Posted on: December 5, 2010 3:12 pm
 

Ice Chips...Games Ahead 4 Week Sked

This weeks entry is a couple days late so we'll get right to it.


Saturday Dec 4th- Friday 10th

Anaheim Ducks- 4
Atlanta Thrashers- 3 
Boston Bruins- 3
Buffalo Sabres- 3
Calgary Flames- 4
Chicago Blackhawks- 2
Carolina Hurricanes- 2
Colorado Avalanche- 3
Columbus Blue Jackets- 3
Dallas Stars- 3
Detroit Red Wings- 4
Edmonton Oilers- 3
Florida Panthers- 3
Los Angeles Kings- 2
Minnesota Wild- 2
Montreal Canadiens- 3
Nashville Predators- 3
New Jersey Devils- 3
New York Islanders- 2
New York Rangers- 2
Ottawa Senators- 5
Philadelphia Flyers- 4
Phoenix Coyotes- 2
Pittsburgh Penguins- 3
San Jose Sharks- 4
St.Louis Blues- 3
Tampa Bay Lightning- 3
Toronto Maple Leafs- 4
Vancouver Canucks- 2
Washington Capitals- 3 


Forwards-

Sam Gagner- 16% Ownership- 5 Pts, +5, 2 PIM, 2 PPP, 7 SOG- The Oilers are rolling right now and the forward lines are clicking big time. Because Gagner hasn't been an offensive stud in the past couple of years his production has been under the radar thanks in large part to the great play of rookies Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. But wise owners should take note of the chemistry that the second line of Dustin Penner, Gilbert Brule and Gagner has established. Those in deep leagues should consider adding the youngster while the team is rolling.

Valterri Filppula- 31% Ownership- 4 Pts,  + 4, 4 PIMS, 1 PPP, 5 SOG- The second is going strong for the Red Wings right now as Filppula, Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi has combined for 10pts in the past 7 days. With the majority of the opponents defensive focus on Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg Filppula and company should continue to get easier matchups.

Alex Tanguay- 43% Ownership- 4 Pts, +1, 6 SOG- We all know that Tanguay can be a productive player, but he's always relied on establishing a good relationship with his linemates....after all play makers need that. He's connected with Jerome Iginla, and right now Iggy Pop is on fire, Tanguay has been the prime beneficiary. Ride him while he's hot, but don't be surpirsed if the Flames dynamic duo produce sporadicly.

Defenseman-

Roman Hamrlik- 22% Ownership- 5 pts, +2, 6 PIM, 1 PPP, 8 SOG- Hamrlik has always been a quietly effective producer from the blueline. This year is no different. The Habs have plenty of blueline depth, so much so that they've scratched rookie sensation PK Subban in favour of Yannick Weber. The Habs have been one of the leagues best teams this year, and the strong play from their blue line and All World goaltending of Carey Price should keep them atop the division. Keep Hamrlik in mind if you're looking for a reliable plug and play for an injured blueliner.

Yannick Weber- 0% Ownership- 2 pts, +3, 1 PPP, 6 SOG- All that production has come in just 2 games. He's been the beneficiary of PK Subbans demotion to the press box. Unfortunately that can't last for ever, and this is merely a speculation play, but if the Habs decide to make a move or scratch another blueliner, Weber is the guy to fill the void. Add him to your watch list.

Paul Martin- 46% Ownership- 2 PTS, 2 PPP, 5 SOG- 2 PPG on 5 SOG, that's pretty good production. He's been overshadowed by Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski, but his production has been just as good as Goligoski's. If you're looking for a blueliner who gets good PP time and has been productive, you may consider adding Martin.


Goaltenders-

Nikolai Khabibulin- 27% Ownership- 2 W, .50 GAA, .985 SV%, 1 SO- If you've watched the Oilers during their recent hot streak you'll notice that The Bulin has his confidence back and his back injury doesn't seem to be a concern. If that's the case the Oiler could definately be a team to watch the rest of the way. Khabibulin has shown in the past the ability to carry a team, and as the Oilers youngsters mature and gel this could be a dangerous squad. Those searching for a #3 net minder should add Khabibulin while they still can.

Anders Lindback- 13% Ownership- 1 W, 2.01 GAA, .933 SV%- With starter Pikka Renne out with a knee injury, the young Swede gets his chance to take control between the pipes in Music City. The Predators have always developed strong goaltenders and Lindback is no different, there may be a bit of an adjustment period but expect solid numbers across the board for the next month or so.
Posted on: November 25, 2010 11:32 pm
 

Ice Chips- The Week Ahead 4 Game Skeds

Happy Thanksgiving to those American readers of this here fine blog....assuming I have more then myself reading this.
Last week saw 14 teams play 4 games, for those astute owners you added players like RJ Umberger, he of 5 points in the last week.  Others like Mattias Tedenby 4 pts, Derek Stepan 5 pts, Ryan Malone 4 pts, and Teddy Purcell 6 pts put of good production and likely sat on your waiver wire all week long, that being said, let's take a look at how many games the teams play, and which players you should add or keep an eye on.


Saturday 27th- Fri-3rd

Anaheim Ducks- 4
Atlanta Thrashers- 3
Boston Bruins- 3
Buffalo Sabres- 2
Calgary Flames- 4
Carolina Hurricanes- 2
Chicago Blackhawks- 3
Colorado Avalanche- 3
Columbus Blue Jackets- 3
Dallas Stars- 3
Detroit Red Wings- 3
Edmonton Oilers- 4
Florida Panthers- 3
Los Angelas Kings- 3
Minnesota Wild- 4
Montreal Canadeins- 3
Nashville Predators- 3
New Jersey Devils- 2
New York Islanders- 2
New York Rangers- 4
Ottawa Senators- 3
Philadelphia Flyers- 2
Phoenix Coyotes- 3
Pittsburgh Penguins- 3
San Jose Sharks- 3
St. Louis Blues- 2
Tampa Bay Lightning- 3
Toronto Maple Leafs- 3
Vancouver Canucks- 2
Washington Capitals- 3

Not too many teams seeing ice the majority of the week, so this weeks options are limited.
*Stats are as of Thursday night-excuding the Oilers/Avalanche game*
Again ownership is based on Yahoo! numbers....so some players may not be available in your league.


