After a long, hot, boring summer, hockey is back! 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.To View my week 1 Player rankings (on which most of my analysis is based) click here.
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)
Tommy Wingels, SJ –(13% ESPN, 18% Yahoo) He should have been owned in every league last season, and he continues to be a must own player. He gets loads of quality ice with gifted offensive players. He has 3 Gs, 4 PTS in the first 3 GP.
Ryan Strome, NYI – (57% ESPN, 5% Yahoo) Needs to be owned in more leagues, arguably all leagues, 10 teams and up. He is a blue chip prospect that looks to have found a permanent spot in the NHL, with 4 PTS in the first 3 GP.
Tanner Pearson, LA – (8% ESPN, 32% Yahoo) 6 PTS in 4 GPs is a pace that he is unlikely to maintain, but in the near term he is definitely a must add in all leagues. In shallower leagues, ride the hot streak and drop if he goes cold.
Filip Forsberg, Nsh – (86% ESPN, 20% Yahoo) Should be owned in all leagues, 10 team and up. It looks like the youngster is finally here to stay after World Junior stardom. He has 4 PTS in 3 GP.
Tyler Toffoli, LA – (59% ESPN, 35% Yahoo) Toffoli and Pearson are forming a very productive dynamic duo early in the season. Toffoli should be owned in all leagues, 10 teams and up. He already has 5 PTS in 4 GP.
Matt Belesky, Ana – (1% ESPN, 4% Yahoo) 3 goals in 4 GPs is pretty good, but the most interesting part is how much ice time he is getting with Perry and Getzlaf. Ownership way too low, but he may just be a temporary play in standard leagues.
Craig Smith, Nsh – (14% ESPN, 24% Yahoo) 3 PTS in 3 GP for a 25 year old player who scored 52 PTS last season. He is a very underrated player who needs to be owned in more leagues.
Michael Ryder, NJ – (3% ESPN, 9% Yahoo) At this point everybody has owned Ryder in a fantasy league at some point, and he’s just not exciting to own anymore. But he is clicking in Jersey and still putting up PTS. Until he stops scoring, you should consider adding him.
Matt Nieto, SJ – (1% ESPN, 3% Yahoo) He is on pace for 82 PTS, a target he is unlikely to reach, but he’s getting points on a talented Sharks roster. Worth keeping an eye on at the very least.
Leo Komarov, Tor – (1% ESPN, 2% Yahoo) If your league counts hits, he is a must own. In 10 team leagues or straight-up points leagues, he is more of a speculative play. He has 3 Assists in 4 GP.
Who is off to a slow start? (these players are owned in many leagues and off to a slow start. Worthy of drop or trade consideration.)
Mats Zuccarello, NYR – (88% ESPN, 55% Yahoo) I wouldn’t drop Zuccarello, but I might dangle his name in trade offers. Through 3 games, he has no PTS and is a -5.
Aleks Barkov, FLA – (89% ESPN, 13% Yahoo) Barkov has yet to earn that level of ownership. He has a lot of potential, but at this point I’d like to see it before I believe it.
Matt Niskanen, Wsh – (100% ESPN, 95% Yahoo) It might have been predictable that Niskanen would decline outside of the high powered Penguins offense. He is not the player he was last season.
James Neal, Nsh – (100% ESPN, 98% Yahoo) It might have been predictable that Neal would decline outside of the high powered Penguins offense. He is not the player he was last season.
Dougie Hamilton, Bos – (97% ESPN, 58% Yahoo) It may be too early to be concerned about Hamilton, but he hasn’t made any offensive contribution in this young season. He’s borderline droppable in shallow leagues. I’d much rather have Boychuck.
Jason Spezza, Dal – (100% ESPN, 96% Yahoo) In 3 GP, he has 1 point and is a -3. For a team that was supposed to be an offensive powerhouse, Spezza is struggling to find his rythym. Not yet droppable.
Bobby Ryan, Ott – (100% ESPN, 93% Yahoo) He’s off to a bad start in Ottawa. Not somebody you’ll want to drop, but I would be shopping his name in trade offers if I owned him (which I don’t).
Milan Lucic, Bos – (100% ESPN, 91% Yahoo) No PTS in 5 GP is a minor cause for concern, but once Krejci gets back to full speed, he should be alright. He may be worth targeting in a trade deal if his owner is worried. Not yet droppable, but tradeable.
Matt Moulson, Buf – (91% ESPN, 64% Yahoo) I’m not as concerned about Moulson’s 1 point in 4 GP, but I am kind of concerned about the train wreck that is the Buffalo Sabres.
Brad Marchand, Bos – (98% ESPN, 79% Yahoo) He’s not someone you will want to drop, but he is a buy low candidate or somebody to sell if you can find a buyer willing to pay face value.