Cory Hodgson’s talent is finally showing.
With Week 15 coming up for Fantasy hockey owners, the realization that the “playoff push” is coming fast and furious should hit very hard. The injuries keep piling up for teams and with no end in sight, there are just times when you have to go so unconventional that even the best experts will wind up scratching their heads. It can be a time to completely tank some categories in the interest of saving others on your team.
For points and rotisserie leagues, the approach will be different. In points leagues, it is key to pick up players that will pad your bottom line but in Roto Leagues, you’re trying to keep those edges then maybe trying to help out the categories that are lacking. The reality is that most leagues are H2H formats, but over the next several weeks, we will focus on additions that also help those types of leagues that become a bit forgotten.
This week, we will focus on our usual quest of helping those who are hurting in H2H leagues. Heading into Week 15 there are a whole new set of injuries to be concerned with. Here is the latest list of injuries via TSN.
Let’s get down to business for Week 15. By the way, our choices are always owned in less than 50 per cent of leagues and in some cases in single digits.
Cody Hodgson, C, Vancouver Canucks: Sure, Hodgson has taken his lumps but clearly the young forward has talent as evidenced by his 25 points in 45 games on the season. In limited ice time (12:36 ATOI), Hodgson still has nine points on the power play. He also has 79 shots and has created tons of scoring chances over the last several weeks. Once the two-way part of his game comes into focus then look out, Fantasy hockey owners. While Hodgson is currently owned in less than 10 per cent of leagues, that won’t be the case for long.
David Desharnais, C, Montreal Canadiens: Desharnais has this knack of getting assists. After all, he does have 21 on the season along with eight power play points. The centre has seven points in his last seven games, ladies and gentlemen. He is also owned in less than 10 per cent of leagues, so if you are looking for some assists, then go get him already.
Colin Greening, C/LW, Ottawa Senators: Greening is another one of those young Ottawa players that has produced fairly consistently. A bonus that goes unnoticed is that he is approaching 100 hits on the season. Clearly, Ottawa has quite a few heavy hitters which is a viable stat in Fantasy leagues, but Greening’s 24 points is where the bacon is earned as he continues to see some regular power play time. The youngster is owned in less than 10 per cent of leagues and is a pretty good pickup for those looking for deep versatility.
Anton Stralman, New York Rangers: This is a bit of a rambunctious move but if you need that +/- to help you then Stralman is a pretty decent bet. With his +10 ranking in 18 games and low ownership rate, he is a nice fit as a fourth or fifth defenseman for your Fantasy team. It can never hurt to take a shot even with the prospect of less ice time down the road.
Ryan Ellis, Nashville Predators: The advice here is if you are in a keeper league, then snatch Ellis up now. Granted, you may see long stretches when he does little of anything, but he is a blue chip Fantasy player in the making. Ellis does have four points in seven games, but all those points came in just two games. This is a guy to keep on your radar and considering next season’s defensive corps will look different in Nashville, Ellis is one who could benefit greatly.
Johan Hedberg, New Jersey Devils: This is still at least somewhat of a risk, but at a 25-to-30 per cent ownership rate, Hedberg is a viable third goalie in Fantasy leagues. His 2.45 GAA and .909 save percentage are so-so, but the 12 wins in 17 games started garners a little more Fantasy attention. As Martin Brodeur sees a little less action over the second half, Hedberg may get enough starts to make that waiver add work for you.
- Paul Stastny has been a little frustrating to own as we keep waiting for him to flash the form he displayed during his breakout 2009-10 season. Well, he potted a goal and an assist Saturday for his multi-point effort since November 10, but more importantly he now has four points over his last five games. Could Stastny be primed for a big second half? He may have been dropped in some shallow leagues, so check your wire in those situations.
- The Wings simply can’t lose at home these days, taking their 14th straight contest in Detroit Saturday night. And it was a former Fantasy stud who made their latest win possible as Todd Bertuzzi scored a pair of goals, including the OT winner to seal the game. Over two years ago, we identified Bertuzzi as a bust, suggesting he was just a shell of his former self. That pretty much bore itself out, even though he’s stayed healthy the past couple of seasons and managed to be a nice source of PMs. Bertuzzi’s production has remained consistently middling the past few seasons, but what’s changed this season is his whopping +19 rating, a number which makes him a tempting addition in deeper leagues. He’s been dealing with a sore back lately, but it obviously wasn’t a factor Saturday as it looked like someone forgot to tell him it was 2012, not 2002.
Well, that is it for this week, ladies and gentlemen. As always, bring your questions to us and we will answer them. That is a guarantee. Good luck in Week 15.
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