Forwards-

Martin Havlat- 41% Ownership- 3 pts, -1, 2 PIM, 9 SOG- He's still hot, his ownership hasn't gone up much since last being mentioned in last week's article, and he's got 4 games in the next week. Over the last two weeks, he's put up 8 pts, 2 of which have come on the PPP. If you're looking for PP production Havlat may not be the ideal option, but offensively he'll bring it and deliver.

Saku Koivu- 27% Ownership- 2 pts, -1, 1 PPP, 6 SOG- The old man is still producing, and with 4 games in the upcoming, and 8 total in he next two weeks, he should be able to pick up a few points over that stretch so those in daily leagues should consider adding him if they need the extra hand.

RJ Umberger- 20% Ownership- 5 pts, +2, 4 PIM, 10 SOG- As mentioned above, Umberger has been on fire over the past two weeks, with 7 pts. Yahoo managers must play all have all-star rosters to not capitalize on that kind of production. If he's still available in your league, snap him up. Don't expect a Pt/G pace, but ride the hot streak while it lasts.

James van Riemsdyk- 7% Ownership- 5 pts, +6, 9 SOG- van Riemsdyk, has been good, but this week's schedule, doesn't bode well for much fantasy production with just 2 games. Though inspite of that he does warrant a spot on your watchlist. Next week the Flyers play 4 games, if he produces a 3-4 pt week this week, then he's worth adding in medium to deep leagues.

Defenseman-

Dan Girardi- 26% Ownership- 4 pts, -1, 2 PIM, 2 PPP, 6 SOG- Three straight weeks of 4 games is bound to help the production. Unfortunately that's not always the case, Giradi is only worth a mention on the strength of last week's strong performance. Don't expect much more then 2-3 pts with a handful of shots. Worth watching but not worth adding at this point.

Kevin Shattenkirk- 6% Ownership- 4 pts, +1, 3 PPP, 4 SOG- Off the watch list, make the pick up. I've convinced. The kid is good, and the production should continue at a similar pace thanks to the offensive juggarnauts that are the Colorado Avalanche. 6 games in the next two weeks will give him plenty of opportunity to continue producing. His ownership will only go up, be one of those that got in on the ground floor.

Alex Pietranglo- 14% Ownership- 4 pts, 3 PPP, 4 SOG- I said it last week, so I'll just quote myself, "PP time, SOG, low ownership, highly touted, highly skilled. Put him on the radar, add him if you have injuries on your blue line." I told ya....good thing he's still available, unfortunately the Blues only play 2 games this week, so he may not be worth the add immediately but those in deep leagues should pounce.

Goaltenders-

Ondrej Pavalec- 34% Ownership- 3 W, 0.66 GAA, .978 SV%, 1 SO- I told ya so.

Johan Hedberg- 8% Ownership- 2 W, 0.84 GAA, .968 SV%, 1 SO- We've seen The Moose carry a team before, what's to say he can't do so while Martin Brodeur is injured? Of course the concern is the lack of talent around him, primarily the D is missing from the Devils. If you're minders are injured or struggling, Hedberg may help eliviate some of that strain. But consider him nothing more then a number three, one you can cut at the first sign of concern.

Posted on: November 20, 2010 3:45 pm
 

Ice Chips- The Week Ahead...4 Game Skeds

Here we are folks for back toback weeks! This past week has been difficult for me as a Sens fan having watched my boys get pummeled, and my GAA with it. But I'll save the sob story about my fantasy teams, and turn my attention to helping you and yours.
So here we go...


Saturday 20th- Friday 26th

Anaheim Mighty Ducks- 2
Atlanta Thrashers- 3
Boston Bruins- 4
Buffalo Sabres- 3
Calgary Flames- 4
Carolina Hurricanes- 3
Chicago Blackhawks- 3
Colorado Avalanche- 3
Columbus Bluejackets- 4
Dallas Stars- 4

Detroit Red Wings- 3
Edmonton Oilers- 3
Florida Panthers- 4
Los Angelas Kings- 3
Minnesota Wild- 3
Montreal Canadiens- 4
Nashville Predators- 4
New Jersey Devils- 4
New York Islanders- 4
New York Rangers- 4
Ottawa Senators- 3
Philadelphia Flyers- 3
Phoenix Coyotes- 2
Pittsburgh Penguins- 3
San Jose Sharks- 3 
St.Louis Blues- 3
Tampa Bay Lightning- 4
Toronto Maple Leafs- 3
Vancouver Canucks- 4
Washington Capitals- 4

 
Again using Yahoo figures for ownership percentages-

The last week saw a handful of great performances from a couple of Phoenix Coyotes, and a handful of St.Louis Blues this week's highlight by-

Forwards-

Andy McDonald-37% Owned- 8 pts, +1, 3 PPP, 13 SOG- In the past McDonald has shown that he can contribute a high level, and 8 pts in 4 games is pretty good production. With TJ Oshie out, and David Backes struggling to find consistency McDonald is a guy grab if you're looking for a few cheaps points off the waiver wire.

Patrick Berglund- 5% Owned- 7 pts, +3, 2 PIM, 3 PPP, 8 SOG- You can add McDonald's running mate to that short list of players, any player that gets significant power play time is worth watching, one that's producing while the offense is rolling is one worth rostering. He's clicking nicely with McDonald and....

