Marv: I’ve always been told to start my stud players. Whether one of my studs is having a cold streak, their team has a strong schedule, they’re playing a hot goalie or is coming back from injury, they’re in my lineup. FYI I went against this and sat Michal Neuvirth for Saturday night’s game where he got a shutout, which definitely would have helped me out in this week’s matchup. I know a lot of fantasy managers play the matchups, and I’m definitely not encouraging you to ignore these items listed above or ignoring advanced stats (Corsi, etc.) but I, myself, play them not matter what. So maybe don’t go as hardcore and follow my lead, but try not to throw away a stud on a down week or with at least high potential for turning things around to grab a hot, unproven player on the wire. This might work out half the time, but more than likely you will see this stud get picked up off the wire by your competition. Losing the year is bad (for obvious reasons) but the loss is that much harder to swallow when you lose to a team who grabbed your stud who managed to turn things around.
Marv: This week we’re starting off with some Studs who have fallen out of love with their old fantasy managers and find themselves available in under 50% of leagues.
Don’t buy unless you are ready for success…
Marian Gaborik RW [49% Owned]
Marv: Oh how the mighty have fallen. So far this year, through 13 games, Gaborik has 1 goal and 1 assist and also comes with a rusty -6. I’m not saying grab him right away but a talent like this can turn things around very quickly. Let’s just watch and see. If you have an extra bench spot is it really the worst thing to have Gaborik sitting there, especially if he turns things around?
Pesos: I’m not sure I would be using up a spot for Gabby, especially when I think there is better talent elsewhere with a better shot of providing value to your fantasy team. He’s 33 years old and his struggles are probably more to do with him getting old than him getting unlucky. I wouldn’t expect much more from him this season but I’ve been wrong before (rarely).
Jeff Skinner LW, RW [48% Owned]
Marv: Speaking of people to watch just in case they decide to show up for a season, Mr. Skinner. He let us down last season with 31 points and a -24 rating. At the age of 22, fantasy managers were hoping to see Skinner excel in the 2014-15 season. For those who hoped for a bounce back, we’re getting more of the same this year. The shots are there (36 shots) but he is currently sitting at 3 goals and 1 assist through 14 games. He’s only 23 and I think want to think he can turn it around, but skating on the third line and with Carolina’s “hot” start (6-8-0) maybe just keep an eye on him.
Jonathon Drouin LW [41% Owned]
Marv: Well Drouin is back from injury but not back in fantasy manager’s hearts, not yet anyways. He managed to play a little over 12 minutes but did not record a shot and Tampa was shut out by Minnesota. The Lightning clearly wanted to ease him back and although he didn’t play on the top line with Steven Stamkos, I assume he will be returned to that line in the next game or two.
Tyler Ennis C, LW [44% Owned]
Marv: Ennis missed a couple games with a lower body injury which saw his ownership drop. Not including the two missed games, Ennis had started to pick things up from a slow start (no points in first 3 games) and has tallied 3 goals and 4 assists in 9 games. Playing on the top line with Ryan O’Reilly and of course the first line powerplay, I think we have only started to see the warm up to bigger things to come. I think his value drops slightly in leagues where he is only considered center position but with centre and left wing eligibility, he should be owned in more leagues.
Nick Bjugstad C [46% Owned]
Marv: We mentioned him last week but I think he still isn’t getting the respect he deserves. With the injury to Aleksander Barkov, Bjugstad has been playing on the top line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr. He’s had a slow week on this line with 1 goal and 1 assist in the last 4 games, but keep in mind Florida has had a mini slide and have now lost 5 in a row. I think the first line played a little above their potential out of the gate, but they’re also not this bad. I expect his numbers to pick up and he is worth a pick up while skating on that top line.
Cam Ward G [41% Owned]
Marv: If we forget about that ugly November 1st start, his numbers look pretty good. I wrote up about him last week, remember the guy I brought to the tree house? Anyways, he’s not going to be your #1 or even #2, but if your league has multiple bench spots and the wire has limited goalie options, you could do worse. You know I don’t rock the matchups, but he’s a great filler to top up your saves, save % and shots on goal. You know he will see plenty.
Pesos: I still stand by the idea that Lack is going to get the bulk of the starts but Ward hasn’t been the tire fire I thought he was going to be either. He’s won 3 of his last 4 starts, posting a 0.919 SV%. If he continues this, he might be worth a pickup as a back-up.
Micheal Hutchinson G [33% Owned]
Here’s another goalie sitting on the wire with decent numbers (if you forget about November 1st. By the way, what the heck happened on November 1st, was it a full moon or something?) For numbers sake, at least Ward survived the game where Hutch was pulled after the 4rth goal. He’s better than the talent pool around him at that percentage as I’d be taking him over: Jon Bernier, Eddie Lack & Andrew Hammond.
Michal Neuvirth G [31% Owned]
I’m honestly not going to talk about him this week. I’m just going to put his name up here and maybe hope for the best. How about I just say the guy is ranked 18th overall this season so far, and has 3W, 1.81 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. Oh and he’s coming off a nice 28 shot shut out on Nov 7th. Ok that’s it. Also, Steve Mason has been pretty terrible. Grab him now before it’s too late. Ok I’m done.
FYI- As some free advice, if Henrik Lundqvist or Ben Bishop go down (to injury), do your team a favor and rush to the wire and pick up Andrei Vasilevskiy and/or Antti Raanta, immediately. These two are very good backups that could win you weeks if the #1s ever went down and they claimed the starting gig.
