It’s hard to believe that one week has passed since the NHL dropped the puck on this shorten season, and with it, already a number of story lines in the world of Fantasy Hockey.
First off, congrats to owners of Patrick Marleau (8 goals, 3 assists) Logan Couture (3 goals, 4 assists) and Joe Thornton (2 goals, 9 assists) of the Sharks. It’s pretty fair to assume if you have two of these players on your roster, you probably lead your points league, or have a major advantage in your weekly matchup.
On the flip side, owners of P.K. Subban are scratching their heads on what to do with the Canadiens defenseman. As time ticks, so do the points, but it’s still too early to panic.
Coming into the season, three restricted free agents with fantasy value remained unsigned.
Stars forward Jamie Benn: Owned in 93 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 99 percent of ESPN Leagues.
Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly: Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 2 percent of ESPN Leagues, and
Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban: Owned in 98 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 100 percent of ESPN Leagues.
Owners of Benn were rewarded for their patience this week, as Dallas signed him to a five year contract. The forward is expected to make his season debut on Monday. Ryan O’Reilly left his KHL club after suffering a foot injury, and as of Sunday, is still no closer to a deal with Colorado. If you have him on your roster, and 31 percent of you do in Yahoo, it’s probably best to drop him. You have plenty of other options out there on the waiver wire, including.
LW Daniel Winnik: Ducks (Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 58 percent of ESPN Leagues.
Stats: 5 goals, 1 assist, +6, 11 SOG
LW Mikkel Boedker: Coyotes (Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 7.8 percent of ESPN Leagues)
Stats: 1 goal, 4 assists, +3 14 SOG
C Patrik Berglund: Blues (Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 12.7 percent of ESPN Leagues)
Stats: 2 goals, 2 assists, +3, 10 SOG
Now to the case of P.K. Subban. On Saturday, we learned the defenseman and Canadiens management are at a stand still. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin will reportedly not budge on their offer from last May which stood at two years and $5.1 million.
French Renaud had it right. Canadiens offer to PK Subban, 2.2 million first year, 2.9 for next season.
— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) January 26, 2013
Subban and his agent are said to be meeting Monday to decide the next move, so from a fantasy perspective, what should you do?
Even with this being a shorten season, it’s still too early to drop Subban in any of your leagues. Sure you’ve lost some production with Subban out of your lineup, but an early look at the waiver wire shows that available defenseman with value are still hard to find.
The top available “D’ man in most leagues is the Canadiens’ Raphael Diaz (Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 31.4 percent of ESPN Leagues) Diaz has recorded five assists in three games, including three power-play points to date. If you need help in this department, go get him, but not at the expense of Subban. Don’t forget, P.K. had 36 points in 81 games last year with 205 shots-on-goal and 14 power-play points. So he’s worth waiting for!
If we were talking about losing production out of a forward like Jamie Benn, it would be a different story, with other options on the wire able to help you. Losing another week from Subban won’t hurt you near as much as losing a forward, so hang in there and hope for him to sign or maybe even get traded soon.
Top defenseman on the wire:
Eric Brewer: Lightning (Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 12.4 percent of ESPN Leagues.
Stats: 2 goals, 0 assists, 3 SOG
Fedor Tyutin: Blue Jackets (Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 20 percent of ESPN Leagues)
Stats: 1 goal, 3 assists, 10 SOG
Marc Staal: Rangers (Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 7.7 percent of ESPN Leagues)
Stats: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 SOG
Top 5 pickups on Yahoo:
1. Mikkel Boedker (PHX)
2. David Perron (STL)
3. Michael Grabner (NYI)
4. Matt Read (PHI)
5. Cory Conacher (TB)
Greatest Change in percentage owned on ESPN:
1. Daniel Winnik (ANA) 57.9%
2. Michael Grabner (NYI) 42.9%
3. Raphael Diaz (MTL) 31.3%
4. Stephane Robidas (DAL) 27.4%
5. Mike Kostka (TOR) 21.4%
Finally, if you were able to snag Blues rookie Vladimir Tarasenko off the wire, Congrats! After being owned by only 29.1 of ESPN owners to start the week, his 4 goal, 3 assist week with a +4 rating and 17 SOG quickly turned the ownership numbers into an incredible 98.7 percent on ESPN, a 69 percent gain throughout the week.
For all those owners of Phil Kessel, who are still waiting after five games for a goal, the week ahead will see him play three games vs Buffalo, Washington, and Boston. In his career against those three clubs, he has 13 goals in 39 games against the Sabres, 5 goals in 21 games against the Caps and 3 goals in 18 games against the Bruins. The goals will come, it just might not be this week.
If you any fantasy questions this season, let me know in the comment section, and good luck this week.