Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

It's Early. Don't Panic

Friday, October 11, 2013


We are now 10 days into the NHL season and already fantasy players are panicking about players who are off to slow starts. They are also getting too excited about players who are off to great starts.

 

I was on @PenguinsLive with the excellent host Brian Metzer and he said he had a lot of people asking him if it was worth picking up Chuck Kobasew who at the time had two goals in two games. The answer was no unless you are in a very, very deep pool. The only way Kobasew has value is if there are plenty of injuries and he moves up to a top-two line with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. If you had Kobasew in your pool, it was time to trade him to someone who was excited by his start.

 

Do not panic if your player is off to a slow start. I remember last season when fantasy players (some not all) were freaking out with the slow starts of Phil Kessel and Alex Ovechkin. If you took advantage of these players, then you ended up with the top goal scorer in the NHL and two players whose point totals put them in the top-eight of NHL scoring.

 

Some players off to slow starts this season are (all players have zero points) : Gabriel Landeskog, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Callahan, Loui Eriksson, Dany Heatley, Scott Hartnell, Nail Yakupov, Claude Giroux and Shea Weber.

 

If you can get these players because the other owner if fed up, take advantage. It's still early.

 

On the other hand, try to get rid of hot players who are marginal fantasy players like Mike Santorelli (four goals in five games), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (five points in four games) and Jamie McGinn (four points in four games) as they are all overvalued at this time.

 

It's not too late to join a Yahoo! Hockey pool.

 

                                                        

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 14-20

 

4 Games - Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit,  Edmonton, Minnesota, Nashville, Vancouver

 

3 Games– Anaheim, Boston, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis,  San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Calgary, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Philadelphia

 

Edmonton, Minnesota and Vancouver play all four of their games on the road.

 

Columbus, Dallas and Detroit play three games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay, Washington and Winnipeg play three games at home.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $3,000 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Friday). It's just $2 to join and first prize is $400. Starts at 7pm ET. Here's the link.

 

INJURIES

 

Tim Thomas and Niklas Backstrom suffered injuries this week. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Phoenix, vs. Dallas

 

Notes

The Ducks will be the rested team at home Sunday as their opponents, the Dallas Stars are in Los Angeles Saturday. Emerson Etem (leg) is ready to return to action and the Ducks sent Peter Holland to the minors without giving him a shot at playing this season.  Hampus Lindholm, the Ducks first round pick and sixth overall in the 2012 Draft, made his NHL debut on October 6. He played almost 19 minutes and the rearguard was a plus-one with a couple of blocked shots. He is a strong puck-moving blueliner and is someone to keep an eye on in the future. Mathieu Perreault and Jakob Silfverberg lead the Ducks in points with five.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Notes

The Bruins finally play three games in a week after starting the season with a pair of two game weeks. Torey Krug has been a big benefit to the Bruins power play in the early going as his production from the point has allowed Boston to use big Zdeno Chara in front of the net. The Bruins have been 30th and last, 22nd and 26th in power play goals over the last three seasons but have scored twice in 10 chances in their first three games. Carl Soderberg (ankle) is close to returning to practice as he has been skating. Loui Eriksson, the best player the Bruins received in the Tyler Seguin trade, is not on the first power play, losing that spot to another newcomer Jarome Iginla.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ New York Islanders, vs. Vancouver, vs. Colorado

 

Notes

The Sabres will be tired on Tuesday when they travel to Long Island to face the Islanders after playing the Wild at home Monday. They play three games in four nights as part of their four game week so look for Jhonas Enroth to play at least once in relief of Ryan Miller. Jamie McBain had a goal and an assist on the power play and he could be of some use in fantasy pools if the Sabres continue to give him ice time with the man-advantage. Cody Hodgson also picked up two power play points in the 3-2 loss as did Thomas Vanek as the Sabres went with the troika along with Christian Ehrhoff on the point and Tyler Ennis up front on their first power play. Henrik Tallinder was put on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose

 

Notes

It's the second week in a row playing only two games for the Flames. Sean Monahan has been a pleasant surprise in the early going as the sixth overall pick in the 2013 Draft has three goals and five points in his first four NHL games. It looks like he is here to stay but don't be surprised if he struggles offensively at times this season. Joey MacDonald has been great in net thus far and has played three times to Karri Ramo's once. I think it will be an even split this season between MacDonald and Ramo, with Reto Berra being recalled at some point to show what he can do at the NHL level. Mark Giordano has been a bright spot fantasy-wise on the blueline with a goal and four points in three games.  

