Welcome to week 2 of the Fantasy Planner, getting you ready for next week's fantasy hockey action. (10/12 through 10/18).
Week 1 Review
Week 1 was all about the Washington Capitals, with the top 4 scoring leaders coming from D.C. Of those, only Brooks Laich can be considered surprising. Most likely, he's already been nabbed in your league. What's more surprising perhaps is that Mike Green has only 2 assists out of Washington's 15 goals. If you own Green, be patient. He'll dominate soon enough.
In terms of goaltending, Craig Anderson's amazing start caught many off guard, while some of the fantasy favorites like Luongo and Nabokov stumbled out of the gate. Look for these guys to make a strong recovery, as they both traditionally start off slowly and get better by November.
The award for most disappointing start so far goes to Pavel Datsyuk who has yet to register a point through 2 games played.
Week 2 Matchups
Teams with 4 Games
: Chicago (3 home games), Colorado, LA, Nashville
Teams with 2 Games
: Atlanta, Carolina, Columbus, Florida, Montreal, St. Louis, Vancouver
Teams with 1 Game
Obviously, with only one game next week, you may want to consider resting your Flyers in favor of other players. Chicago has the best matchup schedule this week, featuring home games against Calgary, Edmonton and Dallas, with an away game at Nashville. Don't hesitate to temporarily add a free agent such as Byfuglien, Sharp, or Versteeg to your lineup, as they're likely to get 3 or more points for you. Avalanche skaters may also give you a quick lift, as they face off against several teams struggling to stop the puck so far this year (Toronto, Montreal, Detroit).
Here are a few names who may be available in your league and are worth a look:
- Sure, he turns the puck over 10 or so times a game, but if you've watched the Pens play this year, you've seen that he's becoming a serious scoring threat on defense. He won't last long as a free agent.
- Stajan has 3 goals in 3 games played and is playing over 19 minutes a game. He's the best option in Toronto until Kessel is healthy.
- Most fantasy owners assumed Varlamov would be the starting goalie this season, and based on the first few games, that is questionable at best. Theodore has looked pretty good, while Varlamov has struggled mightily. While his GAA won't stand a chance with the Capital's run and gun style, he has a good shot at piling up the wins this year.
- Wolski always starts the season strong and with 4 games on the schedule next week, it's a good time to take a chance on this guy. He already has 3 goals in his first 2 games.
- Daughty should have been drafted, but surprisingly, he's still available in many leagues. He's quickly becoming a top tier fantasy defenseman and will most likely be drafted in the top 20 next season. Grab him immediately if he's out there.
Drop or Keep?
Here are the guys that many owners are struggling with the decision to drop or hold on, based on injuries or poor showings so far:
- First off, I cautioned everyone against drafting Markov (and all other Canadiens for that matter), as I felt him far overrated. That's not to say I saw the injury coming. That said, if you spent a top pick on Markov, you've got a tough call to make. It all comes down to how many bench spots your league offers. If you've only got 4 spots to work with, I'd cut my losses and move on. There are still many good options out there and others will arise. If you have a deeper bench, I'd hold on to him. He'll be available during the fantasy playoff run, and that's what matters most. If he becomes available in my league, I won't hesitate to grab him and get that extra boost when it's needed most.
- Big surprise, Lehtonen's hurt. First off, if you drafted him again, shame on you. Drop him now. Atlanta's goaltending won't help you in any way this season. Pick up Dan Ellis instead.
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