Brad Boyes- 18% Owned- 6 pts, 2 PPP, 17 SOG- Follow the shots and the goals will come, 4 goals in the last week will definately help with the confidence, the power play production bodes well for the future. A pre-season sleeper pick, after a rough season some experts expected a bounce back campaign, only to see Boyes struggle out of the gates and give up hope...I'd like I say I didn't, but I cut him after two weeks of nothing. Now that he's hot...HELLO BRAD! Welcome back!

Radim Vrbata- 15 % Owned- 7 pts , +2, 4 PPP, 18 SOG- I've always liked Vrbata, he's just so streaky, so I'm going to ride this hot streak, though this next week only sees him play two games, which could bring that steak to a halt, and take with it any value created in the last week.

Ray Whitney- 24% Owned- 8 pts, +3, 4 PPP, 10 SOG- Whitney is that guy that no one knows why anyone else rosters him, only to find out that hes put up 8 Pts that week, and helped win a weekly matchup. Finally after crunching the numbers you realize that over the past 5 seasons he's produced at a .896 Pt/G pace, then you feel stupid for doubting such a reliable option...and by that point in time you've watched someone else win the title....add him now!

Logan Couture- 23% Owned- 6 pts, +2, 6 PIM, 15 SOG- The pedigree is there as a first round pick, the line mates are there, as in Ryan Clowe, and the production has been there, but the lack of power play time is a slight concern....and then you realize that he plays for the Sharks and would be lucky to see any PP time. It'll come though, his production warrants a shot at the second unit. 3 games this week, look for similar production again, you may want to hop on this train before it becomes to crowded.

Martin Havlat- 37% Owned- 6 pts, + 4, 1 PPP, 8 SOG- I'm not going to lie to you, Marty is one of my favourite players ever. It's not that he's the most talented guy, or liked (ask Hal Gill) but I've been infatuated with him since his time in Ottawa, so it's a long term relationship. He's got the skills and the production (.888 Pt/G pace current. 874 Pt/G pace last 5 seasons) but keep in mind that he plays for a defense first team in Minnesota so temper expectations, though 7 games in the next two weeks sets him up nicely for 6 pts.

Defenceman-

Jordan Leopold- 50% Owned- 4 pts, + 4, 1 PPP, 5 SOG- 5 games in the next two weeks. That's why half of the leagues still haven't claimed him right? It must be, but really since few managers look that far ahead I'll just chalk it up to there being more productive blueliners being owned....like Jay Bouwmeester or Michael Del Zotto, Zach Bogosian, Brian Campbell or wait a minute......

Brett Clark- 4% Owned- 4 pts, -1 3 PPP, 8 SOG- Any blue liner on the Lightning that gets power play time is worth monitoring, having the opportunity to feed the puck to Martin St.Louis, and Steve Stamkos is just an added bonus. I'll take that kind of production even with the risk of a minus. 4 games this week, makes him a pretty strong play.

Kevin Skattenkirk- 1% Owned- 2 pts, +1, 1 PPP, 6 SOG- This is speculation as the majority of rookie blueliners accomplish nothing for your fantasy team, that being said, two goals from the defense is nice. He plays 6 games in the next two weeks, so use this week to monitor for progression.

Alex Pietrangelo 12% Owned- 3 pts, -2, 2 PPP, 8 SOG- PP time, SOG, low ownership, highly touted, highly skilled. Put him on the radar, add him if you have injuries on your blue line.

Goaltenders-

Jonas Gustavsson-42% Owned- 1 W, 0.82 GAA, .972 SV%- Pressed into action courtesy of a Jean Sebastien Gigure groin injury, will greatly increase The Monster's fantasy value. Only if the Leafs play well. Other wise, you'll get solid ratios, but little to no wins. Gustavsson has the talent to be a number one start, not elite, but solid. 3 games next week, will help to establish his hold on the Leafs net.

Peter Budaj- 34% Owned- 2 W, 3.00 GAA, .908 SV%- The wins will be there for Budaj owners, but they'll be disappointed with the ratios. As an owner, I know I am. Thankfully he's the third goalie on my roster, and he should be yours too...until Craig Anderson is back between the pipes.

Ondrej Pavelec- 27% Owned- 1 W, 1.67 GAA, .943 SV%- He's back, he's healthy and he's productive! 3 games this week, there may not be many wins, but the ratios will be very strong. Add him as a third starter, and expect two games with a 2.10 GAA, and a .935 SV....I'll take those for free thank you very much.

Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:11 pm
 

Ice Chips

Been busy for a while folks, so he's a condensed version of the 4 week sked.
This week we're the pick ups from Fri 12th-Fri, 19th (next day for Yahoo! followers)
So here we go folks.

Ananheim Ducks- 5
Atlanta Thrashers- 4
Boston Bruins- 4
Buffalo Sabres- 4
Calgary Flames- 4
Carolina Hurricanes- 3
Chicago Blackhawks- 3
Colorado Avalanche- 5
Columbus Bluejackets- 3
Dallas Stars- 3
Detroit Red Wings- 3
Edmonton Oilers- 4
Florida Panthers- 4
Los Angelas Kings- 4
Minnesota Wild- 4
Montreal Canadiens- 3
Nashville Predators- 3
New Jersey Devils- 3
New York Islanders- 2
New York Rangers- 4
Ottawa Senators- 3
Philadelphia Flyers- 3
Phoenix Coyotes- 4
Pittsburgh Penguins- 5
San Jose Sharks- 4
St.Louis Blues- 4
Tampa Bay Lightning- 4
Toronto Maple Leafs- 3
Vancouver Canucks- 3
Washington Capitals- 3

We'll list the players in decending ownership percentage. Stats are over 14 days, ownership % = Yahoo!

Goal-

Sergie Bobrovsky- 66% ownership- 5 W, 1.67 GAA, .944 SV- What can you really say about the guy? The rookie has been very good all season long, just look at the numbers. The Flyers only play 3 games over the next 7 days, but that shouldn't stop you from adding him in your league, but do so quickly. Micheal Leighton is slated to return, but I don't see Bobrovsky or Peter Laviolette giving him the job right away.

