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Fantasy Six Pack: El Nino Brewing on the Island

by on 11/14/2011

We’re a little late debuting, six weeks lately actually.

Fantasy six pack takes a look at each position and suggest five players you should add to your team. We than pick a sixth player that we don’t see paying poolies immediate dividends but we expect will be helpful down the road. We hope you find these articles useful and gain a competitive advantage over your opponents. Feel free to discuss omissions and critique our selections in the comments section. We love discussion here at PuckPuckGoose.com.

Craig Smith, Center, Nashville Predators

How is it possible a first line center is only owned in 23% of all Yahoo! fantasy leagues? Yes, he’s only the first line center because David Legwand is injured but Smith’s numbers justify his lofty position on the team. Smith co-leads the team in scoring with 14 points (7-7-14) in 16 games, he’s first in power play goals (4) and is tied with Shea Weber and Ryan Suter for second on the team with power play points. If you’re worried about Smith’s ice time dipping when Legwand returns from injury, don’t fret as Smith started the second on the wing with Legwand and produced admirably.

Honourable Mentions: Cody Hodgson (VAN), Artem Anisimov (NYR) and Tyler Bozak (TOR)

Tuomo Ruutu, Center/Left Wing, Carolina Hurricanes

Tuomo Ruutu absolutely LOVES November. In each of the last 3 seasons, Ruutu has recorded 10 points during the month and he’s already recorded 3 points in 6 November games this year. If you’re looking for more than depth scoring, Ruutu is a decent contributor for those “real-time stats” like hits and shots. Carolina plays 10 more games this month and Ruutu is only owned in 16% of Yahoo! leagues, so chances are he’s available in yours. Seriously, pick him up, you’re ALMOST guaranteed 7 points in 10 games.

Honourable Mentions: Dan Carcillo (CHI), Jason Chimera (WAS) and Tomas Kopecky (FLR)

Michael Ryder, Right Wing, Dallas Stars

Despite tallying 11 points in 16 games, Ryder is only owned in 26% of Yahoo! leagues. Ryder started the season off slow with 4 points (2-2-4) in 11 games playing primarily with Brendan Morrow and Mike Ribeiro. He’s since been moved onto a line with Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn, since the formation of the line, Ryder has tallied 7 points (3-4-7) in 5 games. The newly formed top line failed to record any points in the last two games but expect them to find their way back onto the score sheet quickly.

Honourable Mentions: David Jones (COL), Jannik Hansen (VAN) and Matt D’Agostini (STL)

Nick Leddy, Defense, Chicago Blackhawks

Nick Leddy doesn’t make a lot of headlines outside of Chicago and it’s a shame, he’s a really talented rearguard. He currently leads all Chicago defenders with 12 points and sits fourth on the team in assists behind only the Patrick’s (Sharp and Kane) and Marian Hossa. Leddy is also tied for 7th in scoring by a defenseman with the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom, Dion Phaneuf, Dennis Wideman and Kyle Quincey. Not bad for a kid who’s only appeared in 63 NHL games. He currently has 12 points in 18 games and has been the picture of consistency from the backend for the Hawks. He hasn’t gone more than 3 games without a point and more often than not is a plus player. Leddy is only owned in 13% of Yahoo! leagues, if your looking for a defender to round out your defense, pick him up before everyone notices he’s the Hawks best defender.

Honourable Mentions: Dan Hamhuis (VAN), Steve Montador (CHI) and Zach Bogosian (WPG)

Josh Harding, Goaltender, Minnesota Wild

While Niklas Backstrom struggled some early season woes, Harding stepped in and performed more than admirably. In 6 appearances this season, Harding boast a 1.78 GAA and a .948 Sv% with a 4-1-1 record with a 4 game win streak sprinkled in the middle. Harding was lit up like a Christmas tree in his last outing against Los Angeles, allowing 4 goals on 21 shots. He’ll continue to make appearances until Backstrom can find his game. Harding is a reliable third goaltender to have and while Backstrom struggles, he’s a good second goalie. If your league scores goaltender stats heavily, you may want to look elsewhere.

Honourable Mentions: Johan Hedberg (NJD), Tuuka Rask (BOS) and Jonas Gustavsson (TOR)

Nino Niederreiter, Right Wing, New York Islanders

El Nino was penciled in to start the season with John Tavares but suffered an injury in the preseason. He’s expected to be recalled today and he’ll make his season debut on Tuesday against the New York Rangers. Niederreiter has only recorded 2 points (1-1-2) in 9 career NHL games but he’s a very skilled player who likes to take the body. He’s a player who has a nose for the net and can distribute the puck. He’s owned in 2% of Yahoo! leagues, so take your time and see how well he performs but don’t wait too long if he starts producing or you’ll lose your chance.

Honourable Mentions: Tyler Kennedy (PIT), Peter Mueller (COL) and David Perron (STL)

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