Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fantasy Hockey: The Final Week Approaches

The final week of the Fantasy Hockey season is upon us. The trade deadline is long past and the only source of help is your league's waiver wire. You've got to love this time of year.

It is my sincere hope that my readers are battling it out for their league's championship (in two week final formats) or are on the cusp of getting to the big stage. If so, I am here to provide you with some last minute tidbits which might help you get over the hump and bring home the gold.

As was discussed in an earlier blog, players who win their Fantasy Playoffs are the ones who happen to have the hottest players of the moment on their teams. It is, unfortunately, not about being loyal to the guys who brought you this far. If a hotter current option exists out there, you have to make the move to grab him. Ask the guys who stuck with Sidney Crosby how they're doing right now. You can find them in the Consolation Brackets.

Another point that was brought up was Opportunity i.e which NHL teams will play more games during the week. This tenet is never more crucial than in the playoffs, where there is no tomorrow.

The following teams play four times next week: New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues. I'm going to identify a player on each team that may still be available on your waiver wire and who might provide you with the edge.

St. Louis: Barret Jackman- Jackman has had a pretty disappointing season fantasy-wise, only recording 14 points in 72 games. However, he has been effective lately....6 of those points have come in the last month. He's also accrued 23 penalty minutes in that time period (a nice bonus in leagues that count them).

New Jersey: John Madden- He has quietly put together a 41 point year, matching his career high. Not too shabby for a 3rd line Center who is best known for defensive capabilities. More importantly, he has 3 points in the last six games and is always a threat to get a shorthanded point (which, as everyone probably knows, can be hard to come by. Recording one might just put you over the top in a head to head, category-based matchup.)

New York: Martin Straka- It's unlikely that Straka is available in any but the most shallow leagues, but the time he missed out on earlier this season may have caused some owners to forget about him. That's a shame because he has been absolutely "en fuego" lately. He has 5 points in his last four games, can be slotted as a C or W and is a swell dresser. Okay, I don't know about his fashion sense, but it's hard to deny the guy is getting his points when it matters most to you.

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