hi once again folks. this week's team review is the fantasy team of a long time reader. i reviewed his team last year while writing for talentedmrroto.com; his name is Tim but he goes by TJ. if i remember correctly TJ is a Windsor Ontario boy but i could be wrong about that and if i am then i hope he forgives me on it. the important part of the transaction here is the team review so if he's more anonymous than he needs to be then that only helps him as he tries to finagle his way to a championship.
TJ plays in a points league. i hate points leagues. sorry TJ, it's not about you. i just find them to be arbitrary and hard to evaluate unless i want to design a logarhythm that reflects the entire NHL based on the arbitrary numbers that this league sets, and i definitely don't have time for that. however, TJ gives me the impression that he's run some of his own numbers in the past so it doesn't seem all that necessary to run my own. i expect that i'll talk about trends and opportunity more than i will look at hard stats and i'll let TJ use his own hockey sense to craft his way to a winning formula.
ok, the point structure. he plays in a 16 team H2H at CBSSportsline and on a related note, i really like the engine at Sportsline although i find their FA search options cumbersome. TJ's league requires you to pay by the transaction which really makes you stop and question each move before you make it. it's an interesting way for them to generate income but at the same time, guys are naturally going to limit their moves over the course of the season and consequently end up paying less attention to their team. maybe that's just me though. where was i? oh yeah, the points. they play 8F's, 4D's, and a tandem goalie (where whoever is in net for that team on that day earns stats for your fantasy team) with a 6 man bench and no IR option. starting players earn you points like this:
FWD G=1, A=1, PPG=1, SHG=3, GWG=1, SHOG=0.5, HT=5, PSG=10, PIM (min=1, maj=2, misc=3)
DEF G=2, SHG=6, HT=10, PSG=20, remainder same.
GOAL W=2, SO=4, GA=(-0.5), OTW=1, SHOW=0.5, SV=0.1, A=3, PIM same as others.
see why i don't like evaluating points leagues? some quick thoughts that hit me when i saw the structure are that PIMs in particular are harder to evaluate since each different type of PIM is worth a different amount; defensive goals raise the value of D a good chunk, and special teams play is incredibly valuable. what the point in having so many points for a penalty shot goal i'll never be able to determine.
at present TJ is 3rd in his four team division with a 3-3 record. he can set his lineup weekly. let's take a look.
C Rod Brind'amour (B+) CAR - i've read some reports that guys think the game is about to pass him by and the fantasy player should trade him while he still has value. Rod is fine and i'd still expect 80 pts out of him this season.
C Brian Rolston (B+) MIN - the forgotten option in the Wild attack. responsible 2 way play and he's on the ice in every crucial situation.
W Andrew Brunette (B) COL - he's just been moved up to the top line so expect his stats to increase relatedly.
W Marian Hossa (A) ATL - the man is a monster. hold tight and wait for him, it's been pretty tumultuous around this team so far this year.
W Trent Hunter (C) NYI - gotta say, not a fan and wouldn't be starting him.
W Brendan Morrow (B+) DAL - he'll score and should get PIMs which is a bonus. i think he's your best trading chip, by far.
W Chris Neil (B) OTW - i freely admit that i love this guy in all formats, especially ones that reward PIMy play.
W Ryan Smyth (A-) COL - all he does is score. well worth rostering all season and it would take a glorious offer for you to move him out.
D Francois Beauchemin (C) ANA - off the top of the season he led the world in ice time but i said at the time that it wouldn't continue. now that Schneider is back and with Niedermayer talking about returning again then Beau drops a good deal down the depth chart. i'd be shopping him pretty strongly.
D Zdeno Chara (B+) BOS - he'll get bonus PIMs for you and he'll pocket his share of goals. i like him in this format.
D Cory Murphy (B) FLA - special teams stats galore, particularly PPP. he hurt his shoulder last night so you might want to keep an open eye on news for him in the very near future.
D Marek Zidlicky (B-) NAS - phenomenal year for a couple seasons then an off year last year. i think he takes a back seat to Shea Weber for all of his career if he stays in Nashville but that doesn't mean he doesn't have value.
G Philadelphia Flyers (A-) PHI - Martin Biron is arguably a fantasy MVP candidate so far this season and we still haven't heard from a quality goaltender like Antero Niitymaki yet this season.
BN Paul Gaustad (C) BUF - there's upside here and the Sabres need C's who'll contribute. Gaust looks to be in a prime spot to help out if only for the short term.
BN Mark Parrish (C+) MIN - definitely a secondary scoring type of player. if given ice time he'll contribute some but not the sort that you want to start regularly in your league.
BN Ville Peltonen (D) FLA - your weakest forward imo. i doubt i'd have occasion to ever start him if i ever had occasion to roster him.
BN Mikael Samuelsson (B-) DET - i wouldn't be surprised to see him break 50 pts on the season this year and given the opportunities in Hockeytown then i'd even go so far as to say that i EXPECT him to break 50 pts this season.
BN Dustin Byfuglien (D+) CHI - well, he's young and he's contributed plenty with his AHL team. i've seen him play when he visited my local AHL team. he has some opportunity and the path seems more clear for him to keep getting opportunity. he's not much of a viable start at the moment but he might be one day, maybe tomorrow ... ok maybe next month.