Morgan Rielly D [29% Owned]
Marv: Man I hate talking about Leafs players on here. Everyone knows I hear enough nonsense about the great Leafs from Pesos. However, Rielly is doing very well and with 3 goals and 7 assists. It’s no wonder his ownership is on the rise every day. I’m sure he will hit a couple cold streaks, but it seems for now at least that the talent is there and let’s face it, someone had to step up on that team.
Pesos: Quietly, Rielly has been one of the Leafs best defenders this season. Yeah, I know, it’s not hard to be the best on a team full of bad players but he’s almost a PPG player on the 29th ranked team. If you’re thin on D, give him a go, you likely won’t be disappointed.
Oscar Lindberg C [24% Owned]
Marv: With Connor McDavid down for a couple months, Oscar has been steadily revving thing up, extending his rookie scoring lead to 7 goals and 4 assists. He has been getting plenty of minutes on the second line powerplay which has helped, and he and linemate Kevin Hayes have really clicked together (Hayes with 6 goals 6 assists). Even Hayes is around 42% owned, let’s all now show some Lindberg love out there.
Nazem Kadri C [23% Owned]
Pesos: For a guy as talented as Kadri, I’m a little surprised he’s only owned in 23% of leagues. At some point this guy is going to break out, it’s just a matter of time. Kadri has 60 shots on goal (good enough for 5th in the league) but is shooting an awful 1.7%. If he was shooting at the league average (roughly 9%), he would have 5-6 goals. It’s coming, it’s just a matter of when.
Marv: What have I said about talking about Leafs? I mean, I talked about Rielly, I feel like I’ve hit my quota for this week month. You can’t argue with his chances (60 shots!) and sooner or later I feel like he will start finding the back of the net. For a small guy, he throws around his body, so he will typically get you a couple of hits and will of course come with a couple penalty minutes as a bonus (14 PIMS so far this season)
Artemi Panarin LW [63% Owned]
Pesos: A three point night against the Oilers propelled Panarin into the rookie scoring race on Sunday night and unless McDavid comes back and is out of this world, Panarin is going to win the Calder. He has 15 points in 15 games while playing with Patrick Kane, who’s not to bad himself, I only see him getting better.
Marv: Following this three point night, Panarins ownership has jumped to 63% owned, if you’re lucky enough to be in a league where he’s still available, pick him up.
Selling the farm
Nick Foligno C, LW [88% Owned]
Pesos: He’s got six points, is a -8 and is abysmal on the draw (38%). I know his cap hit has nothing to do with fantasy but boy oh boy is that going to be bad soon, if not already. Foligno may turn things around under Torts but I’m not very confident in it.
Marv: I wouldn’t be dropping the guy, but he definitely has bench material all over him for the foreseeable future. I was pretty low on Foligno heading in to the season but I do have to say I didn’t predict the Blue Jackets playing so badly. A record of 4-8-0 is terrible and Foligno’s fantasy numbers is not what managers had in mind drafting Foligno 45th overall (average ADP) wow, that sucks. I see him turning things around but I stick what I said pre-season , I see him ranked around 90-100th overall. I can see him breaking out of this slump and getting up to those numbers. Really at this point, anything is better than what we have seen so far.
Craig Smith C, RW [45% Owned]
Pesos: Another head scratcher. What do people see in Craig Smith? I’m serious. Three points in 13 games. I don’t see the value in this at all.
Ryan Strome C, RW [21% Owned]
Pesos: What a disappointing season from Strome. I definitely had high expectations for him but he’s struggled. One goal and five points just isn’t good enough. He’s now been dropped to the AHL. Ouch.
Marv: I hate those players that you just can’t give up on. Strome is that guy on my team who will be on my bench for at least 3 more weeks. I’m going to take a chance (I have the bench space) that his recent demotion gives his head a shake and he comes back swinging. I expect him to be back in a week or so and it will be proving time. He has the potential to be a stud, he just needs to put it together and I think this demotion is the perfect kick in the pants he needs. Let’s revisit in a couple weeks.
Anothony Duclair LW [32% Owned]
Pesos: After a strong start to the season, Duclair has been pointless in his last 7 games. He’s young and will be just fine, but he’s going to have some rookie struggles. If there’s a more consistent veteran on the wire, I would look at making the switch.
Cam Talbot G [53% Owned]
Pesos: The Oilers are probably going to suffer without McDavid. Talbot has lost 4 of his last 5 starts and has allowed 3 or more goals in all 5 of those. He is a starter, so his shot totals could be helpful but if you lose points for Goals Against and Losses, you might want to part ways.
Marv: Mr. Talbot is having a rough patch and although the goals against isn’t pretty, if you’re in a league with shots, he will help. I think if you have him, you have him on your bench until he rights the ship. I do agree that he is in a bad place right now but he is the clear starter and I think he still bounces back. I have him on one of my teams and he is my third goalie, but there’s no way I’m dropping him yet. I guess only time will tell.
Marv: So there you have it boys and one girl who read along. I hope you all have great weekly matchups and that all your studs perform, unless you’re in one of my leagues then worst of luck to you. As Pesos has left the building, I’m like a fat kid in a candy store. I’m Overwhelmed and overloaded by great chirps and comments pouring over me to burn Pesos, but what’s the fun in laying down this comedy gold if he’s not here to get it square in the face. So I’ll save them for next time, for now you will have to stick to simply reading his advice (comedy in itself). HA!
If you guys have any questions about your team, trades, matchups, wire guys or simply want to pay me a compliment, feel free to write us up.