Dan Ellis- 54% ownership- 2 W, .098 GAA, .963 SV, 2 SO- Woe is me! The kid can still mind the net, maybe he deserves a little more cash? No not really, but he's been good of late, and he's availablle in just under half of leagues. If you're hurting in net (looking at you Brodeur owners), then Ellis is definately worth add, you know that his team is going to provide the offense.

Peter Budaj- 26% ownership- 3 W, 2.43 GAA, .917 SV, 1 SO- The one stat that jumps out there is the pedestrian SV%. I haven't gotten to see much of Budaj this year (stupid Leaf bias), the only start in fact was that 6-5 shoot out against the Calgary Flames. He looked shakey then, but clearly has calmed down, and embrassed the role of being the club's number one guy. While he's rolling he's a worth while add if you're matched up against an owner with 3+ goalies next week.

Defense-

Dennis Wideman- 47% ownership- 5 pts, 2 PPP, 10 SOG- On the season Wideman has more points then a group of notable defenseman, including Zdeno Chara, and Chris Pronger. He also has more points then Jay Bouwmeester, Micheal Del Zotto, Niklas Kronvall and Eric Johnson and yet at this point in time they are all owned at a much higher percentage. There never seems to be much love for Wideman, he's a solid play and can -during streches- be a .5 pt/gp blueliner. Two years ago he potted 13 goals. So far this season he's scored 2 goals, last year he potted 6. He'll beat that mark this season.

Dennis Seidenberg- 25% ownership- 4 pts, +2, 9 PIMS, 2 PPP, 8 SOG- Seidenberg has put together two straight 30+ pt seasons. This season should be no different. Paired on the blueline with Zdeno Chara, and the potent Bruins forwards should see a third straight season of breaking the 30 plateau, given that Wideman deliverd a 50pt campaign riding shotgun with Chara, it wouldn't be inconcievable for Seidenberg to do the same.  With 4 games a piece this pair of Dennis' make a soild bet to add a little offensive punch to your blueline if you're dealing with injury or ineffectiveness (looking at you Brian Campbell owners)

Forward-

Ryan Callahan- 54% 5 pts, -3, 2 PIM, 2 PPP, 21 SOG/ Artem Anisimov-13%- 5 pts, -2, 2 PIM, 3 PPP, 17 SOG
I'm allowed to group them together. They're line mates, and they're both equally productive. You'll notice that the third musketeer Brandon Dubinsky is missing....well he's actually owned in the majority of leagues. One would think owners would take notice of his linemates as well.  Both Ryan and Artem have put up more points in the past 2 weeks then Andrew Ladd, Mikeal Samuelsson, David Backes, Ryan Clowe etc etc, and again they're owned in fewer leagues. The aforementioned players aren't super stars, and could/can be cut when not productive, yet they remain on active rosters. Hopefully the Rangers wunder kids can keep the ball rolling, and see those ownership numbers run up above 60 and 25.

Jeff Skinner- 41%, 11 pts, -1, 5 PPP, 19 SOG- Really? 41%. There is only one excuse for this. Shallow leagues. 3 of his past 4 games have been multi point performances. What is everyone waiting for? He's a first round draft pick, so he has the pedigree. Quickly snap him before someone else comes to their senses and grabs him. He's the front runner for the Calder trophy, so why not claim those bragging rights in your league?


Derek Brassard- 27%- 9 pts, +5, 4 PIM, 2 PPP, 20 SOG- Dear Rick Nash; You're welcome. Signed Jakub Voracek and Derek Brassard. Nash is happy again, and that's due in large part to the emergence of youngsters Voracek and Brassard. After a disappointing season last year, Brassard is off to a scorching start. Riding a current 8 game point streak, and setting up one of the leagues elite snipers should be enough to see Brassard near universal ownership, unfortunately that's not the case. Despite 3 games this week, he should be able to contribute a couple points with matchups against Colorado, Los Angelas and Anaheim.

Michael Frolik- 12%- 8 pts, +8, 2 PPP, 25 SOG- "Little Jagr". That's how TSN analyst Pierre Macguire described Frolik's play against the Leafs this week. For the most part I can see the similarities, I've been a fan of his for a while now, you could say I drive the band wagon. 4 games this week, against, Minny, Philly, Atlanta and Boston, will see Frolik pitted against 2 hot goaltenders (Bobrovsky and Thomas) and two back to back games(something Tomas Vokoun owners should take note of). Riding a 5 game point streak and 3 game goal streak going into Fridays game, should give Frolik plenty of opportunities to extend the streak.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 3:32 pm
 

Ice Chips- The Week Ahead...4 Game Skeds

Here's a look at the week ahead, and some potential free agents that you should consider adding to your roster for a game or two. Remember folks, your fantasy roster is fluid (outside of your core studs) and you should be making moves to continually pick up the hot hand for an extra game or two per week.

So here we are

* team and number of games played- note this done by hand with a paper schedule with tiny print, forgive me if I've miscounted.

October 10-16

Anaheim Ducks- 3
Atlanta Thrashers- 3
Boston Bruins- 2
Buffalo Sabres- 4
Carolina Hurricanes- 1
Chicago Blackhawks- 4
Colorado Avalanche- 4
Columbus Blue Jackets- 2
Dallas Stars- 1
Detroit Red Wings- 3
Edmonton Oilers- 2
Florida Panthers- 4
Los Angelas Kings- 2
Minnesota Wild- 2
Montreal Canadiens- 3
Nashville Predators- 3
New Jersey Devils- 4
New York Islanders- 4
New York Rangers- 2
Ottawa Senators- 3
Philadeplhia Flyers- 3
Phoenix Coyotes- 2
Pittsburgh Penguins- 1
San Jose Sharks- 1
St.Louis Blues- 3
Tampa Bay Lightning- 3
Toronto Maple Leafs- 2
Vancouver Canucks- 3
Washington Capitals- 3


As you can see 6 teams have 4 games in the up coming week, which makes their players the free agents to target.
Here are the players listed in order of team, that you might consider adding to your roster for their busy schedules.



