Monday, January 27, 2014

NHL Week 17 Fantasy Hockey Report 2014

Here is my 9th attempt at a weekly fantasy hockey report. My analysis is based largely on Yahoo and ESPN Standard Leagues where your roster of players competes head to head in several categories (in my league it is G, A, PTS, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, Shots, Hits, Blocks, Faceoff Wins) against another roster of players. I look at ownership percentages and determine which players are owned too much, and which are not owned enough; then show you which players have climbed/fallen the most in my player rankings over the last week.

If you have any questions regarding decisions that you are facing in your league, scroll to the bottom of this post and leave a question in the comment section. It will get answered in less than 24 hours (I do have a day job making curling ice and driving a Zamboni). Let me know the scoring parameters of your league, and the decision that you are faced with.

Who you should buy! (players who need to be owned in more leagues)
(Percentages below are ownership rates in Yahoo and ESPN fantasy hockey leagues)

Gustav Nyquist, Det - (31% ESPN, 10% Yahoo) The speedy winger scored 6 PTS last week and is emerging as one of the Wings top forwards. He began the season on the farm for salary cap reasons, but now he's on the big team to stay. His production prorates to 52 PTS over an 82 game schedule.

Eric Nystrom, Nsh - (3% ESPN, 1% Yahoo) Thanks to a 4 goal game against Calgary, Nystrom shot up my weekly rankings like a bottle rocket. Don't expect many more 4 goal games, but if your league also counts PIMs and Hits, he could be a valuable addition to your line-up. I managed to scoop him up in my 18 team league, and feel pretty good about it so far.

Riley Sheahan, Det - (0% ESPN, 0% Yahoo) The kid who got pulled over last year driving wicked drunk, dressed in a purple Teletubby costume has gotten his act together and is starting to produce in the NHL. It might be a little bit too soon to jump on Sheahan, but he should be on your radar in deep leagues. He's ready to be owned in more than 0% of leagues. The risk is that he'll probably get sent down to the minors if and when the Wings get healthy.

Tom Gilbert, Fla - (6% ESPN, 2% Yahoo) 6 PTS last week is good enough that he should be on your radar in deep leagues. He's borderline for 10 team leagues or less, but worth a gamble if you need an injury replacement.

David Legwand, Nsh - (51% ESPN, 14% Yahoo) He's been producing a point per game over the last 2 weeks, and as a pending unrestricted free agent could be moved to a better team with a more wide open offense. He should be owned in every fantasy hockey league greater than 8 teams.

Steve Ott, Buf - (28% ESPN, 10% Yahoo) The little prick that everyone loves to hate has 6 PTS in his last 6 GP. He should be owned in 100% of leagues that count Hits and/or PIMs, and is more or less a speculative play in points leagues. Possible trade deadline target in Buffalo who could get a boost if moved to a better team.

Tyler Ennis, Buf - (43% ESPN, 35% Yahoo) If you need points, he is a guy who is available and scoring. 6 PTS over his last 6 GP on a team that is starting to score more goals. He can be comfortably owned in most formats, ride the hot streak, and release him if he goes cold.

Olli Maatta, Pit - (10% ESPN, 6% Yahoo) He has played 11 games in January, where he has 7 PTS and is +8. He might only be 19 years old, but he has a bright future in the NHL. He is advancing towards permanent bluechip status. He should be owned in all leagues, especially since he is making a strong contribution to the most powerful offense in the NHL.

Mark Scheifele, Wpg - (16% ESPN, 10% Yahoo) The highly touted rookie may have finally become a permanent member of the "Must Own Club". He has 11 PTS in 15 GP since Christmas, and has found his niche in Winnipeg. He is ownable in all formats, and needs to be owned in far more than 16% of leagues.

Andrej Sekera, Car - (85% ESPN, 34% Yahoo) If you took my advice last week and dropped Sekera, you might want to go back to your waiver wire and see if he's still available. He had hit a cold streak, I dumped on him, then he scored 6 PTS over the next 3 games. Shit happens. I'll own it.

LAST WEEK: Andrej Meszaros, Brock Nelson, Mathieu Perreault, Ryane Clowe, Calvin de Haan, Charlie Coyle, Jacob Trouba, Cam Atkinson, Zack Kassian, Cody Hodgson

Who you should sell! (players owned in too many leagues, or that should be traded)

Dennis Wideman, Cgy - (37% ESPN, 38% Yahoo) He hasn't been the player you expected when you drafted him. He has 2 PTS over his last 10 games (where he is -11). Over his last 30 games, he has 1 point on the power play. I would have no problem dropping him in 10 team leagues.

