Marc Lapierre

Experts Analysis

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Need A Mid-Season Tune-Up?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Staying active all season long and finding value in your league’s free agent pool is one of the keys to success in the fantasy world.  Below is a list comprised of some of the top fantasy performers over the last 30 days. The majority of these players are probably still available in your free agent pool in 12- and 14-team leagues and can help your fantasy team immediately.

 

 

Forwards


 

Curtis Glencross (LW) – Glencross is on a scoring tear this season with 33 points in 44 games. He’s also been averaging 1.1 points per game over the last 30 days. After posting career-highs with 24 goals and 43 points in 79 games last season, the Kindersley, Saskatchewan native is on pace for his first 30 goal season of his career. Whether he can keep up with this pace is debatable, but there's certainly value here for those in 14 team-leagues.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Mikhail Grabovski (C) – Although the scrappy scorer is behind the pace he set last season, Grabovski has come on as of late averaging a point per game over the last 30 days.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (RW) – Parenteau is a solid fantasy option on the wing, especially in leagues that reward PIMs and PPPs. He’s been averaging a point-per-game over the last 30 days while being a fixture on the Islanders' power play. Parenteau registered 20 goals and 53 points in 81 games with the Islanders last year but it’s looking like he will improve on those numbers this season.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Daniel Alfredsson (RW) – The face of the Ottawa Senators was one of the leading candidates for a bounce back season and was available in the late stages of drafts before the season started. At 39, the veteran is certainly nearing the end of the line in the NHL, but his 33 points in 41 games show that as long as he's healthy, he's still more than capable of contributing on a fantasy team. The Senators captain has been sizzling of late, averaging 0.9 points per game over the last 30 days.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Michael Ryder (RW) – Ryder is having a solid season with his new team and is on pace for another 30 goal season. The Newfoundland native has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career and has currently been averaging a point per game over the last 30 days. However, the sniper has found it tough to find the net with consistency. Ryder is known for being a hot-and-cold player, so this might be a good time to snatch him up while he's on fire.

 

Recommendation: Worth a look in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Blake Wheeler (RW) – Wheeler has been released from the hospital and has started to skate after being struck in the throat by a shot on Saturday. Before the injury, the Robbinsdale, Minnesota native had been the Jets’ hottest player, averaging 0.9 points per game over the last 30 days. Once healthy, Wheeler will suit up again on one of the Jets’ top two lines and will also spend a fair amount of time on the ice with the man advantage.  If he keeps up this kind of production, Wheeler could be in line for a 60+ point season.

 

Recommendation: Worth a look in 14-team leagues.

 

 

David Desharnais (C) – The diminutive forward isn't much of a fantasy option in shallow leagues, but does have 31 points in 45 games on the season, while averaging 0.9 points per game over the last 30 days. He's been having a lot of success playing between wingers Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole, the Canadiens’ best line this season.

 

Recommendation: Worth a look in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Defensemen

 

 

It’s definitely possible to win your league without drafting a defenseman in the first five rounds. It’s actually encouraged. However, if you are the kind of poolie that waited at the very end of the draft to select your third and fourth blueliner, you might be currently scrambling to fill up that final starting roster spot.

 

It’s also important to recognize that a blueliner's worth to your fantasy team goes beyond the goals and assists. Depending on your league’s configuration, your third and fourth defensemen in 12- and 14-team leagues can provide a cheap source of hits and block shots for your team. They can help you in the plus/minus category, as well as giving you a bit of an edge in the penalty minutes department. Sometimes, it's also about picking up a good defenseman on a bad team or taking a chance on a younger or less-known blueliner paired up with the right partner.

 

 

Andrej Meszaros (D) – Meszaros has quietly been averaging 0.6 points per game in the last 30 days. He has taken advantage of Chris Pronger’s injury.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Dennis Seidenberg (D) – Seidenberg is a good all-around defenseman who has been averaging 0.6 points per game in the last 30 days. Although he has more value to his team than he does owners in standard leagues, he's a nice option in leagues that use both hits and blocked shots as categories. He’s also a great contributor in the plus/minus department.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Jay Harrison (D) – Harrison has been a surprise addition on the fantasy radar.  He’s averaged 0.6 points per game over the last 30 days while playing for the lowly Hurricanes. He has 18 points and 34 penalty minutes in 37 games this season and has also been getting some time on the man advantage in Carolina.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Corey Potter (D) – Potter is an offensive defenseman who has been averaging 0.6 points per game over the last 30 days and also gets plenty of ice time on the man advantage. The Lansing, Michigan native has been averaging 3:14 power-play minutes per game (good for 37th in the league at his position) and that's not likely to change much, given his early success with the Oilers.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D) – Ekman-Larsson is in his second season in the NHL and at the tender age of 20, he is becoming a valuable defenseman for fantasy owners everywhere. Ekman-Larsson has shown offensive potential this season season with seven goals and 19 points in 46 games, while averaging 0.6 points per game over the last 30 days.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Ryan Ellis (D) – Ellis has finally been called up by the Predators. Nashville's 2009 first-round pick has had a tremendous junior career and has been very effective in the AHL. He has been one of the most prolific defensemen scorers in CHL history and has won numerous awards and championships. He’s proven to be quite prolific on the man advantage and his offensive potential as a defenseman is off the charts.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

 

Goalie

 

 

Tuukka Rask (G) – Rask was greatly overshadowed by the fantastic record breaking season Tim Thomas enjoyed last year. Despite Thomas' heroics in 2010-11, he isn't getting any younger. Although Rask is obviously Boston's backup goaltender, the Bruins are expected to give the young Finnish netminder plenty of games this campaign. Rask still remains one of the league's top goaltenders and an outstanding keeper selection.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

 

 

Sergei Bobrovsky (G) – Ilya Bryzgalov is the one with the nine-year/$51 million contract, but the 23-year-old Bobrovsky has outplayed him so far this season. Bobrovsky started just 14 of the Flyers' first 42 games, but he should see more action between the pipes if Bryzgalov continues to struggle.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

 

 

Cory Schneider (G) – Schneider was limited to just three starts in December because Roberto Luongo has bounced back from a difficult start to the season. Schneider’s fantasy value has obviously been limited because of the presence of Luongo, but someday he'll get a chance to prove what he can do as a number one goaltender.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

 

Catch Marc Lapierre on Twitter: @MarcLapi




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