Fantasy – Eye of the Tiger
It can be tough to give advice on who to pick up in your respected pools without actually seeing who’s available.
So what I will do is make a list of sleepers/bloomers that could potentially still be available in your pool and I’ll also give some insight as to who I feel may be some good options going forward.
There have been a bundle of youngsters coming out the gates flying, and a number of them I highlighted in my original sleepers choices just before the season started.
Victor Olofsson – right winger with HUGE upside playing with Eichel first line and first powerplay. Kids young, and I could see a juicy 60 point season coming his way. GREAT guy to eye in any keeper league and if he’s still available he should be thumb up in most pools.
James Neal – I certainly knew Neal would do a lot better in Edmonton than he would in Calgary, something just seemed right. Well here we are and Neal just scored four goals last night and could have had a couple more. He’s likely scooped up in most pools after his performance but he could still fizzle after a red hot start so be weary of Neal. His production will increase this season without question, but I wouldn’t expect this pace to keep up or anything close to it. I’d guess around 50 points for Neal this season, mostly goals of course.
Zach Kassian – I’ve got my eye on him, almost snagged him before last night’s game but held off for now. I like his hitting/penalty minutes and his production should improve if he sticks in this role/line combination. Kassian certainly isn’t my favorite, but he provides some stats that most players don’t.
MY BOY ROOPE HINTZ – The speed of Hintz is remarkable, I’ve had him on my A+ list since I saw him flying around at the end of last season. THIS is my pick of the year for breakout candidate and he’s flourishing. If you can find Hintz on the free agency, get him now. I bet he puts up more points than Jamie Benn this season, yeah…he’s damn good. 60+ points with a lot of goals.
Sammy Blais – Another youngster from the Blues who’s got everything going for him right now. He’s laying the body, adding some serious contribution to the Blues second line and he too should have his best season yet, another player I could see ending around 50 points or so; but LOTS of hits so if you got this category look at Blais. He’s been productive right out the gates and the coaches and players are liking him.
Jakub Vrana – another player I picked to breakout this season, he’s got two goals and an assist and looks to be settling in nicely with the Capitals. I’m thinking Vrana ends up with 25g 25a, but he could end up with more ice time as the season goes, certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Jared McCann – it took him a few years to get it going but it looks like with the depleted Penguins lineup this will be the season McCann gets a real taste of minutes and action. Another 50 point ceiling kind of player but certainly one that should be available in just about every pool. Worth keeping an eye on as the Penguins need more than Crosby and Guentzel burying the biscuit.
Anthony Mantha – the list goes on with my breakout players as the writing was on the wall here. I’m BIG on Mantha and im thinking 30-30 for Mantha topping around 60 points or so. If the Wings were a better team I could see more production, but they are still pretty weak overall. I’d add Mantha if your looking for a 30 goal scorer.
Travis Konecny – My list was better than I thought (at least after week 1) – here is another youngster about to burst out, and another 60 point type guy. I like Konecny as a player (quality skill), I think he’s not done improving yet either…could be next year he pops up to the 65+ point range. Certainly worth a shot if you ask me!
Kevin Shattenkirk – Fantasy wise, he’s been beastly to start. Could be a great add if your looking for a power play specialist in a bottom pairing roll. Tampa Bay has the best offense in the league and Shattenkirk will certainly help push that forward with manning the second unit. 40’ish points for Shattenkirk, but most will come off the power play I’d imagine. He really doesn’t do too much else so keep that in mind.
Cody Glass – Stud. This kid is up there with Hintz in terms of future production. Glass is young, 20 if I recall. He’s got a lot to learn but he’s been magical so far. I’m keeping an eye on him and Vegas as they settle in and I’d like to see what they do with Glass. He’s been excellent thus far, so if you lost Malkin or someone else in your pool look at scooping up Glass as a replacement. By the time Malkin returns from injury you will know what do with Glass. Win win.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Tyler Bertuzzi (1st line with Larkin and Mantha)
Carter Hutton (looking great for Sabres in the early going)
Erik Haula (productive with the Canes thus far)
Nikita Gusev (moved to first line)
Anyone standing out to you so far? Feel free to suggest them in the comments section and let’s get the party started!
Tomorrow’s blog I’m going to list my three fantasy teams and will begin the weekly timetables with teams number of games, injuries, etc.
Hope you are happy with your fantasy team, if not let’s get it primed up with some moves!
Thanks for reading.