Michael Ryder, NJD - (53% ESPN, 13% Yahoo) He has been on the buy list and he has been on the shit list. Bottom line is that he has not scored a goal in 7 games. If Ryder isn't scoring, he's not worth owning. Scoring is the best thing he does. There will probably be a hot streak somewhere in his future, but it could be a painful wait if you need goals now.

Derek Roy, Stl - (19% ESPN, 23% Yahoo) He has run hot and cold so far this season, and is currently on a cold streak. He can be dropped in 10 team leagues, and someone you may want to trade in deeper leagues (if you can find a buyer). He has 1 point in the last 2 weeks, but is always a threat to put together a little hot streak. Either way, he's not a reliable production player. When it's good, it's good. When it's bad, it sucks.

Michael Del Zotto, Nsh - (26% ESPN, 36% Yahoo) It is difficult to predict whether a change of venue is going to turn around an otherwise dismal season for Del Zotto. He is a pending free agent, so he has every incentive to be the best he can be. He's worth shopping in some trade offers before dropping, but if he is not creating offense, he's hard to own, because that's supposed to be what he does best.

Milan Michalek, Ott - (28% ESPN, 9% Yahoo) My how the mighty have fallen. He was a 35 goal scorer before the lockout, and he has been reduced to barely ownable status. He's droppable in all but the deepest leagues, but somebody you may want to throw into a multi-player trade offer to see what you can get.

Marc Vlasic, SJ - (47% ESPN, 33% Yahoo) He continues to be overrated, especially by the Team Canada selection committee. This is a guy you should absolutely be trying to sell before and during the Olympics. Squeeze whatever value you can for him because he's not worth his market value.

Dan Hamhius, Van - (99% ESPN, 34% Yahoo) He is not worth what is expected of someone with his ownership rates. His selection to Team Canada justifies speculation that a crack pipe was being passed around the table at their final selection meeting. Getting named to Team Canada boosts his market value far above what it should be based on his production. Sell, sell, sell. When he shits the bed in Sochi and Canada finishes 5th, Hamhius ownership will come back down to Earth.

Troy Brouwer, Wsh - (51% ESPN, 41% Yahoo) He had a freakishly productive career year in the lockout shortened season (33 PTS in 47 GP, where he had 33 PTS in 82 GP the year before). This season he is on pace for 33 PTS in 82 GP. Those who drafted him based on last year's production have to be very disappointed. He is back to who he used to be. That dream season in 2013 is now but a distant memory. Normally I have a rule never to put a player on the buy list or shit list for 2 consecutive weeks, but in this case I'll make an exception.

Vincent LeCavalier, Phi - (35% ESPN, 44% Yahoo) - 2 PTS over the last 2 weeks is poor production for a player owned in this many leagues. I suppose it is good news that he is healthy and playing, but is certainly not producing at satisfactory levels. Barely ownable in a 10 team league, this is a player that I would try very hard to sell if I were in the unfortunate position of owning him.

Tomas Fleischmann, Fla - (40% ESPN, 34% Yahoo) - 3 PTS over his last 12 games (from a player you own to get points) does not justify this level of ownership. You can comfortably drop him in 10 team leagues if there is somebody better on the waiver wire.

LAST WEEK: The Sedin Twins, Todd Bertuzzi, Justin Faulk, Dustin Penner, Zach Bogosian, Justin Williams, Zdeno Chara, Troy Brouwer, Andrej Sekera, Nick Leddy
Who jumped the most spots in my player rankings since Last Week?

1) Gustav Nyquist, Det - (471 to 372)

2) Drew Shore, Fla - (694 to 607)

3) Jesse Winchester, Fla - (476 to 392)

4) Eric Nystrom, Nsh - (419 to 337)

5) Riley Sheahan, Det - (624 to 554)

6) Sergei Gonchar, Dal - (398 to 336)

7) Thomas Hickey, NYI - (333 to 271)

8) Andrej Sekera, Car - (178 to 117)

9) Jiri Tlusty, Car - (383 to 325)

10) Eric Gryba - (501 to 444)

Who fell the most in my rankings since Last Week? (but still played at least 2 games over the last 7 days)
1) Dennis Wideman, Cgy - (348 to 398)

2) Michael Ryder, NJD - (193 to 237)

3) David Savard, Clb - (329 to 368)

4) Todd Bertuzzi, Det - (455 to 492)

5) Milan Michalek, Ott - (354 to 390)

6) Mark Arcobello, Edm - (273 to 309)

7) Chris Phillips, Ott - (288 to 324)

8) Saku Koivu, Ana - (203 to 238)

9) Karl Alzner, Was - (320 to 354)

10) Dainius Zubrus, NJD - (186 to 217)

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