Fantasy Six Pack: The Year-End Hero
Welcome to this week’s edition of Fantasy Six Pack. In Week 12 we take a look at each position and suggest five players you might want add to your team. We then 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.
Rich Peverley, Center, Boston Bruins
Don’t worry about Peverley not playing in the top 6, he’s still producing as if was. For the last two months the Bruins have been the league’s number one team and Peverley has been a large reason for it. Peverley has tallied 21 points (3-18-21) in 14 of Boston’s 17 wins and has failed to record a single point in Boston’s 3 loses in the last two months. He’s missed the last two practices before Christmas break but Claude Julien said it’s nothing to worry about and he was just resting, he should be ready to go on Wednesday. You’ll want to ride Peverley while he and the Bruins are red hot. Unfortunately, he won’t help you much in the faceoff circles or with hits but he’ll contributes points in bunches and will shot the puck tons. Obviously, Peverley would be a more valuable fantasy option if he was dual eligible. With how Yahoo! has treated dual eligibility this year, they may add a RW eligibility for him before the year ends.
Honourable Mentions: Kyle Turris (OTT), Artem Anisimov (NYR) and David Legwand (NAS)
Nick Foligno, Left Wing, Ottawa Senators
Over the season Ottawa has started to show they are once again fantasy relevant. Foligno has 21 points (10-11-21) on the season and is on pace to finish the season with career highs in all categories. After starting the season off slowly, 3 points in October, he’s come on recently. Foligno recorded 19 points from November to the end of December and since the start of November has only gone more than 2 games without a point once. He has been very consistent for Ottawa in all categories, he’s only gone 5 games without a shot on goal and has recorded at least 1 hit in all but one game in the last 2 months. Foligno produces most of his points at even strength as he only has 1 power play point on the season. Foligno is another one of my picks that if he’s not producing offensively, he’ll be contributing to you somewhere else. When he’s not producing points, he’ll be racking up the hits and penalty minutes for your team. He’s also a nice alternative if you couldn’t pick up Chris Higgins last week. While Higgins has produced more on the power play, Foligno hits more and gives you more PIM’s.
Honourable Mentions: Jason Chimera (WAS), Viktor Stalberg (CHI) and Benoit Pouliot (BOS)
Michael Grabner, Right Wing, New York Islanders
All fantasy owners expected him to build on his 34 goal season last year but he’s really disappointed so far only tallying 15 points in 32 games this year. Though fantasy owners shouldn’t be really broken up over his production in the first half. At this point last year, Grabner only had 11 points. Despite his blazing fast speed on the ice, his performance over the last two season are evidence that he is a really slow starter. Last season Grabner produced 41 points from January 1st to the end of the season, expect him to produce similar numbers when they calendar flips to 2013. Not only should you expect Grabner’s numbers to increase, you should expect all top 6 Islanders’ players to increase their point totals. Grabner is another player that could be given dual position eligibility before the fantasy season ends. Grab Grabner before his 30% Yahoo! ownership rockets through the roof.
Honourable Mentions: Michael Ryder (DAL), Blake Wheeler (WPG) and Petr Sykora (NJD)
Kurtis Foster, Defense, New Jersey Devils
In his 5 games since being traded Foster has 3 assists, all on the power play and has 12 shots on goal. In the 9 games he played with Anaheim, Foster had 1 goal, 1 assist and 19 shots on goal. Early signs indicate Foster is fitting in well in New Jersey. After all Foster is getting plenty of time on the first power play unit that includes Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, David Clarkson and Patrick Elias. New Jersey’s power play is only clicking at a 13.7% rate but with the players they have it’s unimaginable that their power play keeps clicking below 15% for much longer. Foster won’t help your fantasy team much with “defensive” stats like hits and blocked shots but he will help you by being another forward on the back end. He loves to shoot the puck and a large portion of his points will come from the power play. If he’s stays healthy, there’s a good chance he’ll produce 15-20 points from January to the end of the year.
Honourable Mentions: Anton Stralman (NYR), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (PHX) and Stefan Elliott (COL)
Michal Neuvirth, Goaltender, Washington Capitals
Neuvirth has started the last 4 games for Washington and appears to have taken the starter job from Vokoun. Neuvirth has shown he’s capable of taking on the number one position and going stretches without losing a game. There isn’t much to say about Neuvirth that you shouldn’t know already. He is a quality goaltender to have on your fantasy team and he’s only owned in 23% of Yahoo! leagues. Even if he loses the number one job, he is a very serviceable back-up and a number 3 goaltender to have on your team and with Dale Hunter’s coaching, he’ll play whoever is hot, so IF he does lose his number one spot, its almost guaranteed he’ll get another shot to win it back this season. Pick him up and play him with faith, it’ll be the easiest decision you never had to make. PICK HIM UP.
Honourable Mentions: Jason LaBarbera (PHX), Anders Lindback (NAS) and Mathieu Garon (TBL)
Mark Giordano, Defense, Calgary Flames
Giordano is still out with torn tendons in his legs and he’ll be out at least another month but you’re waiting could pay off once he returns. How well Giordano produces when he gets back will rely on how well the Flames are doing, down the stretch last year, Calgary played above themselves and Giordano’s production reflect that play. If Calgary goes on similar run when he returns, he could finish the season with some great production that would aware those who were patient with him. Even if he doesn’t give you high-end offensive skill but he’ll still produce in all other categories for you. Gio loves to shoot the puck, lay big hits and block lots of shots. The Flames have played him on IR, so if you have an open IR slot he would be a great to have in your back pocket in the final few weeks of the fantasy season.
Honourable Mentions: David Booth (VAN), Andy MacDonald (STL) and Devin Setoguchi (SJS)