Marv: Combined with this season’s most recent head cold, I’m suffering from a big case of writer’s block. Maybe it’s the fact that I have Hockey going on one TV and the Harry Potter marathon on the other one (PVR’d from the Christmas run). Maybe it’s the New Year that has rejuvenated my body and mind and I’m so full of happiness that I have nothing to comment or complain about. No that’s not it. Hmm.
Marv: UPDATE, what a difference a week can make, I’m back! A little too many video games combined with a little too much sleep equals one quick week, but a good one. Video games, movies, hockey & complete laziness aside, with the New Year came an itch to shake things up in my hockey league. I might not have needed the players or the trade, but the act alone and the wheeling a dealing has brought me back to life. To my point, if you’re feeling a bit stretched or a little unmotivated around the halfway mark, throw some trades out there, see who’s biting, just don’t get bit, Ha!
Marv: I initially compiled most the players off this list around a week and a half ago. I’ve updated the information for most the players that required an update. Some might have been snatched up after great new year starts but there is still some value to be had. The only Sell I had I removed only because it broke my heart, Marian Gaborik. After a descent December I thought he was pulling out but has barely registered a blip in January and is now on the fourth line, the mighty have fallen.
Bought some of these guys last week, they still around?
Ondrej Pavelec G (44% Owned)
Marv: Recovering from a knee sprain, is traveling with the Jets on their upcoming road trip. I mention Pavelec because of his low Ownership (below 50%) but I’d rather have Michal Neuvirth (below) or the other Winnipeg tender. Currently, the Jets haven’t felt the need to rush him back with Connor Hellebuyck playing the way he is (for more on Hellebuyck, see below). The playing time for both is up in the air when Pavelec comes back so watch closely if interested in either goalie. UPDATE: I wrote that a week ago, Pavelec is still hurt and Hellebuyck has been playing great.
Pesos: The good thing about Pavelec is he’ll give you starts and saves but will lack in the GA and W department over the long run. Problem is, he hasn’t played since November 23.
Patric Hornqvist RW (47% Owned)
Marv: Can I just leave his name on here and we can revisit next time? I’ve been expecting a lot more (I’m sure most his fantasy owners have) and he seems to be finally finding his stride. He had a decent December and if I can see another string of games with him on the scoreboard, I don’t see him returning on our next buy sell list.
Pesos: For a guy who plays most of his minutes with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang, you would think Hornqvist would have more than 18 points. He has warmed up a little, seven points in his last five games. I do have a feeling though as the Pens start to stringing more wins together, Hornqvist’s stats will start to grow. Time will tell.
Michal Neuvirth G (43% Owned)
Marv: With a quick glance, you would think that Steve Mason had won out the goaltending position, but Neuvirth had been battling an illness. Mason had made the last 5 starts before Neuvirth’s return to the crease on Jan 2nd where he allowed 2 goals on 32 shots but suffered the loss versus LA. UPDATED: Mason has been playing more games (and has played better than his start to season) but Neuvirth got the W and stopped 29 of 30 shots in a shootout win VS Detroit the other night. The way it’s going it looks like they are favoring Mason again but if his playing quality declines, Michal will get more starts. Something worth watching.
Aleksander Barkov C (47% Owned)
Marv: Bam! Two back to back games with 2 goals and 10 points in his last 8 games, it’s no surprise we are hearing that he has begun contract extension talks with the Panthers. Young kid with huge potential, if he’s available on your wire, I’d grab him before someone else does. Just keep in mind, with his youth, he is bound to have his cold streaks but the talent is there and developing. If you’re in a keeper league and he’s available, maybe changes leagues? Because the managers you’re playing against don’t know Jack!
Pesos: Who’s Jack?
Marv: …. [insert photo of man slapping his forehead] UPDATE: did my initial write up on him last week (hence the back to back games). As mentioned, he will have a cold streak, and he has slowed a bit lately, but his upside is tremendous, not to be overlooked. One of my favorite players to watch this year.
Loe Komarov C,LW (45% Owned)
Pesos: ALL STAR forward Leo Komarov. I’ve talked about Leo a few times. He’s having a career year on a mediocre team in Toronto while getting some top line mins. It’s been a good time to pick him up for over a month now.
Marv: Dang Leafs, the kid has slowed down a bit as of late but still having an amazing year, someone I’d have my eye on in a keeper league.
Connor Hellebuyck G (42% 54%Owned)
Marv: Sure Hellebuyck has had some nights to forget and his name just rolls off your tongue, but at 22 years old, he will only get better and in a keeper league, he is the one goalie from Winnipeg that I will be watching. UPDATE: started writing this a couple weeks ago, obviously past the 50% ownership but still had to put him on this list, I’d be adding him.