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ Toronto, @ New York Islanders

 

Notes

Anton Khodobin has started two of the Hurricanes first four games and that has to be a surprise as Cam Ward was thought to be the undisputed number one netminder in Carolina.  Alexander Semin is scoreless in his first three games. Jiri Tlusty is off to a slow start as well but was removed from the top line on Tuesday and saw time on the third line. He was replaced by Drayson Bowman who played with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. It may give Bowman some fantasy value if he remains there although he will not see power play time. Keep an eye on Elias Lindholm especially in keeper leagues as he was the fifth overall pick in the 2013 Draft. He could be sent to the minors but will have plenty of value in keeper leagues in a few years. He scored his first NHL goal on Thursday.

           

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, vs. St. Louis, vs. Toronto

 

Notes

Patrick Kane has one goal in every game this season heading into action on Friday. Patrick Sharp could miss a game this week as his wife is due with their second child.  The Blackhawks intend to rotate Michal Rozsival, Mike Kostka and Sheldon Brookbank as their sixth defenseman this season, at least at the start of the year. Brandon Saad is off to a good start with two goals and four points in his first three games. Expect 40-45 this season from the sophomore. Corey Crawford is off to a slower start this season with a 1-1-1 record, a 2.92 GAA and a .890 save percentage. Nikolai Khabibulin has the net on Friday and if he plays well, he could get at least one start this week.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Detroit, @ Buffalo

 

Notes

The Colorado Avalanche are the big surprise in the early going as new head coach Patrick Roy has the team playing well with a 4-0 record. They have scored 13 goals and have allowed only three as Semyon Varlamov has been outstanding in his first three games while Jean-Sebastien Giguere shut out the Bruins Thursday. Cory Sarich has been great with a plus-six rating in his first four games. They could have the best third line in the NHL with first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon centering P. A. Parenteau. The return of Steve Downie who missed all but two games last season has been a big help as the chippy forward has a goal and three points in four games to go with 17 penalty minutes.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Montreal, @ Washington, vs. Vancouver

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Look for Curtis McElhinney to play once in place of Sergei Bobrovsky. The will be the rested team Tuesday in Detroit as the Red Wings will be  tired after playing in Boston Monday. Poor Boone Jenner. He was on the top line at the end of training camp with Marian Gaborik and Brandon Dubinsky, struggled in the first game, found himself on the fourth line this week and was a healthy scratch on Thursday.  Next move could be the minors.  Cam Atkinson has taken his place on the top line. Fedor Tyutin could be ready to return as early as Oct. 12 from a lower body injury. He's a good 4-5 defenseman in deeper leagues.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. San Jose, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

 

Notes

The Stars play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Dan Ellis play at least once for Kari Lehtonen. The Stars will be tired Sunday when facing the Ducks after playing in Los Angeles the previous night.   Rich Peverley could get a big boost in fantasy value as he could play on the top line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn after starting the season on the fourth line. Alex Chiasson has played only nine NHL games heading into action on Thursday but has eight goals. Brenden Dillon will get you some points and plenty of penalty minutes. He is worth taking in deeper pools on the blueline if penalty minutes are a category.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Columbus, @ Colorado, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so look for Jonas Gustavsson to play once in place of Jimmy Howard. Detroit will be the tired team on Tuesday when facing the Blue Jackets as the Red Wings are in Boston Monday. They will be rested on Saturday when they play in Phoenix as the Coyotes are in Anaheim the previous night. Although Jordin Tootoo has been cleared to play, he'll likely remain on the injured reserve list until coach Mike Babcock puts him in a game. Tomas Tatar and Mikael Samuelsson are switching in and out of the lineup. The line of Joakim Andersson, Daniel Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi are struggling early on as they have yet to get a point and are a combined minus-eight heading into action Thursday night. Andersson scored on Thursday.  The Red Wings are 0-10 on the power play.


continue story »
Michael Finewax is entering his 10th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Mike Finewax



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Value: WR Brandin Cooks

    Value: WR Brandin Cooks
  •  
    Value: WR Jordan Matthews

    Value: WR Jordan Matthews
  •  
    A&M - So. Carolina preview

    A&M - So. Carolina preview
  •  
    Upside with Mike Evans?

    Upside with Mike Evans?
  •  
    Watkins

    Watkins' fantasy value
  •  
    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis

    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis
  •  
    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?

    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?
  •  
    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?

    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?