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Posted - 12/05/2007 :  12:51:22  Show Profile
By Fantasy Fanatics

Hello hockey fans. For rotisserie league participants, you can not afford to be be as patient with players anymore as you could risk falling far too behind. In terms of head to head leagues, I am always more of a fan of using the first half to build a solid team in order to dominate the playoffs. Therefore, it is time for roto owners to start selling underperformers and go with who is hot and it is time for H2H players to continue to compile buy-low players. Nonetheless, it is necessary to begin this week’s fantasy hockey forecast by labeling some players that are in the process of breaking out and need to be picked up immediately.

Breaking Out:
Glen Murray (RW, Boston): Murray is one of the streakier scorers in the NHL and after beginning the season with a horrible slump, Boston fans were asking the Bruins to trade him for anything. However, after the horrible slump, Murray is scoring again this week. However, it is not just a goal here or there, he is as hot as anyone in the league right now. Is it possible that following his biggest slump ever, Murray could go on his hottest streak ever? Not likely. But, Murray is playing with Marc Savard and now that he remembered how to find the back of the net, he should be a consistent fantasy threat for the rest of the season. This also improves Marc Savard’s stock even more and fantasy owners may want to try and trade for Savvy.

Brian Gionta (RW, New Jersey): Gionta is starting to get it done in New Jersey. In his past 3 games he has 2 goals. It is possible that the move of Patrick Elias to center could do the Devils offense and subsequently Gionta loads of good. However, Gionta is not as safe a pick up as Murray. You would probably have to trade for him in most leagues so unless you can “steal” Gionta, it is not yet worth trading for him as the Devils, in general, are a mess this season. Moreover, Gionta could end up moving at the trade deadline as New Jersey is moving towards a rebuilding phase and Gionta’s contract is not that overwhelming. If he does move at the deadline, Gionta should become a hot fantasy commodity again,

Who’s Hot:
Marc Savard (C, Boston): Savard is on fire the past 6 games with 12 points. Good news for fantasy owners is he is shooting much more and could end up scoring 30 goals this season. As the Bruins continue to play well, Savard should continue on his 100 point pace. Obviously, that makes him a player to go after via trade. If you can package some players that are bound to slow down with a top tier player and grab Savard, it is worth it as he is the most underrated player in fantasy hockey’s elite class. On the other end, Savard is not a sell high candidate unless the Bruins begin to slump again.

Marian Hossa (RW, Atlanta): It looks like the buy-low time frame for Hossa is over as he has turned it on recently. In all likelihood, he will not be traded by many fantasy owners this season and it will take a blockbuster deal to convince any fantasy owner to trade him. Now that he is hot again, he has returned to the top 15 list of the most valuable players in fantasy hockey. Many projected Hossa to score around 40 goals and with only 9 so far, it looks like he will be scoring lots of goals for the rest of the season for those patient fantasy owners that were smart enough to hold onto him. Therefore, Hossa is no longer a buy-low candidate and it is no longer worth it for fantasy owners to trade him.

Ron Hainsey (D, Columbus): Hainsey has been playing very well and consistently throughout the season. With 3G and 12A (many coming in the last 6 games), Hainsey is a good option as a #2 defender right now. However, in the end he is just a defenseman and thus always tradeable. Hainsey is a sell high candidate. Defenseman are the streakiest of all the players and I would never be shy about throwing Hainsey in any deal to get forward or goalie help. Moreover, I would advise using him to pull an underperforming but potentially dynamic fantasy defenseman from an impatient owner. Some possible targets include Shea Weber (coming off an injury), Lubomir Visnovsky (horrendous +/- is the only thing holding back his production) or Jay Bouwmeester (heating up in Florida).

Who’s Not:
Paul Stastny (C, Colorado): Everyone in Colorado has been slumping recently. Stastny has not escaped this trend. In the last two weeks, he has 0 goals and only 3 assists. The fact that he keeps getting assists is keeping his fantasy value above average. However, like many young players, Stastny has been an extremely streaky goal scorer. In his current slump, Stastny is a buy low type player. He is not in the dreaded “sophomore slump,” but is instead going through any normal slump that elite players go through. Nonetheless, some owners may fear the sophomore slump enough that you may be able to grab Stastny for relatively cheap.

Andy McDonald (C, Anaheim): McDonald’s fantasy production is way down compared to the past 2 years. He is on pace for less than 50 points and is not on a premier scoring line in Anaheim anymore. It is looking more and more like the loss of Selanne is having a serious impact on McDonald. It is hard to predict what is going to happen with him. He hasn’t really put together a string of good games yet this season, which is usually a sign of someone who is lost rather than in just a slump. I think it is time for fantasy owners to part way with McDonald. He is a rare sell low case as you may still be able to pull some talent for his name. Fantasy owners need not pursue him right now.

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