Carlo Colaiacovo (right) has been racking up the helpers for the Blues.
Did you ever have the feeling that January really is just “one of those months?” This is the time of year where Fantasy thoughts turn into the classic “oh, who is hurt now?” scenario. If you don’t think so, then think again. When you recall some of the more recent injuries, they really do have Fantasy GMs scrambling for viable alternatives. More importantly, it’s not the number of injuries, it is the injury that affects your team.
This goes out to anyone who has Mike Green on their roster: acquire someone else as soon as possible. When a player just becomes this injury prone (and now it’s a chronic groin issue), it is just time. So if you are dying from defensive breakdowns on your Fantasy team, we are going to try and give you a few options this week for a quick fix and one that may be a little longer term.
Corey Potter, D, Edmonton Oilers: Edmonton may have quite a few key injuries (including Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, Ryan Whitney, Cam Barker and Tom Gilbert) but it is happy to have Potter back. While he only had 14 points in 27 games on the season, he does have that ability to set up players very well. Considering potter has five points in his last seven games, he is definitely worth a late look once again. Yes, Potter’s -10 ranking is a bit of a concern, but with the injury to Whitney a major concern, he should reap the rewards as the Oilers’ top defenseman. It will be interesting to see how Potter fares over the next several weeks as Edmonton will be without Nugent-Hopkins and maybe Jordan Eberle as well. By the way, Potter is only owned in 10-to-15 per cent of Fantasy leagues.
Carlo Colaiacovo, D, St. Louis Blues: It is always tough to gauge players, but we had a feeling that Colaiacovo was going to be a perfect fit for a Ken Hitchcock-coached team. The defenseman has 13 assists and 14 points in just 28 games this season, which works out to a point every other game. That is not all that bad, to be honest. If he can stay healthy — and that is a big if, in his case — Colaiacovo can be a nice short-term replacement if you are looking for a few assists from the back end. Yes, there is risk but then again, options are few and far between. With a Colaiacovo currently at a 10 per cent ownership rate, there are worse gambles that could be made.
Jay Harrison, D, Carolina Hurricanes: Another ex-Leaf blueliner, Harrison has been a nice surprise with 15 points in 33 games for Carolina. He possesses an above average slapper and has an offensive presence on the man advantage which the Hurricanes desperately needed with the departures of Tomas Kaberle and Joe Corvo. If the top forward lines ever develop some chemistry, Harrison might even be able to generate more than a half point per game. He is only owned in less than 5 per cent of all Fantasy leagues, so get on board while you can. The reality is offensive defenseman options are scarce on the waiver wire these days.
- Pavel Datsyuk got off to somewhat of a sluggish start, but has been lights out since the beginning of December, definitely justifying our faith in him when he ranked him as the third most valuable left winger in Fantasy hockey heading into the season. He’s racked up points in four straight games (1-4-5, +4) and has six goals and 16 assists in 18 games since November ended. More importantly, Datsyuk has remained healthy, missing just one game as Detroit has hit the halfway mark of the schedule.
- It’s been a couple of seasons since Filip Kuba was a top 40 defenseman, and while we wouldn’t say he’s back there, the veteran is getting pretty close. He’s pitched in a goal and two assists over the last four games while going a whopping +6. No one is confusing the 2011-12 Kuba with the version that potted 15 goals in 2006-07, but believe it or not, his four goals so far represents his highest output since 2007-08. Kuba is currently available in about three-quarters of ESPN leagues, so in the spirit of the picks above, here’s another blueliner that could help you.
- Is the real Corey Perry finally showing up? Last season’s MVP and our top-ranked right winger heading into the season has been lost, like pretty much everyone else in Anaheim so far this season. He had managed just one multi-goal game until Sunday, when he busted loose for the hat trick, giving him four goals and two assists in three games so far in January. Perry, who went on a tear in the second half last season could be ready to pull an encore. Sadly, it took the ‘trick for him to take over the goal scoring lead — on his own team. He’s still not even the highest scoring right winger on the Ducks, but if Perry does have a huge finish, that will soon change.
That is it for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Next week, we will help you with your offensive injury woes. In the meantime, good luck to all our readers.
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