Buffalo-  vs CHI, vs NJ, vs MON, @ CHI

Tim Connolly- C- 74%- There's always the risk that he'll be injured the moment he learns that you've added him to your roster. He likely won't reproduce last seasons totals, but you're not worried about that for this week. 3 home games is always a plus for any player, especially Connolly as he produced 32 pts in 38 home games last season.

Tyler Ennis- C/W- 0% (none listed)- This is a pure speculative pick. The kid has tremendous upside, as there is talk of an 80-90 pts scorer living within. Temper those expectations this season, and be happy with 50 pts. Given that this is his rookie season, what better way then to get acclimated by starting it off on a short home stand.

Jordan Leopold- D- 18%- Like Connolly, Leopold prefers the home cooking. In a split season between Florida and Buffalo last season, Leopold put up 16 pts in 40 home games, while being a +3. Consider that he was a -5 on the road, with just 10 pts in 41 road games. A viable #4 defender for this week.

Chicago- @ BUF, vs NAS, @ CBJ, vs BUF

David Bolland- C- 19%- Poor Bolland, life this season will be unbearable, after all,  Brouwer gets Kane and Toews, and you're stuck with Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. Life is not fair. Big season ahead young man, time to show that that playoff run, is the norm.

Troy Brouwer- W- 50%- There is alot of love for Brouwer this season, as he has seemingly won the top right to ride shot gun with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews this season. You can expect his career highs he set last year of 40 pts to be surpassed. Any winger associated with these two mega talents is a near must own.



Colorado- @ PHI, @ DET, @ NJ, @ NYI

David Jones- C- 10%- The new second line center on the suddenly deep Avalanche squad- thanks to a Peter Mueller concussion. Nearly every top 6 in the league is rosterable at some point in time, this is Jones chance to make a big impression.

Milan Hejduk- W- 54%- Old, boring, productive. The days of solid 70+ pts seasons are long gone, but he's settled in nicely as a 60 pt man. 10 straight season with at least 20+ goals makes a very realiable producer, though the same can't be said about durability, he's getting old so there will be aches and time lost. Hopefully not next week.

John Michael Liles- 64%- Is this the year he break the 50 pt plateau? Probably not, no, but I'd be happy with 40. He's some how behind Adam Foote and Scott Hannan on the depth chart, but he's the teams most productive blue liner , and power play quarter back. Quietly effective.

Florida- @ EDM, @ VAN, @ CLG, vs TB

Michael Frolik- W- 49%- Don't expect much in terms of total season offensive production. He's still very young, and learning the game, but back to back 40+ pts season leads us to believe he can produce. He's not a physical guy like Nathan Horton so he won't fill that role, and you can't count on him for more then a .50 PT/GP pace (yet) but for a desperate owner in a deep league he's worth a look.

David Booth- 0%- I'm calling it right now. If healthy, Booth nets 35 this season. He came close two seasons ago with 31 G in 72 GP. Last years pace would have projected out to a strong 26 goals, but this is the year he breaks out in a big way. Giving center Stephen Weiss a legit scoring winger.

New Jersey- vs PIT, @ BUF, vs COL, vs BOS

Jason Arnott- C- 54%- Here's hoping he plays 70 games this season at least. At his current PT/GP pace he'd finish the season with a respectable 55 pts. A level he's met or exceeded in every full season he has played. Expect more of the same from Arnott this season, which means add him for his busy schedules and cut him right away, or trade him.  

David Clarkson- W- 30%- This pick is strictly for those looking to add some PIM to their team. A gritty character player with half decent hands. Posted his best PT/GP number of his career last season. If you take last season's mark of .521PTS/GP and give him a full 82 game schedule, you've got yourself a 43 PT winger, one with 150+ PIM. Those are similar stats to what Steve Downie did last year in Tampa.

New York Islanders- vs NYR, @ WAS, @ OTT, vs COL

Frans Nielsen- C- 6%- Some one has to center the second line with Kyle Okposo out with an injury. He's far from a sure thing, but an increased role on the team should see career highs set across the board. Expect 42-44 pts, anything more is gravy, it's hard to say for sure who he'll be paired with, but a line with Michael Grabner and Trent Hunter is probably best for his fantasy production.

Matt Moulson- W- 60%- There is alot, ALOT of love for uber phernom John Tavares. Many are expecting a Steven Stamkos sophmore year, but someone has to benefit from that don't they? Enter Moulson. He the guy that played Pink from Dazed and Confused. Last seasons 30 goals ranked him 19th in the league. If Tavares is to hit the 80+ point plateau expect Moulson's all around offensive number to improve, 35 G, 30 A is entirely reasonable.

James Wisniewski- D- 34%- Attention Mark Steit owners. He's hurt and will miss alot of time. Here is your default PP quarter back. He could be a nice surprise this season as he'll benefit from more time on the PP, a 35 PT season isn't out the question as he produced 30 from the blue line last season. A play for those in deeper leagues for sure.



16 potential free agents that are viable adds to roster for the week.
Of course there is no guarantee that they'll pan out, but that's the inherant risk involved in adding fringe players.

Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:13 am
 

Ice Chips- 10 Defensemen I like more then you

Every season, the first couple rounds of your typical fantasy draft sees, the majority of teams, scooping up all 90-100 pt forwards, and the elite goalies. Which in most instances is the easiest and most effective way to build the core of your team, after all you don't want to call Pascal Leclaire your number one goaltender do you? You don't believe me, I'm a Senators fan, you don't want him as your number one.

But what about your blue line?

