The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 11/26/11 at 04:13 AM ET
Just like many NHL teams, the Pick Six is playing back-to-backs on Friday and Saturday. Following a busy Black Friday, which you hopefully spent more time watching hockey than shopping, Saturday also provides plenty of action with 11 games on the schedule, meaning still more roster choices in daily leagues. Don’t forget that there are more afternoon starts on Saturday, all of which happen to be old Patrick Division clubs (Islanders at Devils, 1 p.m. ET; Flyers at Rangers, 2 p.m. ET).
Here are my players of interest for Saturday:
Jordan Eberle, RW, EDM – start
In his second NHL season, Eberle is moving up the ranks toward elite status at the right wing position. The sophomore forward, who is playing on a line with fellow youngsters Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, has 12 points (4g-8a) in his last six games while maintaining a point-per-game pace this season. It’s tough keeping Eberle – or his other two linemates, for that matter – out of your starting lineup right now.
Tomas Fleischmann, LW, FLA – start
I’ve mentioned Stephen Weiss and Kris Versteeg from the Panthers’ surprisingly successful top line, so now it’s Flash’s turn. Fleischmann has a four-game point streak and is up to 23 points (10g-13a) and +16 in 22 games. Don’t forget that he was a point-per-game player with Colorado last season until a blood clot in his leg forced him out for the season. The hit to the head from Andre Deveaux (which resulted in a three-game suspension) won’t matter, as Fleischmann returned to the game and should be fine for Saturday.
Jason Garrison, D, FLA – start
Another benefactor of all the sunshine in Florida is Garrison. The Panthers’ blueliner has come out of virtually nowhere to score eight goals this season, including four goals on the power play. Garrison had only five goals last season, but new Panthers coach Kevin Dineen has been successful in his idea to use Garrison’s cannon shot on the Panthers’ power play. Don’t expect Garrison to be the second coming of Bobby Orr, but he is at least worth keeping in your lineup against an underachieving Tampa team on Saturday.
Blake Comeau, RW, CGY - add
Comeau won’t play in his first game in a Flames uniform until Sunday, but he’s worth an add in very deep leagues out there. Players who score 24 goals the previous season don’t usually end up on the waiver wire, which is why it should be no surprise that he was scooped up, even though he hasn’t yet scored this season. The directionless Flames have the league’s widest collection of third-line forwards, so Comeau should fit right in. If he makes a good first impression, he might become a mainstay on one of the top two scoring lines.
Patric Hornqvist, RW, NSH – bench
There may not be a player in the league who is more red hot and ice cold at various points of the season than Hornqvist. After failing to record a point in his first seven games, Hornqvist hit the twine in six consecutive games while on a seven-game point streak. Now he is back to frigid, having been held without a point in six consecutive games. Hornqvist can score a lot for fantasy teams, but he can sure be frustrating to own. Keep him on your bench until he starts his next run.
Semyon Varlamov, G, COL – bench
I’ll explain my reasons for benching Varlamov from a recent email from reader Bruce in Toledo.
Ian, I am in a 10 team head to head league. I lucked out in the draft getting Pekka Rinne, Tomas Vokoun and Varlamov. Varly has been the spare and I recently became enamored with the Blues resurgence and grabbed Jaroslav Halak off the waiver wire for Varly, but am having second thoughts. I’m thinking of reversing this trade, but the Avs haven’t impressed lately. Your thoughts?
Bruce in Toledo
After watching the Avalanche play the Canucks last night, I don’t believe that the Avs will be a very good team this season. I’ve always thought Varlamov is a decent goalie, but it’s hard to string together many wins if the team in front of you always seems to be outshot like the Avs are most nights. Although Halak started this season in the tank and has only 3 wins in 12 tries, Varlamov has not won a single game in November and has a 4.18 GAA for the month. I’d stick with what you have. (In other words, bench Varly against a hot Edmonton attack on Saturday.)
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About The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
My name is Ian Gooding, and this is The Goods on Fantasy Hockey. Given my ability to understand numbers, write sentences, and follow hockey, it’s not a surprise to those who know me that I became a fantasy hockey writer. I started writing about fantasy hockey in 2006 for fantasyhockey.com and became the site’s content editor in 2007. Looking to expand my audience, I joined Kukla’s Korner in the summer of 2011 to create the site’s first fantasy hockey blog.
A few times each week, I’ll provide an article called “Pick Six” where I will write about six players that should either be in your fantasy team’s starting lineup or bench for the upcoming game. As well, I’ll provide the fantasy takes on important hockey developments. You can also email me your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter.