Fantasy Six Pack: Power From Above
Welcome to this week’s edition of Fantasy Six Pack. In Week 18 we take a look at each position and suggest five players you might want to 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.
Derek Stepan, Center, New York Rangers
I don’t get how the number one center on the league’s best team is only owned in 32% of Yahoo! leagues, less than half the ownership of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (66%). He’s got 37 points on the season, is a +22, 9 power play points and 89 hits on the season. He’s been extremely consistent for fantasy owners as he’s never gone no more than 4 games without collecting a point this season and has only failed to produce any offense points in one “fantasy week”, Week 15*.
*I’m pretty sure he only failed to collect any points during Week 15, he may have also failed to collect any points in Week 1.
Honourable Mentions: Martin Hanzal (PHX), Mike Fisher (NAS) and Ryan O’Reilly (COL)
David Perron, Left Wing, St. Louis Blues
Who knew that shooting some pucks at a local hockey shop in Ottawa would help Perron re-discover his scoring touch. In his last 4 games, he’s tallied 6 goals and now has 10 goals in only 30 games this season. Not bad for a guy who missed a full year due to concussion symptoms.
When Steen and Arnott return from injuries, the Blues could become 3 lines deep offensively, forcing teams to pick their matches careful, likely leading to the occasional mismatch that could work in Perron’s favour.
Honourable Mentions: Gabriel Landeskog (COL), Sergei Kostisyn (NAS) and Marcel Goc (FLA)
David Jones, Right Wing, Colorado Avalanche
Jones was expected to build on a 27 goal season and become an offensive threat for the Avs but thus far this season has been a fantasy disappointment. A disappointment is a bit of a stretch though, yes, last year prior to the All-Star break Jones scored 16 goals and he only scored 9 goals prior to the break this year but he’s playing close to 2.5 minutes less a night. He’s also using his ice time more efficiently this year, scoring at a better percentage than he did last year. Last year he was scoring 1.175% of the time he was out on the ice, this year he’s scoring 1.268% of the time he’s on the ice. Why do I bring this up? Because Jones’ ice time has been increasing as of late and with it so has his production.
*Jones on-ice efficiency was calculated using TOI/G. While not an accurate way to calculate and project a player’s production, it does allow for insight.
Honourable Mentions: Martin Erat (NAS), Michael Ryder (DAL) and Devin Setoguchi (MIN)
Jeff Petry, Defense, Edmonton Oilers
Petry’s 15 points in 48 games don’t exactly ooze with fantasy relevancy, especially when 4 of those points came in the last 3 games and a -10 on the season is a big deterrent for a lot of owners and his 0% ownership reflects that. But look at Ryan Whitney who has 8 points in 24 games this season, Whitney is producing the same amount of offense as Petry, has the same plus-minus but shots the puck a lot less, takes less penalties, doesn’t block as many shots and doesn’t lay as many hits yet, he’s owned in 42% of leagues. He’s not an offensive dynamo but he is a solid two-way defender that is capable of putting up 25 points this season with 100+ blocked shots and hits.
Honourable Mentions: Mark Giordano (CGY), Luca Sbisa (ANA) and Zach Bogosian (WPG)
Joey MacDonald, Goaltender, Detroit Red Wings
Detroit’s starting goaltender while Howard is out with a broken finger. Grab him and play him, he may give up a few soft goals but with the skill, veteran knowledge and coach the Red Wings have, it’s hard to imagine they’ll lose a game. Especially with the home record they have going right now.
Honourable Mentions: Brent Johnson (PIT), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (COL) and Jonathan Bernier (LAK)
Andy McDonald, Center/Left Wing, St. Louis Blues
It’s hard to come by a top 6 forward on a contending team, like for you, McDonald returned from a concussion last night and chipped in a power play assist. His production and dual eligibility make him a desirable player. He’ll play the first few games on adrenaline and will likely drop off a bit but it won’t take him long to get his production back up to where it is consistently year in and year out.
When Steen and Arnott return from injuries, the Blues could become 3 lines deep offensively, forcing teams to pick their matches careful, likely leading to the occasional mismatch that could work in McDonald’s favour.
Honourable Mentions: Ryan Malone (TBL), Martin Havlat (SJS) and Chris Higgins (VAN)