It's well know that the number of defensemen that can, consistently put up 70+ pts per season is very small.....see Mike Green. Where as the number of forwards...29.
There are plenty of points to go around up front, and the level of talent doesn't waiver a ton from tier to tier. The blue line is different. You have three tier one defenders- Green, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty. Followed by the second tier of offensive producers a group that features the steady vets, Dan Boyle, Sergei Gonchar, Chris Pronger, Nick Lidstrom, Tomas Kaberla etc.

So whats the difference between the top rated blue liner, and the lowest rated tier two option (Green to Kaberla)- 27 pts. That's incredible!

What happens if we take that same point difference and apply it to the forwards, starting with Art Ross winner Henrik Sedin monster season of 112 pts, take away the 27 and you're left with.....Ilya Kovalchuk. Yeah that's a big drop in talent.

If that's not the clearist depiction that elite blue liners are more valuable then elite forwards, then I don't know what is.

Personally I prefer to have a strong blueline, and fill in my forwards with "lesser" talents. So what if I don't have  Sedin as my number one center, I prefer Eric Staal in the second round anyways. So who did I take with my first pick instead(outside of Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby)? Clearly it's....

1- Mike Green- What else needs to be written about the guy? The guy boasts a .911 PT/G pace over the past three seasons. That's just sick in the head! 35 PPP, 205 SOG, 133 Hits, etc etc, oh and he's still young, turning 25 on Tuesday. With enough weapons up front to make North Korea nervous, the Capitals armed with Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Semin (why no love for this guy) are going to score a ton of ton of goals, and Green is going to get plenty of assists. No blue liner is in a better situation this year then Green. Expect more of the same this season from Green
- 2010-2011- 78 GP, 21 G, 60 A, 81 PTS

2- Sergei Gonchar- Yeah he's getting old, but few can run a power better then Gonchar. He alone improves the Senators power play immediately, and immensely. Couple that with the maturation of Eric Karlsson, and the Sens power play looks impressive. As for Gonchar himself, sports a very nice .819 PTS/GP clip over the last three seasons. Of course there are concerns over his durabilty which effects his value big time, as you always want a durable blueliner, but the prospect of 55pts from the blue line is far to good to pass up in the 6th-7th round.
-2010-2011- 70 GP- 13 G, 42 A, 55 PTS

3- Tomas Kaberla- I told ya. I'm a Senators fan, as mentioned before, so you know I hate seeing a Leaf on my list, but the quiet veteran is in a very favourable position this season. Partnering up on the Buds power play with the constantly sneering Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf possesses that howitzer from the point that the Leafs have missed since the departure of Bryan McCabe. There is always the threat that GM Brian Burke, might be able to swing Kaberla at the dead line (provided he approves the deal). But that makes no difference at this point in time.
-2010-2011- 80 GP, 8 G, 44 A, 52 PTS

4- Keith Yandle- Ed Jovanovski who? Well, since he's still on the team , and the highest paid, Jovo Cop will still get plenty of minutes, but his time has passed. There is an acceptable level of durabilty questions that one can have- Gonchar has it- Jovanovski does not. Which makes Yandle the one Coyote blue liner you want to own this season. Coming off a season that saw his establish career highs across the board, I expect more growth from this season as he's maturing, and playing for a new contract next season. I don't expect him to join the upper echelon of the second tier, but a finish in the middle of the group isn't out the question.
-2010-2011- 80 GP- 12 G, 35 A, 47 PTS

5- Kurtis Foster- Finally! Foster was healthy for a full season last year and had a great season, putting up a career high 42 pts, with a remarkable 26 coming on the PP. That's nearly 62% of his total production coming with the man advantage. This season Foster has taken his talents out West, to play for the upstart Edmonton Oilers. Without his all-star supporting cast that included, Steven Stamkos, Martin St.Louis, Vincent Lecavalier etc, many pundits are expecting a down season this year. I'm not, maybe I'm the eternal optimist, but I feel that being the undisputed "guy" in Edmonton will help him big time. With a big shot, and fellow PP quarter back Ales Hemskey distributing the puck, Foster stands to produce another 20+ with the man advantage. 
-2010-2011- 70 GP, 10 G, 35 A, 45 PTS 

6- Erik Karlsson- See I told ya. Playing with Gonchar will have a big impact on the youngsters game. He's a hot sleeper pick this year, so I'll keep it short. Power play time, coaches trust, talented team mates- Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Nick Foligno, Peter Regin, Alex Kovalev-, and sound decision making- all hall marks of a break out season for the thrid year pro.
-2010-2011- 75 GP- 8 G, 33 A, 41 PTS

7- Pavel Kubina- Not the sexiest name to see on the draft board, but knowing that you should select Kubina and not Brent Burns could be the difference between a contender and an also ran. A proven, solid, healthy producer is always worth more then the high risk/high upside youngster (not to deny Burns considerable talent). Kubina's solid .513 PTS/GP mark over the last three seasons, means that you're getting a plug and play defenseman. Unfortunately Kubina didn't see much PP time last season , but a move to the Lightning and their considerable talents, should see a return to the 18-20 PPP guy, and lets now for get, it's a contract year for the big Czech.
-2010-2011- 76 GP- 8, 30 A, 38 PTS

8- Anton Stralman- I've been pimping this guy all off season. As the young gun put up 22 PPP last season, a total that accounted for 64.7% of his production! He slowed towards the end of the season, but you can blame that on it being his first full season in the NHL, one that say a dramatic increase in ice time and responsibility. As long as he continues to get time on the first PP unit with the Blue Jackets he's worth rostering. A return to prominence of goaltender Steve Mason will help the unsightly -17 mark of last season. Continued developement seems very likely but won't come in the form of a 50 Pts season. 
-2010-2011- 76 GP- 7 GP, 31 A, 38 PTS

