given night.

Verdict:  Let's plan his Hall of Fame induction in 4 years, 'cause I can't see him back next year.





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