Dan Boyle D (39% Owned)
Pesos: Kind of surprised he’s owned in 39% of leagues but I guess he’s in the top 50 among D in scoring so it maybe makes a little sense but not really? One area he could help is on the Power Play. Currently, 9 of his 14 points have been with the man advantage. Might be worth a pick-up to replace an injury or something along those lines.
Marv: He had been having a nice season until the snow fell in Canada. His January numbers have been awful but he is still getting PIM’s. I probably would look at grabbing a guy like Marc-Edouard Vlasic for the upside but I’d still keep an eye on Boyle for your playoff run.
Justin Williams RW (40% 50% Owned)
Marv: I was looking at Williams and added him to this list about a week and a half ago with his December numbers then he turns around and drops 5 goals, 4 assists, +7, 26 shots and throw in 4 PIM’s. Add that all up and you had a steal at the start of January at 40% owned. Even at 50%, I’d be grabbing him up if available, showing no signs of slowing down.
Pesos: With seven points in his last five games, Williams appears to be heating up which could be bad news for the rest of the league since the Capitals have been lights out. Williams isn’t in his prime so expecting 60 points from him isn’t really logical but he’s put together a string of games lately so he’s worth a look.
Boone Jenner C, RW (35% Owned)
Pesos: Playing for Torts is probably the closest thing to living in hell. Sure, Boone is young and the Blue Jackets have been hot garbage, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to expect a ‘little’ more from him.
Nazem Kadri C (32% Owned)
Pesos: Fifteen points in his last 20 games. Admittedly I expected more from him at the start of the season but an extremely low shooting percentage killed that. Looks like that’s starting to rebound meaning he should start to rack up some points down the stretch.
Marv: Pesos, this is bull*#*!, can I write that ? Well see if it passes editing. We agreed from now on we would only talk about 1 Toronto player max per article. Remember the conversation, well, I’ll let this on slide.
Tyler Bozak C (18% Owned)
Pesos: I thought Bozak was going to be extremely mediocre when Phil Kessel left but I completely forgot that Carlyle was no longer the Leafs coach. Bozak’s on top, or at least close to the top, of guys to pick up for depth spots. He’s gone more than 2 games without at least a point twice this season, that’s consistency. That’s worth grabbing.
Marv: Please refer to my earlier comment of Kadri, Pesos, we need to talk. I will agree with you he has played better than expected but the Sens fan in me is saying I can’t say anything more about him but pass.
Ryan Spooner C, LW (21% 40%Owned)
Pesos: Eleven points in his last ten games. That was preceded with a 4 game pointless streak which was preceded by 10 points in 6 games. STREAKY!! Pick up while you still can.
Marv: UPDATE, when I first started writing about him he was at 20% owned, week and a half later he’s nearly doubled his ownership. The kid is still putting up the points but he is getting up to an ownership level I expected. If you can still get him he’s a good guys to have at the base of your roster as a sub in while he’s hot.
Carl Soderberg C, LW (20% 32% Owned)
Pesos: Ten PP points and 1 SH apple this season to go with his 26 points. That’s fairly good when you consider his top linemates are Jimmy Hayes, Colin Miller and Torey Krug. Not exactly the Bruins top offensive guys.
Matt Beleskey LW (14% Owned)
Pesos: He’s been below average of late but Matts still on track to surpass his career high in points (32 points last season). It helps that he’s getting nearly 2 mins more ice time per game. Too many 2 or more game stretches without a point for my liking.
Jacob Markstrom G (9% 13% Owned)
Marv: Taking away his awful start against LA on Dec 28th, Markstrom’s numbers look like this: 3 Wins, 1.23 GAA, .958 SV%. Those numbers put him in the “he’s killing it” category but his loss to LA help fly this guy under the radar. Regardless of the LA blow up, with his overall numbers, this guy needs to be owned in more leagues. UPDATE: Since I wrote this on Jan 3rd, in 5 starts he’s managed to squeak out 3 wins and hasn’t had a blow up (no more than 3 goals in any game).
Pesos: 3-1-1 in his last 5 games while posting a 0.923 SV% is a nice little stretch. Vancouver has to give less of the work load to Ryan Miller so you would think down the stretch Jacob will get more starts. Depending on your backup situation, Jacob could be an option.
Marv: So there you go, couple weeks into the new year and we are already seeing some great value grabs off the wire. If they are all gone why not take me up on my earlier advice and throw some trade offers out. Most leagues will also allow you to post the players your interested in trading. Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on a trade, but be smart about it: check the advanced stats and trust your instincts. Look at Pesos, he’s got no hockey sense and couldn’t sell a life jacket to a drowning man but hes an active trader. Sometimes (well most times) he gets swindled but that’s no excuse. As always, there is tons of information out there and the daily articles Viz puts out can catch you up in a quick 15-20 mins on your lunch. Don’t just participate in your league, read our articles, comment & ask questions, then win your league.
Marv & Pesos Out.