BN Petteri Nummelin (D+) MIN- fringe D who's getting PPTOI right now because the offensive options in Minny all have sore groins from too much scoring (or something to that effect). when the better scoring options return then Nummelin's opportunity will disappear.
ok, well i'm not nuts for an awful lot here. the Flyers as your tandem goalie will continue to be a very fine option for you. i like Cory Murphy on your D and see the fact that he's so involved in special teams play as a bonus for your squad. PIMy options are hard to figure but it looks like a guy who'll get his nose right into the middle of things gets some success in this system. if that trend continues then Neil and Chara have some extra value, particularly Neil. i'm going to suggest you shop around for better goal scoring options although i'd be careful offering up Neil to anyone, shop Morrow instead. most of your starting forwards are very much underrated or haven't really shown what they can do yet. they will though. they will. i don't really like your bench at all.
you need to beef up your offensive D and you need at least one more goal scoring forward. you have at your disposal some guys who've had hot starts that can be shopped and you have some power forward options that you can trade.
Waiver Wire Options
Jozef Stumpel FLA - Olli Jokinen is a star in Miami and nobody knows him there. the best option he has on his line is Jozef Stumpel if one assumes that Nathan Horton heads up another scoring line. Stumpy (i wonder if he hates that nickname) can help a fantasy team.
Jiri Hudler DET - Hudler is one of the hottest PP options available over the last couple weeks. consider the hot hand and ride that out.
Jochen Hecht BUF - somebody has to center their talented forwards and right now it's looking like Hecht has the most talent out of the guys available (until Tim Connolly returns). i like Hecht's 2 way responsible play.
Nigel Dawes NYR - getting ice time with various big guns and was among their most consistent forwards while Avery was on the shelf.
Randy Jones PHI - consistent play. gets PP time and contributes with hard nosed play.
Brendan Witt NYI - PIMs galore, solid defensive play and the occasional point.
Kevin Bieksa VAN - yes i realize he's in a full leg cast and will be no use to you until February or so, i just want you to keep him on your radar in a league like this where his game can really help your team.
add Randy Jones for Petteri (hello) Nummelin - i realize that you really like Nummelin right now and that his PP options are through the roof at the moment but i think it's a mirage. once Minny's big guns are all back in the lineup then i expect that the point on the PP will be manned by Burns and probably Rolston. Nummelin will still get PP2 access but i don't see his contributions continuing like they have been of late. if you hate this idea then i'm fine with dropping Bfugly instead or even turfing Peltonen and just running with a bench full of D options.
trade Brendan Morrow to 67 Leafs for Bryan McCabe - i took a gander at your "trading block" and noted that McCabe was on it. you need offensive/PIMy D and McCabe is traditionally one of the best in the game. his only knock in my book is horrid defensive play so the +/- will continue to be brutal this season but that doesn't matter in your system. he can contribute everywhere to your team. you've already started working this angle and i like the direction you're going here. keep that up.
trade Brendan Morrow and Francois Beauchemin to Flaming Leafs for Tomas Kaberle and Mathieu Schneider - these guys are also on the block in your league and they each would provide you with what you need for your team. Flamer is looking for a top forward and Morrow may get you there. Kaberle and Schneider will be key to each of their own team's attack over the course of the season and you might be able to steal them away from their owner if he's asleep at the switch.
trade Brendan Morrow to Kanes Killers for Simon Gagne - i'm hoping that the extra toughness that Morrow offers could land you the goal scoring potential that Gagne would give you. you take a bit of a risk in this offer since Gagne got rocked last week and missed 4 games with concussion symptoms. if you were to get this though then you've got yourself a significant forward to slot into the lineup every week.
trade Brendan Morrow to Dr C for Sheldon Souray - Souray will return this week, perhaps today (Wednesday) and as far as PIMy D who'll pocket goals are concerned there aren't many better than Souray in all of the game. this'd be sweet if you get it.
trade Paul Gaustad and Francois Beauchemin to Skin Flutes for Filip Kuba and Mike Fisher - i took a look at this offer through the trade evaluator on the system and it shows you giving up too much to acquire these guys. let me argue for it anyway though. Beauchemin's contributions will drop like a stone now that Schneider is back in the fold and Niedermayer is talking about returning soon, and a guy like Mike Fisher looks to be solidifying himself on the top line so that Ottawa can balance their attack on a couple lines. i like Gaustad this season and do see that he's on the cusp of contributing but still i think this deal is better for you. Kuba shoots the puck a lot by the way and with Dan Boyle shelved in Tampa then somebody has to be the man on the point for the Lightning.
look at it this way, your best player has only just woken up offensively and you've still managed to stay .500 on the season so far. that's good news. Marian Hossa is an offensive monster who WILL break the 100 pt barrier on the season again. your secondary scoring is enough to keep you afloat, by offsetting your fantasy points and adding some PIMy fantasy points you help yourself and your goaltending is going to keep you afloat all year. what you need to search for is trading for another scoring forward and upgrading your D to add some tough play along with some points, particularly on special teams. defensive play is less important when you're looking for a D upgrade and that's why i've tried to target some crooked nose options for trade that'll help your offensive output (particularly goals) and throw in some PIMs. this'll work.
good luck TJ.