We're two whole
weeks into the 2013 fantasy hockey season, which means it's time to revive the
weekly fantasy hockey planner. As in
seasons of old, each Friday you should plan to spend your lunch break catching
up on the latest news, trends, and fantasy advice right here. Whether traditional season-long fantasy games
is your thing, or if you've gotten hooked on daily leagues, I'll try and give
you an edge over your competition.
Really, it's still
pointless to talk about who's hot. Just
look at the point standings. It's all
Sharks, Hawks, and Bolts. Come back next
week for a more relevant conversation on this topic.
Got to stay on top
of those injuries. Here's the latest
with big-time fantasy impact:
- Jason Spezza (F-OTT) - out
- Justin Faulk (D-CAR) -
recovered and should be back in action soon
- Gabriel Landeskog (F-COL) -
- Steve Downie (F-COL) - out
for the season. Time to drop.
- Scott Hartnell (F-PHI) -
broken foot. Not good.
- Joffrey Lupul (F-TOR) -
broken arm. Not good.
EARLY WAIVER SURPRISES
Most likely, if you
haven't jumped on board with these quick starters, it's too late. But if you're in a sleepy league, here are
some monster surprises to start this unconventional season:
"The Zombie" Markov (D-MON) - how many times can this guy come back from
the dead? After three straight
injury-riddled seasons, most of us had given up caring. Many (count me in) assumed he would
never be a fantasy factor again.
Yet, here he is, #1 on the charts among defensemen in points and
goals. How long until he's back on
the IR? Doesn't matter. If it's not too late, claim him now.
(F-STL) - I'll admit. Never heard
of him before last week. Guess I
didn't catch enough of those KHL games during the Dark Ages (aka lockout
months). Through 7 NHL games, he
has 5 goals and 9 points, playing alongside Andy McDonald and Alex
Steen. Trust me, you're probably
too late for this bandwagon.
- Another rookie bursting out to a fantastic start. He's partially part of the rising tide
in Tampa Bay (ranked #1 in goals scored so far). And he's doing it without the help of
Stamkos and St. Louis. Good news or
bad? In other words, should we
trust the Captain LeCavalier can keep it rolling enough to make Conacher a
long-term play? Worth taking a
flier on if he's still free.
- The loss of Parise hasn't hurt the fortunes of Mr. Clarkson. And if your league favors well-round
stat producers (beyond goals and assists), Clarkson is gold. In addition to healthy point totals, he
has strong numbers in hits, PIMs and shots.
- Sam Gagner (F-EDM) - While the focus
has shifted to the younger guns in Edmonton, Gagner is still a young gun
himself. Despite being at just 23
years old, many have pushed him to back burner with the arrival of all the
other 1st round forwards to crash the Oilers bench. Don't forget, this guy had a couple of
crazy games about this time last year.
ON WAIVER WATCH
If you missed the
first round of waiver claims, here are a few more recent risers that haven't
hit the top 40 in scoring yet:
"The Other Zombie" Redden (D-STL) - so, this is Redden's first official trip back
from the grave. Now that the
Rangers have opened the tomb and allowed him to stumble West into a fine
Blues defense, he's back to being fantasy relevant. 2 goals in first 3 games is a nice
start, but apparently, the undead are not immune to the flu. He'll be sitting this weekend, but it's
worth stashing him on your bench for when the sniffles go away.
- Matt Frattin (F-TOR) - after just 4 games
with limited ice time in Toronto, Frattin has piled up a nice 4 goals and
2 assists. Should his ice time
increase, he could be a player worth seizing in the weeks to come.
- With O'Reilly still out of the picture, Mitchell has recently seized the
opportunity in Colorado. He just
registered a 3-point effort against Calgary, giving him 4 goals in 7
- The Islanders just keep scoring.
While the top line may be gone in your league, it's a safe bet that
Nielsen, and his 7 points in 7 games are still available.
FUTURE WAIVER WATCH
If you're playing in
a deep league, or just want to stay ahead of the curve, here are a few
off-the-radar players to keep an eye on for the next few days:
(F-MON) - Currently logging 3rd line minutes, but making the most of it
for Montreal. The 18 year old
rookie has 5 points in his first 6 NHL games.
- The first round draft pick of Carolina couldn't stick with the Canes,
but struck potential gold this week when he was claimed off waivers by the
Penguins. Word is, he'll get an
audition next to guys named Malkin and Neal. Tasty.
(F-OTT) - Just claim him for the name.
Somebody will have to pick up those minutes left behind by Spezza's
injury. 2 points in 2 games so
far. Let's see what he does with
top tier wingers and more than 10 minutes of playing time a night.
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