9- Kris Letang- Don't ask me why. It has more to do with the situation then the skill level. He's never surpassed 33 Pts in a season before, which isn't a great mark, but it's reasonable for short stretches in the lineup. He's not a guy I would draft in a shallow league, but one I would keep an eye on. It's clear that Alex Goligoski is "the guy" on the Penguins blue line, and PP but I wouldn't be surprised if Letang gets looks on the top unit in place of Paul Martin. Given the size of his new contract, Letang will have to prove he's worthy of it. I'll take a risk as an early roster add that he'll be productive.
-2010-2011- 75 GP- 6 G, 25 A, 31 PTS

10- John Carlson- Yes he's a  rookie, but his heroics in World Juniors and his good playoff debut, hint at big things for the blue chip prospect. With his talent level, and the surrounding talent he could very well, out score 6-7 of the players listed above him. He'll likely get time on the second PP unit with Tom Poti, and sigh, Tomas Fleischmann,  Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich. This is far from a guarantee though, so there is a bit of risk involved in drafting/adding him. But the upside is tremendous.
-2010-2011- 8 G, 20 A, 28 PTS

There you have, 10 defenseman I like more then you.

Posted on: September 5, 2010 5:53 pm
 

What Does it Take to be Number One?

As we all know, there's a certain status or aura surrounding the first pick in a fantasy baseball draft. Next season will be no different.
There are the first round constants. Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, and then there are the break out first time first rounders. Guys like Joey Votto, Carlos Gonzalez, and Robinson Cano, have had monster seasons thus far and are poised to be amongst the first 5-6 players drafted in 2011 drafts.

But as the blog title asks, what does it take, and just who is next years number draft pick.

There is a differing of opinions on what kind of player/what position you should target with your first pick/picks. In the first round, I don't bother with targeting positions. If  Miguel Cabrera is there with my first pick, doesn't matter to me that I can grab Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder in the second round, I'm taking Miggy Cab, regardless, because he's just that damn good.

For many managers who follow this draft strategy it's all about the numbers.  With my first pick, I'm looking to stack as many categories as I can.

I NEED 100 R, 30+ HR, 100+ RBI, .300+ AVG. I could care less about stolen bases with the first round, I'm of the thought process that I can find stolen bases later on in the draft, after all guys like Nyjer Morgan, Rajai Davis, Juan Pierre, Cliff Pennington, Chone Figgins, etc are all cheap enough that I don't need to use up a first round pick on Carl Crawford- no slight to Crawford who is a legit stud, and I'd never pass up the opportunity of the value is there.

So let's check the stats and see the guys who fit my requirements thus far.

Well no one, just yet.
Mark Teixeira is the only player with 100 R so far this season, but there are 11 players  just shy of the mark (90+), to date.
Jose Bautista leads the bigs with 43 big flys, and there are 11 total guys with 30+ HR, and another 14 players within striking distance (24+).
Miggy Cab, and Jose Bautista sit 1-2 in RBI with 110 and 103 respectably. Yet another 14 players are within 10 or the century mark.
22 players are hitting .300 plus but we all know that the difference between a .300 hitter and a .280 hitter is roughly one hit per week.


So now that we've seemingly "narrowed" down the field, just who are the leading candidates. Or simply who ranks in the top ten in one or more categories. (For the sake of argument I've included ties)

Those few players- Mark Teixeira 3/4, Miguel Cabrera 4/4, Josh Hamilton 4/4, Robinson Cano 2/4, Joey Votto 4/4 , Jose Bautista 3/4, Albert Pujols 3/4, Carlos Gonzalez 4/4


According to that strategy, the first four picks of the 2011 draft would see Miggy Cab, Hamilton , Joey Votto and Carlos Gonzalez! selected.

While I don't see it playing out exactly like that, it should be close. I don't think that Albert Pujols will slip to the 5th pick in any drafts, thanks in large part to concerns about Josh Hamiltons injury history and major concerns of a repeat performance from Carlos Gonzalez. I'm not one of those guys with production concerns as far as Cargo is concerned. I own Hamilton in a keeper league and he'll be kept no doubt.

But just who is next years number one pick?


Drum roll please............

1a- Miguel Cabrera- Yes you're seeing a changing of the guard. Miggy Cab is the ultimate player. Sure he may not steal as many bases as Albert Pujols, but the ability to generate runs, and score them at a proficient rate is the swing factor for me oh did I mention that he's 28? Yeah I'll take it.

2011 Projection- 115 R, 35 HR, 120 RBI, 3 SB, .325 AVG

1b (or 2 if you're keeping track)- Albert Pujols- Damn thats a terrible consulation prize now isn't it. I don't see a dramatic drop off in production any time soon. Pujols still has Matt Holliday "protecting" him in the lineup. He swipes the occasional bag and the best player that this generation has ever seen. There's still plenty left in the tank and another monster season is 99% bankable.

2011 Projection- 110 R, 35 HR, 120 RBI, 12 SB, .305 AVG

3- Joey Votto- Way to go kiddo, Putting Canada on the baseball map! Talk about a tremendous jump in value. Those in keeper leagues that own him, have to be excited at the prospect of owning 2 1st round players. See there are still positive cases of gambling on upside. Votto is just entering his power prime, is in a loaded lineup- Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Johnny Gomes, Drew Stubbs anyone? and the guy can swipe a bunch of bags. Yes you're seeing this right, he's a top 5 pick.

2011 Projection- 100 R, 35 HR, 115 RBI, 15 SB, .320 AVG

4- Josh Hamilton This is the one player that could be drafted in the top 5 or fall all the way to the second round based on his health in April. That question always will exsist. But no one, and I repeat NO ONE doubts this kids talent. If it weren't for the injury concerns he'd be the run away number 1 pick, and it's not even close.

2011 Projection- 110 R, 30 HR, 110 RBI, 10 SB, .315 AVG

5- Carlos Gonzalez- THIS is the player that the Athletics, and the Diamondbacks saw when they traded for and drafted him. I'm not going to lie, I've been a big fan of the guy since his minor league days, each year I've bought into the hype during the draft, attempting to grab him in as many drafts, as late as possible. Next year will be no exception. The pedgiree of a stud is there, and so is the production. Power, speed, everything is there. He could very well be the 2012 first round pick, if he repeats. I think he will.

2011 Projection- 100 R, 30 HR, 110 RBI, 20 SB, .290 AVG

6- Mark Teixeira- What can you say about the guy? Sure the batting average leaves something to be desired, but really if that's all you're worried about, draft Joe Mauer and you're all set. The guy is like clock work, he struggles, managers and the media write him, you trade peanuts to get him, and win your league. The guy puts up his numbers- and they're always good.

2011 Projection- 115 R, 35 HR, 120 RBI, 1 SB, .270 AVG

7- Robinson Cano- Well it's a damn shame you don't be able to pair the two Yankees together. Long thought of as a table setter with a bit of power, Cano has emerged as a legit power threat. He's the top 2b in the game now- move over Chase Utley- he's got power, hits for a great average, and will score runs, no matter where he is in the lineup.

2011 Projection-  115 R, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 5 SB, .320 AVG

8- Hanley Ramirez- He hasn't fallen that much, but his stock has faded. His final numbers will still be strong and he gets a minor push up thanks to his position, and stolen base prowess. He's still the top dog at short stop and you've got to expect more of the same from "Han-Ram" as the Marlins mature as a team- Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, Cameron Maybin, Dan Uggla etc

2011 Projection- 95 R, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 35 SB, 310 AVG

9- Carl Crawford- I'm a big time fan of the guy, decent pop, great speed, great lineup- Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, Jason Bartlett anyone? If I get a pick in the last half of the first round I would take Carl Crawford. There's nothing wrong with this kid at all. But alot depends on where he signs, if he ends up in a hitters park like Texas, Chicago, etc he could be a top 5 pick.

2011 Projection- 100 R, 15 HR, 85 RBI, 45 SB, .300 AVG

10- Ryan Braun- This pick and the rest from the 10-20 range is a little bunched up. Guys like Prince Fielder, David Wright, Matt Holliday, Joe Mauer, Evan Longoria, Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Rios, Chris B. Young, Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Zimmerman, Alex Rodriguez etc are all relatively close in value, but Braun sits just a bit ahead of them in 2011. He's a legit power threat who's having a down year. This call for me is a bit of a gut call.

2011 Projection- 90 R, 25 HR, 100 RBI, 15 SB, .300 AVG


You'll notice the absence of Blue Jays slugger, Jose Bautista from the first round. That's because I don't think he can repeat- to the same level. He's got power, but I would never bank on 40+ HR next season. I could see 30 with another .260 AVG, solid and definately draftable but not first round worthy. Odds are though, that you can get him at a relative value. Managers will be fearful of drafting him next season out of fear of him being a flop. I'll be one of those brave managers that will be willing to spend a mid-round pick on the Bautista Bomb in 2011.

That's my take on the first 10 picks of the 2011 draft, though note they're subject to change at any point in time. Let me hear your feed back.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:44 pm
 

Player Spot Light- Gregor Blanco

Now every, by a show of hands, let's see how many people knew about the Kansas City Royals, Gregor Blanco before the start of the season?
Kind of a trick question, at the start of the season he was an Atlanta Brave, but you get a C for effort, I'm not an easy marker. I'm even more strict when it comes to proclaiming early sleepers for next season, but I'll go out on a limb and proclaim Gregor Blanco as a 2011 sleeper candidate.

Here's why.

1- Full time player. In Atlanta he was a part time OF/Pinch Runner. Limited AB aren't conducive to fantasy production. The move that saw the Braves acquire Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth in exchange for Blanco and minor leagues, saw Blanco thrust into the spot light....well as much spot light as there can be in Kansas, and he's responded.

2- Magical Age 27- Yeah it could still be a myth but there are more then enough seasons in fantasy history to show that it may not be just a fluke.

3- Very few people will pay attention- The fact that he's owned in 2.8% of ESPN leagues , 7% in CBS, 1% on Yahoo! That means he likely won't be highly valued come draft day. The perfect kind of guy to target with your final pick.

So just why do I like him so much?

Here are his stats over the last 30 days, compared with a much higher regarded outfielder.

Blanco- 11 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 9 SB, .255 AVG, .336 OBP, .330 SLG, .666 OPS
Player B- 15 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 9 SB, .250 AVG, .370 OBP, .321 SLG, .691 OPS

I'll give you a hint. He plays for an AL team, he's also a center fielder, and his team is in first place. Give up?
It's 100% owned Brett Gardner.

Yeah that's right, Blanco has posted nearly identical numbers as Gardner has over the last month!

Now granted Gardner has a higher OBP, which is always important and is nearly guaranteed to score more runs in the Yankees lineup, but it does demonstrate two things- managers tend to be blinded when it comes to players, after all stats are stats, and two value can come from anywhere so don't be afraid to add a player that will make others ask, "WTF?", when they see it on the transaction list.

Just smile sheepishly as your waiver wire gem swipes as many bags as their mid-round stolen base fiend does.


The biggest knock/knocks against him are his lack of power and good but not great speed. He also has an inability to hit lefties, as do most left handed hitters do, and he performs much better at home, check out the splits. .216 AVG, 501 OPS vs Lefties, .297 AVG, .786 OPS vs Righties. .314 AVG, .786 OPS at home, and .232 AVG, .594 OPS on the road.

Come March/April drafts make sure to remember Blanco when you're looking at the later rounds, you could very well end up player that posts 70 R, 5 HR, 40 RBI, 25 SB, .275 AVG in 500 AB, that's not bad for a 23rd round pick, after all what did your 23rd round pick this year produce?

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com